La Hormiga (La Balsa), Ecuador to San Ignacio, Peru | Customs and Immigration

Peru

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Verified:
25 days ago
Altitude:
713.8 masl
Contributor:
panamnotes.com

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Description

Super fast. Did not ask for other vaccination records besides COVID
Ecuador side immigration open from Monday to Friday. Closed in the weekend!

Tip - last fuel heading south in Zumba Ecuador, but suggest also top off in Loja.
Vilcabamba to La Balsa is a slow and narrow drive, so plan accordingly.
The Peruvian side closes 14:00-16:00 (see photo). UPDATE FEB2022 closed during weekend
If leaving Peru, must also first get cleared by police in side office.

They will confiscate potatoes and fruits if you bring it into Peru

Mandatory liability auto insurance is required to drive in Peru, but not sold at this crossing; Aduana advises to get at next town without issues.
Tip - Lights on while driving may be mandatory

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Crossed about a month ago by bike, coming from the Ecuador. It was quick and we were only asked for our covid vaccination record; at the time the officer asked for 3 vaccines, which we had. Their website said that as long as you have a full scheme based on your country of origin then you’re good.

We are on bikes and received 180 days each. We’ve heard some other cyclists are only getting 60 days at the border, regardless if their nationality allows them to have 180 days in Perú. It seems it’s been an arbitrary decision by the officers, so just beware.

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Very nice and pleasant border crossing. Everyone is as described. Process took us 1 hour (5 minutes for immigration and the rest for TIP). Just like Ecuador side, the TIP guys move SLOW. Oh well!

Aduana might ask you for vehicle insurance, but if you don’t have one, just insist you will buy it in Jaen. There were no police checkpoints to Jaen for us.

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Super easy and fast! Park vehicle on the bridge just before Peru gate.... Walk thru pedestrian gate about 100 feet to the immigration office... Just outside of the immigration office is the covid checkpoint. we showed him our passports & vaccine cards.... he documents them in a ledger and then gives you a small piece of paper to take to immigration.... next walk into the immigration office... here you get your Peru passport stamp... they fingerprint and take your picture.... then head to the aduana office (right next door and signed well)... you need drivers license, title, and passport... they briefly checked out the van. We travel with 2 cats, during vehicle inspection we were asked for proof of vaccination for the cats.... they checked the dates of vaccines right there in the van and we were good to go. No special paperwork for the pets. Vehicle insurance is required for Peru, but you cannot purchase it here... we were instructed to drive to Jaen for insurance and we were told we would have no issues as long as Jaen was our first stop. The whole process only took 45 minutes!

Note: a previous post suggests getting insurance online. We tried to do this, but you cannot with a USA passport. They require other ID numbers... I THINK that maybe any resident of South America might be able to use the website. The website is good... and worth a try!

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Super fast. Did not ask for other vaccination records besides COVID

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Ecuador side immigration open from Monday to Friday. Closed in the weekend!

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Ecuador -> Peru
Total time about 1 hour and 15 minutes with 2 motorbikes. Very easy and friendly. Needed just documents (no copies)
and 3 shots of vaccine.

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Entering Perú by bicycles no problem at all. We weren't asked anything, no yellow fever certificate. The officer was very nice and explained that we have 3 months but we can easly extend for 3 more months on line, the request can be done no earlier than a week before the expiry date.

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Easiest entry border for us. We came from Ecuador. Total time was 25 minutes! Friendly and helpful staff. We got 3 months, which is what we wanted and asked for. After completing the TIP, they did a quick inspection of our van, took some pictures, and sent us on our way. They do not offer vehicle insurance at this border so you will have to go to the nearest town for it.

