Ecuador South America Travel

How We Crossed the Border from Cuenca, Ecuador into Peru

Crossing the Border

There are many options to cross the border into Peru from Ecuador, and we saw and heard a lot of conflicting information. Most of the information seemed to point to going first to a city named Loja. Afterwards you would take a bus to across the border to a town called Piura and work your way from there.

Our guidebook seemed to think this was the best route. We had also been told by other travelers that there was another way, but it was really dangerous. After talking with the hostel owner of the place we stayed at, however, we started looking more at the alternative route. Searching further, we saw a few posts mentioning a good experience taking the more direct route through Huaquillas straight from Cuenca.

A More Direct Route

Apparently a few years back you needed to get off the bus, walk across a bridge from Ecuador with all your stuff, and then enter Peru. As you can imagine, that’s not very safe at 3am in the morning. Right now, however, this border has been upgraded and you can do all your paperwork in one building. Our stuff passed through an inspection while we watched and never left the bus. We walked into the building, got our exit stamp from Ecuador, walked over ten feet, and got our entrance stamp into Peru.

In Cuenca we got a night bus directly to Chiclayo, the furthest point we could go on that line. Many people stopped in a town called Mancora, to spend time at the beach; however, we were anxious to get to the town of Huaraz, the gateway to the Andes.

Getting to Huaraz

We reached Chiclayo about midday and were dismayed to discover that there was no ATM nearby to take any money out. The bus terminals in Peru work differently than in Ecuador. Instead of a central bus terminal for all the bus companies, every company operates its own station. The station we arrived at was out of the way and there was very little nearby. Fortunately one of the locals took pity on us and helped us get a taxi to the correct terminal. Nearby we found an ATM and were able to take some money out.

From Chiclayo we took a bus to Trujillo. Upon arriving there we once again needed to take a taxi to a different terminal. There we bought our tickets for a night bus to our desired destination Huaraz, Peru.

Overall we had a total of two nights and one day traveling by bus. Thankfully the buses in Peru are actually relatively comfortable, and we were able to get some sleep. We arrived in Huaraz prepared for an amazing time!

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