Getting Around

How To Get To The Northern Bus Terminal In Quito


People often ask us how to get to the northern bus terminal, Carcelen, during their stay here. Carcelen is the bus terminal you will take to get to all your northern destinations, such as Mindo, Otavalo, Mitad del Mundo, etc. It’s much easier than most think to get to Carcelen. Taking public transportation, the easiest way is to take the trole (pronounced trolley). The trole is the green line of public transportation running north-south in Quito. First, find your nearest north-bound trole stop. It’ll look something like this…


You need to make sure of two things: 1) the trole is north-bound, and 2) the trole is C1. This refers to the northern-most circuit of the trole cars. It’ll have a yellow labeled sign in the front window, as seen below…


Within the trole tube, the signs should say you’re heading towards “La Y.”


While the stations say that “La Y” is the last stop, there is actually one stop further north from “La Y,” appropriately called “terminal norte del trolebus” or “northern trole station.” This is the station you will be going to. It’s the last stop and quite oblivious when you are there. When you get there you’ll be looking to go in-between the two buildings, following a sign that points to Carcelen. You’ll go between the two buildings, around to the other side where there is a queue to wait for a transfer bus to Carcelen. This transfer bus costs 5 cents and will take to you Carcelen. And that’s all there is to it! Happy traveling!