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Banos to Cuenca Travel

Vancouver Island...
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Banos to Cuenca Travel

We will be travelling in Ecuador in July and after time in Quito, Cotopaxi day trip and then Quilotoa will be in Banos for 3 nights and then would like to head to Cuenca prior to going to Guayaquil which is our departure point for the Galapagos.

One of our main reasons to go to Cuenca is to visit El Cajas National Park although the city also looks wonderful. However, the 8 hour bus ride from Banos feels like a long way (we would have a maximum of 2-3 nights in Cuenca).

Appreciate comments if going to Cuenca is recommended if El Cajas is our focus or if we would be better to spend the extra time perhaps in another area between Quito and Banos and instead head to Guayaquil directly from Banos.

Also if anyone has a driver or transport service they would recommend from Banos to Cuenca we would welcome information.

Thank you.

Quito, Ecuador
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1. Re: Banos to Cuenca Travel


last year I did some travels trough all of Ecuador. Now, I am currently living here in Quito and I can not tell you how good it feels to be here in this fantastic eternal spring country.

The Andes are really nice, and the road from Baños to Cuenca is really long, curvy and exhausting. Originally when I was planning in Italy my first trip to Ecuador I was thinking to take buses but definetely I can not compare the bus service that we have in Europe to the one we receive in Ecuador. Buses have no lights to read, no ventilation or air conditioning, no toilets and wash rooms, and in generall they are lousy and drivers play horrible movies and music.

Once, I experienced a native person throwing up three seats to my left. It was a horrible experience, and I don't think anyone as a traveller or passenger deserves that. Sometimes people eat local foods on the buses as well and it gets really steamy and smelly. The worst is that bus drivers drive like the Moto GP Champion from Italy " Valentino Rossi", very fear less, passing on blind corners at day and night and cutting the curves right trough the double yellow line. Not my kind of experience.

It is much safer and better to rent a car or travel with a guide on a private vehicle. I would recommend with no hesitation you to try the service of Guanguiltagua Expeditions www.guanguiltagua.com and Dennis, I found them on Trip Advisor and he was my guide last year. He offered me a memorable experience.

Ecuador is a lovely country, enjoy it.

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2. Re: Banos to Cuenca Travel

Just got back from Ecuador 2 weeks ago. We had 4 nites in Cuenca & 4 nites in Banos. (Plus 4 nites in Vilcabamba) All are great....different but great. The bus ride was absolutely fine. From Banos it is a 1 hour bus ride to Ambato. ($1.50) Ambato is a bit crazy.....The "bus station" is actually a busy roadway w/ buses coming & going all the time. You will need to cross the road to catch the Cuenca bus ($7.50)......Just ask several people when the next "Cuenca" bus is coming and they will tell you. We were in Ambato by 8 a.m. and that gave us plenty of time.....We chose not to stop along the way. After the bike riding & zip-lining & hiking around Banos; we didn't feel that we needed to stop. Stay in the old city of Cuenca. Plenty to see and do....Buses leave all the time for Cajas. And it is very easy to sign up for tours too. We talked about hiring a private car---but in the end the buses were fine. Both work---just depends on your preference. [Tip: In Banos there is a NEW 6-line zip-line, run by 3 brothers. It is only $16 and it is really (really) great. Most people do not even know about it yet. Tell the taxi to take you up towards "The Treehouse", from there you will see some signs for it. Take the road until it ends....walk for 5 min. and you will see it. Afterwards, go over to "The Treehouse" for some awesome views and a swing ride that will stop ur heart! After we zip-lined, we met someone w/ a car and we all drove over 2gether. (4 miles away). Have fun~~~~

san francisco
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543 posts
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3. Re: Banos to Cuenca Travel

Don't cut Cuenca out, whatever you do. It is a really special place.

The bus can sometimes be rough, but you get to really take in the changing landscape and changing communities that you pass through. Just don't drink too much water!

4. Re: Banos to Cuenca Travel

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