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Colombia to Ecuador overland


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Tags: ecuador, colombia, bus
  • Added on: June 26th, 2008
Alright, so here's the issue. Kathy and I are going to Ecuador, and we're trying to use my airline points to get there. BUT, the closest Air Canada and their partners come is Bogota, so we'll likely be flying there.

The cost of flying onwards is about $350/person, so we're open to overland options.

1. What is the best way to get from Bogota to Ecuador?
2. Are there any safety issues...I know that there have been some border tensions lately involving FARC, and I'm a little iffy on the border area.
3. How long will it take, and about how much will it cost?
4. How dependable is the timetable (if I have to be back to make a flight, how much leeway do I need to give).

Anything else that might be relevant?

We've only got three weeks so if it's a long haul by bus, it's probably worth it to us to fly, but I want to make sure I'm not spending $700 to save myself 10 hours.

Also, on a related note...the last flight to Quito for the day leaves only 1.5 hours after our flight from Toronto it reasonable to schedule such a tight connection, or should we stay the night and fly south the next day?

Not the First Continental Op

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  • Added on: June 26th, 2008
My 2 cents:

You'd probably be okay using the usual route that passes through Ipiales and over the Rumichaca bridge, but, if it were me, and maybe I'm getting old, I'd just fly. In addition to the FARC nonsense, they've become a little more anal about Colombian illegals passing into Ecuador, so what used to be a fairly quick stop at the border may not be so quick anymore.

Beyond bus and taxi (and I'd take a cab rather than a bus when actually crossing), they've got a couple of passenger ferries running trips up and down the coast now, so that's an option. Just take a bus or fly into Tumaco (cheap, if I remember correctly), and take a ferry to Ecuador from there.
"The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become until he goes abroad." - Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad


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  • Added on: June 26th, 2008
I think the overland route is safe enough (just a matter of taking buses along the main highway from Bogotá to Ipiales), but it will eat up a full 2 days of your short trip each direction. I'd suggest either flying or just staying in Colombia instead. And I have no idea of how the airports are in Colombia and Ecuador, but I did travel overland through those countries without any issues.
Two and a half years in South and Central America.
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  • Added on: June 27th, 2008
Thanks guys. I ended up just buying the plane ticket...I don't get enough vacation to lose a day on each end just getting to and from the airport.

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