Crossing Into Colombia From Ecuador By Land

By reliable accounts, the safest, easiest land entry from Ecuador into Colombia is at the Rumichaca bridge between Tulcán, Ecuador .. and Ipiales, Colombia.  The centers of those two cities are about ten miles apart.

Although the Nariño province of Colombia, which includes Ipiales, has areas that are unsafe due to guerrilla activity, the portion that includes the Rumichaca bridge and the city of Ipiales are safer than those mostly-rural areas.

Andes Transit (, a prominent provider of bus transportation, is providing services besides bus travel itself to assist cross-border travelers, including an information kit (8.99 USD).

However, the company reports that the land borders remain closed (advisory posted March 10, 2021) to prevent covid spread.
  It says the exception is humanitarian-purposed travel .. for instance, agencies that provide relief supplies to those in need.


Your OP has no financial connection to Andes Transit or any other company that he may mention in this thread.


Are land-border travelers actually being denied pedestrian and/or vehicular access into Colombia during the covid era?

That's a question for someone who has attempted to make the crossing lately.

If that's you, please tell us what happened when you attempted the crossing.


An active thread on this forum that was started April 15, 2021, is called Travel to Colombia.  So far, it is primarily about traveling to Colombia by plane.


Colombia re-opens its borders.

Colombia this week re-opened its borders with four of its neighboring countries, 14 months after the borders were closed due to covid.

The borders with Ecuador, Peru, Panama and Brazil are now open.

This includes land, river and maritime borders -- all open.

Colombia's border with Venezuela remains closed.

Source... Jeanne's column at

According to the columnist, the re-opening of
border crossings with Ecuador does not remove certain 'issues'
that pertain to those crossings.  She did not elaborate.


On an obscure Colombia thread, Prospector 911 asked me whether the Ecuador-Colombia border is open or closed.

My go-to site for the latest-available information about the Rumichaca crossing is usually the insurance website ...

The same site has some commentaries about that crossing in general beyond whether there is a temporary closing.

I'll be staying a couple of miles from that crossing in October and November (access to casino blackjack, not available in Ecuador) and will report on whatever border doings I encounter during that stay.

Prospector, what are your favorite ways to get from Panama to Colombia or Ecuador en esta época?

cccmedia in Quito, Ecuador

So far in this era of purported pandemia (I have another more suitable word for it) I have only flown from Panama to Colombia. And Im going back there very soon. Thankfully no bogus PCR tests required now. Had to get one the first time......Colombia has joined the ranks of many other latin countries which have long since dispensed with the rediculous erroneous PCR test rediculed as ineffective even by its inventor.  I bolted from Colombia at the heighth of the national strike when all h&^l was breaking loose around the country, and especially in Cali....So I backtracked to Medellin and caught a flight to cancun Mexico where no PCR was or is required. And thenafter a month cruising and surfing Mexican west coast hot spots, flew to Tijuana and walked across the CBX bridge into Calif, all without a PCR test.....A week in Calif where my propaganda hypnotized own family rejected my visit because I had been too many places and was too high risk, and then a one way ticket from san Diego to San Jose Costa Rica, (no PCR required) . Week in C.R. on a $45 insurance policy from Trawick Int, and backdoor it into Panama at night after the boss goes home and the labs are closed........Back on the finca puttin everything in shape, tip top and next week shoot for Santa Marta where they tell me its relaxed again and the sun is shining. I sure hope that land border in Rumichaca is open for regular travelers soon or that Ecuadors new president really digs into it and like Obrador in Mexico realized that the PCR is totally unnecessary and banishes it to the dark realm of history where it belongs.......Howz about anti body tests? You all see the new study out of Israel?

Thanks for the troop movements update, Prospector.

You seem to have done an excellent job avoiding the PCR tests during their heyday.


Ecuador still requires the outdated PCR test if Im not mistaken. Pls advise. Altho Im quite adept at making them up after the last year and a half.........But we still havent confirmed that the land border is open for normal touristic/commercial travel.

Ecuador does not require the PCR test for fully vaccinated persons.

I showed my passport and my superstore vaccination card showing Moderna injections in April and May .. and breezed through the Houston and Quito airports upon my UIO return.

cccmedia in Quito

Superstore vaccination card? You mean one you buy off of Amazon or eBay? No Q codes.......They dont check?  Just another govt bureaucratic formality?

prospector911 wrote:

Superstore vaccination card? You mean one you buy off of Amazon or eBay? No Q codes.......They dont check?  Just another govt bureaucratic formality?

I call it a superstore vaccination card because I received the Moderna shots at what I call superstores, in the pharmacy section. 

For the second shot in May, I went to a Costco in Arvada, Colorado (metro Denver).  There the pharmacist marked and signed for my injection. 

The card doesn't look as official as a laminated state-issued card.  However, it was good enough to easily get me past all the  security checkpoints at airports from Denver to Houston .. and HOU-UIO.

