Is Quito Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On November 7, 2023
Quito, Ecuador
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 60 / 100 based on 10 user reviews.

The City of Quito, whose official name is San Francisco de Quito, is the capital city of Ecuador, South America and has a population of 2,671,191 inhabitants, which makes it the second-largest city in Ecuador.

There are many geographical features around it starting from the Guayllabamba river basin, Pichincha Volcano and an active stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains.

Quito, a beautiful city represents great cultural and historic center and the main tourist attractions.

It was the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978.

You can admire its colonial buildings, museums, and churches like La Compañia de Jesus Church and the neo-gothic Basilica del Voto Nacional or visit the largest urban park in South America – Parque Metropolitano.

Warnings & Dangers in Quito

Overall Risk


You need to be careful as in any other country and watch out for pickpockets. You should also know that all Ecuadorian citizens and visitors are required to carry ID at all times and roadside police might check and request from you to show your ID. You can show your passport or the verified copy of it, since it is not advisable to carry your passport wherever you go, due to the numerous thieves.

Transport & Taxis Risk


The public transportation in Quito can be dangerous and increase the number of robberies happen on buses and at the stations. Also, you should not take interstate buses that stop and pick up passengers at night as they are often used by many criminals to attack passengers. It is advisable not to use unlicensed taxis in Ecuador. Official taxis are not dangerous and they can be recognized by orange license plates or white plates with an orange stripe on the top and video cameras inside. If you decide to drive, bear in mind the fact that serious accidents are very common, due to careless driving, speeding, and badly maintained vehicles.

Pickpockets Risk


The risk of being pickpocketed in Quito is very high, especially in tourist locations where thieves use different strategies to rob you. Expensive jewelry and gadgets should not be shown when walking around. You need to watch your bags on public transport as well.

Natural Disasters Risk


Ecuador is very prone to numerous natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. It is situated in an area of intense seismic activity, and when coming there, you should get familiar with safety procedures. Some volcanoes are in a state of eruption and the rainy season, which runs from December to May, can be risky. Due to high temperatures, strong winds, and little rain, forest fires can occur.

Mugging Risk


The high risk of being kidnapped and seriously attacked is high and it makes Quito a very dangerous place. If it happens to you, you need to cooperate and do not resist. Give them the money and valuables that they want and avoid being seriously hurt or injured. Victims are usually forced to withdraw money from ATMs to be released. Take particular care in ‘La Carolina’ and ‘El Ejido’ parks, the districts of ‘La Mariscal’, ‘La Floresta’ and ‘La Marin’, the bus terminals and the old town. Armed robbery is a constant hazard throughout Ecuador, so travel in a group whenever possible.

Terrorism Risk


The risk of a terrorist attack is very low in Ecuador. There is no recent history of terrorism, but the heightened threat of terrorist attacks globally exists, so it can never be ruled out.

Scams Risk


The most frequent scammers are taxi drivers who take advantage of travelers. As you can be easily distracted and have all your possessions stolen before realizing it, you need to watch your bags on buses. One common scam involves a thief impersonating bus staff who will ask you to put your bag somewhere you cannot see it. So, you should always have your bag on your lap. Another way of distraction is when a thief is pretending to sell sweets and after spilling them all over you, his friend steals your belongings. Ignore persons asking for money under any pretext, including begging children.

Women Travelers Risk


There are not many reports of foreign women being assaulted here, but if you are traveling alone, you should pay attention to your surroundings, since you might get some unwanted attention from men. Incidents of attacks and serious sexual assault against foreign women have increased lately and criminals often use drugs to subdue victims. Quito is not immune to crime, so do not go wandering off the main streets.

So... How Safe Is Quito Really?

Quito is a great city, and tourists should not worry too much if they are vigilant and watchful, since every big city attracted by tourists is also attracted by the criminals.

You should avoid certain neighborhoods, take normal precautions when pickpocketing and purse snatching are in question and use only registered taxis.

All this will significantly decrease the risk of becoming a victim of crime, including armed robbery and express kidnapping.

How Does Quito Compare?

CitySafety Index
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82
Cordoba (Argentina)61
Toronto (Canada)81
Melbourne (Australia)80

Useful Information



There are some countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Somalia whose citizens must obtain a visa before coming to Ecuador. On the other hand, citizens from other countries can visit Ecuador without a visa for stays less than 90 days long but need to provide evidence of a return on the arrival. You can apply for a visa in case you decide to stay more than 90 days at the Ecuadorean Ministry of Foreign Affairs.



The official currency in Ecuador is the US Dollar. ATMs are available almost everywhere but take care when withdrawing money from them. The Ecuadorean-minted 5c, 10c, 25c, and 50c coins are also used but the only legal currency in Ecuador is the US Dollar. Credit cards and travelers’ cheques are accepted.



