In cities, pickpockets sometimes operate. It is easy to keep them at bay: make sure to carry your bank notes and valuable documents underneath your clothing, in a way that isn’t visible. Keep a little money at hand so that you do not have to look for your valuables out on the street. If your daypack contains valuables, carry it in front. Carry your camera in your bag, so that it isn’t immediately visible. Mugging occurs now and then in the larger cities and along the coast, and if it happens, it is usually in places that you would normally avoid, such as dark, quiet streets. Never talk to people offering drugs and do not go with police unless they wear proper identification. In hotel rooms, your belongings are reasonably safe, but do not leave any money or valuables lying around. Preferably put them in a bag that can be closed, or even better, give them to the hotel reception. In the hotels we are using, you can almost always leave your valuables safely in a locker (caja de securdidad). Particularly in Quito, we would advise you not to take your passport with you unless you have to change money, and leave it safely in the locker. Do not wear expensive-looking sunglasses or jewellery out in the street. In restaurants and internet cafes, take good care of your luggage. If you are alert and use your common sense, you should not expect problems – although exceptions prove the rule.