Sunday, June 16, 2013

Quito Traffic "Que Bestia!"

I promised in the beginning I would keep it real, upfront, and honest throughout all of my blog posts.  So as promised I am here to tell you one of Quito's ugliest and most brutal realities.


This is where you will spend a ton of your time if you live in Quito

I mean it is really bad.  Absolutely horrible.  This is being typed from the hands of a Los Angeles native driver, so that in it self should say a lot.  But seriously, my 10 mile commute is actually an hour and a half at a minimum. 

The miniature version of "streets" you find in certain sections of the city, plus the street lights that are green for a whole 1.8 seconds on major intersections, multiplied by the over abundance of mid sized and large SUV's here in Quito, only begins to describe this mess.  (massive run on sentence I know)

Everyday congestion in the city of Quito

If you must drive here, You will find these many little caveats or unwritten rules helpful:

  • It is perfectly OK to be all the way in the right lane on a 3 lane road, then suddenly make a left turn without using your signal.  This works both ways. 
  • It is also perfectly acceptable to park in the middle of the street to send a text message, make a phone call, or even get out to buy some street food.  
  • If you own a motorcycle you are allowed to drive pretty much anywhere you can make your bike go, even down stairs.    
  • Running a red light is perfectly OK after sunset or on Sunday, however the concept of what "Right on red" is has not caught on yet, even though it is actually legal here. 
  • Buses are above the law and actually gain 50 points for every car they run into.  Blue buses have diplomatic immunity.
  • People will beep at the people in front of them to go when the light is still red, even if it is a police officer in front of them.
  • The space between the two lanes on the road is actually another lane, if your car can fit.   
By following these unwritten laws, you will survive driving here in Quito.  Good luck. 



  1. Love your blog post and I agree completely. I have just started driving in Cuenca and I'm sure that Quito is worse because it's bigger and busier than Cuenca, but driving here is still bad news!

  2. Haha yes Patty. It is survival of the fittest driving here. I still feel Los Angeles was worse.