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Huaquillas, Ecuador - This Border Crossing Is A Big Hassle

Ecuador travel blog by Mark Berman - June 2009 May 2010 June 2012

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!

1st Time

Crossing the border from Aguas Verdes north of Tumbes (Peru) to Huaquillas was my first experience in Ecuador. I immediately encountered a busy main street
Ecuador Photo - A street cook-up in Huaquillas.
A street cook-up in Huaquillas.
with all kinds of things for sale including apparel, fruit and drinks. I headed to Machala for the night.

2nd Time

The second time I crossed from Tumbes to Huaquillas nearly a year after the first was very hectic indeed. After making my own way to border control a few minutes before the actual border, I was taken by a mototaxi to the border but down a side lane to the right of the main street. 2 men then told me they would be my security guards through the crowded and dangerous markets between here and the bus. Along the way we stopped at a fake policeman who looked through my passport but I gave him no money. We
Ecuador Photo - Crossing the border from Aguas Verdes in Peru to Huaquillas.
Crossing the border from Aguas Verdes in Peru to Huaquillas.
continued through the busy markets to the right of the main street, it certainly would have been very dangerous by myself. When I got to the bus the 2 young men wanted payment for their service. I told them I had little money but gave them a few dollars. But do not fall for this trick, get out of your mototaxi before it veers right at the border gate. This time I took a bus to Guayaquil bus terminal and then another throughout half the night up to Portoviejo.

3rd Time

The third time I crossed this border was in 2012. This time I had big hassles with being allowed an entry stamp because the year before I had exited Ecuador at La Balza with my old passport which was not with me, that wasn't the main problem though. The problem was that La Balza is not in the system so there was no record of me exiting Ecuador the year before. I had no option but to spend half the night in Huaquillas trying to sort it out which never happened. I was in Ecuador illegally. At around 3am I took a bus north for 4hrs 30mins to Guayaquil and went straight to the immigration office opposite the bus terminal. This office is amazing, full of young happy police and immigration officers, so unlike the grumpy old men at the Huaquillas office. After comparisons between my new passport and my girlfriends, as well as various comparisons in the system, it was deemed that I did actually exit Ecuador at La Balza on the specific date the year before. I was now granted a visa and my La Balza exit was added to the system! I spent the night in Guayaquil.

Immigrations New Office

In 2012 the border control office in Huaquillas was moved to another location and you must now take a taxi for about 5-10mins to get an entry stamp, then you must get a taxi back to town for buses to other cities. What a big hassle and drama they have turned this into. I dislike this border crossing very much!

     


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Distances & times (if available) from Huaquillas (Ecuador) to:


Map location: Huaquillas, Ecuador. This border crossing is a big hassle and designed for taxi drivers to make a living, I have done this several times and it doesn't get much better each time.
 A : Huaquillas to Machala - Ecuador 36 kms 36 kms straight distance | 1hr 20mins 1hr 20mins by car (82 kms) | 1hr 36mins 1hr 36mins by bus (82 kms) (82 kms)
 B : Mancora - Peru 115 kms 115 kms straight distance | 2hrs 25mins 2hrs 25mins by car (140 kms) | 2hrs 54mins 2hrs 54mins by bus (140 kms) (140 kms)
 C : Cuenca - Ecuador 149 kms 149 kms straight distance | 3hrs 45mins 3hrs 45mins by car (217 kms) | 4hrs 30mins 4hrs 30mins by bus (217 kms) (217 kms)
 D : Loja - Ecuador 125 kms 125 kms straight distance | 4hrs 7mins 4hrs 7mins by car (226 kms) | 4hrs 56mins 4hrs 56mins by bus (226 kms) (226 kms)
 E : Vilcabamba - Ecuador 142 kms 142 kms straight distance | 4hrs 55mins 4hrs 55mins by car (267 kms) | 5hrs 54mins 5hrs 54mins by bus (267 kms) (267 kms)
 F : Guayaquil - Ecuador 148 kms 148 kms straight distance | 4hrs 28mins 4hrs 28mins by car (274 kms) | 5hrs 21mins 5hrs 21mins by bus (274 kms) (274 kms)
 G : Zamora - Ecuador 156 kms 156 kms straight distance | 5hrs 19mins 5hrs 19mins by car (291 kms) | 6hrs 22mins 6hrs 22mins by bus (291 kms) (291 kms)
 H : Ecuador (Macara) to Sullana to Piura - Peru 150 kms 150 kms straight distance | 7hrs 15mins 7hrs 15mins by car (307 kms) | 8hrs 42mins 8hrs 42mins by bus (307 kms) (307 kms)
 I : Alausi - Ecuador 209 kms 209 kms straight distance | 5hrs 8mins 5hrs 8mins by car (318 kms) | 6hrs 9mins 6hrs 9mins by bus (318 kms) (318 kms)
 J : Piura to Tumbes - Peru 198 kms 198 kms straight distance | 5hrs 7mins 5hrs 7mins by car (321 kms) | 6hrs 8mins 6hrs 8mins by bus (321 kms) (321 kms)
 K : Vilcabamba to Zumba - Ecuador 178 kms 178 kms straight distance | 6hrs 28mins 6hrs 28mins by car (340 kms) | 7hrs 45mins 7hrs 45mins by bus (340 kms) (340 kms)
 L : Puerto Lopez - Ecuador 223 kms 223 kms straight distance | 6hrs 51mins 6hrs 51mins by car (438 kms) | 8hrs 13mins 8hrs 13mins by bus (438 kms) (438 kms)
 M : La Balsa to San Ignacio - Peru 230 kms 230 kms straight distance | 9hrs 15mins 9hrs 15mins by car (450 kms) | 11hrs 6mins 11hrs 6mins by bus (450 kms) (450 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


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