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Travel to Quito

Flying to Quito

There are no direct flights from the UK to Quito. Airlines offering indirect flights include KLM (via Amsterdam), Iberia (via Madrid), Avianca (via Bogota) and American Airlines (via Miami). Carriers operating direct flights from the USA include American Airlines and TAME. For the cheapest flights, avoid school holidays. 

Flight times

From London - 15 hours (including stopover); New York - 6 hours; Los Angeles - 8 hours 30 minutes (including stopover); Toronto - 8 hours 30 minutes (including stopover); Sydney - 25 hours (including stopover).

Travel by road

Quito is well connected to the rest of the country by a network of roads of varying quality. They are usually in good condition but some may have many cracks and potholes.

Traffic drives on the right and can often be very chaotic. Driving at night can be dangerous due to frequent robberies. Speed limits are 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas and 90kph (56mph) on highways. To hire a car in Quito, you must be over 21 (a surcharge may apply to drivers under 25) and hold a valid national or international driving licence. Insurance is required.

Emergency breakdown services

Aneta (tel: 1800 556 677, in Ecuador); Police (tel: 101); Tourist Police (tel: +593 2254 3983).


The main road is Panamericana (Pan-American Highway) that crosses the country north to south. Many of its sections are toll roads run by private companies.


The two main bus terminals are Terminal Terrestre Quitumbe, southwest of the historical centre, and Terminal Terrestre Carcelén in the north of the city.

Some bus companies operate private terminals around the city. Check which terminal you need when buying tickets from a travel agency. 

Time to city

From Guayaquil - 7 hours 30 minutes; Cuenca - 7 hours 30 minutes; Esmeraldas - 5 hours 30 minutes.

Travel by Rail


After many years of neglect, a huge restoration project led to the reopening of the line from Quito to Guayaquil in 2013.

Chimbacalle, the Quito railway station, is located at Sincholagua and Vicente Maldonado, about 2km south of the Old Town.


Tren Ecuador (tel: 1800 873 637, in Ecuador; www.trenecuador.com) operates luxury trains on the Quito-Guayaquil line.

Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels


Hilton Colón Quito

Close to the historical district and Quito's airport, Hilton Colón Quito is a large compound, complete with the excellent Italian Portofino restaurant and a sushi bar. The main 19-storey tower overlooks Edijo Park and the Old Town. Large rooms have all the expected amenities. The hotel also boasts a fitness centre, a spa with Turkish bath and sauna, and an outdoor heated pool.

Swissôtel Quito

Set dramatically on top of the cliff overlooking the picturesque Guaopolo valley, this hotel offers luxurious rooms as well as apartments for a prolonged stay, complete with all amenities one might expect from a high-class business hotel. It has six restaurants specializing in Swiss, French, Japanese and other international cuisines. The Amrita Spa centre boasts a gym and two pools - indoors and outdoors.

Hostal de La Rábida

Everything is white in this friendly Italian-run, middle-range hotel: the mansion house which it occupies, the rooms and the rabbit that lives in the little garden into which rooms open - hence the name. There is a cosy little restaurant serving Italian and Ecuadorean meals. Wireless Internet is available.

Hotel La Cartuja

This mansion house with a large green patio occupies the site of the former British Embassy. The US and French embassies are both next door. Rooms are spacious, with comfy beds. The kind if somewhat hectic service creates a homey feel. Laundry service and Internet are available.

Hostal El Taxo

This no-frills guesthouse offers a range of private rooms and shared dorms, most with shared bath. Everything is a bit ramshackle, but the atmosphere is great and it attracts a cool crowd of hip young travellers. Breakfast is not included.

The Secret Garden

One of very few accommodation options in the historical centre, this small Australian/Ecuadorian-run hostel is of outstanding value. Full of plants and flowers (hummingbirds feeding on the nectar), it is decorated with murals - the creation of visiting artists from all around the world. The terrace on the fifth floor overlooking the colonial district is unbeatable for a late-afternoon beer.