Arriving in Quito

Walk outside the airport terminal and take a bus (the green public transport buses, they are $2 and run from 05:50 to 20:25) or a taxi ($20+) to Quitumbe bus terminal. Ecuador uses the U.S. Dollar.

Quito Quitumbe bus terminal

At Quito Quitumbe bus terminal go to the ticket booth with cooperativa name corresponding to the bus you would like to take.

Bus times Quito Quitumbe to Gualaquiza:

Departure Cooperativa
9:30AM Touris San Francisco Oriental
5:30PM Union Yantzatza
6:15PM Touris San Francisco Oriental
7:00PM Union Yantzatza
8:00PM Nambija
8:30PM Centinela Del Oriente

If these times are not convenient for you, there are frequent (at least every 1.5 hours) buses to Macas between 7:00am and 23:15pm everyday. From there, take a bus to Gualaquiza.

Bus times Macas to Gualaquiza:

Departure Cooperativa
1:20AM Touris San Francisco Oriental
4:50AM Orient Rut
7:30AM 16 de Agosto
9:30AM Sucua
12:30PM Sucua
2:00PM 16 de Agosto
4:20PM Touris San Francisco Oriental
5:20PM 16 de Agosto
11:30 PM Orient Rut

Arriving in Guayaquil

Take a taxi from Guayaquil airport to the bus station (terminal terrestre.) It should be $4-$5 taxi ride, use an official airport taxi parked out front. Or, $2.50-$3 if you call an Uber. It is about 5-10 minutes away. Ecuador uses the U.S. Dollar.

In the bus station, on the first floor, past the long hallway of shops and restaurants, there is another long hallway of bus cooperative ticket booths. Find the one called “Alianza.”
At the Alianza booth, buy a ticket to Cuenca for $8. Say (or show them a written card) “Un boleto para Cuenca, por El Cajas.” This tells them that you want the El Cajas route, which is faster than the other route. There are buses leaving for Cuenca every hour, 24 hours a day, so you won’t have to wait long.

Alternatively, there is one direct bus to Gualaquiza from Guayaquil departing at 10am. To take this bus, in the ticket hall find the ticket booth called “Nambija”. At the ticket booth buy a ticket to Gualaquiza for $20.50.

Your ticket will say “Salida: ” followed by the time the bus leaves.
To find your bus, go up to the third floor of the bus terminal (you will need to take the escalator twice). Go out the glass doors with the sign “SP3” “Andenes 74-93.”
Your ticket will say something like “Anden: 88” which means you need to go to parking spot #88 to wait for your bus’s arrival. The name of the cooperative on the ticket should match the bus. For example, it might say “San Luis” on the ticket and so the bus will have “San Luis” on the side. It will also say “Cuenca” (or “Gualaquiza”, in the case of the direct bus to Gualaquiza) somewhere on the front window. Your ticket says “Asiento: ” with a number, to indicate your seat number. The ride should be around 4 hours (or 12 for the bus to Gualaquiza).

Once you get to Cuenca, skip ahead to where it says “Cuenca bus terminal:”

Arriving in Cuenca

Take an official airport taxi, parked out front of the arrival gate, to the Cuenca bus terminal, “terminal terrestre.” It should be a $1.50 taxi ride, minimum fare.

Cuenca bus terminal

Go to the hallways with the ticket booths. Find the cooperative “16 de Agosto” to buy a ticket for Gualaquiza. You can also find the cooperative “Cenepa / Sig Sig,” which is at the very far end of the long hallway with the turnstiles where people go out the doors to get on the buses. Go into that hallway, turn right and wall all the way to the end to find the Cenepa cooperative.

It will cost $8.75 and is about 4.5 hours ride.

Bus times Cuenca to Gualaquiza:

Departure Cooperativa
5:30 AM 16 de Agosto
6:00 AM Sig Sig / Cenepa
10:00 AM 16 de Agosto
12:00 PM Sig Sig / Cenepa
2:00 PM 16 de Agosto
4:00 PM Sig Sig / Cenepa
4:30 PM 16 de Agosto
7:00 PM 16 de Agosto
8:00 PM 16 de Agosto
11:00 PM Sig Sig / Cenepa

When you have your ticket and it is about 10 minutes before the bus will depart, exit via the turnstile that is closest to the booth where you bought the ticket. You will need to have a dime (USD ten-cent coin) to put in the little machine before the turnstile, this is the bus terminal tax. It will give you a little receipt, then you give the receipt to the guard who will wave you through the turnstile. Then you find the bus of the same cooperative that you bought the ticket from, that will say “Gualaquiza” on the front window, get on and find your seat. Your seat number is indicated by “Asiento” on your ticket.

Gualaquiza bus terminal

When you arrive in Gualaquiza, you will take a taxi to join us at the festival.