Tababela is in the Andean Highlands of Ecuador, significant to travelers for being the closest town to the Aeropuerto Internacional Mariscal Sucre (UIO) which opened in 2013 to serve the capital, Quito. The airport is about an hour and a half from the center of the capital by bus (with no stops) so Tababela's proximity makes it an important layover location for travellers arriving or departing at extremely early or late times.
Aeropuerto Internacional Mariscal SucreMost will arrive in Tababela from the airport. It is the busiest airport in Ecuador and one of the busiest airports in South America. Mariscal Sucre International is the largest hub of TAME, the flag carrier of Ecuador, with an average of over 220 daily flights. From the airport the average travel time by taxi is about 10 minutes with a fare of about US$10 (January 2014). The fare will be higher than most travellers in Ecuador are used to because most taxi drivers would greatly prefer to take a fare back to Quito.
Aeroservicios offers direct transportation from Quito to the New Mariscal Sucre International Airport. Buses leave every 30 minutes, 24/7, all year round, without intermediate stops. The buses are new, comfortable, have air conditioning and provide free WiFi for passengers. The bus terminal in Quito is at the old airport in the former domestic departures area. The ticket price is US$8 per trip, per person and can be purchased through their website. Tickets can also be purchased at the terminal of Aeroservicios (old airport) or at the counters in the arrivals hall at the New Mariscal Sucre Airport. Cash, credit and debit cards accepted.
Most of the streets have names but are neither marked on the street nor labeled on maps. The town is small enough that getting lost is not at all an issue. During the day wear sunscreen or repurpose your travel umbrella as a parasol.
For some, the opportunity for a little plane spotting may be nice though the frequency of arrivals and departures feels a bit light for the busiest airport in the country.
Mall del CieloA mall attached to the airport. Various retailers. SIM chips for unlocked phones may be purchased here.
Various TiendasMany small tiendas may be found in town. They stock the regular items: milk, eggs, beer, fruit, packaged foods, gum and other sundries. Some sell SIM chips and reloads for prepaid accounts. Photocopying and basic stationery supplies are also available.
Dely Pan CafeteriaReasonably priced bread and breakfast pastries baked on site. Cold air conditioning.
Helados Los ChelosIce cream. Popular with local school children.
Cotohurco RestaurantSimple family establishment serving lunch and dinner.
Restuarant La Negritaaddress: Parque CentralBreakfast, lunch, and hot chocolate. Located along the park.
Topoly's RestaurantLunch plates.
phone: +593 98 889 9774address: 971 Alfonso Tobar y Tulio Garzon, TababelaNice, social atmosphere with full dinner menu, Wi-fi in-room, breakfast included, satellite TV, and English-speaking staff.
Hosteria San Carlos Tababelaphone: +593 98 701 1484address: Justo Coella y Pedro Vicente MaldonadoSimple, clean hosteria for travelers who need a place to crash. Private bathrooms. Simple rooms. Airport transfer available for $5 per person each way. One standard meal option per night. Swimming pool with slide. Free WiFi. Large peaceful courtyard.
WiFiMost lodgings offer free Wi-Fi to their guests.
Phone/SMS/3G/4GSIM cards are available as discussed in the Buy section above. A working understanding of Spanish may be necessary to pick the right card, plan, and setup voicemail. Service can be spotty from time to time as in most of the world.
PostCheck with someone from your accommodation for advice if in need of postal service.