Ecuador is currently experiencing a state of emergency and unrest following the escape of gang leader Adolfo Macias, leading to a 60-day state of emergency declared by officials. The United States has posted security alerts, but as of January 15, the Department of State has not issued new travel advisories. Tourists are advised to stay indoors, and a daily curfew is in place from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Visitors are encouraged to stay informed through the Ecuador Ministry of Tourism.
The situation escalated since January 7, with Macias' escape triggering violence, including the takeover of a television station in Guayaquil. Ecuador's military has been patrolling certain cities for over a week. While airports remain open, some commercial airlines have canceled flights, prompting visitors to check with their individual airlines. Although no travel advisory has been issued, caution is recommended, especially in big cities like Quito.
Additionally, the guidance provided in the travel advisory of June 22, 2023, remains valid for U.S. citizens. Residents and travelers are advised to exercise increased caution throughout the country, reconsider travel to areas marked as “Level 3,” and avoid areas marked as “Level 4” in the advisory. Compliance with all local laws, including the nationwide curfew during the state of emergency, is essential. U.S. citizens should be aware that individuals not connected with criminal organizations may exploit the current conflict to commit crimes of opportunity.
International airports in Quito and Guayaquil remain fully operational; however, some carriers have canceled flights to/from the United States in recent and upcoming days. Travelers are urged to closely monitor their flight status and work to rebook with the same airline or an alternative carrier.
For more information and updates, please visit Ecuador’s U.S. Embassy and Consulate website.