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ensuring a bus seat back to Quito

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Ottawa, Canada
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ensuring a bus seat back to Quito

I will be in Otavalo several days in February and want to take in the Markets on a Saturday morning, however, I want to ensure I get back to Quito that day. I should be staying near the market, so can take general photos the day before, and will be up early to catch the animal market.

Can I book on a specific bus and get a seat assignment, or is there perhaps a better time of day that will have better chance to get to Quito? I will have one piece of luggage that is carry on size to also contend with.

Tucson, Arizona
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1. Re: ensuring a bus seat back to Quito

All you have to do is go to the bus terminal and hop on a bus; there will many of them returning to Quito. No doubt a bus assistant will know where you're heading and will be happy to find you a seat on his bus.

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: ensuring a bus seat back to Quito

Thanks AZ. My concern is that they will be crowded with market folks returning Saturday also.

Bus "assistant"...are these guys trying to convince people to get onto their bus, being super helpful, willing to drag your suitcase out of your arms and put it onto the bus...even if you are NOT sure they are going in your direction.....like in Africa? Or a little more civilized and reliable....and do you tip?

Edited: 30 September 2013, 18:07
Tucson, Arizona
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for Quito, Ecuador
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3. Re: ensuring a bus seat back to Quito

It's just not a problem getting a seat as there are lots of buses; if the first one leaving doesn't have a seat, find another Quito-bound bus and seat yourself. The assistant is like the conductor--he will be shouting the destination (it will sound like "aquito aquito aquito!") and will show you where to board his bus; all the way out of town and down the highway a ways, he'll be hanging out the door shouting the destination (the bus will be marked, as well). Once the bus is really underway he'll come through to collect the money. It's unlikely anyone will grab your bag away. No tip is expected.

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: ensuring a bus seat back to Quito

Thanks, AZ. I'm sure I'll know the ropes by then, but that lets me confirm up my reservations for the Saturday night. Gracias.

Benson, Arizona
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5. Re: ensuring a bus seat back to Quito

I found that often when i got to the bus station a bit early I was always told to go in a buy a ticket...that guaranteed me a seat...I did see the "assistant" ask people to move or stand if someone came in and had the ticket........I should add I always got to the stations a bit early because I did not want to stand...and the one time I did not get the ticket and stopped the bus I stood for part of it...I was not too thrilled it was very crowded...I probably should have gotten off and waited for another bus...

Edited: 30 September 2013, 21:13
Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: ensuring a bus seat back to Quito

Thanks VeniceJ. I will buy a seat then if it looks crowded.

Benson, Arizona
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7. Re: ensuring a bus seat back to Quito

it is the same price...just some security....

california
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8. Re: ensuring a bus seat back to Quito

I just did this recently, but not on the market day.

You can go inside the Otavalo bus station and buy a ticket, then through the turnstile to board the bus. This might get you on a bit ahead of those outside the station. No one seems to pay any attention to assigned seat numbers, just take whatever seat you want. If you want to take a taxi in Otavalo between bus station and the center of town, it should only be $1.

When you arrive in Quito there is a shuttle bus from the Carcelen bus station to connect to the Trole. This shuttle bus wasn't especially crowded. You can get off at the Ofelia station which is fairly secure, then get in the "C1" line. If you want a seat, just let people go ahead of you until you are near the front of the line. If carrying any kind of luggage, I would wait for a seat.

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: ensuring a bus seat back to Quito

Thanks mlgb. Yes, I will have luggage, so will most likely just taxi it once in Quito.

california
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10. Re: ensuring a bus seat back to Quito

If it matters you can save a bit by taking that shuttle bus from Carcelen to the end of the line in central Quito, and then taxi from there.

If you have to take a taxi from one end of Quito to the other it can wind up being nearly half the cost if just taking one the entire way.

I did not get very far into the research but there are apparently shared car services from the Mariscal area to Otavalo? Maybe someone else knows.

Edited: 22 October 2013, 07:20