Getting Around Ecuador: A Transportation Guide


Ecuador is one of the most versatile countries in South America. Its multifaceted beauty attracts thousands of tourists annually. If this lovely country is on your bucket list, then you are probably wondering how to get around and what is the ideal means of transportation for your trip. In that case, you don’t have to worry because Ecuador has an efficient transportation system that allows you to reach each of its corners easily. Read on and discover all the types of transportation available in this culture-rich country.

By Plane

There are several airlines in Ecuador that offer both national and international flights. Also, Ecuador has several modern airports, such as Quito’s International Airport. Learn more about Quito’s luxurious international airport here. Domestic trips are usually quite inexpensive and the price of a one-way flight rarely exceeds $100. All flights within the national territory lasts less than an hour, and allow you to admire fantastic views of the Andes. Flights are also available to places that are very exotic such as the Ecuadorian Amazon and the charming Galapagos Islands.


A less conventional type of transport in Ecuador, and also one of the most ecological is riding a bicycle. Although this option is only available in some cities in the country, it is a way to move to take into account. In general, the roads are in good condition and have well signposted bicycle lanes.  The best mountain bike operators are in Quito and Riobamba.

By Bus

The bus is the main means of transport in the country and guarantees services to almost every corner. In almost every major city there is a bus terminal, which offers different destinations. Almost all stations are within easy walking distance or a short taxi run from the centre. The journey is usually short, as only the smallest villages have no bus terminal. Bus trips cost an average of US$1 per hour of travel. Keep in mind that most vehicles do not have a toilet, except for those travelling more than 4 hours. Only a few long-distance routes between major cities have air-conditioned buses with toilets.

Almost every bus operator has fixed departure times. However, these schedules depend on how fast the bus fills up with passengers. Larger terminals often have information desks where you can check routes, timetables and prices. On weekends and holidays, is difficult to find availability, so we recommend you to buy tickets a day or two in advance or arrive at the station about two hours before departure.

By Boat

Boat transport is common in certain parts of the country, such as the Amazon, and can be divided into several types. The most common boat is the motor canoe, which is used as a taxi or water bus on the main rivers of the Orient. Most travelers use this means of transport when visiting the Amazon, as it is the only way to access the lodges located in the jungle. On the other hand in Galapagos there are available all types of boats, from a small sailboat to a cruise equipped with cabins with air conditioning and private bathroom that cover the distance between the islands.

Automobile and motorcycle

In recent years the  Ecuadorian infrastructure has improved a lot, because there are new bridges and roads, better traffic signals and low gas prices, which makes some tourists opt for this means of transport. Keep in mind that travelers are required to carry a driver’s license and passport whenever they travel by car.

To rent a car you must be at least 25 years old and have a credit card, a valid driving license and a passport. Rentals range from $40 per day for a small car to$100 or more for an SUV. The rental of motorcycles varies greatly depending on the agency you choose.


Another option that was recently restored is the train. Unfortunately, it is only available for day trips . The routes are short, usually limited to weekends and sometimes the return is by bus. The most famous line covers the impressive descent from Alausí through La Nariz del Diablo, a spectacular stretch that once represented one of the greatest railway engineering achievements in the world. The second is the weekend train between Quito and the El Boliche National Recreation Area near Cotopaxi.

The best springboard to start your trip to Ecuador is the Capital city: Quito. This stunning city has a lot to offer. Start by making Ikala Hotel Quito your home base. We offer the perfect location to explore the city, along with comfortable and beautiful suites, useful amenities and exclusive service. Reserve your room here.

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