Quito as all capital cities of Latin America presents a high-risk level of public safety, for reasons such as an ample difference in economic and social levels among citizens. Citizens express a higher perception of insecure public safety (81%), with street robbery and drug trafficking with the highest rates. Quito is Ecuador’s most dangerous city and Guayaquil is second.

At Travel Security Strategies, our main goal is your safety during your travels to Latin America, so we provide this useful information for a safe stay in Quito, Ecuador:

Types of violent crime  

  • Carjacking
  • Assault 
  • Car theft
  • Armed robbery (at nighttime, specially Fridays)
  • Express Kidnappings (victims are kidnapped, and criminals rob their funds from their credit cards at ATMS)
  • Motorcycle theft
  • Taxis theft

Main public safety risks

  • People walking or riding bikes are a common target for armed robbery.
  • There are high rates of taxi thefts, and so affecting the passenger’s security.
  • Saca pintas: a criminal band that robs its victims when exiting a bank or ATM.
  • Thefts and assaults are common in public transportation.
  • Never ask for a taxi randomly on the streets. Especially when arriving at International Airport Mariscal Sucre in Quito. Always use authorized companies for this service.
  • Use of scopolamine in drinks at bars is common, criminals do this so they can take you to an ATM and empty your bank funds. Be aware of your drink at all times.
  • Visiting parks at night is very risky. Better during the day.

General safety recommendations

  • When using public transportation be aware at all times. Its not safe and thefts are common.
  • Interurban transportation is not reliable. Accidents are common because of dangerous driving.
  • Don’t accept any drinks or food from strangers due to the common use of scopolamine.
  • When using the ATM, be aware of strangers nearby and don’t take out big amounts of money. Always small amounts.
  • Avoid marginal neighborhoods of Quito.
  • Be extra aware in areas with lots of tourists, as its were criminals are most present.
  • When using the cable car stay close to the platform.
  • Avoid crowded areas and talking to strangers on the streets.
  • Keep valuables in hotel safe and only carry copies of passports.
  • Avoid standing out and try to blend.
  • Don’t use cell phone on the streets.
  • 911 is the only emergency number.
  • Download the app ECU911 and register in case of an emergency.
  • Police emergencies number is 101.