Crossing the border overland from Colombia to Ecuador

Having read a lot of dodgy reports about the journey across the border overland from Colombia to Ecuador, I approached the idea of getting a night bus with two friends with slight trepidation.

Thankfully it turned out to be perfectly fine, I have to say I probably wouldn’t have done the trip by myself but with Nick and Erlend in tow it was a lot more reassuring!

The bus left from the Cali main terminal at about 8pm and after we settled in to our seats and Rambo 4 started rolling, we were on our way! Unfortunately myself and Erlend had been given the very back seats of the bus and because of this they didn’t recline fully so I found myself wedged between the back wall of the bus and the fully reclined seat of the man in front of me. Luckily enough the bus wasn’t full so I moved a bit later on into the journey and got a few z’s (something I always find incredibly hard to do on night buses).

The bus arrives at the small town of Ipiales, just five miles from the border early in the morning, in daylight (the bus takes about 10 hours in total), and from there we caught a collectivo bus to the border (for about the equivalent of 75 cents). After a swift exit stamp from Colombia we walked across no man’s land and arrived into Ecuador, where again it was a pain-free stamp and Bienvenidos a Ecuador!

Another collectivo van took us a few minutes to the nearby town of Tulcán where we waited for a short while for a direct bus to Quito, the capital of Ecuador.  I had exchanged my few remaining Colombianos for dollars (the currency used in Ecuador) so I had some cash to get me there. From the south bus station, Erlend and I grabbed a taxi van/cab which brought us to our hostel, Community Hostel, in the Old Town for about 7 dollars. Another, thankfully, pain-free border crossing in the bag!

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