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Best way to get from Quito to Cuenca and back

New England
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Best way to get from Quito to Cuenca and back

We will be staying in Quito and want to visit Cuenca and some cities or towns along the way. However, we won't have time to take the bus (or a hired car?) round-trip. Does anyone know about flights between Quito and Cuenca -- who flys that route and how easy it is to book? We thought we might fly down and then take a bus or car back. Any advice about things to do along the way would be appreciated.

Beirut, Lebanon
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1. Re: Best way to get from Quito to Cuenca and back

flying is a great option, you can get tix for $50pp one way. Tame, Aerogal and Icaro all fly there - they are all acceptable airlines. I don't know how to book from outside of the country, I would contact a travel agency within Ecuador if your travel agent can't do it (or you may be able to book them online of course!)

On the way back, be SURE to stop at Ingapirca, which is a very interesting site - Incan ruins on top of Canari (the local culture) ruins. The Inn there is a nice place to say, I can't remember what it's called, but the one within the site. Posada something...

You can also stop in alausi on the way back, and take the train at the Devil's Nose. The hotels in Alausi are just for backpackers, the nicest place to stay nearby is the Hacienda (or Hostal) Primavera in Huigra, a few miles away.

Go a little out of your way on the return, and visit Banos, or stay at an hacienda near Patate (Hda Patate or Leito). Riobamba is only worth a stop of a couple of hours, and I'd say the same for Ambato. However, just outside of Ambato is the leather village of Quizapincha (or Quisapincha), that has great deals on leather purses and coats (better than the more famous Cotacachi up north).

And once you reach Cotopaxi, stop for a day - stay at an hacienda such as San Agustin, La Cienaga, Hato Verde or La Alegria. Visit the volcano.

All this is much easier with a rental car, which I find very manageable outside of Quito. The problem is directions, so it would help if you speak spanish, because things aren't necessarily well signed.

Fayetteville...
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2. Re: Best way to get from Quito to Cuenca and back

RosielaRue

We always book our flights with Tame from here in the states, my daughter went last week and her ticket was waiting for her. I have heard the other airlines sometimes offer a better price but I have never tried them to know how well there reservation system is from outsided the country and do not want to risk having any problems. Anyway first take a look at their web site so you can decide which flight you want. www.tame.com.ec. Click on the british flag in the right hand corner for english. There are several flights to choose from. You will not be able to reserve from their web site. So write them an email with all your info and what flight you want. www.reservas@tame.com.ec My daughter heard back with a confirmation # the same day. Have a great trip!

Fayetteville...
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3. Re: Best way to get from Quito to Cuenca and back

Oops forget to mention a few things! They will not let you purchase your ticktet from outside of Ecuador. So you will just be making a reservation. They have an office in the Airport so you will need to let them know when you will be picking up and paying for your ticket.

Galicia, ES
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4. Re: Best way to get from Quito to Cuenca and back

Probably the best way if you really want to travel throughout the country, is as this:

Rent a car in Quito, Depart at, 10am. you will be in Riobamba around 13h00. You may have lunch or proceed, If for any reason you arrive to Tambo by 17h00, consider to stay in Posada Ingapirca, Fantastic astronomic views. The Incas had and astronomic temple, which is to be said the onli eliptic-shape temple in the entire empire. Nice dinner and warm beds, hot water and standard breakfast. If you arrive to Cuenca by late afternoon, go to downtown and search a room in one of the following hotels: Santa Lucia, Victoria, Mansion Alcazar, Carvallo.

For the way back, consider the way to Guayaquil and spending a night in the city. Next day yo may arrive in Quito after 7 hours of nice views

Portland, OR
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5. Re: Best way to get from Quito to Cuenca and back

I am also curious about this so topping to get another answer or two. I haven't done any research yet because I just had a major change of plans for what was to be 2 months in Peru and Bolivia.

I just crossed Bolivia off my list and I will be spending a month in Ecuador instead.

If one were to take a bus directly from Cuenco to Quito, how long would it take?

Thanks!

Galicia, ES
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6. Re: Best way to get from Quito to Cuenca and back

Bus trip from Cuenca to Quito will take you 12 hours

Regards,

Fayetteville...
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7. Re: Best way to get from Quito to Cuenca and back

12 sounds about right, a section of the road is in really bad shape right now becouse of all the rain.

8. Re: Best way to get from Quito to Cuenca and back

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