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Quito Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Quito, Ecuador in 2024?

Traveling to Quito, Ecuador, blends excitement with curiosity. Amid the Andes, it merges ancient and modern, with stunning views, history, and culture. Safety is key for travelers pondering, "Is Quito safe?"

Tobi Miles
March 31, 2024
Quito Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Quito, Ecuador in 2024?

The answer isn't a simple yes or no. Like any major city, Quito has its share of safety concerns, but it also boasts many areas that are welcoming and secure for tourists. Understanding the nuances of safety in Quito is key to enjoying all the city has to offer without unnecessary worry. Let's dive into what you need to know to navigate Quito confidently and safely.

Safety Overview in Quito

When planning your trip to Quito, you're likely to come across various opinions on the city’s safety. It's crucial to sift through the noise and understand the facts. Quito is a city of contrasts, not just in its landscapes but also in its safety landscape.

Recent statistics shine a light on the reality of safety in Quito. According to the Numbeo Crime Index 2023, Quito scores a crime index of 50.38, which positions it in the moderate risk category. To put it into perspective, here's a quick comparison:


Crime Index

Safety Scale

Quito, Ecuador



Lima, Peru



Bogota, Colombia



This data indicates that while Quito has its challenges, it's comparatively safer than other major Latin American cities.

The Ecuadorian government and local authorities have implemented several measures to improve security, especially in tourist-frequented areas. These include increased police presence, security cameras, and the development of a robust emergency response system. As a traveler, you'll notice these efforts in "La Mariscal" and the historic "Old Town" district, which are both central to the tourist experience in Quito.

However, like in any major city, there are areas and times when you need to be more cautious. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and snatch theft, is more prevalent in crowded places and on public transport. Nighttime brings its own set of risks, particularly in less touristy neighborhoods and poorly lit areas.

That being said, most residents and travelers experience Quito without incident, provided they take basic safety precautions. This involves staying informed, avoiding known high-risk areas at night, and using reputable transportation options. Engaging with local insights and staying aware of your surroundings can significantly enhance your security in Quito.

Crime Rates and Common Concerns

When looking into Quito's safety, crime rates offer valuable insights into the risks travelers and residents might face. While data fluctuates, recent statistics position Quito as a city with a moderate level of crime compared to other major Latin American cities. To give you a comprehensive overview, let's break down some key figures.

Crime Index


Latin American Average




These numbers represent the general perception of crime, showing that Quito, while not without its challenges, fares somewhat better than the regional average.

Petty crimes, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, are the most common concerns for both tourists and locals. Areas with high tourist traffic, like La Mariscal and even parts of the Old Town, tend to be hotspots for such activities, particularly during night hours and in crowded places.

Another issue in Quito is scams targeted at unsuspecting visitors. You should be wary of too-good-to-be-true offers and always validate the credibility of tour operators or any service providers you intend to use.

Transportation safety is also a must-know. While the city's public transportation system is generally reliable, incidents of theft on buses and at terminals have been reported. Opting for registered taxis or ride-sharing apps, where your journey is tracked and recorded, greatly mitigates risks associated with getting around.

Armed robbery, though less frequent than petty theft, does occur, emphasizing the importance of staying vigilant, especially after dark. Avoiding known high-risk areas, traveling in groups, and keeping valuables secure and out of sight can significantly reduce your vulnerability to crime in Quito.

Safe Areas for Tourists

When planning your trip to Quito, identifying the neighborhoods that are renowned for their safety and charm is crucial. La Floresta, Guápulo, and parts of the Historic Center are among the top picks for tourists seeking both security and an authentic experience in the city.

La Floresta is not only celebrated for its artistic vibe but also its safety. This neighborhood is a cultural hotspot, brimming with indie cinemas, quirky cafes, and art galleries. It's a place where you can comfortably stroll through the streets, soaking in the local culture without the constant worry over your belongings.

