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Travel in Latin America

How to Travel to Ecuador Safely
By:Erin Schreiner

The natural beauty and temperate climate of Ecuador makes it a popular South American tourist destination. While many travel to Ecuador and back without incident, there are risks that you must keep in mind when traveling to this country. To ensure that your vacation doesn't turn into a nightmare, consider the risks associated with traveling to Ecuador and take precautions to avoid any avoidable incidents or minimize the effects of incidents that you couldn't avoid.

Leave your flashy accessories at home. Traveling the city streets of Ecuador decked out in your most attention-getting accessories can make you a target for would-be thieves. Take the target off your back by forgoing these pieces entirely and sticking to simple accessories on your trip.

Travel with a companion. Traveling solo is an easy way to become an attractive target. Avoid traveling by yourself unless absolutely necessary, as there is safety in numbers.

Trust your instincts. Often, your well-honed instincts will tell you if something is not right. If you start to get a negative feeling about someone you have encountered, listen to the feeling and try to escape the situation. While this individual may prove to be benign, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to traveling abroad.

Select your foods carefully. While delicious, Ecuadorian foods can prove to be too much for some travelers. To ensure that your trip isn't spent curled up next to the toilet, eat only foods that are well-cooked and take care to wash any fruits and vegetables you eat. Consider sticking to bottled water while on your trip, as South American water can contain bacteria your body isn't used to.

Stay off the streets at night. While you can be robbed or accosted day or night, you are significantly more vulnerable after dark. If traveling after sunset, consider taking a cab instead of walking the streets.

Store your wallet in an interior pocket. The back pocket of your pants is hardly a safe place to stow your cash. If your coat has an interior pocket, slip your wallet into this safer spot. If not, get a wallet holder that fits around your neck or your waist, under your clothing.

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