Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Pickpocketing, smash and grabs, express kidnapping are the main things. I generally feel safe but I take precautions whenever I am out. - Jul 2019

Petty crime. Watch your belongings and be smart. We are not targets per se, but could be a target of opportunity. It is like any big city. - Jul 2018

Yes. This is a critical crime post. Crime against mission personnel happens every day. The area around the embassy is not safe, people have been attacked right in front of the main gate. Housing areas are in upscale neighborhoods but muggings happen and I wouldn't walk around after dark. The crime situation seems to be getting worse and not better with the economy and the earthquake aftermath. - Mar 2017

Women who stand out (blondes) need to take care to be in a group or be very aware of who is around you. Our 18 year old daughter has been "attacked" (grabbed, groped, harassed physically) several times in the middle of the day. Thieves on motorcycles grabbing purses happens on occasion. There have been several armed break-ins as well. Having said this I do not feel Quito is any more dangerous than most large U.S. cities. Its about knowing where to be and when. - Sep 2016

There is quite a bit of petty theft and street crime. We avoided certain areas of town, just like we would in any major city, and never had any issues personally. We never took buses, but we do know of several people who were robbed using public transport. There are motorcycle attacks, ATM hijackings (when someone kidnaps you and drives around to different ATMs), and spiked drinks. Again, we never had any issues, and we felt very safe, especially compared to many other places in Central and South America. For example, there are no armed guards or razor wire, like you will find in Honduras and El Salvador. Gangs are not an issue. - Aug 2015

Street security is not great. You hear more and more people talk about being held up in their cars, burglary and "kidnap express" (you get released after extracting cash from ATMs around the city). That being said, I treated Quito like any big city and did not feel more unsafe than in any other big city. - Aug 2015

Critical crime, and what comes with that. But mostly theft and street crime. Northern border is FARC territory so we don't go there. - Aug 2014

Just the usual concerns in any big city. Express kidnappings were on the rise, but were much worse in Guayaquil. - Jul 2012

YES. Quito is not safe. Physically we don't feel threatened, and we walk around all over the city during the day. But, when we get on the buses we watch where our things are. At night we try to travel in groups. It's important to always use your instincts and best judgment and avoid areas that are empty of people or feel wrong. We have had one friend (a guy) that was physically attacked by a group of men and robbed. We also have lots of stories of people being pickpocketed on the city buses, or having bags slashed on intercity buses (usually if you put the bags on the ground by your seat). It's not scary, at least not for me, I'm just always aware of where I am and who is around me. - Jan 2011

Security is the biggest issue for this post; crime has increased dramatically in the past two years. The post is rated CRITICAL. Armed robberies of individuals on the street are common even in the best neighborhoods, and armed gangs will disable guards and break into homes or apartment buildings. We are always watching our backs and having to adjust our lifestyles accordingly -- for example, having to make trips home in between errands because we can't leave anything in the car in a parking lot or street, not driving alone as a single woman in the evenings, dividing cash between pockets and not carrying a purse, etc. The Mariscal (tourist area) is especially dangerous with robberies, scopolamine drugging, and sexual assaults occurring there. - May 2010

Street crimes are on the up here - you can be sitting in your car at a red light and they'll break your window to steal your stuff. Armed robbers are getting brave and coming into small shops and holding up all the patrons inside. Then they'll ransack your car parked outside and take off on foot. - Oct 2009

Crime in Quito has (officially) doubled in the past year, with armed robberies and break-ins of most concern. Law enforcement is largely impotent. Good security practices on the street and for your home are essential. Any apartment building you live in will have a guard and there are several quasi-gated communities as well. - Jan 2009

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