Transports in Ecuador


Obviously you’re the type to go places, if you’re up for going to live in Ecuador. Once there, we bet you’re still going to want to go places within the country. So how will you be getting to them? How is the transport in Ecuador?


Bus travel is the most widespread way of getting around in Ecuador, as well as the cheapest. Long-distance/intercity buses charge around $1 to $2 per hour. The more comfortable ejecutivo or first-class buses are usually reserved for these long distance drives. They may include bathrooms, usually just for women but men need not worry overmuch. If nature’s call gets too pressing, the bus driver will obligingly pull over so they can relieve themselves outside. These buses often feature a TV screen, but the movies are not à la carte. Drivers favor action flicks, which often reflects in their driving. This propensity to the epic coupled to potholes aplenty means those prone to travel sickness may want to sit near the front rather than the back. The majority of Ecuador’s cities offer efficient public bus service and have a terminal terrestre, a central bus terminal in which to buy tickets from the various bus lines that serve the city. Quito and Guayaquil each have their own inner city bus system. Within Quito, all rides are at a flat rate of $0.25.


Air travel can be deemed Ecuador’s most modern and efficient form of travel. 15 cities have airports, but just 2 of these are international: Quito International Airport (Mariscal Antonio José de Sucre) and Guayaquil International Airport (Simón Bolivar). Almost all flights originate or end in Quito or Guayaquil. The country’s small size means internal flight times are generally under an hour long. Flying is thus the ideal transportation mode for intercity travel. Along with being quicker, it’s not uncommon for an in-country flight to be cheaper than a long-distance bus trip, if the latter adds up to many hours and expenses like an overnight stay in a hotel and meals. Excluding flights to the Galápagos, domestic flights, rarely cost more than USD $140 round trip. A Quito-Guayaquil flight averages $70.


Legal taxis in Quito answer to the following criteria: they are yellow with orange license plates, display a company name and have their meter activated. During the day, rides cost from $1 to $5. Most taxis in Quito turn their meter off at night, after 8pm. Make sure to negotiate the price before you get inside, then – it might double that of daytime fares, but should reach no higher than that.  In Guayaquil and a majority of cities around Ecuador, taxis typically don’t use meters. Again, agree on a fixed price for the ride before you even think of putting a foot inside the cab. It’s no use negotiating once you’ve gotten in.

Real crime issues are linked to transport in Ecuador. Knowing what responsible habits to adopt is essential to ensure your own safety.

 Useful links:

Schedules & tickets for Ecuador's buses & flights
More details on transport in Ecuador
Bus companies in Quito
Maps of bus lines in Cuenca
Air travel
Ecuador Rental Car group
Taxi scams to be aware of
Train schedule
Railway in the sky

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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