Montañita to Quito bus: how to choose it?

Are you looking for a Montañita to Quito bus? We’ve got just what you need! So you’ve made it through a few days in Montañita and you’re ready to continue on with your adventure, now what’s the best way to get from Montañita to Quito by bus?

Compared to other destinations in Ecuador, Montañita isn’t very central. In the following blog, we’ll discuss factors you should consider as you plan your trip from Montañita to Quito.

Montañita to Quito bus: how to choose it?

Why is the bus the best transportation for going from Montañita to Quito?

There is something truly liberating about bus travel. 

When you travel by bus, you don’t have to worry about where to park, or whether someone might steal your rental car and your possessions. On a bus, you come into contact with others, oftentimes from varying backgrounds, and you’re challenged to interact in ways that aren’t necessary when you travel by car. For many of us, our initial instinct is to avoid challenge, but as many travelers will agree, this is what makes travel so life-changing, and it’s important not to shy away from these challenges.

Apart from that, there are other perks to bus travel:

  1. Affordable – Especially in Ecuador, traveling by bus is extremely affordable. For every hour traveled, you’ll pay approximately $1-$1.50 – that’s a steal! All that money you save on transport you can put toward other priorities (like beer – I recommend the local brand, Club).
  2. Many stops – This can be a disadvantage if you’re in a hurry, but if you’re a leisurely traveler, all these stops give you the opportunity to explore more places you’ve never even heard of. This is especially true on the Ecuadorian coast, dotted with beautifully quiet fishing towns that most travelers don’t get to see.

Why is the bus the best transportation for going from Montañita to Quito?

How to choose the best bus

There are a number of factors to consider as you select a bus but, in most cases, you might not have the luxury to pick and choose. This is especially true if you’re traveling from a regular bus terminal in Ecuador where the bus you select may simply depend on its departure time.

Pick up/drop off location

In many Ecuadorian cities, you won’t have much of a choice when it comes to pick up location. In Montañita, you’ll have to depart from the main bus terminal. A few bus companies might pick you up/drop you off at a specific bus stop on the outskirts of town, but unless you’re a local, it might be difficult to find the exact spot and you might risk losing your ride.

The Wanderbus prioritizes pick up/drop off locations and offers travelers convenient options and, more importantly, safer options. Most bus terminals in Ecuador are located in somewhat dangerous areas of the city, though luckily that isn’t the case in Montañita. Nonetheless, Wanderbus picks travelers up in easily accessible places so you can avoid the crowds. 

As for the drop off point in Quito, you’ll avoid the busy, and often dangerous, Quitumbe bus terminal because Wanderbus will drop you off in more central locations, likely closer to your hotel.


Buses are the main mode of transportation in Ecuador and you’ll find many available options and times to get to your destination. Most destinations over 5 hours of travel will be overnight rides. This is important to consider, again, because of safety issues at bus terminals. If your bus leaves at midnight, that requires you to be hanging around the terminal late into the night – not a good idea.

Another issue is that schedules aren’t set in stone. If you’re not 100% sure about the departure time, try to head to the bus terminal 1-2 hours early to get your ticket.


One reason bus travel is so convenient is because of all the stops along the way. This is useful if you’re a local that needs to stop halfway between, say, Montañita and Quito. But if you’re a tourist and want to get to your destination quickly, it can be a drag to ride a regular bus. 
Stops along the way also mean more people embarking/disembarking, luggage being unloaded/loaded and, unfortunately, it’s quite common to have your belongings stolen if you’re not watchful.

The Wanderbus makes stops along the way, but they’re always at touristic destinations that were already on your bucket list, but maybe weren’t as easy to access. For instance, from Montañita to Quito, you’ll stop at Puerto López, the best town for whale watching. If you like, you can hop off here, spend a few days exploring the area and then hop on the next Wanderbus to make your way to Quito. 

Advantages of choosing a hop-on hop-off bus like the Wanderbus

Advantages of choosing a hop-on hop-off bus like the Wanderbus

You might have already noted a few advantages of choosing a hop-on hop-off bus like the Wanderbus, as opposed to the regular buses.

Yes, our passes cost more that an overnight bus from Montañita to Quito, but that prices come with a few important perks, including:

  • Flexibility – You can decide to hop on or hop off at different points along your route at no additional cost. The next Wanderbus coming through will then pick you up!
  • Safety – You ride with a limited number of people and even a bilingual guide. Our buses are well-maintained and your safety, as well as that of your belongings, are our priority.
  • Travel tips – Our guides provide additional info at every stop regarding the best hotels, restaurants, and activities.
  • Fun – Expect to ride with other, like-minded travelers that you might end up befriending!
  • Route design – Our routes are made with the traveler in mind. If we make a stop, expect to see something spectacular!

Advantages of choosing a hop on hop off bus, like the Wanderbus

Best stops along the way

  • Ayampe – This sleepy surf town will win you over quickly. There are a few cute places to eat and the beach is quiet. If you enjoy surfing, you’ll find many places to rent a board here. With the Wanderbus, the Motmot pass, which goes from Montañita to Quito, stops through Ayampe for and early breakfast.
  • Puerto López – Puerto López is a coastal town in Manabí that is best known for its whale watching tours. Every year, humpback whales migrating South prefer the ocean-facing Puerto López to breed and raise their young. Depending on the season, you might see large bulls displaying for females, or cows (females) with their young. Puerto López is an established stop on all Wanderbus passes from Montañita to Quito by bus.
  • Parque Nacional Machalilla – This area is only a bit farther up the coast from Puerto López. Among its sights are Los Frailes beach (a a beautiful preserved white-sand beach), la Isla de la Plata (great for diving!) and Agua Blanca (care for a mud bath in a sacred lagoon?). If you’re on the Wanderbus, I’d recommend getting off at Puerto López and spending a full day, if not two, exploring this area. It’s worth it!
  • Family farm at Chone – Here, you’ll enjoy the most authentic local food on your trip aboard the Wanderbus. Halfway between Montañita and Quito you’ll stop at an organic family farm, where the owners will teach you about their work, customs, and culture. And bonus, you’ll try an authentic “tonga,” which is a delicious type of dish made with different ingredients all wrapped up in a giant tropical leaf, as well as fruits you have never seen or heard of!

Are you convinced yet!? Travel AND adventure with a great Montañita to Quito bus and not just any bus, the Wanderbus!

Happy wandering!


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