Planning Guide

Our team has travelled all over the country in search of the best experiences travelers can enjoy. Our Ecuador itineraries are really just the starting point for you to add your own adventures! You’re in charge and can adjust your Wanderbus plans as you go.

ROUTE TIMETABLES

Now you’ve got an idea of where you’ll start, how long you’ll travel for and what you might do. 😎

Now take a look at our route timetables. Each Wanderbus pass is made up of from 1 to 4 routes. Along each route, you can choose to hop off at the intermediate stops along the way (for example, Quilotoa, Guayaquil or Alausí for the Devil’s Nose Train).

Quito - Baños Route

Available departures from Quito: 6:10 – 6:30 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

Pickup Points

Point 1: Plaza Foch 6:10 am. View map
Point 2: Plaza Belmonte 6:30. View map

Schedule

6:00-07:00 – Depart from Quito from your selected pick-up point.
8:00 – Stop for Breakfast
09:00 – Guidance at Cotopaxi National Park, home to one of the world’s highest active volcanoes.
11:30 – Depart Cotopaxi.
12:00 – Short visit to charming Pujili, a town famous for its dancers. Traditional lunch.
13:00 – Depart Pujili.
14:15 – Guidance at Quilotoa. Explore the 3km-wide turquoise volcanic crater lake.
16:15 – Depart Quilotoa.
19:30-20:00 – Arrive in Baños, home to steaming volcanoes, explosive waterfalls and hot thermal springs.

Baños - Cuenca Route

Available departures from Baños: 6:30 – 7:00 (Tuesday, Thursday y Saturday)

Pickup Points

Point 1: Baños bus terminal 6:30 am. View map
Point 2: Parque la Basílica (main entrance to the Cathedral) 6:40 am. View map

Schedule

6:30-07:00 – Depart from Baños from your selected pick-up point.
9:30 – 15-minute stop at the mirror-like Colta lake and Balbanera church for photos.
10:00 – Visit Guamote or Riobamba to explore one of the most authentic markets in the country.
11:00 – Depart Guamote or Riobamba.
12:00 – Guidance at Ozogoche, 45 lagoons for hiking, fishing and spotting highland wildlife and landscapes.
13:00 – Lunch at Ozogoche, made by the local community.
14:30 – Depart Ozogoche.
15:00 – Short stop to visit Alausi. Those who wish to take the train hop off at Alausi.
19:30-20:00 – Arrive in Cuenca, ready to explore one of South America’s most intact colonial cities.

** Those who wish to take the train hop off at Alausi

Cuenca - Montañita Route

Available departures from Cuenca: 6:30 – 7:00 (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)

Pickup Points

Point 1: Parque Calderón (main entrance to the Cathedral) 7:00 am. View map

Schedule

07:00 – Depart from Cuenca from your selected pick-up point.
08:00 – Guidance at El Cajas National Park for a wet and wild adventure among 200 lakes.
09:15 – Depart from El Cajas.
09:30 Stop for breakfast.
11:30 – Visit at hacienda for the cacao experience and lunch.
13:00 – Depart hacienda.
15:15 – Arrive in Guayaquil to drop off/pick up those who wish to stay here.
18:30 – Arrive in Montañita in time to catch the sunset and hit the party scene.

Montañita - Quito Route

Available departures from Montañita: 6:30 – 7:00 (Thursday, Saturday, Monday)

Pickup Points

Point 1: Main road, at Selina hostal 6:50 am.
Point 2: “Surfista” car park towards La Punta 7:00 am.

Schedule

06:50 – 7:00 – Depart from Montañita from your selected pick-up point.
08:00 – Pick up in Puerto Lopez
08:30 – 09: 30 – Cooking experience: Make your own traditional breakfast at Puerto Cayo beach
14:00 – 14:30 – Stop for lunch
18:30 – 19:00 – Arrive in Quito and be dropped off at one of our points.

POSSIBLE HOP OFF POINTS

The Wanderbus makes it easy to hop on and hop off wherever you are in Ecuador. If you stay in the “tourist-friendly” neighbourhoods of Quito, Baños, Cuenca and Montañita, then our points will always be within a 5-10 minute walk of your accommodation.

When you hop off at one of our stops, your guide will clarify what day and what time the next Wanderbus will be passing through. The only thing we can’t do is let you on or drop you off at stops that aren’t part of our itineraries and schedules. We are not a public transport company and value the experience of our Wanderbus passengers travelling together. Last but not least, we will always put your safety first.

