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Getting Ahead of Tropical Country Diseases

Your safety, whether on a short visit or a longer stay in Ecuador, is our top concern.

We want nothing more than for you to enjoy and experience all the beauty, fun, and exciting adventures Ecuador has to offer.

So we don’t want malaria, yellow fever, hepatitis, typhoid and other diseases in the area to get you down. These dangerous diseases are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, and affect millions of people each year.

As a tropical country, Ecuador has its fair share of cases.

Fortunately, these diseases are preventable and curable, as the right treatments and/or vaccines to combat them already exist.

Check out our post on Staying Healthy in Ecuador

Below is a rundown of these diseases and its symptoms. See a doctor immediately if you recognize any of these warning signs during or after your visit.


This life-threatening disease is caused by Plasmodium parasites from female Anopheles mosquitoes.

The first symptoms show up 7-15 days after infection.

Symptoms that may be mild and difficult to recognize are:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Vomiting

Get yourself treated within 24 hours as failure to do so may lead to death.

Avoid mosquito bites. Use repellants and insecticide-treated mosquito nets when going to sleep. Take anti-malaria pills before, during, and after your visit to Ecuador. Consult a travel doctor for more info.

Visit for more info and a map of areas susceptible to the disease.

Yellow Fever

This acute hemorrhagic disease is transmitted by day-biting mosquitoes. Symptoms appear after 3 to 6 days.

Acute yellow fever has the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Shivering
  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Yellowing of skin and eyes
  • Blood in vomit or feces

The most recommended prevention method is vaccination, which, according to international regulations, should be repeated once every 10 years as booster shots.

Treatment is symptomatic. Go to the hospital immediately.

Visit for more info and a map of areas prone to yellow fever.

Hepatitis A

This viral liver diseases causes mild to severe illness and is spread through contaminated food, water, and direct contact with infected individuals.


  • Abdominal pain on the right side of the body, where the liver is
  • Yellowing of skin and eyes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Malaise
  • Dark urine

Hepatitis A vaccine and proper sanitation, plus food safety are great ways to stop the disease from ruining your day.

Typhoid Fever

This bacterial disease is transmitted through contaminated food or water and contact with infected organisms’ feces and urine.

These symptoms show up 1 to 3 weeks after infection, and range from mild to severe:

  • High fever
  • Malaise
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Red spots on chest
  • Enlarged spleen and liver
  • Typhoid fever can be treated with antibiotics

Disease preventative measures include ensuring that food and water are safe, avoiding contact with stagnant ponds or rainwater and observing proper sanitation. Vaccination is highly recommended.

Knowing more about these diseases will enable us to take necessary precautions in preventing them so we can make better decisions in lowering our risk of infection. Show you care. Share this information with those who are planning their next adventure.

Staying Healthy in Ecuador: Safety Tips and Guide to Immunizations

Ecuador may be only about the size of Wyoming and smaller than other countries surrounding it in South America, but its immense natural, physical, and cultural beauty surpasses many of its neighbors.

It’s a wondrous place to start your adventure in, whether you’re going on a short trip, or staying a lot longer.

We want you to experience all the good things the country has to offer. So we’ve prepared a list of safety and health tips for you to keep in mind before, during, and after your stay.

Before your trip

See a doctor
It’s important that you consult a travel medicine specialist for questions and medical recommendations about the place you’re going to, 4 to6 weeks before your trip.

Ask about recommended vaccines for the area
Whenever you travel abroad, it’s always recommended to be up to date on routine vaccinations like diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine and your yearly flu shot, among others. For Ecuador, in particular, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly urge vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, malaria, and yellow fever, among others. Here’s a full list of CDC-recommended vaccines.

Have a first aid kit
Although Ecuador’s health care system is pretty good and can handle most emergencies and common illnesses, a well-equipped first aid kit is still a great thing to bring with you, especially if you’re going to a remote area.

