news is widely
available in Spanish, but not so easy to find in English.
I'll try to summarise here the news snippets that seem
relevant to tourists and travellers in Ecuador.
Erupts - August
Activity was observed from Cotopaxi from June 2015, and on 15
August 2015 the volcano erupted for the first time in around 70 years,
spewing out ash and steam. Reports are that it continues to
rumble, with almost constant mild seismic activity and continuous ash
emission. If travelling in Ecuador, keep a close eye on
sources of information about the volcano, especially if you are in
areas that could be affected, e.g. Latacunga. Note that ash
lahars (mudflows) could potentially travel a long way from the volcano
itself, to areas including parts of Quito.
It has been noticable over the last year or more but continues to get
worse: The current government seems to be applying more and more
to nonprofits, forcing them to commit increasing amounts of resources
to obtaining a never-ending stream of obligatory new certificates,
papers and permissions. It would appear that the aim is to
force most if not all of them out of existence. There are
also more restrictions and limitations on overseas nonprofits operating
in Ecuador and some have had to leave. Whilst not affecting
tourists directly, this does, regrettably, limit the availability of
good quality volunteer
opportunities in Ecuador. Various animal sanctuaries,
conservation projects and social organizations which used to appear on
Ecuador holiday itineraries may also be affected.
The new Quito Airport opened 20th February 2013, and the
old airport within the city is now closed. Flights now arrive
Tababela, which is a 1 to 3 hour journey from the city of Quito. A
shuttle bus runs every 30 minutes from the new airport to the old
airport site and vice versa - the trip costs $8 one way, and takes 60
minutes at quiet times (e.g. late at night), 90 minutes during much of
the day, and up to 3 hours if there is bad traffic or accidents on the
route. A taxi from the new airport to the tourist area costs
around $30, or to the old airport site, $25. A green public
from Rio Coca (in the north of the city, the bit further up the hill
from the red EcoVia buses) costs just $2 and takes about an hour, more
at peak traffic times, but only runs between around 6am and 9pm
(leaving every 20 minutes).
- October 2012
Mobile phone numbers in Ecuador (which previously began
with 09 or 08) now take an extra 9 after the initial 0. This
means they now consist of 10 digits in total. Any 9-digit
mobile phone numbers you find in guidebooks, etc., need to be updated
by adding a 9 after the first 0.
It appears that there is no longer any need (or even
possibility) of obtaining a censo - simply registering your visa with
the Extranjería is all that is required.
Again - August 2011
continues its butterfly-like flit around Quito and has currently
alighted at 6 de Diciembre N26-05, between Colón and La
Niña (not far from the Baca Ortiz stop on the EcoVia line).
Visas issued outside Ecuador need to be registered here
days of arrival.
- 28 November 2010
Movement Restrictions -
Ecuador is carrying out a census on 28th November,
everyone must remain inside their home or hotel from 7am to 5pm and
will be fined by the police if found outside. All transport
during this time is suspended and the sale and consumption of alcohol
is banned for the entire weekend. Ask your consulate, hotel
airline for more information.
to Visa Rules for
Nationalities - September
2010, nationals of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya,
Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan and Somalia require a visa to travel to
Ecuador, and Chinese citizens should apparently contact their embassy
Again - September 2009
The Extranjería has
moved, yet again. It is currently to be found on the ground
floor of Edificio Karina, just above the roundabout on Gaspar de
Villarroel and 6 de Diciembre in the north of Quito. The
easiest way to get there is on the EcoVia, along 6 de Diciembre, and
get off at the Los Sauces stop. You will need to visit the
Extranjería if you have a visa issued outside of Ecuador, in
order to register it.
leaving from new
The old Terminal Terrestre (bus station) at Cumandá in Quito
town has now closed. Buses to Otavalo and other northern
destinations are now leaving from the new Terminal Terrestre at
Carcelen in the north of Quito. To get there, travel on
the EcoVia along 6 de Diciembre to the Rio Coca transfer station and
take the feeder bus from there for an additional 5 centravos - it is
about 20 minutes from Rio
Coca. Alternatively, there is also a feeder bus from
transfer station of the Trolé. Buses
in the south are now leaving from a new Terminal Terrestre in Quitumbe,
on a feeder bus from the southern end of the Trolé
Office in Quito
temporarily - February 2009
The Jefatura de
Migración in Quito at Isla Seymour and Río Coca
is closed for an indefinite period for renovation and a poster outside
directs you to the Migración office on Amazonas y
República, opposite the El Jardin shopping centre.
