Quito Travel Guide

Flights, Train & Cruise

By Plane
Aeropuerto Internacional Mariscal Sucre . Located around 8 km from Quito's center and is the main, best and easiest way to get into the city. There are (almost) daily flights serving Amsterdam, Atlanta, Houston, Madrid, Miami, New York, Buenos Aires, Bonaire, Caracas, Bogotá, Lima, Medellín, Cali, Panama City, Punta Cana, Santiago de Chile, and San Jose. Airlines include KLM, United Airlines, Copa Airlines, AeroGal, TAME, Icaro, Club Vip, SAereo, Aeropostal, AirPlus Comet, Delta Airlines, TACA, LAN Ecuador, Avianca - Alianza Summa, Iberia, Santa Barbara, and American Airlines. Some of these flights continue to or originate from Guayaquil. Some of these airlines also feature charter flights to/from San Andrés, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Havana, Aruba, Curaçao, Cancún, Rio de Janeiro, Puerto Plata, and Santo Domingo.

You no longer have to pay an airport fee when leaving Quito by air (2/2011). As of February 2011 international fares should already include the tax in the price of the ticket.

Near the baggage area of the Quito airport, it is possible to buy vouchers that can be used for a taxi ride. As of 2012, the cost to go to the tourist hotel zone was $7.

If you wish to try taking a bus instead of a taxi to the Mariscal (main tourist destination) section of Quito (it is not advisable if you have much luggage or are not familiar with Quito), which is often referred to as "gringolandia" by tourists or "la zona" by locals, you can exit the airport, cross the main street, and board any bus with "J.L. Mera" or "Juan L. Mera" on the sign. The cost is USD $0.25, but if you are a student under 18 or a senior citizen over 65 then it is USD $0.12.

A new, large international airport is presently under construction in a valley located in the northeast of Quito. It will be well outside the city between the towns of Tababela and Puembo, approx. 25 km from the city. It will feature one of the longest runways in Latin America: 4,100 meters long by 45 meters wide, that will allow an average of 44 take-offs and landings per hour. The airport is expected to start its operations by Feb 20 2013

By Bus

The old "Terminal Terrestre," which was located in Cumandá (Center of the city)has been replaced by two new terminals.

Terminal Quitumbe (located in the far south of Quito), services all the buses that go to any destination south of Quito: Basically all of the coastal provinces, all of the amazonian provinces, and all of the mountain region (sierra) provinces except two: Carchi and Imbabura (where Otavalo and other tourist attractions are located). This terminal can be reached by local buses (which often leave La Marin in Old Town) or by the Trolebus and Metro trolleys.
For Carchi and Imbabura (where Otavalo and other tourist attractions are located) two you need to go to Terminal Carcelén (located in the far north of Quito). This terminal can be reached by local buses (which you can catch at La Marin in Old Town or El Ejido in New Town) or by Ecovia, Trolebus and Metro
Some bus companies have their own terminals near La Mariscal. These include TransEsmeraldas (just past la Colon), Flota Imbabura (above El Ejido), and Reina del Camino (also above El Ejido). However, travelers should be warned that Reina del Camino buses are among the country's most dangerous, in addition to always being either too warm or too cold. A number of English tourists died in a Reina bus crash a few years ago and numerous Ecuadorians have as well.

Complete bus schedules, as well as trains and domestic flights, are at . Fares depend on where you're going. Long distance bus fares in Ecuador cost around $1 per hour, but generally the price is already established. So if for some reason, your bus trip takes double the time to get to your destination, for whatever reason (damaged road, too much traffic, etc.) you don't have to pay the extra hours. The fare to Guayaquil (July 2009) is 9$.

Still, the same safeguards apply: as long as you hold on to your belongings and don't hang around there at odd hours, it is safe. People will probably shout at you asking where you are going. They either work for a bus company and want to get you to buy a ticket with that company or want to help you find the bus you are looking for in exchange for a tip. If you arrive with a lot of luggage it's best to avoid the public transportation system in Quito and take a taxi to your hotel. Ecuadorian long-distance buses will generally let passengers off anywhere along their route.

source: Wikivoyage

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