Because Quito lies between two mountain ranges and its altitude is 2,800 meters, it has a fairly constant cool climate. The annual average temperature is 14 °C and it is considered to have two seasons: a rainy winter and dry and windy summer. Once the sun goes down it can get cold, so it is advisable to bring warm clothes.



Different airports can be used when coming to Quito, and some of them are the Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito and the José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport in Guayaquil. Aeropuerto Internacional Mariscal Sucre is located about 18 kilometers east of Quito with an average of over 220 daily flights.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

A travel insurance policy is always a good choice when coming to Ecuador. It will save you unnecessary trouble in case you have some medical problems or loss of personal things.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Quito Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 14° C
Feb 15° C
Mar 14° C
Apr 15° C
May 14° C
Jun 14° C
Jul 14° C
Aug 15° C
Sep 15° C
Oct 15° C
Nov 14° C
Dec 14° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Ecuador - Safety by City

CitySafety Index

Where to Next?

10 Reviews on Quito

  1. Pretty much told me everything I needed to know

    Pretty much told me everything I needed to know

  2. T
    Tori Stanromdottir says:

    Quito is extremely dangerous.

    Quito is extremely dangerous for the tourists. I would not recommend venturing on your own as possibility of being assaulted is quite high.
    Also, I was unimpressed with the city. Reminds me of favelas of Rio. Spend your money elsewhere.

  3. C
    Caroline says:

    Easy to wander into the wrong sectors of the historic district, so just read ahead of time on what is safe and what is not. Stick to the crowds and you’ll be fine!

    Ok if you go to Quitó you do have to be aware of the places you explore.

    Since I lived there for 5 months I learned the areas that were walkable and those that were risky. I was almost mugged or when two cars came at me from both the top and bottom of a one way street on a deserted block that I had been walking in the wrong part of the historic district. I ran when I noticed them closing in on me. I could easily see how a new tourist would stumble into these areas as they surround the major historic center sites.- as I did it myself.

    I recommend staying in Quitó for 1-2 days. One un missable and safe excursion is the teleferico that takes you over the city and has a view of 7 volcanoes that surround the region at the top, as well as a breathtaking hike through the grassy area before you reach the peaks, and the incredible swing in the clouds. The historic center and a few cathedrals are definitely work checking out but when doing so -stick to the Main Street-

    With Quitó you need to read beforehand on where is safe, stick with the crowd, and not venture very far at all off the easily confusing historic center. Do that and you’ll be fine !

    1. C
      Caroline says:

      Super unsafe.

      Yeah Quito is super dangerous in 2023, do no come here, it used to be the safest country in 2017 but now it has become the most dangerous country of latinamerica. Is super high risk of being kidnaped or being violently attacked, I was stabbed during the day cos I didn’t even know what the robbers wanted. I really wanna move from here. And if you come, always in a cab, try to avoid staying near the old town for a hostel, is totally unsafe. And there are some car bombs as well!

  4. J
    Jocelyn says:


    We absolutely loved the Basilica del Voto National – it’s beautiful both from the outside and from the inside. We also went to La Capilla Del Hombre, Quito Old Town, the Intian Museum and Mitad Del Mundo which were all great places to see. For hotels, I recommend Casa Joaquin Boutique Hotel which has decent prices and is clean and a good place to stay at.

  5. Worst

    Super unsafe, got stabbed 1 time. May 2023.

  6. T
    Tabitha Garcia says:

    Another typical Latin American city

    I was there last week. Stay in the tourist areas and you’ll be fine. I was about half a mile from the JW Marriott and didn’t have any issues walking alone. Took taxis on my own. As a tour guide once said “if you’re looking for trouble, you’ll be find it”. Of course, I spoke Spanish and lied to them as to what country I was from (I told them I was from DR instead of US). I’m also 5ft9 so I was taller than the majority of the people. City itself is just another Latin American city that the Spanish colonizers conquered, oppressed the natives and left the county in control of crooked politicians. Nothing special about it. People are very friendly and food is cheap and plentiful.

    1. p
      patpatpatpatpatpatpatpat says:

      Yes, those Spanish colonizers conquered the one group that had conquered the other group that had conquered the group before them and on and on, way on back to the beginning of time. It was the way of the world. It still is, but now the invader usually uses “irregular warfare”, the way China is conquering so much of the world (using economics, immigration, etc.). Look up irregular warfare (and weep).

  7. R
    Romulo Troncozo says:

    Great place

    Incredible experience. Totally safe. I was there for 3 months, and nothing happened. I was even walking at night, and I always returned safe. Will definitely comeback.

  8. Mediocre

    Fairly unsafe. Was with a group of friends and some of them still got pickpocketed. As long as you stay away from the big crowds, in the center of the city, and not alone you should be fine. But you never know…

Quito Rated 3 / 5 based on 10 user reviews.

Share Your Experience

Facebook Pinterest Review