I read some in a travel book and the warnings were so scary concerning assaults, weapons and kidnapping. I am now a little shy of travelling there and yet would like to go if it is safer than what I read. Anyone help?

I’ve been to Ecuador twice and traveled there extensively. If you travel smart and are aware of your surroundings, I don’t believe it is dangerous. Of course, you have to be aware, especially of pick pocketers (and in Quito many young street children are the worst) so just make sure you keep your money and valuables close to you.

I heard a few stories of people being held up, but all of those people were carrying too much (one for instance had 4 cell phone and 2 cameras). Someone mentioned blending in and not wearing anything too flashy, that is good advice. In the time I spent there (over 2 months) I did hear of one story that occurred on the Columbian-Ecuador border, where rebels boarded a bus and robbed the riders. This is not meant to scare you from traveling Ecuador, as all of my experiences were WONDERFUL! I just wanted to give you all of the info I had.

travel ecuador[ ATTRIBUTE: Please check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/50917150@N04/4677156985 to find out how to attribute this image ]

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Some things that would make your travels safer and easier:

Be able to speak some Spanish
Do not walk alone at night
Travel by taxis at night (especially in the cities)
Keep your valuables secure, but do not carry more than what is necessary
Walk around with your head up and confidently

Most of all, enjoy the beautiful place that is Ecuador, there are so many beautiful things to see and experience and Ecuadorians are such wonderful people.