We got ours at Jaén.....but were stopped by police before getting there. I explained (fluent Spanish speaker) that we could not get it at the border and were on our way to purchase it. We could tell that he was not pleased that we were driving without insurance, asked all kinds of questions as to why this or why that, said that they give fines for it, but ultimately let us get on the road. We were 15 minutes from Jaén when he stopped us; I'm not sure he would've been forgiving had we been further away. So, if you can get the SOAT insurance in San Ignacio, that'd be better. You'll most likely be stopped at one of the police checkpoints.

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DO NOT BRING ANY POTATOES OR CITRUS FRUITS. He confiscated all our citrus fruits - grapefruit, oranges, even the passion fruits. And every kind of potato they took.

This is going from Ecuador to Peru

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Additionally- we did have to show Yellow Fever vaccination. She was ready to deliver shot if we didn’t have it. Asked about other vaccines and we had no paperwork, but it may be age dependent.

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Crossing Ecuador to Peru. First get passport stamp. Can request 6 months max. Then go to Aduana. They want proof of insurance (SOAT) If you don’t have international insurance proof they will warn you that the police will ask for money if you are stopped. Said we should take a moto taxi to San Ignacio and buy it, then return for TIP. We refused and said we would take our chances with police. He processed TIP efficiently. Then wanted to see inside truck and camper, and did zoosanitary guy.
Between border and San Ignacio we did not see police. Denied SOAT in San Ignacio so proceeded on to Jaén. We did see two police checkpoints on the way to Jaén. Both waved us through without stopping. we obtained insurance quickly in Jaén.

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easy border, not much people. All good, except the officier try to get money from us, but not convaincing. We didn't Gove anything.

His story was about the SOAT, because you need one and you can't buy one here.

we answer showing the ioverlander app that we know it, and everybody go buy one in the next City.

no problem after that.

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We came today at 13:07, the Ecuadorian Aduana was closed, we waited 40 minutes. They all had lunch in Peru. But the guy in the building with a sign "Police" stamped our passports and told us to wait for his colleagues. When they came, it took them 5 min to cancel the TIP and take a picture of our plates, which almost didn't make any sense, since we were so dirty after the road from Valladolid. Anyway.
Peruvian side was faster, the lady stamped our passports for 90 days. We asked for 4 month, but she didn't even respond. So, when we asked for 4 month for the TIP, the officer told us it's impossible, because they can't give you more than the owner of the car has. Not sure if it's correct.
The Agriculture control asked if we had veggies, we honestly answered about 1 pepper in the car, he laughed and let us go.
In general, fast border, if you aren't coming during the lunch. And they are open 24 hours, no 2PM-4PM break on Peruvian side. But be prepared to wait, because they can take a break whenever they feel like it. All guys on the border were very nice and friendly.

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Frontera súper rápida. Personal muy amable y servicial. Pedimos 4 meses y nos lo dieron sin problema. El trámite de la aduana también excelente personal. Súper rápido. Ya no piden la libreta de vacunación ni hay personal para aplicar vacunas.

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We crossed here today. They asked for our vaccination card ( yellow fever, rubeola and sarampión)They checked our jeep, but not much and did not make us throw food! (which happened while crossing from Chile)
They didnt say anything about our dog and didnt show her papers.

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We crossed from Peru to Ecuador.

Be aware that ECUADOR does not have any COMPUTER system here. Means afterwards you MUST go to any inmigration office to make OFFICIAL your entering in ECUADOR !!!

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Well if you don't have a vaccination card, they have to vaccinate you here against MMR. Apparently this is due to the recent influx of refugees. We didn't want to because the nurse didn't even have a badge. Great. But they wouldn't stamp us in unless without it. This applies to travelers from all countries.

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Lunch time is whenever they feel like it. Today was 12:00 - 2:30. After a long wait we were processed quickly. This however was the first border (entering Peru) where we had to show vaccination records. I was missing a measles shot so they gave me one on the spot. (Free)

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The Peruvian official for Aduana could use new glasses I think. Took about 1 hour to do 2 motorcycles but mostly because he was struggling to read the paperwork. Easy, friendly people

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Easy, quick and friendly guys who were very interested in our travels.
They "checked" the car (open and close the doors) and said we could hide 2 oranges because in Ecuador there is not food control.

