Unfortunately, direct flights from Guayaquil to Cuenca are not an option. When we first moved to Ecuador, there were flights between the two cities, but the airlines discontinued that route a couple of years ago.
We don’t know exactly why there are no flights between Cuenca and Guayaquil, but we have a theory. When we took that flight back in 2017, it took about 30 minutes from takeoff to landing and cost $80 per ticket or $160 for both of us.
When you add the time it takes to get to the airport, arriving an hour early to check-in and go through security, and waiting at baggage claim at the destination, the total transportation time is about 2 to 3 hours.
Meanwhile, a buseta with a company like Operazuaytur takes just 3 to 4 hours and only costs $12 per ticket or $24 for two people.
Since air travel from Guayaquil to Cuenca only saves an hour or two, but costs 8 times more than a buseta, our theory is that there wasn’t enough business to keep the route in operation. It’s easier and far cheaper to take a buseta.
Currently, Quito is the only airport that has flights to Cuenca, but there has been some discussion about adding direct flights between Manta and Cuenca to spur tourism between the two cities. If that route comes to fruition, we’ll be sure to let you know.
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