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Old 09-02-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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I went to Ecaudor on an amazing trip several years ago. And even then I understood that Ecuador, while still having all the problems of Latin American countries, was a bit safer than the other South American countries (the Tropical ones at least).

I became interesting in the country after recently talking with someone there.

Even though it has a similar physical geography (cooler highlands, steamy lowlands, etc.) Ecuador never became a major cocaine growing country like its neighbors. Quito is generally regarding as being noticeably safer than cities in Venezuela, Colombia, etc.

Does anyone know why?
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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Since Ecuador is so small there are not as many remote jungles for drug lords to hang out in as say Colombia. Less land in Ecuador means it is more difficult to grow large amounts of drugs. Colombia is huge in comparison so it has plenty of farmland to support a massive drug industry. Ecuador is more dry so the land is less fertile than that of Colombia.

Venezuela is dangerous because Chavez destroyed the economy and as a result of that people are desperate to make ends meet. Venezuela was a fairly safe country (by Latin American standards anyway) pre-Chavez.
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:29 PM
 
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The smaller the area, generally the easier it is to police. Especially if the government is somewhat competent and stable.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
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One place in Ecuador to be aware of is the border crossing between Ecuador and Peru along the main Pan American highway, on the southern end of Huaquillas, Ecuador. There is a sort of "gauntlet" of hustlers and rip off artists looking for easy pickings from travelers trying to get to the Peru border crossing. Ecuadorian buses don't take people right up to the border. Some Taxi drivers conspire with some of the hustlers so you have to be careful which cab you might take to get around the gauntlet. Best away around the border gauntlet is to have a ticket on an international bus (such as Guayaquil to Tumbas, Peru) that will not leave you stuck having to walk through the gauntlet (that's what I did).

Besides this place, and maybe a couple of places up near the Colombian border, Ecuador is for the most part safe to visit as long as the visitor applies the basic rules that apply most anywhere - travel light and don't make yourself an easy mark or target to thieves or criminals. A little common sense is all it takes to avoid most problems in almost other country.
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Old 09-03-2010, 01:08 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
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I really don't see Ecuador as any safer than any other country in SA, been there twice in the last 6 years.

I don't feel safe in any big city in SA, and I always hightail it out of the big cities and head for the smaller or mid-sized cities and there's some nice cities of that size in Ecuador: Azoques, Riobamba, Ambato, Banos,Otavalo, Ibarra, Loja, Cuenca,
Zamora, Aluasi and Tulcan at the Colombian border with their famous shrub-sculptured cemetery which is a must-see in Ecuador.

The touristy Mariscal district in Quito was far from safe when I was there for one day/night only, and despite the reputation of the colonial district, I felt safer there. I was pickpocketed once and mugged once in Quito Centro, despite the short amount of time spent there, never a problem in all those other cities.

Enjoy all that Ecuador has to offer!
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Old 09-03-2010, 01:54 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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I didn't think it was considered much safer either, but I'm far from well-traveled.

The main positive I've heard of Ecuador is that the climate is quite mild, particularly considering it's near the equator. However I guess much of it as at higher altitudes so that makes it not too hot while also not varying much due to the equator thing.
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Old 09-03-2010, 02:42 AM
 
Location: classified
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There was never a culture of coca/cocaine use in Ecuador compared with Colombia and Peru. That being said though Ecuador was the only South American country where I had a failed pickpocket attempt.
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:45 AM
 
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Is Costa Rica (will fly there in 4 months) safer than Ecuador ? I hope so.
From what I've heard (travel blogs) Ecuador is not safer than Columbia or Peru but more so than Brazil,Venezuela or Bolivia, though. So it probably only holds middle ground in terms of security in South America (and might even be under-average if one includes the Cono Sur countries, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, generally more secure than their northern neighbours).
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