Of the two Ecuador airports to choose from, you should pick the one that fits your travel plans while in Ecuador. Both international airports have their own advantages. Choose the option that is best for you.
This is my airport of choice, because of its location in the middle of the country. So I have easy access to my home in the Oriente (jungle). For many travelers it will have advantages as well, since you can easily travel to cities throughout the country. Within a few hours you can travel to cities on the coast and jungle. Also, because of Quito's traveler friendly atmosphere, many enjoy settling in Quito for a few days before beginning their travels.
Due to its location in middle of Quito, the old airport was unable to expand as needed. This new Quito Ecuador airport opened February 20, 2013. The new airport is located in Tababela about 11 miles northeast of the center of Quito. It has advanced technology and a much longer runway which will be able to handle larger and more aircraft.
Of course the question arises:
My hotel is in Quito not Tababela. How do we get there? There will be several options.
Option 1 - A bus system that will go non-stop into Quito 24 hours a day every 30 minutes. Cost: $8 USD for a bus. $12 for a van.
You can check out bus ticket deals and find out more information here. The downtown Quito terminal is located in the old Quito Airport.
Another is planned near the Redondel del Ciclista near Simon Bolivar. This is close to the popular Granadas and Rio Coca Streets in North Quito. From here you can catch a taxi or even get to the nearby trolley station.
Option 2 - If you would rather take a taxi straight from the airport you can. It will cost an average of $25 depending, of course, on where your final destination is Quito is.
Option 3 - Buses leaving from the Rio Coca terminal will travel to the new airport for less than a dollar each way. Note: I would not travel the bus system with lots of large luggage items.
Whatever option you choose expect to arrive in Quito an hour or more after leaving the airport.
Are there hotel option near the new airport? There are several options near the airport. Check out our Ecuador VIP program for hotels we recommend near the airport and to get a 10% discount off your stay.
What will happen to the old Quito, Ecuador airport? Plans are in place to convert the old airport into a park.
The Guayaquil airport is new as of 2006. It is located just north of the city's center. It was named "Best Airport in Latin America 2008" by Business Week Magazine.
The Guayaquil airport is perfect for those planning extensive time on the coast. If you're planning to visit the Galapagos, all flights to the Galapagos Islands go through Guayaquil. This airport is also more convenient if traveling to the south of the country: Cuenca, Loja, etc.
Both airports charge and exit tax on international flights. Make sure you have some cash ($20-30 US per person) on you when you leave. I always forget; thankfully there are ATMs nearby for emergency cash. The only fee on domestic flights is to the Galapagos.
Update! As of February 2011, the international exit tax is now included in the price of most tickets, depending on the airline you fly.
Taxis and vans are eternally present outside the airports. So there's no need to arrange a ride before hand. Many hotels offer pick-up service from the airport.
There are airports throughout the country with flights to various cities of Ecuador. Some smaller towns and cities only have weekly flights on small planes with limited seating, so check on this right away if you plan to fly. Larger towns have more regular flights.
Flight prices are usually pretty reasonable, so if you can't stand another bus ride it's a good option. For flight and airport information see tame.com.
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