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Ecuador News

U.S. rates Ecuador as one of safest countries in Latin America for travelers

The U.S. State Department includes Ecuador on a short list of the safest countries in Latin America. The State Department issues safety ratings for all countries for the benefit of U.S. tourists.

The U.S. government says Ecuador is one of the safest countries for tourists.

Under a new safety rating system introduced this month, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, and Paraguay are rated in Category 1, countries posing the lowest risk to travelers.

Crime is the largest factor in determining safety risk, according to the State Department. Ecuador ranks second behind Chile for lowest murder rate in Latin America, and third behind Chile, Argentina for lower rate of violent crime.

No country in Latin America appears on the State Department’s Category 4, “Do not travel,” list, which includes Syria, North Korea and Somalia, but six are listed as Category 3, or “Reconsider travel plans.” Those are El Salvador, Guatemala, Cuba, Haiti, Honduras and Venezuela.

Most Latin American countries are included in Category 2, in which the Department urges “Continuing vigilance” for travelers.

In a travel safety memo, the State Department noted that Ecuador and Paraguay have shown the most safety improvement among Latin American countries in recent years. The memo expressed “high concern” about the growing dangers in Colombia, citing the “rapidly expanding drug trade,” especially in the cities of Cali and Medellin.

In addition to crime, the State Department warns of political unrest that can turn violent in several countries, including Venezuela, Honduras, and Peru.

  • El Libertador

    I don’t know how an entity as large as a country can be given an overall rating for safety. There are dangerous areas and safe areas in every country. I would feel safer in Medellin than in Guayaquil.
    I’m also dumbfounded that Cuba is on the dangerous list. It has a very low crime rate and in my opinion is one of the safest countries in Latin America.

    • Cathy

      But it is a country that the US doesn’t like! I am surprised that Ecuador rated well (even though I think it is extremely safe ) as the US State Dept. seems to send out a lot of safety warnings that make us sound like a scary [lace indeed! Unsafe? The good old USA

  • Thomas Anderson

    What the U.S. State Department would tell Americans about safety if it were at all honest is that any country in North or South America is safer than the States.

  • Kevin Lichtman

    All foreign travelers may be at greater risk than locals because they stand out and typically carry a significant amount of cash. They are targets of opportunity, especiallyin the wrong places and wrong times. This is true in any country, but in some countries the overall risks are higher due to poverty or anarchy as in Venezuela at the moment.

  • Karel P Coors

    This week The Economist published “Safe Cities”. Quito did not look so good. Ecuador and its cities should not be qualified as safe. Unfortunately!

  • Colleen May Smith King

    Cuba???? Really? One of the safest countries. Oh, I forgot….the U.S doesn’t like Cuba. That explains it!