We Flew into Quito from Cuenca and were going to check in at the TourBlanche hotel because we heard good things about this place. But we had a lot of luggage so instead we decided to save our money and stick it out at the airport.
If you do want to explore Quito a bit and need to store your luggage somewhere, the airport has a place where you can pay to store your bags. It costs $3 per hour per bag but if it is during late hours then it costs $4 per hour. If you need to pick your bags up around let’s say 2am then there won’t be anyone at the desk so you’ll have to get the key from the person at the coffee stand (but it’s not that reliable).
What we did was snag the corner bench by the Dunkin’ Doughnuts stand and piled up our bags behind the bench where we stayed all night. At first I was a bit skeptical about staying overnight in the Quito airport. Quito can be quite dangerous but it wasn’t bad, most people just said keep an eye on your stuff. And they were right, a couple times when I was left alone some shady looking guys would approach me and ask if they could help me with my bags, when I obviously didn’t need help as I was lounging on the bench. But for the most part there was always a good crowd of people around so I wasn’t too worried until the wee hours of the night.
At the airport there are multiple coffee stands, a restaurant, a couple other food spots, an internet cabina, tourist agents and a place you can get minutes for your phone. All these places stay open until around 12pm. But you won’t starve after midnight. The main restaurant stays open 24 hours; they don’t have a lot of vegetarian options but I had the locra y queso soup and they said they could make me a cheese tostada if I wanted one, there are also some hearty salads to choose from. Free wifi is available in this restaurant.
Although all the shops close at midnight, the international side of the airport stays open 24 hours. Of course we saw our share of drunks and tweakers or just some people without homes sleeping on the benches. And the floor machine man woke everyone up a couple of times so he could do his job. But other than that the benches were quite comfortable to sleep on and no one really bothered us. So we were there until our flight took off at 6am.
For international flights you only need to be there 2 hours in advance. We lined up 3 hours early but the United agents didn’t show up until one hour before our flight. Also, if you are leaving the country then don’t forget to grab or ask for the immigration forms because you will need to fill them out before you go through immigration upstairs.
If all goes well, Quito should have a new and bigger airport in the near future.