International Flights to Ecuador

International Flights to Ecuador

There are two international airports in Ecuador: Quito, UIO and Guayaquil, GYE. Most travelers fly into Quito, which has a new international airport since February 2013. The new Mitad del Mundo Airport, is nearly a one hour drive east of Quito near the small town of Tababela. About 35 buses per day run from Ave. Los Granados in the North of Quito via Avenida Simón Bolívar to the terminal. The buses leave every 20 to 30 minutes and cost $8 to 12 per person.

All flights to the Galapagos originate in Quito or Guayaquil, see the Ecuador domestic flights page for more info.

From the United States and Canada

Flights from the US are always routed through Miami, Houston, Atlanta or New York. There are no direct flights from Canada.

From Europe

Flights to Ecuador leave from London, Madrid, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt and almost all include at least one layover.

From Latin America

There are regular flights from Bogota, Caracas, Lima, and Santiago de Chile to both Quito and Guayaquil.  From Central America there is a daily flight from San Jose, Costa Rica and from Panama. There are few deals to be had when flying between Latin American countries. Trans-border fares between Latin American cities can easily cost as much as flying from North America, despite the shorter distances. Many travelers prefer to fly to the border and cross the border by bus in order to save money.

Flight Prices

Ticket prices vary starting at USD 600 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 1 and December 15 to Jan 2. Expect to pay a lot more for your ticket if you intend to fly during these periods.

Arriving in Quito

Both international and domestic flights to Quito will land at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport, located in the city and just a few minutes from most of Quito’s hotels. Most important to remember is that Quito is situated at almost 3,000 meters (9,900 feet) and that the airport offers no covered walkways between the terminal and the planes. Bring a jacket and/or raincoat, particularly if you are arriving at night.

Upon entering the airport, you will immediately get into the immigration line. Flights tend to all land at once making for huge lines in immigration. If you are going to be in Ecuador for 90 days, make sure to say so or the customs official may give you less.

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 1.00. To assure its safe return, an attendant will accompany you and the cart outside the terminal. A small tip is expected. Non-passengers are not allowed into the terminal so if someone is meeting you they will have to wait outside. Ecuador is one of the few countries who x-ray your baggage while leaving the airport. This is Ecuador’s way of doing customs, as many locals bring in cheap un taxed goods, Ecuador checks all bags.

The airport features adequate services, but limited in comparison with what you would find in a US or European airport, especially since most flights arrive at night when most services are closed. Pay phones are located in the departure section of the terminal, which may or may not be open depending on the time of day. To use a pay phone you will need a phone card or tokens and there is usually someone selling them nearby. However, if you arrive at night, you may have problems changing money or using the phone. Ecuador uses the US dollar, so best to change some money in your home country if needed.

Try to arrange to be picked up before arriving in Quito. Another option is to take a taxi; drivers are happy to accept US dollars at any time (don’t pay more than USD 5 for a taxi to most anywhere in Quito).

Departing from Quito and Airport Tax

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  3 hours in advance. As of 2012 there is no longer a airport departure tax on international flights, or more precisely all taxes are included in the price of tickets.

On your way out, you will again pass through immigration and will receive an exit stamp. Depending on the day and your destination, it may be necessary to pass through several bag-checks, carry-on baggage could be hand-searched. Remember if flying to or through the US, all of the limits on  liquids and other items apply just as if you were flying within the US.

Related Pages

Provider Spotlight

Free Galapagos Trip Planner at Galapagos Islands .com – easily plan your Galapagos vacation online, find great value, and a wide selection of customized Galapagos cruises and vacations.

Galapagos Tour Experts – Adventure Life Specialize in luxury Galapagos cruises, and land-based Galapagos tours. Adventure Life can help you design the perfect trip to Ecuador. As seen in Outside Magazine, NatGeo, and the New York Times.

Voyager Galapagos Tours haS excellent Galapagos cruise deals & last-minute offers, and land-based Galapagos tours (aka Island Hopping).

Galapagos & Ecuador Insiders use their local expertise to assist you in planning the perfect Galapagos cruise or Ecuador tour for your precise budget, needs, and interests.

Latin Trails craft customized journeys to the Galapagos Islands, the Ecuador mainland, the Amazon rainforest, and Peru. They operate the highly-rated Galapagos cruising yacht: Seaman Journey and the day tour yacht the Galapagos Hopper.

Andando Tours – Pioneers in Galapagos tourism. Two generations of sailing and shipbuilding showcase unparalleled knowledge in creating the most unique Galapagos Cruises. Owners & Operators of S/S Mary Anne & M/Y Passion.

Gulliver Expeditions – Learn more about our Ecuador ToursPeru ToursEcuador Climbing Expeditions, Galapagos Land Tours, and Machu Picchu Tours. Gulliver Expeditions offer fantastic travel experiences since 2005.

Surtrek Galapagos Cruises – has offered exceptional custom-designed trips to the Galapagos for over 20 years. They now bring their brand of off-the-beaten-path trips to other countries in South America such as Peru’s Machu PicchuBolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flats, and Chile’s Atacama Desert.

ViaNatura – provides excellent value Galapagos cruises on the Monserrat yacht, a luxury cruise experience on the Hermes yacht, and a variety of tours in Ecuador and Peru.

Exclusive Galapagos Cruises, part of the EQ Touring group – specializes in private Galapagos yacht charters. They can help your group find the perfect yacht that matches your needs at a price negotiated by a true insider who has been doing charters in the Galapagos for decades.