Tumbes and Border of Peru and Ecuador
by Big D
Exiting Peru, entering Ecuador in same office now.
May 2014 Update
Lin and I have been over the border to Ecuador and back to Peru a number of times since the original post below.
The border crossing has improved greatly.
Ecuador and Peru collaborated and built a complex that includes both their entrances and exits in the same room.
In other words, you get in line to get your exit visa stamped from one country, move to the next line and get your entrance visa for the country you are entering.
No more getting off the bus for to exit one country, on the bus again, traveling, and then having to get off, and go through the whole thing again to enter the next country.
Much, much better.
We highly recommend getting a through bus ticket from a town not on the border. If you stop in one of the border
towns and want to do the border crossing yourself, it's going to be difficult.
The offices are not right in town and you'll spend a lot of time running around plus taxi expenses and more chance of getting ripped off.
So be sure to buy a through ticket on a bus route that takes you across the border.
Also, the worst time to cross the border is a Sunday evening. People are returning from visiting friends and family over the weekend and pile up at the border crossing.
When entering a country be sure to keep the paper that you have filled out folded in your passport. You will need that to exit the country.
The bus company that has the most runs currently is CIFA. Avoid this bus company
if possible. They are not truthful or forthcoming when answering questions. Security is almost nonexistent. People are allowed to board wherever without even checking IDs.
Other bus companies do not allow anyone to board without a proper ID. They often use a metal detector to prevent weapons on board. Some bus lines even take videos of the passengers.
The more of these security measures the better. CIFA has none at the current time. David and Lin, Inside-Peru.comMarch 13, 2010
We had heard over the years of the awful border crossing after leaving Tumbes to Ecuador.
However, we left Mancora on a night bus (bus cama) and got to the immigration and customs checkpoints around midnight/early a.m. What a difference. Only a few people awake to try to shake down the travelers and everything quiet and smooth.
It was wake up, get off the bus, stand in line for about 15 minutes with nobody pestering anyone, back on the bus and back to sleep.
The only thing that was "typical" was on the way back into Peru at night.
At the Peru immigration stop, there were two guys just inside the building saying, "Americanos? Pasaportes!" We thought they were official. However, they were just taking the passports to fill out the immigrations sheets.
So I said, "Ladrones (thieves)," grabbed our passports back, a couple of the sheets, and did them ourselves. Some of the other foreigners on the bus got stuck for like 5 bucks for the "help" they were given.
Anyway, no big deal.
So, if you don't mind traveling at night, it is definitely the way to go to cross the border!