Getting around Ecuador from Quito is a very simple thing to do. Unfortunately there is not a lot of good information out there about how to do it and this can make a simple day trip a far more taxing ordeal then it need to be. In the following series of posts, I describe in detail how to get to various places in Ecuador, from Quito by bus.
As this is the first post in a series I am going to start at the beginning. You’re in Quito and you want to go somewhere outside the city. How do you do it?
The bus stations:
There are two major bus stations in Quito and one minor one that is of importance for travelers, RioCoca is the minor one, the two major bus stations are Quitumbe in the south and Carcelen in the North. Below is a map marking all three…
To reach Quitumbe, you can, of course take a taxi but if you’re a true public-transit fan, you can make it there for just $0.25! Simply hop on either the Trole or Eco Via and head south. Make sure you check the placard on the front of the bus before you hop on and ensure it says “Quitumbe,” otherwise, you will find yourself needing to transfer somewhere along the way.
To reach Carcelen, head north on the Eco Via all the way to the northern-most stop (Rio Coca…described more below). Do not exit the station. You’re going to want a bus heading for Carapungo via Eloy Alfaro; it runs approximately every 20mins and you’ll see a sign hanging on the platform where you should wait. Once on the bus, ask the bus driver to let you know when you reach Terminal Carcelen. (“por favor, podria avisame cuando llegamos a Terminal Carcelen?”) The ride generally takes about 30-45mins so grab a seat and chill.
To reach Rio Coca, hop on the EcoVia heading north and simply take it to the last stop. There is one exception. If you get on the EcoVia south of the Casa de la Cultura stop, you will need to transfer quickly at the Manuela Cañizares stop.
So…we’ve mapped out the major terminals and you have a couple of quick tips for how to reach them. In the next post, we’ll chat more about which areas of the country you can access with each of these stations and why they’re important to you. Travel Well!