Save yourself a trip by phoning first to find out the current
situation: 02 2247510.
close roads -
All three of the main routes to the coast in
the north of Ecuador have been closed for several days due to
landslides. A 200 metre stretch of the main Aloag to Santo
Domingo road has been completely swept away. Traffic on the
lengthy and convoluted alternative routes to the costa is congested and
flights are in high demand. Many more smaller landslides have
caused temporary problems on major and minor roads. Allow
of flexibility in
travel plans at this time of year.
Now that the new visa regulations have been in place for a while,
information is starting to emerge about how the system is working.
It seems that for up to 90 days in Ecuador, the free tourist
issued on arrival is fine, but it cannot be extended. For
than 90 days, you need to apply in your home country for a 12-IX (Actos
de Comercio) visa, stating "tourism" as your activity in Ecuador.
The 12-IX visa is valid for up to 180 days, i.e. around 6
Travelling in Ecuador for more than 6 months in any 12 month
period is not possible without some other kind of visa, such as work,
volunteer or cultural exchange. These involve your sponsoring
entity in a time-consuming and costly process which includes
guaranteeing to pay various costs.
on the move -
The Museo Jacinto Jijón y
Caamaño is in the process of moving from the Library
building at the Universidad Católica in Quito to the
Cultural Centre on the same campus. The museum is not
expected to reopen before about April 2009.
Ecuador to start
flights - January 2009
LAN Ecuador, a subsidiary of the
Chilean airline, has received permission to operate domestic flights in
Ecuador. It is expected to start flights between Quito and
Guayaquil, Quito and Cuenca, Guayaquil and Cuenca, and Quito/Guayaquil
and the Galapagos Islands, from the end of March 2009.
Visa regulations seem to have changed over the past few
weeks and it appears that Ecuador will no longer renew 90 day tourist
visas. Also, it is no longer possible to change to a
different type of visa without returning to the embassy in your home
country. You are advised to check with the Ecuadorian
consulate or embassy in your home country before making plans and get
their advice in writing.
citizens must vote for or against the proposed
new Constitution on
September 28th. Since they must vote in the precinct where
are registered, expect the buses to be very full on and around this
date and perhaps avoid travelling at this time if possible.
sale of alcohol is often prohibited on election days, so
count on being able to sit around with a beer, either.
rumbles again - July 2008
Volcanic ash is errupting from El Reventador, one of Ecuador's most
active volcanoes, located nearly 100km to the east of Quito.
Reventador's last major erruption was in
November 2002, when it covered the capital city Quito in a light carpet
of ash. The volcano is not usually considered a threat to
Quito and another major erruption does not currently seem to be
activity - July 2008
Volcano Tungurahua continues to
rumble and spew ash, steam, lava and mud, as it has done on and off
since 1999. The volcano is located
close to the popular tourist destination of Baños.
Some tourists visit to see the volcano and watch the minor
erruptions, others prefer to avoid the risk and stay away.
You are strongly advised to check the latest situation (see
the links below, and ask your embassy for advice, also check with the
South America Explorers Club and Ministry of Tourism) before making
your own decision. Significant explosive erruptions in August
2006 and February 2008 caused extensive damage to surrounding villages.
updates from Instituto Geofísico EPN
language, generally regarded as the official source of information on
volcanoes in Ecuador.
Ecuador volcano news updates from the
Volcanism Blog - English
language volcano information,
usually summarises info from the Instituto Geofisico for those who
don't read Spanish.
visas not required
Visas are no longer required for tourists
staying up to 90 days in Ecuador, regardless of their nationality.
As from 20th June 2008, the government has eliminated the
requirement for tourist visas for stays of up to 90 days in a
bid to encourage tourists from all countries to visit Ecuador.
Latest news for travel in Ecuador: landslides, visa updates, status of
Note that news is posted here in good faith and no
responsibility can be taken for the consequences of your actions based
on this news. You are advised to check information with other
sources and research the latest information relevant to you.