Same-sex couples traveling in Ecuador should be wary of showing affection when in public. All same-sex civil unions were enshrined in the 2008 constitution, and for most Ecuadorians gay rights remains a non-issue in a political context. But homosexuality was technically illegal until 1998, and anti-gay bias still exists.

Several fiestas in Ecuador have parades with men cross-dressing as women. This is all meant in fun, rather than as an open acceptance of sexual alternatives, but it does provide the public at large (both gay and straight) with a popular cultural situation in which to enjoy themselves in an accepting environment.

Useful Websites & Organizations

Gay Guide to Quito (www.quitogay.net)

FEDAEPS A community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people, as well as an AIDS-activist organization.

Zenith Travel Specializes in gay and lesbian tours.