Travelling in Ecuador gives explorers a way forward. The country’s small size and diverse regions opens up new avenues for the intrepid. Keep reading for a guide to renting a car and getting out and about in the Andes, the Amazon, and the coast.
Avis, Thifty, Budget, Hertz, and Enterprise are a few of the companies that rent cars in Ecuador. Things are pretty straight forward to begin with. You need to be 25, have a valid driver’s license from your home country, an international credit card, and a current passport or id. Those between 21 and 24 will often be charged a surcharge.
30 MPH in the city
55 MPH on ring roads
60 MPH per hour on highway
Ecuador is a compact country that makes getting around a pretty easy task. Driving to Canoa on the coast from Quito usually takes less than 6 hours. To Guayaquil it is about 7 hours. To Otavalo in the north is just over an hour and a half, and getting to Cotopaxi National Park takes just over 1 hour. Driving to Cuenca from Quito takes 8 hours, and further south to Loja is an 11 hour journey. One thing to consider is that, even when Ecuador is a small country, its geography changes very often, while driving you will meet high hills, gravel and dirt roads, as well as curvy roads, and in the end this adds up time behind the wheel.
Much can be found about driving in Ecuador online. A lot of articles don’t look favorably on the conditions and the rules of the road. Despite this, many strides have been made to improve roadways around the country. With these changes and the short driving distances around the country, renting a car in Ecuador is a great way to explore the different regions of the country. Practicing caution goes a long way here, and using defensive driving skills puts you ahead of the game.