Book the best bus tickets from Cuenca to Quito


on: 2021-07-22

by: Lisa Gembrini, staff

Quick Facts

  • Duration

    08 hours 15 minutes

  • Rating

  • Experience

    Basilica del Voto Nacional; TeleferiQo

  • Best Price best price icon

    USD $ 19.23

  • Maximum comfort or class


  • Departures

    5 per day (day and night options available)

  • Recommended by


best price iconPrice may fluctuate due to seasonal demand and other market-driven and regulatory events.

All you need to know about the Cuenca - Quito bus

Quito is a city full of culture, life and history

Taking a bus through Ecuador is the best way to see the landscapes that make it famous all around the world.

Traveling from Cuenca to Quito, you will feel a deep connection with a great mix of nature and cities. You can’t miss the opportunity of experience or traveling through the Andes.

There is the option of a quick trip by air, but that costs a lot of money (because of the hidden fees to include luggage) and represents less adventure. Going via the road is how you really get to experience the real Ecuador.

For these reasons at AndesTransit we truly believe that bus travel is the most authentic way to get about. Locals choose to travel this way, and you should too!

You can use the Reserve Now button above to book your bus from Cuenca to Quito now, or maybe you would prefer to first check out our epic “Cuenca to Quito Bus Journey Guide” below!

What are the buses in Ecuador like?

The quality of buses in Ecuador varies a lot. Cheap buses means they are old and quite uncomfortable. They are not highly recommended, but they will take you where you need to go if you don’t mind flat seats and people standing next to you. Basic seating warning: if you get a seat (usually buses are oversold) it’s not going to be very comfortable.No toilets or on-board entertainment. And don’t you dare dreaming of air-con! Besides that, the view is still wonderful.

But Ecuador offers great comfortable options if you are looking for something better. Travel with higher-priced companies will ensure your trip to have reclining seats, with climate control and clean windows to have a view of the landscapes.

Fortunately for you, you can find very good buses for surprisingly low prices in Ecuador. More on that in a minute.

How long is the bus ride?

The ride from Cuenca to Quito is 469 km (291 miles) and should take roughly 7/8 hours in a private car service like the ADN Shared Shuttle (taking up to four passengers) or around 10 hours if you go by bus.

Unexpected variations in trip duration can happen. Factors such as weather conditions and any unforeseen incidents on the road may delay your trip.

Let’s assume you are going with the ADN Shared Shuttle (our top recommendation for this route), get ready for a picturesque 7 hours ride.

This option will allow time to explore your destination within the same day. This route is beautiful, but nothing should take away your sleep time. When travelling, get a couple of hours of appreciated sleep to get ready for the adventure in Quito.

The journey itself it’s a whole experience. You will get the chance to see blue and green hills, draped in rugged, windswept eucalyptus forests. And much more!

On the way you will see small and pretty towns that seem out of a storytale, their houses and buildings decorated in every color you can imagine.

Andean music will fill your trip, and if you’re lucky you may even get some live musicians playing their guitar and singing on-board.

In this airplane-dominated era, traveling by land will allow you to experience Ecuador as a local.

What is the cost of traveling by bus from Cuenca to Quito?

The bus ticket from Cuenca to Quito can cost anywhere from $17 - $36.

There are several factors that can affect the price:

When you go

Weekends or holidays are always a little more expensive. Bus tickets between Cuenca and Quito are usually cheaper from Monday to Thursday and expect to pay a bit more on Fridays and Sundays. You can get some good deals on Saturday too.

When you book

Booking in advance is recommended, you won’t have to pay extra for travel on a special service arranged by the company to meet the demand.

Which Bus Carrier you Choose

Again, there’s a big difference between the quality of buses in Ecuador. You get what you pay for! If you want a more comfy experience - like climate control, reclining seats, toilets and entertainment - you’ll spend a bit more. Considering that the price difference between buses is $19 on top, looks like a good deal!

What are the bus schedules from Cuenca to Quito?

Bus systems have improved a lot in Latin America lately, but you’ll need to keep a few things in mind though.

Always try to keep your good sense of humor, ¡you’re on a trip! South America is known for its changing schedules.

Be careful, not all of the online booking systems have up to date schedules; and some bus carriers websites will show old information too!

Once you’re aware of that, you can choose to use AndesTransit. And you’ll don't have to worry about any schedule issues. We will keep you updated. Our safety check system involves personal relationships with all the carriers, and a permanent online follow-up. So you will always get up to date bus schedules and a personal assistant checking with the bus carriers on your behalf to get the word of any rapidly changing conditions.

Where can I book bus tickets from Quito to Cuenca?

You two options here:


The fastest, cheapest and most reliable way of booking a bus in Ecuador, no doubt! Getting a ticket these days is just making a click in the Reserve Now button above, making it an enjoyable experience.

If you’re looking after the best ticket from Cuenca to Quito, let the AndesTransit expert team help you.


Sincerely, we don’t recommend this option. Although it is possible, you could easily get yourself to the bus office to find out that the bus time you wanted is no longer available, or there are no seats. That involves changing your plans, losing time and making you worry, when there's no need to.

And unless you plan on leaving it to the last minute to find out, you’ll have to go twice, once to buy your tickets and later to catch the bus.

Why book with AndesTransit?

At AndesTransit we truly believe in providing great customer service. That’s why, unlike South American travel agencies, our digital platform provides the most up to date bus schedules, while offering tickets and courier services at prices that work in your favor and respect your time.

You can tell that we make customer satisfaction our number one priority because we show you all the bus carriers, not just the ones that can be booked online through us.

At the end of the day, what we want more than anything is to help you get the best possible experience, so you get the most out of your travels.