Get travel and evacuation insurance
It just makes sense to get yourself covered. Insurance is pretty basic for most situations, whether you’re at home or abroad.

During your trip

Have a back up
If you can travel with someone else, that would be ideal. Otherwise, inform your hosts, the hotel concierge, or someone else about your whereabouts or schedule for the day,in case of emergencies, medical or otherwise. Let them know your mobile number and save theirs on your phone.

Be careful with what you eat
Be wary of food-borne diseases. Exercise caution when buying food from street vendors and make sure the ice or the water you drink comes from a safe source. When in doubt, go for purified, boiled,and bottled water.

Stay away from places with malaria
Mosquitos that transmit this deadly disease prefer low-lying areas. So,be extra careful when visiting these places.Follow your doctor’s advice about taking anti-malaria pills and protecting yourself against mosquito bites.

Avoid getting tattoos and piercings from dubious sources
Aside from unprotected sex, hepatitis B can be contracted from unsterilized needles used for tattoos and piercings. If you’re traveling to get a medical procedure, vet the surgeon or facility beforehand to make sure their reputation is above board.

Protect yourself from sun exposure
Ecuador lies smack on the equator. Even if it didn’t, it always makes sense to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays by using sunblock with a high SPF (sun protection factor). Wear a wide-brim hat and use an umbrella if you must. Bring water with you at all times, whether you’re on the beach or high up in the mountains.

Stay away from animals and insects
Do not approach, much less pet stray dogs or cats. Always be aware of your surroundings. If you encounter snakes or other animals, calmly back away and do not attempt to handle them.

If you do get sick or get into emergencies, seek capable medical attention as soon as possible.

Should you require assistance with anything, we are more than happy to help you, and will address any concerns. Just give us a call using the numbers indicated on the site, and ask us about the many different services we can provide.

Altitude Sickness and other diseases

cc323537-624e-4c1e-bf78-11ddad7c3d5cEcuador has its own fair share of scary-sounding tropical diseases, but don’t fret – the country has excellent medical facilities and private clinics that will attend to your needs, but let’s hope that’s not the case. Steel yourself against these diseases while you’re in Ecuador.

Insect-borne diseases

Being a tropical country that is home to sprawling rainforests, it isn’t much of a surprise that insect-borne diseases are quite popular in Ecuador. Malaria and dengue fever are the most common insect-borne diseases in the country, particularly in the coastal region and predominantly during the rainy season.

To avoid getting bitten by a carrier, take care to make the following precautions:

  • Cover as much skin as possible.
  • Use light-colored clothing with a loose fit but tight cuffs
  • Use insect repellent religiously.
  • Use a mosquito net, preferably one that’s been treated with permethrin repellent.

Other insect-borne diseases include river blindness, Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis, but these diseases are quite rare.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Often referred to as sorocheby Ecuadorians, AMS happens when you fail to acclimatize properly. It doesn’t matter if you’re physically fit – as long as the acclimatization process fails to match with your ascent pace, you’ve no escape from its clutches. Symptoms include insomnia, extreme tiredness, nausea, headache, confusion, and dizziness. To treat acute mountain sickness, you simply need to lose some altitude.

If you fail to recover from AMS, it can develop into two life-threatening forms: high altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPO) and high altitude cerebaloedema (HACO).

You’re most likely to get HAPO if there’s a build-up of liquid in your lungs. Symptoms include an increased pulsed rate and fever. If you get HAPO, please descend as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, HACO is HAPO’s more severe yet rare brother. HACO is caused when your brain gets waterlogged with fluid. You have HACO if you experience the following: loss of balance, severe lassitude, weakness on one side of the body, a confused mental state, and loss of coordination. HACO is fatal within 24 hours, so immediate loss of altitude and medical attention is of utmost importance.

We’re just barely scratching the surface of diseases in Ecuador. If you want to know more, check out this great article by Rough Guides. For any concerns, you can email me at See you in paradise!

