Foreign Entry Requirements and Travel Tips:

Foreign Entry Requirements and Country Information

International Travel Information for US Citizens


Entry Requirements




Passport Required?


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Visa Required?


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Immunization Required?


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Invitation Required?


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Additional Requirements?


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Print or Email Requirements

Legend:  =Required   =Not Required

Entry/Exit Requirements
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and depart Ecuador. Tourists must also provide evidence of return or onward travel. U.S. citizens do not need a visa for a stay of 90 days or less. Those planning a longer visit must obtain a visa in advance. U.S. citizens whose passports are lost or stolen in Ecuador must obtain a new passport at the U.S. Embassy in Quito or the U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil and present it, together with a police report of the loss or theft, to the main immigration offices in those cities to obtain permission to depart. An exit tax must be paid at the airport when departing Ecuador. For further information regarding entry, exit, and customs requirements, travelers should contact the Ecuadorian Embassy at 2535 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009; telephone (202) 234-7166; Internet http://www.ecuador.org; or the Ecuadorian consulate in Chicago (312) 329-0266, Houston (713) 622-1787, Jersey City (201) 985-1700, Los Angeles (323) 658-6020, Miami (305) 539-8214, New Orleans (504) 523-3229, New York (212) 808-0170, or San Francisco (415) 957-5921.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR MINORS: Ecuador's specific procedures mandate that minors (under 18) who are citizens or residents of Ecuador and who are traveling alone, with one parent, or with a third party must present a copy of their birth certificate and written authorization from the absent parent(s) or legal guardian, specifically granting permission to travel alone, with one parent, or with a third party. When a parent is deceased, a notarized copy of the death certificate is required in lieu of the written authorization. If documents are prepared in the United States, the authorization and the birth certificate must be translated into Spanish, notarized, and authenticated by the Ecuadorian Embassy or an Ecuadorian consulate within the United States. If documents are prepared in Ecuador, only notarization by an Ecuadorian notary is required. This paragraph does not apply to children who enter Ecuador with U.S. passports as tourists, unless they hold dual U.S./Ecuadorian citizenship

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated special procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship to the person traveling with the child and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure. Please refer to Traveling with Children for detailed information
13,212,742 (July 2004 est.)
noun: Ecuadorian(s)
adjective: Ecuadorian
Country Name
conventional long form: Republic of Ecuador
conventional short form: Ecuador
local long form: Republica del Ecuador
local short form: Ecuador
tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands
US dollar (USD)
Government Type
U.S. Embassy Location
chief of mission: Ambassador Kristie Anne KENNEY
embassy: Avenida 12 de Octubre y Avenida Patria, Quito
mailing address: APO AA 34039
telephone: [593] (2) 256-2890
FAX: [593] (2) 250-2052
consulate(s) general: Guayaquil
Legal System
based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Roman Catholic 95%
Country Background
The "Republic of the Equator" was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Colombia and Venezuela). Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999.
Safety and Security
The U.S. Embassy in Quito advises against travel to the northern border of Ecuador – to include the provinces of Sucumbios, Orellana, Carchi, and northern Esmeraldas Province. U.S. Government personnel are restricted from travel to these areas due to the spread of organized crime, drug trafficking, small arms trafficking, and incursions by various Colombian terrorist and criminal organizations. Since 1998, at least nine U.S. citizens have been kidnapped near Ecuador's border with Colombia. One U.S. citizen was murdered in January 2001 by kidnappers holding him for ransom.

Political demonstrations occur sporadically throughout Ecuador.Protesters sometimes block city streets and rural highways, and public transportation tends to be disrupted during these incidents. Protestors also occasionally burn tires, throw Molotov cocktails, detonate improvised explosive devices and fire handguns into the air during demonstrations. Police response may include water cannons and tear gas. Travelers are advised to avoid areas where demonstrations are in progress. They may keep informed by following the local news and consulting hotel personnel and tour guides.

Strikes and disturbances by local fishermen in the Galapagos Islands sometimes impact the movement of tourists and access to some sites. The Islands are over 600 miles from the mainland, and help may be slow in arriving in the case of an emergency. Travelers to the Galapagos are urged to contact tour operators and visit the Consular Affairs homepage at http://travel.state.gov for the most recent information when planning their trips to the Galapagos.