Guayaquil 15:15 (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)

At Holiday Inn Guayaquil Airport.

Cotopaxi 11:15 – 11:30 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

South Entrance to the National Park (accessed from the Panamericana E35)

Quilotoa 16:15 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

In front of the information point at the entrance to the lagoon.

Riobamba 8:30 (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)

In the Plaza Roja View map

Guamote 10:45 (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)

Train station

Ozogoche/ Alausi 15:15 (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)

In Alausi at the train station (View map)

Puerto Lopez 08:00 (Thursday, Saturday, Monday)

Parque Nacional Machalilla Headquarters. View map

TIPS FOR YOUR PLANNING

1. Know your starting point.

If you’re coming overland from Peru, your start point will be Guayaquil or Montañita. If entering overland from Colombia, you’ll start in Quito. If you want to start anywhere else, you can!

2. Plan how many days you want to travel in Ecuador for.

This will help you to know which of our Passes is the best for you.

3. Choose where you want to go and what you to do.

Don’t overlook Quito. It’s a great city to explore for a couple of days, but then again, Ecuador has loads to offer!

Cotopaxi

You need two days to summit the volcano and need to be acclimatized. There are no hostels inside the National Park. Please get in touch to plan your adventure.

Quilotoa

You need four days to the do the entire ‘loop’. But in two days you can explore the whole area on great treks, and kayaking in the crater lake. We can advise you.

Baños

The adventure capital of Ecuador! There are loads of activities. If you’re really into adventure, two days won’t be enough. For a visit to the Amazon rainforest, we strongly recommend going for at least 3 days. There are also 1-day trips down to Puyo and back.

Riobamba

The jumping-off point for Chimborazo Volcano and for discovering indigenous cultures and rural ways.

Ozogoche and Alausí

We recommend taking two days to camp or stay with the community of Ozogoche and also take the Devil’s Nose train ride. It departs twice daily in the mornings.

Cuenca

A great city to enjoy art, architecture, music, crafts and more. Or take to the nearby hills for all sorts of adventures. Also the Ingapirca ruins to the north.

Guayaquil

Often overlooked but young, fun, dynamic and with captivating pockets of green spaces. Easy to connect with national and international flights, including the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos Islands

Plan on at least 3 nights to do this stunning archipelago justice. We can help you book some great island-hopping tours or cruises.

Montañita

Famed for its party atmosphere, great stretch of beach with good surfing and laid-back vibe. Many people plan to stay for a few days and end up staying for weeks!

Puerto López

An important port for fishing on the Pacific Coast, it’s got a decent beach and good restaurants to sample the local cuisine. Jumping off point for Isla de la Plata (the “poor man’s Galapagos”), whale-watching trips (June to September), and exploring the coast further north.

4. Choose your pass!

Once you book your pass, you’ll be able to log in to your account and adapt it to the way you want to travel the country. You will be able to choose the day you want to depart from every stop according to our timetables, and select your pick up point(s) in each town along our routes

5. Adapt your trip according to our timetables

But don’t stress if you have doubts: you can change your itinerary as many times as you like for no extra cost.

6. Make or change your booking

Make sure to confirm your bus or any changes you want to make at least 24 hours before departure so that we have time to organise access to national parks, meals with the local communities, logistics, etc. You won’t be able to change your departure date from any point less than 24 hours before departure.

DEPARTURE DAYS

1

Monday:
QUITO > Baños

Tuesday:
Baños > Cuenca

Wednesday:
Cuenca > Montañita

Thursday:
Montañita > Quito

2

Wednesday:
QUITO > Baños

Thursday:
Baños > Cuenca

Friday:
Cuenca > Montañita

Saturday:
Montañita > Quito

3

Friday:
QUITO > Baños

Saturday:
Baños > Cuenca

Sunday:
Cuenca > Montañita

Monday:
Montañita > Quito

Important

1) Please remember, if you hop off at a stop along the way, your departure day will be the same as that route’s starting point, and according to the timetable shown above. For example, if you hop off at Quilotoa Crater, on the Quito-Baños route, you will need to hop on again on the same days as the Quito-Baños route (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). Please check our Pick-Up & Drop-off times and locations.

2) Each route has a different operation day, so please make sure you check on what day the route you want to take operates.

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