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Airports in Ecuador
There are two international airports in Ecuador: Quito and Guayaquil. Most travelers fly into Quito. All flights to the Galapagos also originate in Quito or Guayaquil.
Flights from the US are always routed through Miami, Houston, and New York, with thousands of connecting flights from other cities. There are no direct flights from Canada. You must have a connecting flight to one of the three American cities listed above.
Flights to Ecuador leave from London, Madrid, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt and all include at least one layover.
Ticket prices vary starting at around USD 300 from New York or Miami during low season. The price of your ticket will usually depends on four factors:
Season: The peak tourist seasons are from June 15 to September 30 and December 15 to 24. Expect to pay a lot more for your ticket if you intend to fly during these periods.
Length of stay: A ticket valid for the minimum stay (30 days) will cost less than a ticket that allows you to stay longer than that.
Time of Purchase: The earlier your buy your ticket the less you will have to pay. The exception for this is last minute tickets sold by consolidator companies, which can often offer great savings.
Discounts: An international student card entitles you to discounts on economy-class airfare. These seats are the quickest to sell out, so book early!
For the best deals on flights to Ecuador, especially during non-peak season, we highly recommend Exito Travel.
Both international and domestic flights to Quito will land at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport,
which was formerly located in the middle of he city just minutes away from all the hotels. In February 2013, the airport was moved to the outskirts of the city, consequently making the journey to and from the airport a little longer. On average, travel time lasts about an hour to an hour and a half, with times fluctuating based on the traffic and the time of day. The most important thing to realize is that Quito is located at 3,000 meters (9,900 feet) above sea level, and therefore a sweater or jacket is highly recommended upon arrival.
Upon entering the airport, you will immediately get into the immigration line. If you are going to be in Ecuador for 90 days, make sure to say so or the customs official will give you less.
Claiming baggage will take about 20 minutes. If you don’t see your luggage on the carousel, be sure to check the floor, as bags are mysteriously thrown there on occasion. Next to the carousel there are trolley carts; these can be rented for USD 2.00. Non-passengers are not allowed into the terminal so if someone is meeting you they will have to wait outside. It’s advised that you coordinate your pick-up prior to landing in Quito given that, with the current distance between the airport and the city, the cost of taxis has gone up considerably. Alternatively, there are wi-fi equipped private buses that leave every half hour that cost USD 8.00.
Taking an international flight out of Quito, as with any other major city, means giving yourself plenty of time. It is generally recommended that you arrive at the airport at least 2 hours in advance. Remember that airport tax is already included in your airline ticket.
On your way out, you will again pass through immigration and will receive an exit stamp. As when arriving, non-passengers will not be allowed past the airport lobby into the ticketing area, so say your good-byes there! Depending on the day and time, you may be required to pass through several bag-checks, with carry-on baggage potentially being hand-searched.