Traffic in Ecuador

Hello everyone,

Which city or area do you live in in Ecuador, and how do you find the traffic?

How long does it take to commute to work or run errands?

Is there a rush hour in your city? What times of the day would you recommend people to avoid driving if they can?

Are there any ways to avoid spending too much time in traffic in Ecuador?

What is parking availability and cost like?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Traffic in Quito is insignificant for the most part. There are specific areas that can be congested but in general it pales in comparison to many cities around the world including our neighbor capital cities of Bogota and Lima. This point is evident if one simply Googles “Quito/Bogota/Lima traffic”, and a traffic map appears with updated data represented by colors ranging from green, moving traffic, to dark red, congestion.

We do have rush hour which is noticeable between 5-7 PM. The most notable traffic is during the summer months especially July and August, as this is the time that many civil servants take their extended vacations. It is also exasperated by hordes of local tourists from other provinces as well as Ecuadorians from abroad who also flock to Quito.

Right this moment is rush hour, and it’s obvious how little traffic there is, and with red lines (on online map) being mainly around centro histórico, an area with narrow streets, and one designated a heritage cite by the UN.

Are there any ways to avoid spending too much time in traffic in Ecuador?

In Ecuador we have several ways of inter-city travel by road. One of the most popular is by bus, but I seldom use them because from Quito to go to many other cities I would have to use Quitumbe station which is in south Quito and would need at least an hour if not more by public transport and about $12-$13 by taxi.

So my preference is a taxi service that takes you puerta a puerta (door to door) from city to city. So for instance to go to Santo Domingo (the city which is a gateway to the coast) I would use such service,

And the relevance here is that it is much quicker because while the distance is not much from Quito to Santo Domingo the roads are at many points are single lane and quite winding (zigzag.

So even if there is very little traffic, if a big truck is ahead of you and is going slow it's much easier for these puerta a puerta taxis to change lanes thus saving you time in such traffic situations.

I however do not recommend this service for the fainthearted because there are close calls as they change lanes. I also don't recommend it if you are not comfortable being very close to people because you will bump into other passengers if you're sitting in the back which usually has 3 passengers.

But it's a great way to interact traveling locals, and definitely get's you quicker to your destination.

Everybody wants to be a racing driver.If you have a car have a camera recording your trip.
Public transport is cheap but try and travel by day if you can.I have traveled a lot at night and have been lucky and have not been robbed!Good luck eh :cheers:

Hi Priscilla interesting question. I live in Cuenca and the traffic is depending upon where you're at and what time of day is there. Some of the main streets can get quite busy in the morning between 7 and 8:30 and between 3:30 and 6 p.m. I avoid traffic why avoiding travel on the streets during those hours. For me it is easy for those who have to take the bus it's not much faster there are red express buses here but they still have to stop for traffic. I have devised a clever method to get around the traffic here in Cuenca. First thing you do is you retire. Yes retired quit your job and then you eliminate the traffic and you can work around it due to the fact that you have a lot more free time. I have managed to have been retired now for 2 years and I say that it must be the one of the few things in life that are highly underrated. Being retired is a pleasant and enjoyable experience. So that's how I have to either they can take public transportation but if the traffic is stopped nobody gets through. First and foremost and take it easy. I hope that answers your question.

Chao Ramon

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