|Cuenca Bus Terminal|
Many folks wanted to know how we got from Cuenca to Puerto Lopez. The bad news is there are no direct “flights,” so you will have some bus transfers. You only need a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish to get around in bus terminals, so don’t let that stop you. The good news: it’s probably better than any recent flight you have taken!
|Guayaquil Bus Terminal|
Cuenca to Guayaquil via Super Semeria (newer bus line). Cost: $8.00. The San Luis bus line is also nice. We went to the “terminal terrestre” in Cuenca, bought our ticket and we were on our way in 15 minutes. Buses leave every 20 to 30 minutes to Guayaquil. Total travel time: 3-1/2 hours.
The “terminal terrestre” in Guayaquil is a modern three-story building with a food court, including McDonalds and Sweet and Coffee (Ecuador’s version of Starbucks), and a shopping mall! Since we were there for the July 25th holiday, there were a variety of bands playing. You must buy your tickets on the first floor and they will direct you to your designated gate.
|Shopping Mall at Bus Terminal in Guayaquil|
|Terminal in Guayaquil|
|Terminal Terrestre -- Guayaquil|
|Movie on Board the Bus|
In Guayaquil we hopped on a bus to Jipijapa (cost $3.50). Again, another great “flight”; I slept most of the way, but I do remember going through a lot of sugarcane fields before I nodded off. Total time: 3 hours.
At Jipipapa, which is a much smaller bus terminal, you can catch a bus to Puerto Lopez (cost $1.50) and it took us approximately one hour and 15 minutes, including stops to pick up a few folks along the way and a crate of baby chicks despite the warning sign “no animals” on the bus.
|Hampton Inn in Guayaquil|
The return trip was basically the same route: Puerto Lopez to Jipijapa and then Jipijapa to Guayaquil and back to Cuenca. We broke up our trip by spending the night in Guayaquil at the Hampton Inn which put us a view blocks from the Malecon (boardwalk). You can, however, do it all in one day, but it might put you in Puerto Lopez after dark and if you don’t know where you’re going or what you’re doing, it might not be your best option. Of course, there are other ways to get to Puerto Lopez (Ruta Del Sol – coastal highway route). It tends to be a bit more scenic as you will be traveling along the coast, but it’s about an hour and half longer.
My favorite part of the bus ride was going through the Cajas Mountains from Cuenca to Guayaquil. Be forewarned that there are two ways to get to Guayaquil and you definitely want to take the Cajas route and not the Riobamba route. If you tend to get “car” sick, then be sure to take Dramamine or the Ecuadorian version (Mareol).
Until next time...hasta luego!
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