I don't know any Q code except Marjorie Q Green .. and I don't usually discuss her at ...

cccmedia in Quito

I just did another hour of online research to update my knowledge about the Ecuador-Colombia land border -- is it open to tourists and travelers?

I found conflicting answers at different websites where information al respecto has been posted since late July.

If I were coming from, say, Panama, I'd probably fly to Ecuador or Colombia if I needed to visit only one of these two countries and if having a car at my disposal wasn't important.

cccmedia in Quito

Land border from Colombia to Ecuador is closed...Ecuador is closed for entry.  You can enter Colombia from Ecuador....

Really? You can enter Colombia from Ecuador but not Ecuador from Colombia?

Has anybody just recently flew into Quito o Guayaquil  and if so how closely did they scrutinize you pcr or antigen test?

mtbe wrote:

Land border from Colombia to Ecuador is closed...Ecuador is closed for entry.  You can enter Colombia from Ecuador....

Ecuador and Colombia each have dominion over border entries, so the above is possible.

However, reports vary on what's open lately.

Ipso facto, it would be useful for readers if posters on this thread would state the source of what they are posting about border crossings.

For instance, if Mtbe posts that the border is open only in one direction (into Colombia), does he know that from having just obtained a tourist permit himself .. or having just been denied a crossing .. or what he read in the Ipiales newspaper .. or what is currently posted on the Nomads insurance website .. or was it simply 'heard on the street'?


Back before The Situation, during my ten-month stay in Ipiales, Colombia .. I had cause to visit or pass through the Rumichaca crossing various times.

On any day on which the border was open (and it was always open both ways if open at all), I did not see any individual vehicles being stopped from crossing.  (This does not necessarily mean that the drivers all had the legal right to cross.)

I did notice that after crossing into Ecuador, my car and some other vehicles were routinely stopped about 75 yards in;  then a uniformed agent would require the driver to pop open the trunk for a brief inspection, before waving the driver on.


AirBnB host in Ipiales discusses the latest on border crossings.

I have just discussed the Rumichaca border crossing into Colombia .. with the AirBnB host of the apartment in Ipiales where I have scheduled a stay starting on October 6.

She informs me that the Rumichaca crossing into Colombia is closed to people and private vehicles.

Apparently, there are alternate routes to get to Ipiales.  She wrote in an email:  "Deberás tomar rutas alternas conformadas por vías improvisadas a lo largo de fincas del Carchi o Urbina."  These could be lesser-traveled roads through farming areas of northern Ecuador.  I do not have further details at this time, except that the host said these roads close nightly at 7 p.m.

cccmedia in Quito, Ecuador

Under the circumstances (which remain cloudy), I need to have a backup plan in case I can't get across the border with my car.

Essentially, that plan involves doing the same thing I did the last time I drove my car from Ecuador into Colombia several years ago.  I would stay at a hotel in nearby Tulcán, Ecuador, for at least one night .. and figure out the next day how to get myself -- and possibly my car -- into Colombia, whether at Rumichaca or another crossing.

There are certain scenarios that involve parking my Chevy Sail car for a few weeks at the Chevy dealership a few miles from Rumichaca (as I was allowed to do on the previous trip) and taking a taxi with my luggage to the border, then taking a Colombia taxi to the AirBnB apartment in Ipiales.

Complicating the situation are the reality that the rules can change without notice .. and the need to avoid being in Colombia without a tourist stamp or other permission.

cccmedia in Quito

How likely is it that those alternate routes are still open to illegal crossings. You would think that they would catch on quick, but maybe they like to leave an escape valve open to relieve pressure. Who knows but worth a try......Can we find out if there are private shuttles running that route......take you to the main hwy and jump on a bus headed to Pasto? And Popoyan? I have never once been asked to show documents in Colombia in at least 10 trips there. But driving is a whole different story. Thats when they get you.

prospector911 wrote:

How likely is it that those alternate routes are still open to illegal crossings?
... maybe they like to leave an escape valve open to relieve pressure.

I don't expect to understand 'the lay of the land' until I arrive at or near la frontera on October 6.  It would not surprise me if I don't really grasp what's going on at the border until the 7th.

I deliberately planned to arrive at mid-week .. because it's so easy for them to blockade the border on a weekend.

'Humanitarian' visits to Colombia have supposedly been considered for entry when standard visits may have been denied.  How is 'humanitarian' defined -- who knows?

My deep backup plan is to park on the Ecuador side .. and fly to Colombia, in order to qualify for a tourist permit.  I would only do that if both I and my car were denied entry in the Rumichaca/Nariño/Carchi area.

cccmedia in Quito

prospector911 wrote:

I have never once been asked to show documents in Colombia in at least 10 trips there.

I have been stopped for documents while not driving .. in Popayán .. and on several occasions while driving in downtown Medellín at night.

If you are stopped and unable to provide documents, the authorities have the discretion potentially not just to fine you, but to deport you and block you from coming back to La República any time soon.

cccmedia in Quito

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