Travel News

Pululahua volcano in Ecuador
Maps and guidebooks for Ecuador travel
Open-sided bus travel in Ecuador

Useful Spanish Vocabulary:
noticias: news
volcán: volcano
clima: weather

Tourists in Ecuador
Ecuador travel - flight at Galapagos airport
Bus travel in rural Ecuador

Ecuador Travel News 

Ecuador 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.
Cotopaxi Erupts - August 2015
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 reputable sources of information about the volcano, especially if you are in areas that could be affected, e.g. Latacunga.  Note that ash and lahars (mudflows) could potentially travel a long way from the volcano itself, to areas including parts of Quito.  
Nonprofits Struggling - May 2014
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 pressure 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.  
New Quito Airport Opens - February 2013
The new Quito Airport opened 20th February 2013, and the old airport within the city is now closed.  Flights now arrive at 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 bus 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).
Mobile Phone Numbers Changed - 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.
Censo Abolished - July 2012
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.
Extranjería Moves, Yet Again - August 2011
The Extranjería 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 within 30 days of arrival.
Census - 28 November 2010 - Movement Restrictions - November 2010
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 or airline for more information.
Changes to Visa Rules for Some Nationalities - September 2010 
Since 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 before travelling.
Extranjería Moves, 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.
Buses leaving from new terminals - July 2009
The old Terminal Terrestre (bus station) at Cumandá in Quito old 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 the northern transfer station of the Trolé.  Buses to destinations in the south are now leaving from a new Terminal Terrestre in Quitumbe, reached on a feeder bus from the southern end of the Trolé route. 
Visa Office in Quito closed 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. 
Landslides close roads - February 2009
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 internal flights are in high demand.  Many more smaller landslides have caused temporary problems on major and minor roads.  Allow plenty of flexibility in travel plans at this time of year.
Visa information - February 2009
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 visa issued on arrival is fine, but it cannot be extended.  For more 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 months.  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.
Museum on the move - January 2009
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.
LAN Ecuador to start domestic 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.  
Changes to Visa Regulations - November 2008
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.  
Referendum may cause travel congestion - September 2008
Ecuador's citizens must vote for or against the proposed new Constitution on Sunday September 28th.  Since they must vote in the precinct where they are registered, expect the buses to be very full on and around this date and perhaps avoid travelling at this time if possible.  The sale of alcohol is often prohibited on election days, so don´t count on being able to sit around with a beer, either.
Volcano El Reventador 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.  El 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 tourists in Quito and another major erruption does not currently seem to be expected.  
Tungurahua Volcano continues 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.  
Volcano updates from Instituto Geofísico EPN - Spanish 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. 
Tourist visas not required - June 2008
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.

Ecuador Travel News
Latest news for travel in Ecuador: landslides, visa updates, status of volcanoes in Ecuador.
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.