When you’re travelling to Quito you want to get there as soon as possible, but you don’t want to miss anything on the route.

We’re fully committed to prove the most comprehensive bus route information and make booking easy and reliable.

What is the best bus from Quito to Cuenca?

When it comes to our bus carriers running the Cuenca to Quito route, we have some options:

ADN Shared Shuttle. This is not a bus, but instead a shared service that takes up to seven people. A modern car and a fast service for just $36. It makes the route in just 7 hours, 3 less than a bus would take.

Expreso Sucre. Buses have reclining seats, climate control, and entertainment on-board! At only $18 and taking 10 hours to make this route with a service you can trust.

Private Express Shuttle: There’s also a private option you can get only at AndesTransit. For $230 you can ask for a private service in a three-passenger vehicle. It will take you to your destination safely offering you extra space for your luggage If you are traveling with your pet or special luggage, this is your best option, as you can request stops on the road, and to be picked up directly from your home or hotel and be dropped off at your desired location.

What to see in Quito

Churches in Cuenca are a cultural heritage.

Ecuador’s magical capital, Quito is the country's second-largest city (barely behind Guayaquil) and sits at a mighty elevation of 9,350 ft (2,850 m) above sea level, making it the second-highest official city in the world and also the one closest to the equator.

Sitting right within the Andes mountain range, on the eastern slopes of Pichincha, an active stratovolcano, it has spectacular views of Pichincha and the other ring of snowy capped volcanic summits that surround it.

With stunning colonial architecture, bustling nightlife and a rich tapestry of the historical and modernized culture surrounding it, there are countless things to do in Quito.

So many in fact, but we chose out favorite three for you:

#1 - Marvel at the Basilica del Voto Nacional

The Basilica del Voto Nacional is the largest neo-gothic church in Latin America. Without a doubt, it’s most defining trait is the ferocious-looking gargoyles that keep watch over it, their designs inspired by native species such as iguanas, caimans, and tortoises.

That said, the stained glass windows are also truly impressive, along with the twin clock towers, with their countless jutting spear-like tips.

From the view standing on its many graceful balconies, you get a spectacular view of the entire city. You can brave the long climb up the winding exterior staircase to get there.

Because the Basilica is located in the old town, it’s also a great place to start a historical tour of the city.

#2 - Ride the TeleferiQo

You can ride the Quito Cable car (TeleferiQo) all the way up to 12,000 ft (4000m) that place you right on the kneecaps of mighty Pichincha and from where you can get utterly unparalleled vantage points overlooking the city of Quito in all directions.

On a clear day, you can even spot the even more active Cotopaxi volcano as well as several of the other volcanoes looming above the city in all directions.

There are trails that you can go on a hike to get closer to the Pichincha summit or grab a coffee as you continue to marvel at the utterly mesmerizing panoramic viewpoints.

Do bear in mind that the elevation climb is accompanied by steady winds and cooler temperatures, so take appropriate clothing!

#3 - Plan a day trip from Quito

There’s a number of fantastic day excursions just waiting to be embarked upon from Quito. One of the best is Mindo, Ecuador's cloud forest for epic hiking, zip-lining, mountain biking, and river rafting. You’re free to go alone or with a guide.

Or, you can check out National Park Cotopaxi, which as the name may suggest, is shadowed by Cotopaxi looming overhead. You can hike or bike up the volcano or even horse ride around the national park.

Perhaps you would prefer to take a day hike at Quilotoa to marvel at the turquoise lake that fills the crater, formed from when a volcano collapsed in on itself, many hundreds of years ago.

The best thing about a day trip? You can easily do them all, back to back in just a short space of time.


That was our full guide about everything you need to know about the bus route from Cuenca to Quito!

You are now ready to take the trip with the best providers and experience the Ecuadorian Andes.

AndesTransit got your back! See you soon, in Quito!

Route Map

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long is the bus ride from Cuenca to Quito?
The distance from Cuenca to Quito is 469 km (291 miles). It takes betwen 7 to 10 hours.
What is the cost of traveling by bus from Cuenca to Quito?
It ranges between USD $17 to $36 depending on services, time and day chosen.
Where can I book bus tickets from Cuenca to Quito?
You can buy in person but can also avoid the long lines by buying online.
Where do I catch the bus from Cuenca to Quito?
From Cuenca Bus Station.
Where does the Cuenca to Quito bus arrive?
At Quito Bus Station.
What are the ticket policies?
It depends on the carrier you choose, but their specific policies can be previewed during checkout or in the summaries printed on your ticket email. For a general overview, see the Ticket Policy page.

Ticket servicing by AndesTransit -- The #1 Bus and Shuttle Ticket Hub in Latin America

Why the smartest travelers choose AndesTransit

AndesTransit is the only transportation booking platform with coverage in all countries of Latin America, connecting you with more than 900 private and public transport companies, thousands of routes both popular and rare, and countless schedules to fit your needs.

Customers appreciate our bilingual team of seasoned travel experts who have deep knowledge of the terrain, cultures and subcultures, complex laws and policies, a wide personal network to the back channels of transport, and most importantly who themselves ride the bus!

To complement our physical presence in Latin America, we give our customers the benefits of a best-in-class US-based business framework, giving you the best uptime experience and most internationally accessible and trustworthy payment systems.

To get the best rates and discounts and priority support, we encourage you to sign up for one of our BusClub plans.

  • Avoid the long lines and bus station bureacracy by getting your ticket delivered to your email inbox.

  • No language barriers! Plan your journey with the assistance of land travel experts fluent in both English and Spanish.

  • Get the best deal, period. Every purchase includes support and care from real travel experts, as well as free digital information gifts to make you a smarter traveler too!