Where to Overnight Once the New Quito Airport Opens (February 20, 2013)

The new Quito airport becomes operational as of February 20, 2013. Apparently, the name will still be Mariscal Sucre International Airport (not Mitad del Mundo International as originally proposed) and the same airport code (UIO) will be maintained.

The new airport is a much improved version, with longer runways, far better clearance (as opposed to flying through the mountains and between multi-story buildings in the middle of the city!), and will be over 1300 feet lower in elevation.

The large drawback to the new airport, however, is that the location near Tababela northeast of Quito will require a minimum of an hour (and expect to roughly double that if traffic is heavy) to access the Mariscal, Quito’s popular tourist district. Given that many international departures and arrivals out of the airport occur in the early morning and late evening, respectively, passengers are often required to overnight in Quito. However, the inconvenient distance to the new airport from Quito may cause many travelers to consider finding a closer place to stay.

One closer option is a lovely and tranquil guest house located in Tumbaco, located roughly 40 minutes from the new airport (this is an estimate–the actual time it will take given traffic will only be known once the airport is actually open and should be considerably less once the roads are completed). The cottage sits on a large property owned by a British-Ecuadorian couple. Sylvia is a biologist, bird watcher, and has lived in Ecuador since 1978 with the first 12 years in the Galapagos, is fluent in Spanish, and has good knowledge of many of the national parks and reserves in the region. They have their own chickens, bees, avocados, lemons, etc.

Here is Sylvia’s description of her guest cottage:

For a relaxing stay just outside Quito, for a day, a week, a month – come and rent our self catering guest cottage on a four hectare property in the valley of Tumbaco. Bird watching from your terrace, over 30 species recorded – including tanagers, the giant hummingbird, vermilion flycatcher, scarlet-backed woodpecker and ringed kingfisher.

The cottage has a terrace, well equipped but small kitchen/sitting area with a working fire place, bedroom with two single beds, and bathroom with hot water. Provisions to make your own continental breakfast are supplied. Fresh farm eggs can be purchased. The guest house is equipped with Wifi.


$20 single/$35 double per night

Discounts for longer stays

$100 single/$175 double for a week

$300 single/$400 double for a month (no breakfast supplied)


Bedroom with two single beds

Living area equipped with wi-fi

Well-equipped kitchenette

Bathroom with hot water

Patio area

Laundry service is available. They can help arrange for airport pick up and drop-offs with a long-time trusted driver. Sorry, no pets as they have 3 dogs.

For more information or to make a reservation, please contact the owner, Sylvia Harcourt via email: sharcourt [at] gmail [dot] com

An Easy Way to Travel from Guayaquil

When flying to Ecuador from another country you have two airport options: Fly into either Quito (airport code UIO) or Guayaquil (GYE).

To get to the central coast where we are located, we normally recommend flying into Quito and then taking a short (25-30 min) domestic flight to Manta (MEC).  Unfortunately, there are no domestic flights between Guayaquil and Manta so Quito is your only option if you want to fly.

However, over the years, we’ve had a number of friends and clients have trouble with the altitude of Quito which sits at 9,350 ft or 2800 m above sea level; one client even required brief hospitalization. So, if you think you might be susceptible to altitude sickness, your best bet if possible is to fly to Guayaquil.

If you do arrive to Guayaquil and want a safe, reliable, and inexpensive means of traveling to the central coast there is an express van service called the “Manta Express” that runs between  Manta (and Portoviejo) and Guayaquil.

One of the Manta Express vans (photo from www.mantaexpress.com)


Here are the Manta Express “need to knows”:

  • The service offers multiple trips each way daily, beginning as early as 5am and ending at 7:30pm.
  • The trip takes between 3 – 3.5 hours.
  • The cost is $10 per person or $8 each if you are aged 65+ with Ecuadorian residency.
  • Reservations at least 1 day ahead are generally necessary. Note: the folks at Manta Express only speak Spanish. The bilingual representative at the information booth at the Guayaquil airport can assist you in making your reservation. Another option is to use Google translate to send them your translated reservation details via their contact form on their website.
  • The van is  air-conditioned.
  • The van seats ten people comfortably. Leg room for the taller guys may be a little tight. Luggage is strapped to the top of the van and covered with a tarp.
  • The van typically makes one brief stop where passengers can use the restroom and grab a snack.

The vans have AC and are comfortable. Photo from www.mantaexpress.com


Here are the Manta Express office locations and phone numbers as dialed within Ecuador (visit this post for more details about calling Ecuador from abroad):


  • Blvd 9 de Octubre and Del Ejercito (Avenida 4) (near the Hotel Oro Verde of Guayaquil).
  • Landline: (04)2532027,  Cell phone: 0996333061  or  0994200289



  • Malecón y Calle 19 at the Central Comercial Plaza Jocay (just past the museum)
  • Landline: (05)261-1016 / 261-0567, FAX: 261-1763,,  Cell: 0999025094 or 0985147384 or  0991563000



  • Pedro Gual y Garcia Moreno (Hotel Cabrera).
  • Landline: (05)2656621 Cell: 0993852655


The service also offers transfers to and from the Guayaquil airport. In many cases, they would take you to your final destination in Manta or Portoviejo if it’s not far from their office location.

Our new Ecuador Resource Guide will help you before and during your real estate visit

We receive a lot of communication from potential clients looking for ocean front real estate here in Ecuador. Apart from questions specific to our real estate listings and development projects, we are also frequently asked about the logistics of coming to visit.

To help prepare our clients for their visit to Ecuador’s Central Coast, we have created a resource guide that is packed with need-to-know logistical information and insider tips.

Preview of the Ecuador guide

The first 3 pages of our 25 page guide, chock full of information you'll need before and during your visit.


Our guide answers in detail all the most common questions we receive such as:

  • How do we get there?
  • What do we do about money once we’re in there?
  • Should we bring our own cell phone to call home?


In addition, this guide provides overviews of the most popular real estate stops along Ecuador’s Central Coast including: Manta, Crucita, San Jacinto/San Clemente, Bahia and Canoa. For each city, we fill you in on key logistical information such as getting around, availability of ATM machines, attractions, and safety precautions.

Our guide also provides a packing list as well as a summary of important actions you should take prior to leaving home.

Be prepared for your real estate visit

Within the next couple of days we will be sending this guide to everyone already on our mailing list and it is available to download right now for all new subscribers.

Happy travels!