Medical Services in Ecuador

Ecuador is fast becoming known for its booming medicinal tourism, and for good reason. Here, you can avail quality health care for a fraction of the price you pay back in the United States.

High-quality and low cost

Whether you’re in the big city of Quito or Cuenca, or in a small village somewhere in the Yunguilla Valley, Ecuador ha a collection of clean and modern medical facilities that offer quality health care. Staff are well-trained and most of the doctors received education from the United States and Europe’s medical centers.

Expect the medical practitioners in the country to be well-trained. Some doctors in Ecuador even received training from renowned American and European medical centers.

A visit to a general practitioner can cost somewhere around $25 and $30, while a visit to a specialist can cost around $30-$40. As for ambulatory procedures, no need to shell out extra cash as such services are inexpensive.

Pharmacists in Ecuador are fully qualified to give away medical advice for minor ailments for free. As for generic medicine, such kinds in Ecuador cost much less than in the United States. No need for a prescription as most of the medications that require such paperwork in the U.S. can easily be bought over the counter in Ecuador.

Notable hospitals in Ecuador

  • Hospital Alcivar in Guayaquil – Known as the oldest continual hospital in Ecuador, Hospital Alcivar originated as a small clinic and developed into one of the country’s most modern and largest medical facilities.
  • Hospital Metropolitano de Ecuador in Quito – Inarguably the most famous hospital in Ecuador, Hospital Metropolitano was founded in 1985 and is considered the most technologically and procedurally advanced medical facility in the country. People flock to Hospital Metropolitano as it is most known for performing difficult types of surgeries. It enjoys a collaborative relationship with American institutions like Mount Sinai Hospital and Mayo Clinic.
  • Hospital Universitario del Rio in Cuenca – the newest medical facility in Cuenca, Universitario del Rio offers state-of-the-art technology and attentive care. It was opened in 2009 and is fast becoming one of the most respected teaching hospitals in the international medical community.

There is still so much more to discuss about health care in Ecuador. For additional reading, you can check out our blog posts about medicinal tourism in the country here and here.

If you have any questions, email me at Once again, see you in paradise!

The relaxing hot springs of Baños de Cuenca

One of the many attractions in Ecuador includes the country’s abundance of natural hot springs. One small town in particular is known for having the hottest, most rejuvenating natural hot springs – the town of Baños de Cuenca, which is conveniently located a few minutes from Cuenca, Ecuador’s third-largest city.

The town is located at the foot of a mountain where warm mineral water flows through to the valley. Sensing a great opportunity to attract tourists, the town’s residents took advantage of the natural resource by building spas and mineral spring parks where people can relax and enjoy bathing in the warm mineral pools.

A few of the mineral spring parks are perfect for families with small children, as the pools are completely natural, with no chlorine or other chemicals added to the water.

Benefits of natural mineral spring water

There are many healing effects that come from bathing in natural mineral spring water. Simply inhaling its vapors is already an effective treatment for those with asthma, allergies, sinus problems, or other respiratory conditions.

As the water flows through underground canals, it absorbs minerals such as calcium, sulfur, iron, magnesium, and others. Waters rich in minerals are known to be good for health issues like arthritis, joint and muscle pain, heart and circulatory diseases, and other physical ailments.

Piedra de Agua

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

One of the most popular thermal spas in Baños is Piedra de Agua, a well-designed venue that offers a range of services and relaxation amenities.

The spa boasts several top-notch features which include:

  • Thermal pools
  • Underground thermas
  • Massage caves
  • Steam baths
  • Music therapy caves
  • Relaxation terraces
  • Volcanic mud pools
  • Japanese pools
  • Skin treatments

Visit Piedra de Agua’s official website for more information.

If you’re interested in visiting the mineral spring parks and spas at Baños de Cuenca, LIVETHELIFE can gladly help plan and schedule a trip for you. Simply get in touch with Torrin Brauch at 239-848-5876 (US) or 097-994-7640 (Ecuador). You can also send him an email at