Getting there & away
In recent years armed robberies have been a problem on long-distance buses. Reina de Camino(230 0207; General Córdova) has the fastest, most secure service to Quito with a new ejecutivo (first class) bus at 8:15am and 8pm ($12, 11 hours). Passengers can get off at Santo Domingo de los Colorados, but cannot get on the bus, so it’s a faster service. It doesn’t stop for dinner either. Show up 20 minutes early for security checks.
Transportes Carlos A Aray (230 0178; cnr General Córdova & Machalilla) has direct buses to Quito ($10, 11 hours) at 5am, 9am and 7pm. Alternatively, you can catch the bus to Portoviejo or Manta to make connections.
Several other companies between Jipijapa and La Libertad stop at the corner of General Córdova and Machalilla at least every hour during daylight hours. These buses will drop you off at any point you want along the coast, including the surfing town of Montañita ($2.50, one hour). There are also buses to and from Santa Elena (on the south coast) about every hour.