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It also took us about 5 hours from Vilcabamba. We got to the Peru migration office at 1:15 pm to find no one around. People nearby thought the guy was at lunch but it was 45 minutes early. Told us to check green restaurant on right. Eventually we knocked on the police station door and the officer called the migration guy, who showed up on a taxi a few minutes later. We were done with him by the actual lunch time (1400).

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Southbound: The drive from Vilcabamba took us a little over 5 hours in our Ford E350 4x4 camper van. As stated, the first stretch is mostly paved with several unfinished dirt sections. The last 50km is a dirt single track with a few muddy sections, never requiring 4x4. Very pretty drive. We reached the border at 1:15 and had both sides completed by 2:00, just before their lunch break. We only needed copies for Peruvian TIP, 1 each of ownership document (title/registration) and owner passport. Asked and received 183 days, TIP is for 1 year. We purchased insurance in San Ignacio and have added our details in that entry.

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road to get here was pretty rough for at least 50 km 4x4 helped but not required.

exit ecuador was super simple.

drove over bridge. Zoo guy wanted to check inside the van then asked if we had a dog. we said yes and he acted like this was a huge issue. we handed over various papers and he hummed and hawed and then seemed to say OK

vehicle aduana guy was super mellow and nice process with him took maybe 15 minutes.

immigration office closed from 14:00-16:00. process with him took maybe 5 minutes per person.

easy border if you don’t mind the drive and avoid the “lunch” time.

ADUANA said to get SOAT in next town. no big deal we didn’t have to ask or make any excuses.

make sure to fill your gas in zumba.

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Easy peasy be friendly and ask for 180days going into Peru.

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Nice, chilled and easy border crossing from Ecuador into Peru. After 5 minutes on Ecuador side we pulled up at Peru side of bridge. We parked up before the barrier and walked to Aduana. It was about 1.30pm. The guy to sort the bike docs was on lunch. He ran over and told us to get our passports stamped, showed us where, and said once we had done that he would sort the bike docs. It took about 10-15mins tops for 4 of us to get our passports stamped and an immigration slip. We asked for 6 months and got 180 days stay granted each. The guy was very efficient. No photocopies required. Office closed 2-4pm.

We then went back to get the bike docs sorted. It probably took about 10 minutes per person so really fast. Again, no photocopies that we were required to get, he did all the photocopying he needed at no charge. You just need bike registration document, drivers licence and passport. We said we would get SOAT at San Ignacio (we hope). No bike inspection undertaken. Very relaxed border crossing. No issues with photos.

Road from Vilcabamba is mainly tar road with about the last 50km being a easy dirt road with beautiful scenery. Last fuel stop is Zumba, first available ATM etc is San Ignacio. All tar road from border to San Ignacio.

All-in-all, a really relaxed, fast and friendly border crossing experience with beautiful scenery in and out.

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Exit Perú, very straightforward. Guy took his time, more interested talking about how corrupt the president is. Copy shops in this site for cheap (20 centavos).

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Horrible! The guy at aduana was new (his 1st day). So he was unsure about the procedures. I bought a van to spanish travellers in Colombia. I had a sell contract from the spaniards. He was so confused with all that... He rang several tines to whoever and asked me thousand questions. I had to go back to the ecuadorian border to get the vehicule exit paper for him to take a copy. It took almost 2hours to get the entry paper for my van!!!
At the end, he offered me a few bananas...!!! Hahahaha

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It took us 20min. Entered the migration office alone, as wife was cooking lunch in the car. Very nice guy who was looking Spanish LaLiga football match as I walked in. Had a quick discussion about referees and where Estonia is and was able to get the entry stamp for both passports. Its a mans world :) Aduana el Jefe is a older guy. Very friendly but a bit blind. Entered whole info about the car into their system. Nobody checked the car here and also not in the Ecuadorian side. Not even the vin number or plate. Best border experience on both side in 2,5 years of overlanding.

