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:
From Baños to Ambato:
From the local bus station on Calle Amazonas, busses depart every 15 mins (from 4.30am-7.30pm). The journey takes about 45mins and costs $1.10
Taxi to Ambato Bus Terminal:
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 asistente 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 Amabato 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 to Santa Elena:
From Ambato we took overnight bus with a company called Cooperativa de Carlos xxx. When you enter the terminal go left and its about 4/5 gates down. Busses leave between 8pm-10pm, 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.
From Santa Elena to Puerto López:
The terminal in Santa Elena is a large carpark with a run down building attached, better described as a bit of a shit hole.
We arrived into Santa Elena before sunrise, busses are running at this time, starting, we think, from around 4am. DO NOT HAVE COFFEE in the terminal, it’s the worst goddam 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.
If there is anything to update, add or answer – pop a comment below or email us on Luke[at]theungracefulguide.com
Keep on truckin’