Transportation from Quito Airport

Cathedral in Quito

There are many taxis to the airport, but you can also get here very cheaply, albeit at length, by public buses. See also detailed information on transport around Quito.

Taxi / Uber

Most travellers choose taxis to get to Quito, and there are always several waiting outside the terminal at all hours of the day or night. It's no problem to find a taxi in the city either, absolutely anywhere.

There are no metered fares to get to the airport, but fixed flat rates. To get to the historic centre or the popular accommodation districts of La Mariscal, Colón or La Carolina you will pay about 30 usd, for a trip to Quitumbe bus station you will pay around 35 usd. The price should always be agreed in advance. Remember that you can only pay in cash in the taxi.

During off-peak hours, Uber rides can be slightly cheaper and can cost as much as 20 usd.

  • Journey time - 60 to 90 minutes

Public transport buses

Although you will read many warnings discouraging the use of public transport in Quito, in reality the local buses are relatively safe provided you follow the basic rules and keep all valuables in closed internal luggage pockets or ideal clothing.

Tickets on all routes cost 2 usd. They are paid inside the bus by the conductor who will walk through the car and collect the money. You can only pay in cash.

There are three routes to the airport, which Google maps identifies as line numbers 198, 199 and 200. In practice, however, the line numbers are virtually unused for buses in Quito. It is important to know only the destination station. The following routes are used:

  • Quitumbe - the main bus station for long-distance services, located in the south of the city and the only one of the bus destinations to the airport connected to the metro.
    • Frequency: 10-15 minutes on weekdays and weekends
    • Opening hours: 5:50-21:35
    • Travel time: 75 minutes
    • Although the map at the airport shows that the route passes close to the historic centre, the scale is confusing and the buses don't even come close to the centre
    • At Quitumbe, you can transfer to the metro (35 minutes to downtown)
  • Río Coca - local bus station closest to the centre in its northern part
    • Frequency: 20-30 minutes, only runs on weekdays, no weekend service
    • Hours of operation: 6:20-21:50
    • Travel time: 60 minutes
    • From Río Coca to the centre you can take the Ecovía backbone buses, which leave from a separate terminal about 150 metres below the airport bus stop. Tickets for Ecovía buses are payable at the entrance to the platform and cost 0,35 usd and it takes about 30 minutes to get to the centre of Quito from here
  • Carcelén - bus station for long-distance services to the north, the least convenient route for getting to the centre
    • Frequency: 20 minutes on weekdays, 20-40 minutes on weekends
    • Opening hours: 6:05-20:30
    • Journey time: 50 minutes
    • From Carcelén you can get to the centre by Trole's backbone buses, specifically the C5 line ending at El Ejido Park. The ticket for the Trole bus is paid when you enter the platform and costs 0,35 usd. The journey to the centre takes about 70 minutes from Carcelén.

Aeroservicios buses

The airport's widely promoted service of comfortable air-conditioned Aeroservicios buses for getting into town is not highly recommended. This is because the buses go to the former airport in the north of the city, which is quite far from the centre with not very clear public transport and taxis more expensive than, say, from the Río Coca terminal.

A one-way ticket costs 7,99 usd, return 13,50 usd. Buses run between 4:00 and 8:00 pm once an hour and official information can be found on the web:

Rent a car

If you will be travelling in the Ecuadorian mountains, the best and practically only way is to rent a car. Most of the well-known international car rental companies operate at Quito airport, and it is always advisable to book at least a week in advance for a lower price.

Rental prices for a week range between 300 usd and 500 usd depending on the car rented and the insurance policy chosen. Remember that most cars in Ecuador run with manual gears and a car with an automatic is not fully automatic even with rental companies.

For more information on driving, traffic or traffic regulations in the country, see the car hire section of our Ecuador guide.

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