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General Information


By Bus
Most travelers use buses to get around. Busetas (22 seat small buses) cover long distances quickly; larger autobuses are slower but tend to be more social and fun. Keep your passport with you when traveling by bus, as there are frequent transit police checks on the outskirts of towns, especally travelling between two cities. Avoid taking night buses through Guayas Province, as the routes are favored by highjackers. To find out prices of taking buses in Ecuador visit our section on What Things Cost in Ecuador.

By Air
Ecuador has a more efficient air transportation system than most other Andean countries. It also has the virtue of being a small country, and relatively cheap, which allows even budget travelers the option of an occasional internal flight. Quito's international airport is about 10 km (6 miles) north of the city center. The nation's other major airport is in Guayaquil, about 5 km (3miles) north of the city center. Both are regularly serviced by buses and taxis. The main domestic airline is TAME, though there are other small airlines and charter planes available. Almost all flights begin or end in Quito or Guayaquil. There are flights to several of the Galápagos Islands, but these are expensive. It's also possible to make the trip by boat, but it works out no cheaper. Ecuador has airports in 15 cities, although only 2 of these are international, they are: Quito International Airport (Mariscal Antonio José de Sucre) and Guayaquil International Airport (Simón Bolivar). For the excursions inside the country, other airports are used, some of which are in Cuenca, Baltra (Galápagos), Coca, Lago Agrio, San Cristobal (Galápagos). To find out genereal prices of flights inside of Ecuador, please visit our giant price list.

By Car
Pickups (camionetas), trucks (rancheras) and taxis can be hired for long journeys - negotiate a price before you ride. Rental cars are available in a few major towns, with prices comparable to those in North America or Europe. In Ecuador there are sufficient road systems to get you were you want to go but the drivers are a little wild, so be careful! Ecuador is bordered by Colombia to the north and by Perú in the south and both are easily accessible by car. To find out gas prices go to our list of prices.

By Train
In order to keep the struggling train system alive, foreigners pay more to travel by train than locals do. Passengers are permitted to ride on top of some of the cars - dress warmly for the exciting views. The dramatic ascent from Alausí to Guayaquil is one of the most spectacular railway journeys in the world.


For travel within Ecuador, each passenger can bring two suitcases of 70 pounds (31.8 kg) each, plus hand luggage, photographic camera or/and video camera, binoculars. Professional filming equipment may need a special permit.

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