Quito Travel Guide

Getting Around

There are 3 independent, 'enclose stations' systems of buses, with very few transfer stations among them. They are very inexpensive (USD 0.25 for a single ride). These lines follow north-south-lines down through the heart of Quito, and they have stations close to La Mariscal where most hotels are located. Take note that there is no tradition of waiting for people to disembark before people board, so this may take some getting used to. The buses are among the cleanest of South America, but still, be aware of pickpockets!

El Trole or The Trolley (Green stations, buses of different colors) run from station La Y in the north to El Recreo in the south. Downtown, it has the closest stations to Plaza Grande.
Metrobus (Blue stations marked with a Q, buses of different colors) run from Universidad Central in America Avenue, next to Prensa Ave, and then to Diego de Vasquez Ave. until Carcelen last station, this is the best bus service for visitors who wants to visit the Mitad del Mundo Monument, because at Ofelia station the public services buses who go to Mitad del Mundo monument waits to make the switching and carry visitors to Mitad del Mundo, USD 0.25 until Ofelia station, USD 0.35 to Mitad del Mundo Monument.
Ecovia (Red buses and stations marked with an e) run from Rio Coca Station (north) to La Marin Station inside the Quito historic Downtown. Serves stations close to Casa de la Cultura and Estadio Olímpico and Quicentro mall.

The easiest way to get to most Quito hotels from the airport is to buy a taxi ticket, available after the baggage area before exiting the airport. Cost to the hotels in the main tourist area is USD 5 (November 2008). If you hail a cab just outside at the airport you can get them to use the meter and pay less than USD 3 for a ride to La Mariscal hotel district.

For those wanting to save money and reduce their ecological impact on Ecuador, many local buses (USD 0.25) head south to the tourist areas. Just exit the airport and cross the main street. Buses with an "Amazonas" or "Juan Leon Mera" sign go to La Mariscal. Buses with a "La Marin" sign will leave you a few blocks away from Old Town.

Taxis and buses are everywhere and very inexpensive. Taxi drivers are known to pull weapons on tourists and steal their money, cameras, etc. Secuestro express (express kidnapping) is a crime that increasing numbers of taxi drivers are committing. Pickpocketing is a rare occurrence on buses and can be avoided with common sense. A taxi ride costs a minimum of USD 1 during the day and a minimum of USD 2 at night. Only use official taxis (yellow with a number painted on the door). Make sure the driver turns on the taxi meter if you don't want to get ripped off and find another taxi if they claim it's broken (taxímetro). At night or if they refuse to, negotiate the price before getting in, or wait for the next. Carry small denominations of money and have exact change for your taxi fare. If you do not have exact change, taxi drivers conveniently won't be able to make change for you and will try to convince you to make the change a tip instead. When taking a taxi be sure you are aware of the fastest route; if a driver is using the meter he may take the scenic route. Most major hotels have taxis that they have approved as safe and legitimate. If unsure about a taxi, call your hotel and they can generally have a safe taxi dispatched to your location. A bus trip costs in Quito USD 0.25, including Trole and Ecovía (March 2010).

The railway station is at the south end of the old city, close to the El Trole route. The railway is very rundown and services are erratic. It's best to check with the Visitors' Bureau on the most recent timetable.
You can rent a car in Quito, but it's not recommended for getting around the city. It's not worth the effort with taxis so cheap. Renting a car is a possibility for exploring further afield, to the Cotopaxi or Otavalo or Papallacta areas, for instance, but is only recommended for those who speak a bit of Spanish and can handle the tension of Ecuador's 'lax' driving rules.
You can also get around by renting a Bike at Yellow Bike or Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental. Quito offers a unique Cycle Path that goes around the northern part of the City, throughout Av. Amazonas to Parque La Carolina. If you rent a bike to travel around Quito we recommend you are careful and use a helmet, it is a nice adventure and a cheap way to get around. Lizardo Garcia 512 y Almagro, La Mariscal. www.yellowbike.com.ec or Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental Juan León Mera N22-37 (between Carrión and Veintimilla) in the Mariscal www.FreedomBikeRental.com
The best way to stay outside and see all of Quito can be on a scooter or motorcycle rental. Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental offers a wide range of motorscooters and motorcycles and can fit them with a GPS. With a self-guided GPS Tour, you can see all of the sights in the city at your own pace and see much more than with a car, bicycle or taxi. Each rider goes through a mini safety course on how to ride the scooter and all rentals include insurance and helmets. Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental Juan León Mera N22-37 (between Carrión and Veintimilla) www.FreedomBikeRental.com

source: Wikivoyage

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