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heres the scoop coming in from Ecuador to Peru. Stop just before the bridge and on your right side is the immigration office/ police place. Find the aduana officer , dressed in military swag who also opens the gate once your done getting your stamp, and turn in your vehicle permit. he might or might not check your Vin Numbers. proceed to the immigration office. I couldn't fit my moto underneath the first gate , so the guy in military swag opened it. cross the bridge and park at the second gate. on your left are the offices. first go to white office with red roof first. get your stamp and visa. before you go to the aduana (two story grey building closer to the gate)get a copy directly across the street of your passport, visa, vehicle title and drivers license. walk to the two story grey metal building and the aduana guy will give you your vehicle permit. the computer crashed and I had to wait a little till it rebooted. you definitely can not buy SOAT here. the officer told me to buy it in San Ignacio.

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Peruvian boarder office hours of attendance: 7:30am-2pm and 4pm-7:30pm. There is a note at the door saying that you can locate them at a certain address after 7:30pm.

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Walked to immigration office and were asked home many days we wanted to stay in the country. Mac allowed time is 183 days so we went with that. It only took 10 min for the 2 of us. Walked to the Aduana office. We were asked for insurance which we didn't have because we planned to buy it at the border. There's no place to buy insurance here. Agent said he was doing us a favor letting us in without insurance and hinted a few times we should give him some money for dinner. We pretended we didn't understand what he was asking for. We told him we'll buy insurance as soon as we found a place that sold it. (There's an updated law that requires people buy insurance for a whole year so many insurance broker offices are not allowed to sell insurance for only a few months. We asked in several offices in different towns and were able to get SOAT insurance for only 3 months in Chachapoyas. Look for entry at Mapfre Insurance Office in Chachapoyas.

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About the insurance: SOAT was not able to sell us a insurance, because our IVECO wasn't in there system. No tarifa!
Go to Mapfre in any town and you will get your insurance as you wish!

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This post is from Logan and Brianna of  PanAm Notes http://www.panamnotes.com/ . To read their full experience and see photos, see the detailed article at:  http://panamnotes.com/2011/07/the-road-to-peru/
Tips for those of you looking to use the La Balsa Border crossing:

Their is a gas station in Zumba Ecuador, but like most of Southern Ecuador it is occasionally (if not often) dry. Further, near the border, Ecuador rations their fuel to prevent foreign nationals crossing the border and filling up on $1.50/gal gasoline.  We were not restricted with how much we could purchase, but have been warned that others have.  Top off in Loja before Vilcabamba.Vilcabamba to Zumba river camp took us 6 hours, an additional 1.5 hours to La BalsaZumba river camp: S04 53.59 W79 07.65To exit Ecuador: get your passport stamped at immigration and hand over  your vehicle permit to Aduana who will check your VIN and license number.  Cost: $0The Peruvian side closes for lunch which is typically 12:00 – 3:00pm, but can be as late as 4:00pmTo enter Peru: get your passport stamped in the brown building toward your right as you cross the bridge.  Cost: $0 Whether or not you’ll need copies of anything to get a vehicle permit depends on the agent.  There is a copy place next door.You’ll need auto insurance to drive in Peru.  They do not sell it at the borders.  The police in Peru seem friendly, but well aware of this fact.La Balsa to San Ignacio took us 1.5 hours, San Ignacio to Jaen took 2.5 hours.Camp/secure parking in San Ignacio at Hostal Faical: S 05 08.711  W79 00.428San Ignacio is a nicer place to stay compared to JaénUPDATE: In Southern Peru we’ve been pulled over for failing to run our headlights during daylight hours. While we don’t believe this to be a law, you might as well turn on your lights to avoid the stop and 30min conversation.

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