Water in generally considered unsafe to drink in a number of South American countries, for example Ecuador. Even locals regularly buy bottled water. Ice also risks transmitting the contaminants.

While traveling there, I've also heard that it's safe to drink iced drinks if the cubes have holes in them, as this means the ice was made in a machine that purifies water. Is this true? I've found some related discussions on Travel.SE and TripAdvisor but no credible references.


1 Answer 1


Anyone with $345 can make ice with holes in it with this Portable Commercial Ice Maker Under Counter Built-in Ice Maker Machine with Freezer (and this isn't even the cheapest one out there by a long shot). This appliance doesn't seem to have a filter (because none is advertised). Whether the ice is safe to have depends on whether or not what you pour in is purified or not and whether the machine stays clean. Not to mention you need to make sure you're not using the ice in a liquid that's contaminated.

The reason they have holes is because they're grown on rods, like the video of that product shows.

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