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Published: July 23rd 2014
Crossing the bridge to Ecuador
Ecuador migration is the building on the right.
This is how we crossed the Colombian/Ecuador border from Ipiales to Ibarra.
1. Catch a collectivo to the border at Rumichaca. Collectivos leave from the Ipiales bus terminal on the left lane of the terminal. When we arrived one was nearly full so we didn't have to wait at all. It left at 9:50am and cost COP$1,500, pay the conductor on the minibus when he comes around. We drove to the border through Ipiales town going past parque Santander and the military base. We arrived at the border at 10:05am.
2. At the border the collectivo drove straight past Colombian migration and over the bridge to the Ecuadorian migration. The police then boarded the bus and checked some people's bags. We got off the bus and had to walk back over the bridge to Colombian migration to get an exit stamp.
3. There was just one queue at Colombian migration and we quickly received an exit stamp with no questions and no fee.
4. Walk over the bridge to Ecuadorian migration running the gauntlet of cambio men.
5. Ecuadorian migration is just in front of you. There are free toilets here to use. You need to complete an immigration form. When we went there was one woman at window 3 dealing with entry and exit stamps and one woman at window 5 who was dealing with enquiries. You had to queue at window 5 to get a form. She gave us one form ripped into two and told us to complete one half each. This seemed weird as both halves of the forms had different questions and only one had a spot for a signature but apparently this is correct.
6. Join the main queue to get an entry stamp. We were only asked if this was our first time in Ecuador and they asked Gearoid's occupation as that question wasn't on his hald of the form. We received a 90 day stamp with no cost. We also received a safety guide for Ecuador with information about taxis and a map of Ecuador. It took us about 50mins to complete the immigration process.
7. Go out of migration and turn right. There is what looks like a bus stop and a blue sign for vans. Here you can catch a minibus to Tulcan. Again we didn't have to wait at all and it left at 11am. It cost 75 cents and arrived at Tulcan bus terminal at 11:25am.
8. When we arrived in Tulcan bus terminal we were met by several people shouting Quito. We caught a Quito bound bus with the company Velotax. Their office was right where we were dropped off. The fare to Ibarra was $2.50. Once you have a ticket head downstairs to the buses. Our bus left at 11:30am.
9. During the journey we stopped at a police check point who checked documents. He told us to get off the bus and get our bags from underneath. However when we got off the bus the other policemen, kind of laughed as if to say "what is that guy doing?" and told us to get back on again. There was a big road diversion along the way and we arrived in Ibarra at 2:20pm. There was no toilet on the bus.
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