a VirtualTourist member from Ancona
I'd like to visit Ecuador but I'm asking how safe is it traveling alone and by bus if I'm going to do an itinerary like this? Quito, Latacunga, Riobamba, Cuenca, Guayaquil, Puerto Lopez , Otavalo, Quito.
Generally speaking, petty crimes, like pickpocketing, are quite high, whereas violent crime, like murder, is at the lower end in Latin America.
Like anywhere in the world, if you keep your wits about you, you'll be fine. But 'stuff' happens everywhere. Nowhere is 100% 'safe'.
There are a few areas in Guayaquil you should avoid, and some in Quito that aren't real safe after dark, but generally it's a safe country.
I travelled alone around Ecuador for seven weeks in 2011 and for another seven weeks in 2012 and i used a lot of buses. I usually put my big backpack by my legs inside the bus and had my daypack in my lap. I met people (and have heard of others) who had put their daypacks on the floor in the bus and had their cameras stolen from it, so don't do that.
I had my camera taken from my hands in Quito when I was taking a photo, but I ran after the man and got it back.
I read some horror stories, but personally found Quito and Otavallo last year safe and very pleasant, also at night. Take your precautions against pickpockets and other thiefs, but this now applies to almost any country worldwide.