Ecuador’s government has been investing heavily in projects to improve electricity, telecommunications, and transportation. In fact, a larger percentage of their GDP goes to infrastructure in Ecuador than any other country in the world.
Domestic flights are frequent and commonly used, as road travel in Ecuador is typically slow due to the terrain of the country. Ecuador’s rail system is used for freight only and is in need of renovation.
Public transportation is great, both within cities and between cities. The national and municipal bus systems are unusually efficient. All over Ecuador, buses are plentiful and inexpensive. Owning a car is an unnecessary expense, and, in fact, a burden to most people here. Rental cars are easily available when you’re ready to explore the country off the beaten trail.
Having said that, road travel throughout Ecuador can be dangerous, especially at night. Ecuador’s varying altitudes and terrains can make road travel slow and difficult. The rural Ecuador infrastructure, including many roads are poorly maintained or unmarked. Heavy rains and mudslides often close or wash out roads. Dense fog is common in mountainous areas. Road safety features such as crash barriers and guardrails along steep mountainsides are rare and in the countryside, livestock are often herded along roads or graze on roadsides.
Communications and electrical service in Ecuador are state-owned and operated. These services are subsidized, so they are cheaply available to the nation, but the quality is very poor.