With most violent crime occurring along the Colombian border, travelers in Ecuador and, in particular Quito, are fairly safe. Still, with an unemployment rate that's higher than 10 percent and a monthly minimum wage of less than $200, petty crime--in particular pick-pocketing--is not uncommon.
Hiking and Trekking
Quito is a great hub for those looking to explore Ecuador's natural beauty. Some of the more popular trails include those in the Los Cedros Cloudforest, in Cotopaxi National Park and at the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve. The Quito Visitors Bureau can provide a trail guide called "La Avenida de los Volcanes."
With most of Ecuador's rivers fueled by snowmelt from the Andes, there are dozens of river-rafting choices for the Class II to Class V rafting enthusiast. The Río Quíjos, located 2.5 hours outside Quito, was the host site for the 2005 World Rafting Championships.
Ecuador has, in recent years, initiated a "best practices" policy as it relates to sustainable tourism, including a partnership with U.S.-based Rainforest Alliance.
In spite of its name, the Panama hat originated in Ecuador.
The Chimborazo volcano is the Earth's closest point to the sun and the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere.