Ecuador

How to travel from Guayaquil to Cuenca

Johan Klok | Last update: August 30, 2021

Introduction

There are several ways to get from Guayaquil and its Guayaquil Airport to Cuenca: by car, bus, minibus, van, taxi, or airplane.

Car

There are routes to travel from Guayaquil to Cuenca.

Guayaquil - Durán - Puerto Inca - Molleturo - Cuenca

This route is closed until at least December 2021 because of a landslide between Molleturo and Cuenca. When this road is open again, you will elevate to over 4,000 meters in the Cajas National Park, which you will pass between Molleturo and Cuenca. To use the road between Durán and Puerto Inca, you have to pay twice $ 1.00 at a toll station. Near Molleturo, various restaurants are open until late and offer beautiful views over the coastal region. The length of this route is 175 km and the total duration of your trip will be about 3.5 hours.

Warning: because the possiblity of landslides (especially when there is a lot of rainfall), it’s not recommendable to drive at night between Puerto Inca and Cuenca.

Guayaquil - Durán - El Triunfo - Zhud - Cañar - Cuenca

This is an alternative route to travel from Guayaquil to Cuenca. This route has much more freight traffic because trucks are not allowed to ride through the El Cajas National Park. The length of this route is 247 km and the duration of your trip will be about 5 hours.

Bus

Buses from Guayaquil to Cuenca depart from the Terminal Terrestre de Guayaquil, Guayaquil’s large and modern bus terminal that includes a shopping center and a food court. You’ll find the bus terminal next to the airport, but it’s convenient and safer to take a taxi from the airport to the bus terminal than to walk. Taxi drivers usually ask too much for this short trip of fewer than five minutes: take into account about $4.

Buses depart about 30 minutes during the day and every hour during the evening. There are currently no night buses. The price is about $9, including luggage. Because the road through the El Cajas National Park is currently closed, all buses have to take the longer route via Cañar. The travel time is about 5.5 hours. When the route through the El Cajas National Park is available again, the travel time will be about 4 hours.

You can buy your ticket at ticket booth 51 in the bus terminal. You’ll usually receive a ticket for the next bus. Because the buses for Cuenca depart from level 2 (which means that you have to take an escalator twice), you may have to hurry once you have received your ticket. If you want to spend more time in the bus terminal, you should ask for a ticket for a later bus.

The destination of the buses in Cuenca is the Cuenca bus terminal. From here you can take another bus, a tram or a taxi to your final destination.

From Guayaquil Airport

You can take a 5-minute tax ride from Guayaquil Airport to the Terminal Terrestre de Guayaquil. The price is about $4. An alternative is to walk to the Terminal Terrestre. This will take about 10 minutes, but it's not safe when it's dark or when you have luggage.

Van

Operazuaytur
Operazuaytur.

Several companies operate vans between Guayaquil and Cuenca. The price is usually around $ 12 per person, including luggage.

The van operators are all located near the airport. To get from the airport to your van operator of choice, you should take a taxi.

Companies that operate vans between Guayaquil and Cuenca include:

It's always possible to ask the van driver to make a sanitary stop. The travel time with a van is about 5 hours, but some vans stop at a restaurant, which will increase the travel time.

Taxi

A taxi from Guayaquil Airport to Cuenca costs about $120. The travel time is about 5 hours. Not all taxi drivers will offer this trip.

Airplane

There are no direct flights between Guayaquil and Cuenca anymore. It’s possible to first fly to Quito and then from Quito to Cuenca. LATAM flies on both routes.