If you’re planning your visit to Ecuador, the country of the four worlds, then this is the guide you need to learn how to get around. Discover the different public, private, shared and particular services that you can use to travel across the country.
Buses, ecovía, yellow taxis.
If you’re travelling on a budget, buses are inexpensive and comfortable for long distance trips. Flota Imbabura can take you from Quito to Otavalo, and there are bus lines can take you to the coast. Bus tickets usually range from $6-$15 for longer distance, while within the city a ride can cost less than a dollar (depending on the distance).
Yellow taxis are usually cheap, and they’re almost everywhere (in Quito, Guayaquil, Manta, and the bigger cities). Sometimes it is the fastest option when there are no Ubers or Cabify’s closeby, but remember to carry change.
Another means of transportation that serves to travel across the city of Quito is the Ecovía, another kind of public buses. The Ecovía tram follows the main streets connecting the north to the city center. It also has stops near important bus lines. Remember, Ecovía can get your closer to where you want to go, but it is an option for tourists who are comfortable with walking around. The cost of the ticket is only $0.25 cents.
Uber, Cabify, private tour bus, rental cars.
For Uber and Cabify, you can use your existing account, and in case you don’t have one, you can download the app, enter your details and be on your way! The apps function in two modalities, either using a credit card (where the fees will be deducted and perfect if you don’t carry change), or using cash to pay at the end of your ride. In Quito, Uber is working most effectively, with more cars available at a shorter wait time. The fees will vary but some you should know are: to or from the airport approximately USD $20-25 (from Quito or Cumbaya), and from Quito to Cumbaya $5-10 USD (usually closer to $10 during rush/peak hours).
*Remember Uber and Cabify may not be available in many of the smaller cities. Cuenca, does not offer the service.
If your travel plan includes visiting several spots spread throughout the country, car rental is highly recommended. Having a rental car saves you time, ensures privacy and comfort, and it might even save you money in the long run. Besides, it is the best option if you’re travelling with lots of equipment that you don’t want to carry around while touring on the go.
We recommend hiring Avis, the car rental agency with the most distribution points in Ecuador!
Another great option, is hiring a tourism company where you will be provided with transportation such as a private tour bus. Many options exist depending on where you want to go and the duration of your stay.
Tren Ecuador: Tren Ecuador railways connect the country and take you on an adventure across its diverse ecosystems and picturesque landscapes.
They offer two types of services, which include:
- Daily Tours:
The most emblematic is the Devil’s Nose route, in the Southern Andes (Aulausí, Sibambe, Aulasí), famous for its zig-zagging rails across a steep mountain.
Duration: Day trip
Other fantastic experiences:
Ice Train 1 (Tren del Hielo 1) in the Southern Andes (Riobamba, Urbina, La Moya, Riobamba), where you get to meet the citizens of Urbina, and especially Baltazar Ushca, the last ice picker in the country. Ice picking from Chimborazo is an ancient and noble profession.
Duration: Day trip
Tren de la Dulzura in the Pacific Coast (Duran, Naranjito, Duran)
Duration: Day trip
Cost:$32,00 roundtrip, 20 one way.
- Luxurious “Cruise Trains:”
Train of Wonders, Quito- Guayaquil
Train to the Clouds, Guayaquil-Quito
Duration: 4 days, 4 nights
Cost: Around $1,700.00
For more information visit: http://trenecuador.com/
No matter what your plan is, Ecuador offers a wide range of transportation services to suit your needs!