The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Ecuador

Ecuador is home to many interesting places to visit, including an array of museums. The National Museum of Ecuador, located at the Casa de la Cultura, has a variety of archeological treasures. The National Cathedral Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and the Maria Agusta Urritia House Museum are all good choices as well. You could spend the time at Galapagos Beach in Tortuga Bay, at the Basilica in Quito, the Devil’s Cauldron in Banos, and more.

Of course, getting to all of those locations can be tricky if you are relying solely on public transportation and buses. Many visitors choose to rent vehicles when they arrive in Ecuador, as it provides them with a much easier and more convenient mode of transportation.

The road conditions and safety

Many of the roads around the larger cities and towns are in good condition. They are paved and are easy to travel. However, the country also has a large number of gravel and dirt roads, particularly once you get away from the urban areas. For this reason, if you are going to be traveling through the countryside of Ecuador, you will want to consider getting a 4WD vehicle to make travel easier. This is especially true during the rainy season, which runs from January to May on the coast and the western part of the Andes, and from November to May in the Sierra and the main portion of the Andes.

Many of the drivers in Ecuador do not pay attention to the road signs or the traffic signals. It is common to have several drivers not even slow down at a red light. Many do not use their turn signals either. Therefore, you need to be very careful and wary of what other drivers are doing around you. In the city, the laws are obeyed more frequently, but the driving can get hairy once you get out into the rural areas and on the highways.

If you are going to be renting a vehicle in Ecuador, keep in mind that you need to have an international driver’s license. You can then contact one of the many car rental agencies in the country. They can provide you with the vehicle and insurance coverage you need. Be sure to keep their phone number and emergency contact number handy just in case you need to get a hold of them once you have rented the vehicle.


The traffic can be thick during certain times of the day. The list below shows the busiest times.

  • 8 AM to 9:30 AM
  • 12 PM to 1 PM
  • 5 PM to 7 PM

Speed limit and rules of the road

The speed limits are as follows.

  • Urban Areas – 50 km/h
  • Perimeter Roads – 90 km/h
  • Straight Roads – 100 km/h
  • Curvy Roads – 60 km/h

Drivers who are caught exceeding the limit may face a fine, or if they are going well over the limit, they could be taken to jail.

All occupants of the vehicle are required to wear seatbelts, and in order to drive the vehicle, you need to be at least 18 years old with a valid license. To rent a car, you need to be at least 25 years old.

When you head to Ecuador for your next vacation, be sure to check out the car rentals. They will make getting around the city and out into the country much easier and more enjoyable.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Related articles

How to Get a Vermont Driver's Permit
The The state of Vermont uses a graduated driver’s license program which requires all new drivers to begin driving with a learner’s permit, in order to practice safe driving under supervision before getting their full driver’s license. To receive the...
How to Drive Cross Country
Driving cross country ( is a fun and exciting way to spend vacation time, especially when traveling with family. But before setting out on your epic journey, you need to keep in mind a few factors. You need to fully...
The Guidelines for Leaving Pets in a Car
When it's hot, the inside of a car can reach 200 degrees, and leaving a pet inside while you're out can be illegal. Follow these safety precautions.

Related questions

Car makes groaning noise when I turn steering wheel.
It sounds like your power steering pump may be out of power steering fluid or it is low. I would recommend having a technician from YourMechanic come out and see if the power steering is leaking somewhere or if the...
What would cause 2 main computers to be bad within 6months
This does sound like a very frustrating experience. Unfortunately it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what is causing your computer to go bad ( without knowing what kind of computers have been installed in your vehicle. Aftermarket, used or refurbished...
Regular or synthetic oil
Hello there. Synthetic oil is far and away better than mineral lubricating oil due to the drastic reduction in contaminants that are ordinarily left in refined mineral oil. Synthetic oil can resist much higher operating temperatures without oxidizing and breaking...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 ·