Quito is not a dangerous place for violent crime compared to some US cities for example, but robberies and muggings do occur especially around the entertainment, shopping and restaurant area of the Mariscal. We advise our visitors to exercise the normal caution when travelling to an unknown area in a city. We recommend two-three people together when in the Mariscal area and advise to stay away from empty streets.
Don’t flaunt your wealth (cameras, binoculars, wallets in back pockets, nice earrings and watches). Leave all this behind at the hotel and certainly don’t carry important documents and papers where they can easily be pick-pocketed. Con-men who seem fine have also walked off with belongings when the victim is least expecting.
Look out for tricks to get your belongings: poor people bumping into you; helping someone while someone else runs off with your belongings; throwing sauce on you and offering to help you clean it up; well-dressed “businessmen” in a hotel running off with your camera case. There seems to be an art in it!
There is a safe at the hotel Quito where you can leave valuables for the whole time of your trip. The loss of the key however does incur a $100 charge. Leaving luggage whilst you’re in Galapagos at the hotel Quito is safe and is the standard procedure.
Keep an eye on hand luggage in the airport (this goes for Miami too) as in the past, it would disappear in an instant. These days there is much more security but nevertheless, be careful.
Galapagos and Puerto Ayora are fine with very little crime and practically none against tourists. The crews are trustworthy on board but we recommend locking valuables in bags whilst on the excursions in order not to put temptation in anyone’s way. GE can look after things in the office in Puerto Ayora whilst on the cruise if requested.
Although you should have your passport with you at all times as identification, a copy will suffice if venturing from the hotel, with the original a few minutes away at the hotel.
Security & restrictions
Please make sure that your baggage is clearly marked with your name, inside as well as outside, in case the labels get detached. Extra baggage (for example warm weather clothes for Cotapaxi) may be left behind at your Quito hotel whilst you are away in Galapagos.
There is a weight restriction of 20kg/44lbs on the flight to Galapagos. However, we would like to stress that it is generally warm in Galapagos, and huge amounts of clothing are not needed in the islands. Baggage space in the cabins is often limited. We recommend duffle bags on board rather than large solid suitcases. They are easier to store.
We recommend that you always leave your bag locked while you are ashore visiting the islands. Cabins don’t usually have keys. If you are really worried, valuables can be left with the Captain. We have not had a case of dishonesty among our crews, but it is always better to be on the side of caution.
Consulates & Embassies
Edificio Citiplaza, piso 12, Republica de El Salvador y Naciones Unidas.
Tel: 297 0800 / 297 0801; consular section extension 2223.
Emergency phone number: 099 723021 (cellular).
United States of America
Av. 12 de Octubre y Patria.
Tel: 256 2890. Fax: 250 2052.
Emergency phone number: 223 4126.
6 de Diciembre 2816 and P Rivet, 4th Floor
Tel: 2232114 / 2506162. Fax: 2503108
Av. Mariana de Jesus y Occidental. The most modern (and expensive, take a credit card). Tel: 226 1520 / 226 9068. Hospital Vos Andes Villalengua 267 entre America y Av. 10 de Agosto. Run by missionaries, good for jungle infections and stool tests. Tel: 226 2190 / 226 2174. Clinica Pichincha Paez 1259 y Veintimilla, sector Santa Clara. Tel: 254 6300 / 254 6448. Or try the British Consulate for update of recommended Doctors.
Dr. Alfonso Arcos Barona Edificio Rosania, 2nd Floor, Av. Republica del Salvador 525. Tel: 245 7268.
To Telephone Ecuador from outside.
+593 followed by 2 (Quito), then dial the number. If you are calling Galapagos the code is 5. Mobile numbers are prefixed by 09 and this should never be omitted. Please notice that all telephone numbers within Ecuadorian territory have 7 digits, the first one being a 2 after the city/region code. This excludes mobile phone numbers
To Telephone from Ecuador internationally
There are many phone booths around in towns. On board, there is a satellite or cell service on some of the boats. Code for UK is 00 44, for the USA and Canada: 00 1, plus area code and number. To call collect from any Ecuadorian phone dial 999 178 and you get through to a BT operator, convenient but expensive, you can also use this code for BT chargecard calls. Make sure your hotel only charges for a local call! US clients can dial out using an AT&T card dial 999 119.
Contact in Case of Emergency
While you are travelling in the Galapagos, contact cannot be made direct to the yachts. However, any messages can be transmitted via GE who can use radio contact or cellular phone, depending on the whereabouts of the yacht.
GE telephone number: 593 5 252 7471.
This may be difficult to get through to from abroad due to limitations of the telephone service in Galapagos.
E-mailing us is recommended on:
Please leave a copy of this information with your family, friends or office.
This is big in Ecuador. There are plenty of Internet cafes and most hotels have access. It is worth getting an internet (roaming) e-mail such as those provided by Yahoo or Hotmail. There is no connection on the vessels.
Contact Address/Mail As you will be on the move most of the time it is not really worth having mail sent to you whilst in Ecuador. Postcards sent internationally can take from 1-4 weeks (the sailors ‘Post Barrel’ in Galapagos has been known to be quicker!) if they get there at all.
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