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Quito

Quito with the Cotopaxi volcano

Practical Info about Quito

Getting around the city

Getting around Quito is easy and very cheap. The long, narrow city is served by three types of buses. The populares, light blue in colour, cost only around 18 US cents a ride, but are generally very crowded. Pink interparroquial buses carry passengers to the outer suburbs, and bright red selectivos are the more luxurious option which cost around US$0.25 a ride and allow no standing passengers. Eco-friendly electric trolley buses, called troles, follow two north-south routes along the Av. 10 de Agosto and the Av. 6 de Diciembre. Taxis are plentiful and also inexpensive, costing only a US Dollar or two for an average ride in the city.

Time

Local time is GMT -5.

Electricity

Electrical current is 120 volts, 60Hz. Two-pin plugs are standard.

Currency

The US Dollar (USD) is the official currency in Ecuador. It is recommended that travellers bring both US dollar notes and traveller's cheques as other foreign currencies are difficult to exchange outside of Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca. Small denominations in good condition are the easiest to exchange outside of the main cities. In the main centres most currencies can be exchanged at banks and exchange houses (casas de cambio) at variable commission rates. ATMs are available in the cities, and major credit cards are accepted in tourist areas and large hotels, although a commission of 6-8% is often charged.

Communication

The international access code for Ecuador is +593. Calls made from hotel rooms can be expensive, but public telephones can be found in most public buildings in the main cities. The most cost-effective way to telephone internationally is from call centres, which are located in most towns and cities. They also offer fax services and sometimes Internet, although internet cafes are available in the main towns. The local cell phone network uses GSM; European, Australian and phones from other non-GSM networks will not work but cell phones can be rented at the airport or at cellular phone shops.

Emergency number

101 (Police); 131 (Ambulance)

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
Carnival 3 Mar 16 Feb
Good Friday 18 Apr 3 Apr
Labour Day 1 May 1 May
Battle of Pichincha Day 24 May 24 May
Independence Day 10 Aug 10 Aug
Independence of Guayaquil 9 Oct 9 Oct
All Souls Day 2 Nov 2 Nov
Independence of Cuenca 3 Nov 3 Nov
Foundation of Quito 6 Dec 6 Dec
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec

Climate

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Quito has a subtropical highland climate. The city has a fairly constant cool climate due to its elevation and proximity to the equator. The average temperature during the day is 66°F (19°C), which generally falls to an average of 50°F (10°C) at night. The average temperature annually is 64°F (15°C). There are only really two obvious seasons in the city: dry and wet. The dry season (summer) runs from June to September, and the wet season (winter) is from October to May.

Mariscal Sucre International Airport

www.aeropuertoquito.aero

Getting to the city

Taxis are available outside the terminal, and there are bus services available. Where possible, use the free bus transfers provided by your hotel; arrange this in advance.

Car rental

Avis, Budget and Hertz are represented at the airport along with some local companies.

Airport taxi's

Taxis are readily available for transfers into the city. Insist that the meter is turned on at the start of the ride. Taxi vouchers can be bought outside of the Arrivals terminal. An average fare to the centre of Quito is around US$26.

Transfer between terminals

There are two terminals, linked by a pedestrian walkway.

Facilities

Facilities include shops, restaurants, cafes, duty-free shopping and tourist information desks. Banks, ATMs and currency exchange are available. There is also telephone and Internet access. Passengers with special needs are catered for and a wheelchair service is available on request.

Parking

Long and short-term parking is available, charged at US$2 for the first hour and US$1.50 for each additional hour.

Internet

There is free wifi throughout the airport.