Bus transport inside Quito and outside Quito, take a bus or rent a car is a good option for tarvelers who visits Quito, here is a description of bus services, lines, tips. Rent a car in Quito is a good option if you plan to do weekend escapades to the near attractions in Quito.
Transportation & tourist circuits around Quito by car or bus
So you're planning on leaving the city? Good idea - Quito is an ideal point of departure to see Ecuador and even the rest of South America if you want to. If you haven't yet decided between taking a bus or a plane, in this section we'll try to guide you among the choices so you can plan the kind of trip that's best for you. In this section you'll find information on:
National and International
National and International Airlines
Renting cars, taxis an executive transport
In order to leave Quito by bus, the best place is the Terminal Terrestre (Bus interprovince central).
There works a vast amount of bus companies, they sell the ticket and give you a plataform to take it, but always you can figure out which is your because the driver assistant "shouts" the destination.
The ticket is not cheaper, a trip to Cuenca or Guayaquil has a price of 10 USD per traveler departing every hour or less, just ask the next bus to your destination in the company office and they will tell you.
It is not necesarry to buy your ticket in advance for the more coomon destinations like Cuenca, Guayaquil, Baños and Otavalo.
The main paths and routes to visit other attractions an cities near Quito are:
departing from Quito the buses take the highway to los Chillos valley, before a few towns and kilometers they take the panamerican highway who croos Ecuador from north to south, in the south path you will visit:
Amaguaña (here is the entrance to Pasochoa Volcano reserve),
departing from Quito the buses take the Panamerican highway to Calderon, before 20 minutes arrrives to Guayllabamba town, at this place, you can enjoy a very nice selection of ecuador typical food in almost 20 very clean and no so expensive restaurants, after that you take the Tabacundo highway to visit the following destinations:
Middle of the world monument, an official site for the equinoccial line or Ecuador line (the monument is located 30 minutes away from the exact ecuador line) is located 30 minutes away from Quito using the Manuel Cordova Galarza highway, the trip is an excellent option for one day visitors to Quito.
Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest reserve, this reserve is the first bird area in Ecuador, creating and incredible site for birdwatchers, just one hour and 30 minutes from Quito using the Manuel Cordova Galarza and the La Independencia los Bancos route.
Tabacundo, the flower of Ecuador town, here is located the heart of the ecuadorean export flowers industry.
Cochasqui Archeological Complex, located near Tabacundo, Cochasqui is a complex of pyramids with astronomic purposes and religious actvities, the entrance is just 100 meters after the Tabacundo payment station to the left side in the north way.
Otavalo, one of the most well known destinations in Ecuador, and exactly one hour and 45 minutes by bus carry you direct to this popular destination.
Cotacachi, located in the foothills of the Cotacachi extinct volcano is a nice place to buy leather clothes.
Atuntaqui, the main producer of cotton cltohes in Ecuador, this industrial city provide a major part of the clothes the north Ecuadorian provinces wear.
San pablo del lago, an small town just 5 kilometers before Otavalo city, here is a nice plae to stay in excellent hotels beside the San Pablo Lake.
Mojanda lakes and Fuya Fuya peak, the mojanda lakes are at the top of Mojanda Cajas Mountain range, the lakes are at the top of the ancient crater of a volcano, the road starts in Otavalo and climb to the top the landscape is amazing and you could do camping there, always go in a good number of travelers and we recommend to contract a tour in Otavalo or in Quito.
Driving away from Quito to the west you can find the Cumbaya town, the new real estate area in Quito with modern houses into rural landscape, the land and the houses are expensive but the quiet environment is a good option for a "gringo" tired of big cities noise, here a good number of ecuadorian typical food had their main restaurants, you can enjoy and incredible variety of Ecuador highlands food.
Oyacachi thermas are managed by their inhabitants, also handicraft and trekking trails surrounded the town we recommend to do it, this town has and incredible history of isolation because for more than 400 years the only path to arrive the town was in horse and just in 1999 the new road were open.
The Oyacachi town were the original place where the Quinche miracle virgin appears, the inhabitants call her "The Bears lady" or "Señora de los Osos" the legend about the salvation of the bears plague talked by the ancient Oyacachi people is awesome you could ask about if you stay a night in the family run accommodation program, visit the official page at Oyacachi community website.
El Quinche, this town located 45 minutes by car using the Guayllabamba Oton highway is an incredible sanctuary, the Quinche virgin is the second religious icon of Ecuador after the El Cisne Sanctuary Virgin in Loja, the Quinche Virgin and her history is completely amazing, recently the religious community who runs the sanctuary opens a museum for the visitors, the accommodation is not expensive and the landscape is relaxing, El Quinche and its surroundings are one of the best areas fro exportation flowers producers.
The Cayambe Coca National Park is a really amazing place to enjoy the nature, the whole park connects the Andes highlands with the Amazon basin, so a trekking in the area is recommended, for accommodation and trips we recommend Guachala Hacienda located in the north west side of the park.
Quitsato, this new special atracction is a Sun watch builded with a museum about the ancient tribes who discover the exact equinoccial line, one thousand years before the French Geodesic mission who visits Ecuador in the XVII century, this place builded in 2006 is open for tourist and is exactly located in the middle of the world in Cayambe town.
Driving to the west of Quito is the impressive Pichincha volcano range, the volcano is huge and it runs along the Quito city in their foothills. The Pichincha is a nice place to do trekking and hiking from the top hills the Cruz loma in the south and the Antenas hill in the north, we recommend the trekking option from the Cruz Loma Hill to the Rucu Pichincha.
The Atacazo, Corazón and Illinizas mountains trail, this 3 peaks running in direct line to the south of Pichincha are nice places to enjoy a magnific landscape of nature and lonely areas, suurounded by haciendas and flowers plantations the area is cool to stay, we recommend the Quito Haciendas located in this area.
Aloag here the buses turn to the Coast, to cities like Santo Domingo, Quevedo and the Esmeraldas province beachs like Atacames, Sua, Muisne or in Manabi, Manta, Puerto lopez, this beaches are almost 6 or 8 hours away from Quito in bus, a trip to Guayaquil take exactly 9 hours in bus.