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Ecuador: How To Travel From Baños to Puerto López 

As tends to happen to us on an ever-increasing basis, when looking into the next leg of our journey, we were faced with an overwhelming lack of online information. Apparently, not many people travel straight from Baños to Puerto Lopez, or if they have done they haven’t written about it.

So we packed our bags and our “we’ll figure it out” attitudes and walked to the local bus station. Once we got there and asked around we found ourselves a route and settled in for the ride. Here’s how we did it:

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From the local bus station on Calle Amazonas, buses depart every 15 mins (from 4.30 am-7.30 pm). The journey takes about 45 mins and costs $1.10


The bus will drop you on the side of the road pretty far from the main bus terminal in Ambato. Make sure to listen out for your stop, or ask the assistant to let you know when there. From here taxis cost $2. We recommend you get a cab… it’d be a long walk. Try cab share like we did as a few locals should be heading this way too.

Once you get to the Ambato Bus terminal there are a number of food places upstairs with good lunch deals. Big plates of home-cooked food from $3.50 (not bad for bus station prices), try the Llapingachos.


From Ambato, we took an overnight bus with a company called Cooperativa de Carlos xxx. When you enter the terminal go left and it’s about 4/5 gates down. Buses leave between 8 pm-10 pm, when we arrived there was an extra bus due to the high demand, handy! The price ranged from around $16-$18. The lady Stored our bags for free, allowing us to bail off for some grub, which was nice. The journey takes around 8 to 10 hours.


The terminal in Santa Elena is a large car park with a run-down building attached, better described as a bit of a shit hole. We arrived in Santa Elena before sunrise, Buses are running at this time, starting, we think, from around 4 a.m. DO NOT HAVE COFFEE in the terminal, it’s the worst coffee in the world. Trust us.

Ask the ayudantes which bus to take from the terminal in Santa Elena to Puerto Lopez. They run every 15 or 20 minutes. Estimated travel time is about 3 hours. Transport companies doing the trip are Reina del Camino, Coactur, Freedom Peninsular, etc. The fare is around $5.

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Keep on truckin’



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