This is our experience/record of crossing the Colombia-Ecuador border on Friday, 5 June 2015. Our traveling party consisted of two people and two motorcycles. We arrived at 10:50 and were finished by 11:52. This was one of the easiest crossings to date. There were no lines on either side so little idle waiting was required.
Border Name: Rumichara
Closest major cities: Ipiales, Colombia and Tulcan, Ecuador
Costs: No Fees
• Driver’s license
• Motorcycle title
• Motorcycle registration
• Colombia vehicle import form
• Note: we keep all originals in individual plastic sleeves. We labeled these sleeves clearly to avoid confusion as to what was what, to keep original documents clean, and to differentiate what is original and what is a copy. All border-crossing officials have respected the sleeve.
Follow signs for Rumichara for the border crossing. We parked between the Aduana and immigration buildings on the left. This worked for motorcycles but the main parking lot is on the left just past the immigration building. There were two money-changers (we used one to change our last Colombian funds into Dollars and were given a decent rate). They also pointed us where to go and, unlike the fixers in Central America, expected nothing in return for helping us.
Step 1 – Immigration: Enter the immigration building and provide your passports. They asked two questions and stamped us out. There was not a line when we arrived.
Step 2 – Customs: Take the temporary vehicle import permit to the Aduana (this is the building just before/north of the immigration/migration building). Go inside the building and the door is on the east side of the building. They will direct you into a room where the official will take your permit and stamp it out. The official asked if I needed a copy and I said no. I was done and could leave through the back door.
Total time to exit was fifteen minutes.
Drive across the bride and past a military check point. The Aduana and immigration buildings will be on your left (east). The buildings are all part of one complex. We parked behind (south) the immigration building though the main parking seems to be in front (north), either parking area will work.
Step 1 – Immigration: We entered through the back door of the immigration building (it is signed above the door) and an official near the front door gave us tourist cards and a Ecuador tourist map and said “Welcome”. We filled out the forms, got in line, and the official reviewed our passports, asked a couple questions, and stamped passports. No fees. The official kept the tourist card.
Step 2 – Customs: The Aduana building is outside of and in front (north) of the customs building. Go to the window and provide passport, drivers license, title, and registration. No copies required. The official took photos of the documents. About fifteen minutes later the official provided the vehicle permit. After providing both permits she walked to our motorcycles and took photos of the license plates. No fees.
Step 3 – Insurance: At the time of our crossing it was during a moratorium (January-July 2015) of SOAT insurance requirements because the system is being overhauled. As we are leaving before July we were not required to purchase insurance.