Viva the VIVA Route!
Jan 27, 2015
A fond memory of the Quito’s old airport was its almost downtown location, putting visitors in easy reach of major hotels and sites – traffic permitting. This proximity was sorely missed when the new, suburban airport was inaugurated early last year because access was available only via a very roundabout route on which travellers risked getting stuck in traffic jams. Happily, this is no more. Mid-December, the capital city opened the new, high-speed access route that bypasses the bottlenecks. The route, dubbed the “Valley Integration Way” (Ruta VIVA), takes just 20 minutes from its intersection with the city’s eastern Simón Bolívar expressway to the terminal, slashing travel times by 50% or more. It also boosts safety and comfort for visitors and makes Quito much more attractive as a domestic aviation hub. On their way between the airport and downtown, travellers can take in some of the scenic wonders of Quito much better than before, with views of the snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano and the smaller Ilaló, a popular hiking and biking spot, also passing over two new bridges that span dramatic ravines. You didn’t get that at the old airport. Of course, downtown traffic may be an issue at peak times – but much less than at other major destinations in the region.