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OMG, need travel advice

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6/9/2019 18:59 EST

I visited Ecuador several years ago, fell in love with the country and hoped to return soon. With a few delays, I am finally doing so. I booked my flight into Guayquil on 8/27 and will return home (St. Louis) on 10/29. I want to spend these two months, one in Vilcabamba and one in Cuenca. On my last trip, I rented a car, (foolish as that sounds) and spent 3 weeks touring those two cities and several coastal towns. I now want to determine just where I want to settle. Target next spring. All that said, here's my problem... Chosing not to make that harrowing drive alone through the mountains again, I thought I'd take everyone's suggestion and take a bus. Well, apparently that's a lot easier said than done. I just discovered that it will cost me around $200 and take 2 days to get to Vilca on the first leg of the trip and and equally grueling amount of time and money to return from Cuena. Any suggestions? Help??? Also, I'm embarrassed to admit that my Spanish has not improved from my last visit, so I really need a foolproof (me) plan.

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6/9/2019 23:41 EST

Where in heaven's name did you get those prices ???
From Guayaquil to Cuenca is about 3 to 4 hours by bus and costs no more than about $8 or $9 ( if that much )

Bus trip to Vilcabamba is a little longer since you'd go from the bus terminal in Guayaquil to Loja and then take a local bus to Vilcabamba. The trip to Loja should be under $10 and I believe is around 6 hours. The bus trip from Loja to Vilcabamba is $1 and takes less than an hour.

PM me if you need more assistance.

Good luck and safe travels.


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6/10/2019 01:13 EST

You might check out a web site, www.rome2rio.com for some options. There appear to be flights on Tues and Thur from Guayaguil to Catamayo, outside of Loja, then buses on to Vilcabamba. I've heard though, that Tame air often cancels flights... Maybe someone can offer reliability details. Or there are straight bus options. I think you'd actually have better options by flying into Quito, and from there fly to Cuenca, then bus to Vilca. Many more flights available. It's also usually cheaper to fly into Quito. You might end up saving money that way, even with the charge for changing your ticket. Best of luck.


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6/10/2019 11:15 EST

I got them on-line on a supposed legit travel site. Oh well, that's why I reached out...
I'll be arriving in Guayaquil around 8:30 PM. I have been warned about women traveling alone at night on buses, so I'll get accommodations near the airport. I understand the bus station is nearby.
Thanks for the info. Your info was much closer than I heard when I was down the last time. I'll reach out to the bnb that I used on my last trip and ask that they get me on the right bus.
Thanks for your reply. This is exactly why I've decided to make Ecuador my home. The people are so kind and helpful and the expats that have taken up residency, reflect this same helpful attitude.

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6/10/2019 11:19 EST

Thanks Resting,
Already booked into Guayaquil, so must find my way from there. Next time I'll think it through a little better.
I will be finding a room near the airport and take the morning bus into Loja.
Appreciate your offer of advice.

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