Since 1993, leftists in various locations in Ecuador, including Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca, have placed hundreds of “pamphlet bombs,? small explosive devices that release political literature. Small dynamite bombs also have been detonated at a McDonalds in Guayaquil, an American Airlines office in Quito and at various Government of Ecuador buildings. Although no foreign tourists have been injured in these explosions, American citizens visiting or residing in Ecuador are urged to exercise caution and avoid suspicious looking packages. U.S. citizens should carry identification at all times, including proof of U.S. citizenship. When driving their own vehicle or rented vehicle, they should be sure to have proper vehicle registration papers with them. Travelers to Ecuador's beach areas should be aware that strong currents, undertow, and underwater hazards may exist and are not always posted. While some beaches have lifeguard stations, they are usually unmanned.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.

Up-to-date information of safety and security can also be obtained by calling1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-317-472-2328. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
Violent and non-violent crime is on the rise in urban Ecuador. In an increasing number of cases, thieves are armed with guns or knives. The Ecuadorian Government has increased police patrols in tourist areas, but travelers in resort areas along the coast and in Quito and Guayaquil should remain alert to their surroundings and maintain constant control of personal belongings. It's not a good idea to wear expensive-looking jewelry and watches. Avoid the interior regions of large city parks day and night and exercise caution around their perimeters. Public markets, airports, bus terminals, restaurants, and crowded streets provide opportunities for non-violent crimes such as pick pocketing, burglary of personal effects, and thefts from vehicles. Sexual assaults are also on the rise in urban areas. Backpackers are frequently targeted for robbery and snatch and grabs. Always be aware of your surroundings and try to not travel alone.

In Quito, travelers should be particularly alert on the crowded streets of south Quito, at the Panecillo, in Old Quito and in the areas of El Tejar, Parroquia San Sebastian, Avenida Cristobal Colon and Gonzalez Suarez. The Mariscal Sucre District is a popular tourist area in Quito with numerous restaurants, bars, hotels and shopping sites. Since 1999, several U.S. Government employees and private U.S. citizens have been targeted there, prompting the U.S. Embassy to put certain bars off-limits and to declare a nighttime curfew in the area for its employees. The presence of additional police has had little effect on the rising crime rate.

In Guayaquil, extra caution should be taken in the downtown area, in the street market area of La Bahia, at the Christ Statue (Sagrado Corazon de Jesus) on Cerro del Carmen, in the airport area, and in the southern part of the city. The riverfront park area in Guayaquil called the Malecon and the passage up to the lighthouse in the Las Penas area are generally safe and well patrolled although at night caution should be observed. There have been repeated instances of travelers followed from the airport and intercepted by robbers using two vehicles to cut off the traveler; although there is some evidence that those most at risk are people who appear to be returning for family visits laden with gifts and large amounts of cash, there have been instances of robbery of people who did not fit this profile. There have been numerous armed robberies of restaurants and their patrons, including in the fashionable areas of Guayaquil. Guayaquil has also experienced a dramatic increase in kidnappings for ransom, often in connection with hijackings.

Many beach areas are relatively deserted at night; crimes such as rape and robbery have been reported in 2003. Armed robbery of inter-city buses is on the increase. There have been several reported incidents in 2003 of passengers being robbed on buses. The Embassy recommends that you use legitimate taxicabs as a way to get around the larger cities. Public transportation can be dangerous – both from a traffic safety and personal security point of view.

Criminals sometimes use incapacitating drugs on unsuspecting tourists in order to rob them. These so-called "date rape" drugs, called scopolamine in Ecuador, are administered into drinks in order to drug the unsuspecting victim. This drug can render the victim disoriented and can cause prolonged unconsciousness and serious medical problems. Never allow a stranger to “buy? you a drink and never leave your drink unattended. During 2003/2004, several American citizens reported thefts of property following ingestion of such substances.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.
Medical Facilities
Medical care is available, but varies in quality and is generally below U.S. standards. Ambulances, with or without trained emergency staff, are in critically short supply. Acute surgical and cardiac services are not available on the Galapagos Islands. Serious cases must be evacuated to the Ecuadorian mainland or the United States for treatment.


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