Quito has its share of robberies and petty crime, but the dangers can be minimized by taking a few precautions.

  • The Mariscal remains a target for muggers and pickpockets, though Plaza Foch and the surrounding streets now have a visible police presence. Take a taxi after dark when traveling more than a few blocks.
  • Because most of the shops and restaurants in the Old Town close in the evening, it can feel sketchy wandering some of its outlying dimly lit blocks alone. Pickpocketing, the old-fashioned mustard scam and snatch-and-run robberies do happen here, so keep your wits about you.

Mariscal Police Station

Old Town Police Station

Public Transport

Pickpockets are a problem on the trolley bus system – keep an eye out while riding, and avoid taking it during rush hour and after dark. Always keep your bag close (on your lap); the slicing open of bags (even while between your legs/under your seat, or on your back) is common practice.


Use ATMs in the daytime, choose locations with other people about (shopping malls, banks, etc) and stay alert upon exiting.

Filing a Police Report

If you get robbed, file a police report (denuncio) at a police station or tourism security service office; the latter has stations in the airport and Quitumbe bus terminal. Or call 02-254-3983 for assistance.