My husband and I will be traveling to Ecuador and we are wondering about food and water safety. We will be landing in Quito, then spending the entirety of our two weeks there at a well-known birding lodge in the foothills of the Andes (at around 7,000 ft elevation). The lodge was recommended to us by a friend not just for the birds and wildlife but also for its cuisine. Apparently, one of the owners is a chef. The lodge also offers cooking classes and a tasting menu.
I know the CDC says that you should only drink bottled water and cooked foods or fruits and vegetables that you peal yourself, but it would be a shame to be such picky eaters, if indeed it were safe. We are willing to take a small risk, but not a big one. When we went to the Brazilian Amazon back in 2005, we drank the water at our lodge (after they said it was safe) and ate the fruit they prepared for us. We did wind up getting sick, but it wasn't that bad (we never broke out the antibiotics). No regrets.
I have sent an email to the lodge asking them about food safety and I've also emailed the friend who recommended the place to see how she fared. However, I'm pretty sure she is out of the country now (on another birding adventure) and I think it is unlikely I will hear back from her for a while.
So, yes, I realize that it is impossible to know exactly what will happen and exactly what the risks are in advance, but if anyone has had a similar travel experience (high quality eco lodge in the Andes or elsewhere in Central or South America), it would be great to hear what your food strategy and results were.