I plan to drive from Quito to Bahia in early March. How are the roads? Por favor?
Please share what you encounter. I will be making the same trip Early April.
Roads are very good but the signage is somewhat lacking.... a very nice trip down the mountains towards Pednedales, then south on the Ruta del Sol Highway to Bahia.
Roads in general are OK. Most of them are concrete, and have good inclines on the turns. They are much better than what they were ten years ago, that's for sure.
However, keep these tips and pointers in mind:
- The Aloag - Santo Domingo road can be challenging because it is very winding, and has a lot of rain and fog. Also, at one point you have 4 lanes, then you have 2 lanes, you have cement divisions that aren't that well marked, the inclines on the turns are not well made, there are a lot of trucks and buses, so you definitely have to be careful in this part, especially if you don't have traction control system and rear wheel drive.
- Keep your toll tickets so you can use the tow-truck service should your car break down in the Aloag - Santo Domingo road.
- Keep your eyes open at night. Locals in the coast like to drive their motorcycles with busted taillights. I've had some close encounters myself.
- When you approach bridges keep your eyes open because about 20 - 30 meters before some bridges the concrete road suddenly ends and you will have gravel before reaching the bridges.
- Watch out for some king-sized speed bumps when you pass through small towns.
- Being a defensive driver is a wise choice.
Other than that, roads are in pretty good shape. With no traffic that trip can take around 5 or 6 hours.
Hope this helps.
Very helpful topic the one posted by the previous member. Santo Domingo road is one of the most difficults in Ecuador. Always be carefull with bus drivers, driving in Ecuador requires lot of experience on mountain driving, is not as easy as some people think.
A few days ago we had tragic accidentes on the roads caused by busses, see the local newspaper links please: http://www.elcomercio.com/pais/Ambato-choque-Latacunga-heridos-Cotopaxi-bus_0_1108689311.html