Ecuador Local Information

Transport
Air:  Domestic flights to major cities on the mainland costs from $50-100 one-way, and there are often round trip promotions for about the same price. You can find domestic flight schedules online at ecuadorschedules.comand individual airlines’ schedules on their sites. Flights between the biggest cities are in jets, and some of the smaller cities are served by prop aircraft. The domestic airlines in Ecuador are LanEcuador, Tame, Aerogal and Saereo. Most of the airlines in Ecuador offer excellent service and relatively new planes. You can buy domestic air tickets from agents or directly from the airlines – some sell tickets online and you can buy them at the airport or ticket offices for those who don’t.
Bus: Intercity buses travel to almost everywhere in Ecuador. All the intercity bus routes and schedules are available online at andestransit.com orecuadorschedules.com Many cities have a central bus terminal, known as the terminal terrestre, where it is possible to buy tickets from the various bus lines that serve the city. Long-distance buses typically cost from $1 to $2 per hour, depending on the distance and the type of service; groups may be able to negotiate discounts. Buses are frequent along major routes.

Reservations or advance purchases usually aren’t needed except during peak periods such as holidays. The bathroom on the bus, if any, is usually reserved for women. However, it is permissible for men to request that the bus make a stop so that they might relieve themselves. The bus rides themselves are often quite beautiful, through mountain views in the clouds. These altitude changes cause many of the same ear pressure problems which are associated with an airplane ride.

The bus driver will stop along the way to board additional passengers. Many buses arrive at their destination with passengers standing in the aisle. There are a few first class buses, called “Ejecutivo”, which cost a little more than the regular buses. They are generally more comfortable and safer.

City buses: The cost is US $0.25.
Trolley bus: Is an organized transport system of Trolley buses, running on sole set lanes across the city north to south and feeder (alimentadores) bus lines, running to suburbs
from the northern and southern stations. The Trole has 3 routes running mainly along Av. 10 de Agosto, Ecovía along Av. 6 de Diciembre and the brand new one called MetroBus along Av. América.
The fare for the system is US $0.25.
Taxi:  Taxis are widely available. Taxis are generally yellow and have the taxi license number prominently displayed. Taxis in Quito have meters (fares under $1 are rounded up to the minimum fare of $1). Agree upon a price before getting in or ask the driver to use the meter (often cheaper than a negotiated rate); short trips generally don’t cost more than $1 or $2, and you generally shouldn’t end up paying more than $10 per hour, if that, for longer trips. Evening rates are often double. As with any country in Latin America, (or the world for that matter), don’t ride an unlicensed taxi.

List of Radio Taxi companies:

Taxi Amigo: Tel. 2222222 / 2333333 / 2222220
City Taxi: Tel. 2633333 / 2630220
Central Radio Taxis: Tel. 2406806 / 2811111 / 2267900
RTR: Tel. 2533878 / 2535600
JJ Taxi: Tel. 2639639 / 2639999 / 2628400.

Train:  The national railroad from Quito to Guayaquil (Via Lactacunga and Riobamba) is being rebuilt, but in the meantime, several sections are running for tourists. The most popular is the the Alausi to Nariz del Diablo section (this has resumed service in 2011 after a 4.6 million dollar renovation).
Regular train schedules are sporadic and located via trolley at Chimbacalle or Machángara Tel 2656142 or head office Tel. 2582921

Costs

Daily budget less than $30
» Dorm beds: $7–10; budget guesthouses: $10–15 per person
» Shopping at markets, set lunches: $2–3
» Travel by bus; forget the Galápagos

Daily budget of $30– 100
» Double room in midrange hotel: $40–60
» Dinner in good restaurant: $15–20
» Climbing, cycling and bird-watching tours: $40–80 per day
» Jungle lodges: from $250 for four days

Daily budget of over $100
» Galápagos tour with a respected operator: from $300 per day
» Top Amazon lodges: around $250 per day
» Haciendas on Cotopaxi: from $100 per day

 

Sources: http://wikitravel.org/en/Ecuador and http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ecuador/practical-information/money-costs