Guápulo, with its winding cobblestone streets and captivating colonial architecture, offers a tranquil escape from the city's hustle and bustle. Often overlooked by tourists, this area provides a unique blend of safety and serene beauty, making it a perfect spot for those looking to delve deeper into the city’s rich history while enjoying peace of mind.

The Historic Center, although busier, places high on the list for safe tourist locales, especially during the day. The presence of police and private security in this area is noticeably higher, particularly around major attractions like the Plaza de la Independencia and La Basílica. Here, you'll find yourself wandering through lanes teeming with vibrant history and culture, safe in the knowledge that the area prioritizes visitor safety.

While these areas are deemed safer, it's still essential to exercise common sense and stay vigilant. Always keep your belongings secure, avoid displaying valuables, and try to explore in groups, especially after dark. Opting for registered taxis or ride-sharing apps when moving around late at night can further enhance your safety in these neighborhoods.

As Quito continues to welcome tourists from around the globe, the emphasis on safety in these areas remains a priority. Whether you’re immersing yourself in the local art scene, exploring ancient ruins, or enjoying the city's bustling squares, knowing where to go can significantly impact your overall experience and safety in Quito.

Tips for Staying Safe in Quito

Exploring Quito safely is crucial for enjoying what the city has to offer. Safety in Quito can largely depend on your actions and awareness. Here, we’ll guide you through essential tips to keep you secure as you navigate this vibrant city.

Stay Informed and Plan Ahead

Before you even step out, it’s vital to know the areas you plan to visit. Quito is vast, with neighborhoods varying in safety. Researching and planning your route can save you from wandering into less secure areas. Always check the latest travel advisories and local news for any area-specific cautions.

Use Safe Transportation

Choosing the right mode of transport can significantly reduce your risk of encountering trouble. Opt for registered taxis or reputable ride-sharing apps like Uber or Cabify. These services provide a safer, traceable option compared to hailing cabs on the street. Additionally, avoid public buses after dark, as they are common sites for petty theft.

Secure Your Belongings

Petty theft is the most reported problem for tourists in Quito. Always keep your valuables secure and out of sight. Use anti-theft bags and wear your backpack on your front in crowded areas. Never leave your belongings unattended in public spaces.

Be Cautious at Night

Quito transforms after dark. While the nightlife is enticing, it’s when the city’s risk factor can increase. Stick to well-lit, populated areas, and consider going out in groups for added safety. Avoid isolated streets and parks at night, and always have your accommodation arrange your return transport.

By adhering to these safety tips, you’re setting the stage for a memorable and secure visit to Quito. Remember, being informed, cautious, and prepared are your best tools for ensuring a safe journey in this historical city.


Navigating the vibrant streets of Quito safely is entirely possible with the right precautions. By staying informed, planning your travels carefully, and opting for secure transportation options, you'll set the foundation for a worry-free adventure. Remember, safeguarding your belongings and choosing your explorations wisely, especially at night, are key steps to enjoying all that Quito has to offer. Embrace these tips and you're on your way to a memorable, secure experience in one of South America's most captivating cities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Quito safe for tourists?

Quito can be safe for tourists if they take the necessary precautions. Being informed, using safe transportation, securing belongings, and being cautious at night are key to a safe visit.

What transportation is recommended in Quito?

It is recommended to use registered taxis or reputable ride-sharing apps for safe transportation in Quito, to avoid potential risks associated with unregistered services.

How can I protect my belongings from theft in Quito?

To protect your belongings, always be vigilant, use anti-theft bags or backpacks, and avoid displaying valuable items in crowded places. Opt for hidden pockets or money belts to keep items secure.

Is it safe to explore Quito at night?

Exploring Quito at night can be safe if you stick to well-lit, populated areas and preferably go out in groups rather than alone. Always plan your route and transportation in advance.

What are the key safety tips for visiting Quito?

Key safety tips include staying informed about the areas you plan to visit, using safe transportation, securing your belongings, and being extra cautious when out at night, especially in less-populated areas.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 31, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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