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Getting there & away

Local transport


If you’re rushing to Quito, try Taxis Lagos (295 5150; Flores 9-24). Six passengers can cram into a large taxi and get dropped off wherever they want in Quito ($8, 2¼ hours).

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Ibarra’s new bus terminal, Terminal Terrestre, is located at the end of Avenida Teodoro Gomez de la Torre. You can grab a taxi to/from downtown for $1. The following (apart from Transportes La Esperanza) depart from here:

Aerotaxi (295 5200) goes to Quito, Guayaquil ($9, 10 hours), Esmeraldas ($8, nine hours), Atacames ($9, nine hours) and San Lorenzo ($4, 3½ to four hours).

Cita Express (295 5627) goes to Ambato ($5, five hours) via El Quinche.

Expreso Turismo (295 5730) goes to Tulcán every 45 minutes and Quito ($2, 2½ hours).

Flota Imbabura (295 1094) goes to Quito ($2, 2½ hours), Tulcán ($2, 2½ hours), Guayaquil ($10, 11 hours), Cuenca ($14, 12 hours) and Manta ($10, 12 hours).

Transportes Andina(295 0833) At the same terminal as Flota Imbabura, goes to Quito ($2.50, 2½ hours) every 10 minutes and Santo Domingo ($4, six hours) every half-hour.

Transportes del ValleGoes four times daily to Chota Valley. It also goes to Lago Agrío at 9:45am ($8, eight hours) and San Lorenzo.

Transportes Espejo (295 9917) Serves Quito, San Lorenzo and has a service to El Ángel ($1.25, 1½ hours) seven times a day.

Transportes La Esperanza (Parque Grijalva near Sanchez y Cifuentes) Goes to the village of La Esperanza ($0.20, 20 minutes).

Transportes Otavalo/LosLagos (295 5593) Heads regularly to Otavalo ($0.35, 35 minutes).


Since the road opened to the coastal town of San Lorenzo, the train service on the Ibarra–San Lorenzo line has been suspended. There are, autoferros (buses mounted on a train chassis) that go as far as the point known as Primer Paso ($3.80 one way, 1¾ hours), less than a quarter of the way from Ibarra to San Lorenzo. The short ride is now essentially a round-trip tourist attraction. Alternatively, you can get off at Primer Paso and wait for a passing bus to San Lorenzo.

The autoferro only leaves Ibarra with a minimum of 16 passengers. It leaves the train station at Ibarra at 7am Monday through Friday and at 8am on Saturday and Sunday. The return ride departs Primer Paso at 2pm. In tourist low-season cancelled departures are the norm. Call the train station (295 0390) or check out www.imbaburaturismo.gov.ec (in Spanish) for the latest information.

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