Border: Rumichaca, Colombia – Ecuador
- Drive past DIAN and immigration office to parking lot and park.
- Go to DIAN and turn in temporary permit and copy of driver’s passport.
- Go to immigration window and have passport stamped.
- Before you get to the parking lot there is a military inspection point. We were inspected mostly out of curiosity than anything else. They will wave you to the parking lot.
- Go to immigration and get stamped.
- Go to aduana on the left corner of the building.
- Hand over title/registration, color copy of driver’s passport, color copy of Ecuador passport stamp for driver, and a color copy of license. (When we crossed on a Sunday all copy places on Ecuador side were closed so we walked across the border and got copies there – cost a US $1).
- They looked at VIN and car and then gave us a permit. Some people are asked to buy insurance but we were not.
- Make sure they right down the correct border you plan to exit on your permit to avoid hassle leaving for Peru later.
We arrived Sunday, June 23, 2014 at 8:02am and were done on Colombia side at 8:27. We
were done by 9:16 with all border crossing. They used to do a dot matrix on the passports but
have since changed to stamping. The only thing that slowed us down was the need for color
copies and since we needed the passport stamp too we still would have had to do that part
- The roads are generally in excellent shape here. The gas, as I’m sure you know, is incredibly cheap ($1.48 p/gallon at time of writing). The occasional toll road only cost $1.
- SuperMaxi tends to be a reliably good place to get grocery-store-style supplies that you won’t find at mercados and other typical vendors.
- Quito has a great brewery called Bandito about 5 blocks from the hostels in the old town area. Legit, American style IPAs and Porters for a good price. Tell Ryan we sent you. Great people there.
- Also in Quito you will find the Guayunga Hostel which has parking for your rig INSIDE there hostel’s courtyard. It’s $5 per night for the car and $3.50 per person/per night to stay. Super nice people, it’s right next to the Secret Garden if you like to party, and the brewery is right down the street. $1.25 grande cervezas don’t hurt either. Wifi reaches the parking and they have electrical for you if you have an extension cord. Bam.
- Drive the Quilotoa Loop, any vehicle will make it (see below for details).
Quilatoa Loop Info for Overlanders
We camped in a parqueadero in Latacunga, got and early start, and drove to Saquisili for the market to begin the loop.
- The Thursday morning market is huge!
- Plaza de Animales is on your right as you leve the town, but you must go there first and early if you want to see all the animals
- The market really is rip roaring by 10-11am. Every inch of side walks and streets besides the 8 plazas are taken up by this market
- Plaza de Gran Colombia has the handicrafts like the stuff sold in Otovalo and the men with old fashioned singer sewing machines all in a row.
- If you need fruits/vegs/fish wait for this market
Saquisili to Toacaso: 7km
Toacaso – Sigchos: 47 km
Sigchos – Chugchilan: 23 km
In Chugchilan a lot of people stop at the Cloud Forest hostel. Nice people, camping accommodations for overlanders (we opted to drive through to Quilotoa and stay there).
Chugchilan – Quilotoa: 23 km
- Crater Lake (Must SEE)
- Plenty of hostels to stay at if needed.
- $2 per person entry fee at the gate to the town
- Camping is easy, free with entry into the town, and the people are helpful to point out places to do so.
Quilotoa – Zumbahua: 12.5km
Zumbahua – Latacunga: 67.5 km
We did the whole route easily on about half a tank of gas. We filled up on the highway just outside of Latacunga before heading to Saquisili, however we did notice the occasional gas station along the way if you do need gas.
Rd report: Mostly paved roads, with some easy gravel parts until you hit Chugchilan where it turns to very bumpy dirt roads with construction. This road will be pretty awesome in the next year though. We made the dirt road without any problem without 4 wd.