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Getting there & away




Machala has no central bus terminal. There are CIFA (293 1164; Guayas & Bolivar) buses that go to the Peruvian border at Huaquillas ($1.50, 1½ hours) every 20 minutes during daylight from the corner of Bolívar and Guayas. These buses go via the towns of Santa Rosa and Arenillas.

CIFA buses also go to Guayaquil ($4.50, three hours) from its depot on 9 de Octubre near Tarqui. Rutas Orenses (293 7661; Rocafuerte near Tarqui) and Ecuatoriana Pullman (293 1164; 9 de Octubre near Colón) have more comfortable air-conditioned buses and frequent services to Guayaquil as well.

Piñas Interprovincial (229 3689; Colón & Rocafuerte) and Transportes TAC (Colón) both leave regularly from early morning to around 7pm for Piñas ($2, two hours) and Zaruma ($3, three hours).

Panamericana (293 0141; Colón & Rocafuerte) has regular daily buses to Quito ($7, 11 hours). It also has buses to Santo Domingo ($6, eight hours) and an evening bus to Tulcán. Transportes Occidentales (Buenavista & Olmedo) has regular buses to Quito and a night bus to Esmeraldas ($7, nine hours).

CooperativePullmanAzuay (293 0539; Sucre at Tarqui) has many buses daily to Cuenca ($3.60, four hours). A few direct buses take three hours.

Transportes Cooperativa Loja (293 2030; Tarqui & Bolivar) goes to Loja ($4.50) several times a day; the ride takes six to seven hours on the old (but very scenic) dirt road via Piñas and four to five hours on the newer paved road.

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Weekday morning flights to Guayaquil ($30), continuing to Quito ($55), are available with TAME (293 0139; www.tame.com.ec ; Montalvo near Pichincha). The airport is barely 1km from downtown and a taxi ride there will cost about $1. If you’re on foot, walk southwest along Montalvo.

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