Valuables such as cell phones, laptops, tablets, cameras
The emphasis is on the petty part of
The best response is compliance – don't fight back or resist, hand over your valuables and live to tell the tale.
The old part of town is beautiful, world heritage-listed beautiful, and it draws crowds of tourists. Pickpockets love crowds, so be aware of your surroundings and belongings.
This is also one of the poorer parts of town, so avoid it at night unless you're a confident and experienced traveler.
The modern section of Quito, La Mariscal, is also potentially dangerous at night. Call for a taxi rather than walk back to your hotel.
Transport terminals are always a magnet for pickpockets and petty thieves so take precautions there too. Quito has a tourist police force, easily identifiable by their hi-vis yellow vests and gray uniforms.
Taxi robbery is a danger in Quito, Guayaquil, Manta, Machala, Playas
(More on secuestro express in this article about Colombia)
The north end of the Malecón 2000 near Las Peñas, outside the San Marino Mall, and the Urdesa restaurant/bar district are known spots for taxi robbery.
The US consulate in Guayaquil forbids its staff from hailing cabs on the street, including yellow cabs, because of the risk of taxi robberies.
They insist staff use "vetted taxi services" if you want to be ultra-safe, you can use the same services: FastLine, Solservice
This volcano, on the western outskirts of Quito, has a great view of the city from the summit when it's not erupting. The last eruption in 1999 covered the city in ankle-deep ash.
For a long time, Pichincha was known as a crime hotspot but the Ecuadorian government took action and now the weather and poor fitness levels are more of a threat than
The crime problem is a little worse in this port town, it's like Quito with the petty crime turned-up a bit. As usual, avoid the poorer areas, especially the El Guasmo district. Take caution as you travel in the downtown, southern areas and on public transport in the city.
In addition to the pickpockets and scammers, (watch out for the old ‘mustard ketchup squirted on your pants to distract you' trick) some of the biggest crooks in this town are the friendly experts who'll tell you they can get you a great deal on a Galapagos Islands cruise, then whack an enormous mark-up on the real cost.
By using some common sense, you can experience Ecuador's cities safely:
You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.
Listen to this episode of the World Nomads Podcast on Ecuador and discover the strict rules for visiting the Galapagos Islands and the volcanoes that rival Mt Fuji.
One of the greatest natural wonders on the planet, the Galapagos is a must see for any traveller to Ecuador. Here's how to enjoy the natural beauty safely.