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jamacka

Quito, Ecuador

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We're headed out on Celebrity Flora on Nov. 10th, 2019.  We fly into Quito on the evening of Nov. 8th.  I realize it's a month away and lots can change in a month but we're nervously watching the riots in Quito.  Hopefully the situation will be resolved before we get there or at least not affect our trip.  Just wondering if anyone is in Ecuador right now and/or has recently returned from a Galapagos cruise (any cruise line)?  We only see the violent protests on the news.  What's it like in reality?  Is the city safe?  Roads safe for moving around from airport to hotel (Marriott Hotel for us)?  Is the airport safe?

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3 hours ago, jamacka said:

We're headed out on Celebrity Flora on Nov. 10th, 2019.  We fly into Quito on the evening of Nov. 8th.  I realize it's a month away and lots can change in a month but we're nervously watching the riots in Quito.  Hopefully the situation will be resolved before we get there or at least not affect our trip.  Just wondering if anyone is in Ecuador right now and/or has recently returned from a Galapagos cruise (any cruise line)?  We only see the violent protests on the news.  What's it like in reality?  Is the city safe?  Roads safe for moving around from airport to hotel (Marriott Hotel for us)?  Is the airport safe?

 

We flew into Quito in April.  Beautiful airport and city. There were a couple protests around then but everything controlled and no worries.  We spent two days there and walked several miles in the city.  I don’t know if things are worse now as I’ve seen nothing on the news but I would love to go back there.  We felt safe everywhere.  I hope you can get out and see the city while you are there. 

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21 minutes ago, Riversedge said:

 

We flew into Quito in April.  Beautiful airport and city. There were a couple protests around then but everything controlled and no worries.  We spent two days there and walked several miles in the city.  I don’t know if things are worse now as I’ve seen nothing on the news but I would love to go back there.  We felt safe everywhere.  I hope you can get out and see the city while you are there. 

 

It's looking pretty bad there right now.  The government had to flee to Guayaquil  because protesters were storming the legislature in Quito.  They were finally pushed back out with tear gas etc...  The president says it's a coup attempt.  Lots of looting and violence.  There's a curfew in place now but if you're a protester, rules like curfews probably don't apply. 

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We returned yesterday morning from the Flora cruise via Quito.  I will say that the Celebrity reps in Quito were absolutely amazing and totally concerned with our safety.  Giant kudos to them.  That said, I wish that returning from Baltra, we had just stayed at the Airport Wyndham until our Delta flight.  The protestors and police were right outside the Marriott when we left 6 hours early.  They took us to a hacienda that was beautiful until time to leave for the airport - which turned out to be a little stressful journey, but safe.  I would say that you can have some faith in Celebrity to do the right thing if you are booked on their whole package.

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This whole thing reminds me so much of Kurt Vonnegut's novel, "Galapagos".  Has anyone read it?  At the beginning of that book there's a bunch of people staying a a hotel in Guayaquil prior to taking a "nature cruise of a lifetime" to the Galapagos.  There's a global economic collapse and war and after riots break out in the city, they flee to the Galapagos where they are shipwrecked with no rescue.  Million years later, Natural Selection does its thing.  

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Left Quito on Tuesday after returning from Galapagos Monday night and cutting the 2nd half of my trip short due to the riots. The Galapagos portion of our trip was unaffected. I would say stay at a hotel near the airport if at all possible. The Wyndham is right across the street and your safest bet if they aren't fully booked. The path to the city and other hotels is unpredictable as you don't know when roads will be blocked or not. A reliable taxi driver, well known to our hotel, was able to get us out of our hotel and to the airport, pretty painlessly, thankfully. Encountered a few protestors along the way, mainly in vehicles, but other than that, it was fine. The pictures online are accurate. Police and military are everywhere, and noise from protestors can be heard all day and night. Tourists are obviously not the targets here, but better to be on the safe side and not put yourself in the position to become an accidental target. 

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10 hours ago, kinipela35 said:

Left Quito on Tuesday after returning from Galapagos Monday night and cutting the 2nd half of my trip short due to the riots. The Galapagos portion of our trip was unaffected. I would say stay at a hotel near the airport if at all possible. The Wyndham is right across the street and your safest bet if they aren't fully booked. The path to the city and other hotels is unpredictable as you don't know when roads will be blocked or not. A reliable taxi driver, well known to our hotel, was able to get us out of our hotel and to the airport, pretty painlessly, thankfully. Encountered a few protestors along the way, mainly in vehicles, but other than that, it was fine. The pictures online are accurate. Police and military are everywhere, and noise from protestors can be heard all day and night. Tourists are obviously not the targets here, but better to be on the safe side and not put yourself in the position to become an accidental target. 

 

Thanks kinipela35.  I hope this is somewhat sorted out before we get there on Nov. 8th.  All our travel and accommodations have been arranged through Celebrity so we're pretty much at their mercy when it comes to changes.  We're suppose to stay at the Marriott downtown and have a tour around the next day on the 9th before heading to Galapagos on the 10th.  I was very much counting on getting to the Equator for a photo op since hitting as many special latitudes and longitudes on the map is one of my goals. I will be disappointed if I miss that opportunity but I understand it's safety first.  I also suspect that in the heat of the moment, an angry mob would not hesitate to target a bus load of people even if they happen to be tourists. If they're willing to break windows and loot their neighbours, they aren't going to care about us, especially since it might be advantageous in scoring points in their cause to endanger the tourist industry till they get their way.

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Canada has a travel advisory recommending we avoid all unnecessary travel to Ecuador.  So far the US does not have a travel advisory which is probably why Celebrity is still  going ahead with its schedule.  I suppose they won't cancel until an advisory is given.  

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7 hours ago, jamacka said:

Canada has a travel advisory recommending we avoid all unnecessary travel to Ecuador.  So far the US does not have a travel advisory which is probably why Celebrity is still  going ahead with its schedule.  I suppose they won't cancel until an advisory is given.  

 

The US has had one since earlier this week:

 

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/ecuador-travel-advisory.html

 

You'll see toward the bottom the areas, including Quito, that are a level 4 "do not travel" area

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7 hours ago, kinipela35 said:

 

The US has had one since earlier this week:

 

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/ecuador-travel-advisory.html

 

You'll see toward the bottom the areas, including Quito, that are a level 4 "do not travel" area

 Oh Thanks!!  I was on that page earlier but didn't notice it.  But then I also didn't notice there were 5 pages 🤭😏

 

I wonder whats going to happen. It's not been an easy trip to get excited for.  Booked it a year ago so it really didn't feel real until we made our final payment around the time the Xpedition, which we were originally booked on, lost its license.  That was a worry.  Then it's license was renewed but for 16 less passengers than what we were expecting when we booked so we didn't know the status of our room.  Then we were given a free upgrade to Flora but leaving a day later which was cool.  But now this.  Because of the curfew, we don't even know if the Celebrity reps will be able to pick us up at the airport.  Like National Lampoon's Galapagos Vacation.  Captain of the ship will probably turn out to be Clark Griswold.😉

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The "disturbances" ended on the 13th after the government came to an agreement with the indigenous groups, many of which had marched into the city.  The government had eliminated fuel subsidies to try to balance its budget (part of an IMF load deal), but the subsquent rise in prices didn't fly with the locals.   The state of emergency is still on until 3 November, but otherwise, all is back to normal.   

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My daughter lives in Quito. As of mid-NOV, 2019 all is quiet. She went on a Jungle Tour over the weekend. Trusting this assists.

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