We spent almost 3 months in Ecuador and while most of that time was spent working with a volunteer organisation on the north coast, we highly enjoyed our time in the country. But, as all good things must end (and new adventures were awaiting) it was time to head to Peru.
This was quite literally the easiest border crossing we have ever done, though the process was time consuming.
From Cuenca, Ecuador we were headed south to Chiclayo, Peru. Tickets with Azuay bus lines are USD $20 per person and buses leave daily at 9:30pm. Our bus was fairly full so we’d recommend purchasing tickets in advance.
Azuay will stop at the border around 1:30am, firstly to fulfil customs regulations. We were not required to get off the bus, but other passengers were called to open their luggage if they were chosen to be searched. Then, they will stop at immigration which operates as a binational crossing, meaning simply that both the Ecuador exit and Peru entry officials are in the same room.
The hold-up starts here. On the bus, you will be given your Ecuadorian exit and Peruvian entry forms to complete in advance but for some reason the Ecuadorian side takes forever to process. The Peruvian desk never had a line the entire time so it has totally dumbfounded us as to why it was so difficult to leave Ecuador, but eventually we made it through both and headed back to the bus.
As far as the Peru entry went, they took the entrance form, scanned our passport, stamped it and that was all. No conversation, no questions, just straight in and out.
The whole crossing from start to finish took 1.5 hours and then we were on our way again. We would assume making this crossing in the middle of the day would be horrendous and probably take 2 or more hours easily, so an overnight bus is recommended.
Australians do not need a tourist visa to visit Peru (valid for 183 days) as long as they can present a current passport and details of their onward journey (we weren't asked to show this). For up to date information, follow the link http://www.embaperu.org.au/embassy/visas.html, however, we found that our passports were only validated for a 90 day entry each. We also met another Australian couple who were only given 60 days in one passport and 90 in the other.
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.