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Getting there & away




All departures are from the bus terminal and the various bus companies line Guamote and 10 de Agosto. Centinela del Oriente goes to Quito ($10, 10 hours) in the morning and evening. Buses Macas offers several departures a day for Cuenca ($8.50, eight hours) and Coop Sucua goes to Gualaquiza ($8, nine hours), passing Limon and Mendez. Buses to Sucúa ($1, 45 minutes) run every 30 minutes from 6am to 7pm.

Buses north to Puyo ($4, four hours) leave several times a day; some continue to Tena. About halfway to Puyo at Chuitayo, passengers tumble out and walk across a suspension bridge over Río Pastaza to a designated second bus. Cars can cross a small bridge. The thatched hut, Aqui me Quedo, provides humor, drinks and snacks.

The old mule trail joining Macas with the highland town of Guamote (near Riobamba) is now a paved road. At the close of this edition, there was a weekend bus service but passengers were required to walk a short unfinished section and catch a second bus on the other side.

Transportes Macas runs small buses and pickup trucks to various remote parts of the province, including 9 de Octubre (for Parque Nacional Sangay) and Morona.

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Monday through Friday TAME (/fax 270 1162, 270 1978; airport) flies from Quito to Macas ($43) at 2pm and returns at 3pm. If flying from Macas to Quito, the left-hand side of the plane offers the best mountain views, including Sangay and Cotopaxi if the weather is clear.

Small aircraft can sometimes be chartered to various jungle villages, but are expensive; ask a local tour agency or guide.

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