Here are three options for traveling to Sueño de Vida from Quito.*

Deluxe Express.  Cost:  $150 each way.  Travel Time: approximately 3.5 hours

1.  Contact us at least two weeks in advance and we will arrange for a driver we personally know to pick you up at either the airport or your hotel in Quito. 

2. Upon arriving at Mariscal Interntional Airport, our driver will bring you to a designated meet-up spot close to Sueño de Vida.Juan and I will meet you there in our jeep to bring you the rest of the way. 

 

Seasoned Traveller. Cost: about $50 each way.  Travel time:  approx. 4-5 hours

1.  From Mariscal Sucre International Airport, take a taxi to the Carcelen bus terminal on the north side of Quito (Quito Norte). Or, if you are staying the night in Quito, take a taxi to your hotel or hostel. This should take 45 min-1 hr and cost approximately $25.  

2.  From your hotel, take another taxi the next morning to the Carcelen bus terminal for less than $10. If you went directly to the bus station, omit this step.

3.  From Carcelen bus terminal, board any of the following bus lines headed west via Los Bancos:  Kennedy, Aloag, or San Pedrito.  These buses depart the station approximately every 20 minutes and cost $4.

4.  Relax and enjoy the bus ride for the next 3 hours.  If you get hungry for a snack, or forgot a personal item, pay attention. Very likely, an enterprising person (or people) will board the bus at a few stops with goods for sale. Buses in Ecuador are reasonably safe, clean, and quite entertaining.  

5.  You will first cross the dry Sierra with spectacular views of mountains and craters, pass by el Mitad del Mundo (center of the world), and then begin a descent into a more tropical forest.  Once you pass through the towns of Nanagelito and San Miguel los Bancos, you’re almost there.  The next town is Pedro Vicente Maldonado and that’s your stop!

6.  Get off the bus in Pedro Vicente Maldonado and walk directly up the road one block from the bus terminal to the main street.  There you will see several white and green pick up trucks lined up just like taxis—because that’s exactly what they are:  taxis to take people places where the paved road ends and gravel roads lead to Sueño de Vida.

7.  Tell the driver you are going to: “al recinto Los Laureles Kilometer 24 via San Dimas.” He will drive you on the highway for about 10 minutes to a turn-off labelled  "PACHIHAL La Ruta de Cacao" with a big sign for the "Area Conservacción De Mashpi." He will turn left and drive on a winding two lane paved road for about 5 minutes.  Then he will turn left again onto a red gravel road through the village (recinto) of Los Laureles, and continue on this gravel road for about 10-15 minutes through a small stream and past several farms (fincas).  Just past a brightly painted blue and orange wooden house with chickens clucking around the yard is a private entrance on the right with a sign for Sueño de Vida.  Follow this road for just a few hundred meters past cow pasture and a cacao farm.  When you see the big red and orange rooftops nestled in a green valley to your right, you have arrived at your destination.  Welcome!  

 

Adventure Traveller.  Cost:  about $25 each way.  Travel Time:  approximately 5-6 hours

1.  From Mariscal Sucre International Airport, take the Rio Coca bus to the center of Quito. 

2.  If you are staying the night in Quito, proceed by taxi (a few dollars) to your hotel or hostel.  If you are proceeding directly to Carcelen bus terminal on the north side of Quito (Quito Norte), take a taxi to Carcelen (about $7).  If you speak some Spanish and really feeling adventurous, ask someone for the “bus a Carcelen.”  Quito city buses move fast, cost 25 cents, and not much different from any big city public bus experience, except there will be music and a plethora of vendors selling snacks, CDs, incense, ice cream, you name it, you can buy it on the Quito bus.

3.  From Carcelen bus terminal, board any of the following bus lines headed west via Los Bancos:  Kennedy, Aloag, or San Pedrito.  These buses depart the station approximately every 20 minutes and cost $4.

4.  Enjoy the bus ride for the next 3 hours.  If you get hungry for a snack, or forgot a personal item, pay attention. Very likely, an enterprising person (or people) will board the bus at a few stops with goods for sale.  Watch an American blockbuster movie dubbed into Spanish. Buses in Ecuador are reasonably safe, clean, and quite entertaining.  

5.  You will first cross the dry Sierra with spectacular views of mountains and craters, pass by el Mitad del Mundo (center of the world), and then begin a descent into a more tropical forest.  Once you pass through the towns of Nanagelito and San Miguel los Bancos, you’re on the last leg of the journey.  The next town is Pedro Vicente Maldonado and that’s your stop!

6.  Get off the bus in Pedro Vicente Maldonado and walk directly up the road one block from the bus terminal to the main street.  There you will see several white and green pick up trucks lined up just like taxis—because that’s exactly what they are:  taxis to take people places where the paved road ends and gravel roads lead to Sueño de Vida. This final leg of your journey should cost about $15 and no more than $20.

7.  Tell the driver you are going to: “al recinto Los Laureles Kilometer 24 via San Dimas.” He will drive you on the highway for about 10 minutes to a turn-off labelled "PACHIHAL La Ruta de Cacao" with a big sign for the "Area Conservaccion De Mashpi." He will turn left and drive on a winding two lane paved road for about 5 minutes.  Then he will turn left again onto a red gravel road through the village (recinto) of Los Laureles, and continue on this gravel road for about 10-15 minutes through a small stream and past several farms (fincas).  Just past a brightly painted blue and orange wooden house with chickens clucking around the yard is a private entrance on the right with a sign for Sueño de Vida.  Follow this road for just a few hundred meters past cow pasture and a cacao farm.  When you see the big red and orange rooftops nestled in a green valley to your right, you have arrived at your destination.  Welcome!  

 

*Please note that if your flight lands in the later afternoon or evening at Mariscal Sucre International Airport, you will need to spend the night in Quito and resume your journey the following morning.  Charter buses to our area stop running at 5pm and while the road you take to get here is a good paved highway, it is windy with sharp twists and descents.  For your own safety and comfort, unless your flight lands early in the day, plan on staying the night in Ecuador’s incredible capitol city. Here are recommendations from previous guests:

Historic Center City Quito.  Great location if you have time to see some sights!:  Boutiquito Design Hostel. http://www.worldbesthostels.com/best-hostels/hostel/83075-boutiquito-design-hostel.html

Quito Norte. Good spot if you want to be closer to the Carcelen bus terminal.  A short walk from Parque Carolinas, Quito's largest city park.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hostal-Ecokarmel/219311798264649

Closest to the airport.  A great option if your flight lands late and you want to get some rest!  http://airporthotelquito.com

 

If you are coming from anywhere else in Ecuador, email us at info@suenodevida.org and we'll help you find the best way to get to us for your budget. 

For a picturesque description of the journey to Sueño de Vida from Quito, read on here and check out our "road trip video!