Ecuador to Peru

I’ve crossed dozens of  borders between countries overland in my lifetime, but traveling from Ecuador to Peru was by far the smoothest. So I worried for nothing.

As countless have already attested in accounts on the Internet, the main border crossing on the Panamerican Highway between the two countries – from Huaquillas, Ecuador, to Aguas Verdes and Tumbes, Peru, is an active minefield of robbers, con-artists,  crime-driven taxi drivers, and corrupt and bribe-happy police and immigration officials. This border crossing, if you can, should be avoided, people who’ve suffered through this madness told me.

Most border crossings in South America should be avoided at night, but this one by bus is an exception

So I looked at a map, checked my options and did some serious research. The inland border crossing from Loja, Ecuador, through Mancara and on to Piura, Peru, seemed best. After more research I learned that  Transportes Loja runs buses from Loja (Ecuador) to Piura (Peru). You reach the border, step off the bus to get your passport stamped on the Ecuador side, walk a short distance over the international bridge, get your passport stamped in Peru, get back on the bus, and you’re done. You cross the border with all the people on the bus and the bus drivers (there are two on these long journeys), so it is extremely safe and easy. The customs agents here and police are easy-going, and try to get the buses going as quickly as possible. When I crossed at 4:30 a.m., there was just us from the buses on the border – no one else. Totally painless.

I thought of all those folks crossing at the main border. There, it’s like Russian roulette with your life, money and belongings. At Mancara, it was a breeze. I even leisurely snapped pictures and joked with border agents. They were really professional and easy to deal with.

So my suggestion if you come to Ecuador or Peru and want to cross the border by land, consider going to Vilcabamba, then go to Loja to catch the bus there to Peru. You will save yourself a whole lot of aggravation and frustration.

Transportes Loja, which takes you from Loja, Ecuador, to Piura, Peru, offers very comfortable bus service. The seats recline for added comfort.

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2 thoughts on “Ecuador to Peru

  1. Dawn

    Thanks for your info on the border crossing, Ecuador to Peru. I am aiming to do that in Sept 2012, but want to proceed onto Chiclayo from Piura. Did you do that? if so, did you use a Transportes Loja bus and did it go from the same or a different bus terminal in Piura? Thanks.

    • Dawn, I had to get to Lima in a hurry and so I went directly from Piura to Lima (long, boring trip I would not do again or recommend). There are too many cool places in between Piura and Lima to see, which sadly I had to miss. Anyway, from Piura I took Cruz del Sur, which I believe is one of the best bus services in Peru. On some buses and bus routes, for instance, they even lend you an iPad and there’s Wi-Fi on the bus! See if Cruz del Sur goes to Chiclayo. Otherwise, most bus companies in Peru are excellent to adequate. – Mike

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