After 12 months of collecting dust in a wardrobe and with our Colombian work visas set to expire within days, it was time to head to Ecuador. We packed our lives once again into two 70 litre backpacks and made our way to the Terminal de Transportes in Bogotá.
There are four bus companies that make the border run to Ecuador. Knowing that Fronteras was reasonably comfortable from our other travels, this was our first choice. Tickets to Ipiales from Bogotá are COP 120,000 per person. The seats recline almost all the way back and each come with a built-in entertainment system. All the movies are in Spanish so it was a good chance to practice our listening skills given we had 24 hours to spare!
Once in Ipiales, take a taxi (COP 8,000) to the border and ask them to stop at Migration so you can get an exit stamp. Then, it's just a matter of walking across the bridge into Ecuador. There is a customs official checking bags on the Ecuadorian side however he waived us through to immigration where we joined a long line of people.
BEFORE you join that line however, go straight to the front desk and ask for an entry card to fill in while you wait for the line to recede. Otherwise, you will have to go to the back and line-up again. We made this mistake, however the guy serving us was a little sympathetic and let us back in. The two officials on either side were not so friendly.
Even though we had read we need to show our travel plans, we weren't asked for any details other than our professions and how long we intended to stay so it was nice and simple. The maximum length of stay on the tourist visa for an Australian passport holder is 90 days.
Next, we jumped in another taxi to Tulcan (USD $5) where we jumped on another bus to Quito (USD $6 each). The bus to Quito took approximately 6 hours and while it made irregular stops along the way, it was fairly comfortable. The bus will terminate at Calcacen station in the outer northern area of the city. Public buses to your next destination are only USD $0.25 per person or you can take a cab.
The information on this page is solely based on our personal experiences during International Border Crossings, most of which have been overland. We highly recommend checking all advice against the respective countries own immigration website for up to date information.