This will be our first post about Colombia, the country with many expectations. Our first main destination is San Agustin but let’s first reflect shortly on Ecuador and the border crossing.
After Peru and Bolivia we had a more laid back time in Ecuador. I want to thank all the backpackers who skip Ecuador and head straight to Colombia or Peru. Thanks to them we didn’t have any long queues or just simply too much tourists anywhere. On the other hand, I understand why people decide to skip Ecuador. There are way less ‘tourist highlights’, but despite this it’s a country worth visiting (Easily)! We had a great time which you of course already found out reading all our blogposts!
Crossing the border
Our last stop in Ecuador was Quito. From here we started our long chain of buses and taxis to get to San Agustin in Colombia. In the end we were like 26 hours on the way. There were a few cities we past where we could sleep or stay, but we decided to go on strong!
We started our travel in Quito at like 10am. Our first place to go would be Terminal Norte, the bus terminal in the north (obviously). You can take the bus or taxi here. We took the bus because we were located quite close to a bus stop (This also costs us 50 cents instead of 10 dollars).
From the terminal we took a bus to Tulcan (Around 11am). Tulcan is basically the border city in Ecuador. The costs of this bus was 6 dollars and it takes around 4/5 hours. The bus in Tulcan stops exactly in front of taxis which are waiting to bring you to the border for 3,5 dollars. You could decide to stay a night in Tulcan but it doesn’t have that much to offer. If you can still cross the border, you better take the 15 minute taxi ride directly after the bus!
We arrived at the border around 4pm. The border crossing can take very long or long. This depends on the time you arrive and simply luck. For us it was luckily long. On the ecuadorian side we waited for approximately 2 hours and on the Colombian side for like 30 minutes. Once you’re done at the Colombian border, the taxis are waiting for you.
From the border you can take a taxi to Ipiales for 10000 pesos or 3 dollars. Ipiales is the border town on the Colombian side and if you want to sleep overnight in a bed, this would be the place I suggest you to stay. In Ipiales you could visit this crazy good looking church, which you can find by googling ‘Church Ipiales’ (Or checking the coverphoto of this post). Looks incredible, but not enough reason for us to stay for a night.
We went directly to the terminal of Ipiales (Arrived around 7pm). Here we had some food and took the overnight bus to Popayan at 10pm (Time to watch Arrow on Netflix) . There were some buses earlier, but this bus would arrive at the start of the morning (Safety first). The costs of this bus were 45000 pesos pp.
We arrived around 6:30 am in Popayan and booked a minibus to San Agustin straight away. We had a little 30 minutes to get a little breakfast and a toilet break before starting this 5 hour ride. The costs of this trip were 38000 pesos pp. The road to San Agustin was the worst! Its for like 80% just sand and full with big holes (Imagine).
Luckily we made it to the end of this bad road. We arrived around 12 in the afternoon a bit outside San Agustin. We didn’t have a hostel yet, but luckily the taxi driver was acompanied with a hostal recruiter. He brought us to a nice hostel and got us a really good deal. Finally, we made it to our first bed in Colombia. Time for a shower and a nap!
Now I’m supposed to tell more about San Agustin, but describing the border crossing was long enough already. I’ll just finish this blogpost here and write a little separate one for San Agustin.
Goodluck crossing your borders!