Bus Colombia to Brazil via Bolivia

If you have updates to prices, or alternative routes please put a comment below. I start my trip at the beginning of March 2017 so if you are reading this in march I am probably still going.

COLOMBIA – 26 Feb
***Bogota to San Agustin – 50,000 pesos at 11pm with cootransporto from ‘Bogota Terminal’. Was meant to take 8 hours but took more like 14 on account of the driver picking up people every few minutes
***San Agustin to Popayan – 30,000 pesos from a travel agent in San Agustin. Amazing parts of the journey through forested mountains. Think it took about 5-6 hours as planned
***Popayan to Ipiales (border town) – CNT RMEMBR SOZ
***Taxi to the border of Ecuador – 8000 Pesos/20 minutes. It was quite a long way so you need to drive. Was a main route so possible to hitch
Walk across border. Usual queues, have to go to both offices, one in Colombia one in Ecuador

ECUADOR
***Bus Ecuador side to terminal – 75 cents/15 minutes (US currency used here)
***Bus terminal to Guayaquito – 17 dollars. As soon as the bus arrived at the terminal we were swarmed by sales people for one company: San Cristobal. They seemed to be the only manned office so I just went with them. Again the driver was picking up people constantly which added hours to the journey. We left at about 9am and arrived at midnight. A lot of the passengers were complaining as the company had said that we weren’t making certain out o the way pick ups, which we then made and delayed everyone on board. Also they wouldn’t let us use the toilet so we had to stop every two hours and pay every time. This bus company really sucked thinking about it.
***Guayaquito to Peru border – 17 dollars/5 hours. Left at 4am and arrived at the frontera town at 8-9am as planned. Went with ‘Ecuatoriano Pullman’ as they don’t make pick ups along the way.

PERU
***Taxi from border to Ecuador Peru migration – 5 dollars/10 minutes. This guy was a turd. I hate taking taxis as a huge perceage of them have tried to rip me off. This guy seemed straight and I was happy to pay as I had a few dollars I no longer needed. Then at our last stop he tried to switch from dollars to soles. I had picked up on a few lies he had told and after so many times saying ‘hey, we amigos, I’m not trying to rob you’ I realised he was yet another taxi driver mug.I paid him in dollars as we agreed many times and he left me at the bus terminal.
Its a strange border to cross on foot. You get dropped at the Ecuador frontera town and the immigration office is 15km away. So you need to take a taxi there. As I mentioned above I paid 5 USD, which I think it turns out is pretty steep here.
***Taxi to bus terminal (Tumbes) 10 dollars/25 minutes. There was a sign at the immigration place saying that it is 10 dollars to the terminal so I did have much to argue with. Probably possible to hitch as it is a main road between the two places, lots of passing traffic.
***Extra trip to centre to take out Peru Soles currency – 5 dollars. There are no cash points at the bus terminals so you gotta go to the centre. According to my friend the taxi driver. May be worth looking in to. I hate taxi drivers.
***Bus from ‘Flores’ (blue buildings) terminal in Tumbes to Lima – 100 soles/22 hours. Make sure to sit on the right of the bus for the best views all the wy down the coast. Part of the drive were in the middle of what was basically a 200 metre high sand dune, with steep drops down to the sea. Ecuador was hot. Peru is also so, so hot. I don’t understand how people live here. And, the bus had no air conditioning (all others up till now have) so the journey was sweaty Betty. Having been on buses a few days and not really changing clothes, I am looking forward to arriving in Lima and having a rest and a shower. Sleep on buses is not quality sleep. The bus stops first at a large fancy north terminal, when everyone got off then realised it wasn’t the centre, so got back on. They were saying that we needed to pay an extra 25soles each for the trip to the centre but when we arrived I didn’t see anyone paying more.
Insert two day rest in Lima here. Lots of museums and nice architecture. Great place to have a shower, a nap and to regain control of your digestive system. I had to relearn what was day and night, and get my metabolism back in check after three days of constant bus sleep and bad food.

***Lima to Nasca. 79 Soles with Cruz del Sur from Avenida Javier Prada 

***Nasca to Cusco. 100 Soles. All the companies seemed to leave in the afternoon so I had to cancel y second night. There’s a few different tours here but I was happy just doing the Nasca lines flight. Which was 268 Soles plus 30 airport tax. The hotel which was right next to the bs station was 25 Soles per night. 

BOLIVIA

***cusco to La Paz – 

***La Paz to São Paulo Brasil – 1100 bolivianos 

Friendly WARNING. I wouldn’t recommend you buy a ticket all the way to São Paulo. The reason being bus companies are lying scum sluts and you’ll not get what they tell you you’re getting. They say you change bus once but I have just reached the border and am on my second change. The companies pass you from agency to bus company and you’re never actually paying the person you travel with. It’s a nightmare. So at each bus station on this list just go to each office and find the cheapest price and that will probably be the actual bus company you go with, rather than an agency. The reason is, if there is a problem on your route, your chances of getting a refund for a missed bus are slim. Plus when I arrived at Santa Cruz the duck head salesman pointed out to me various times how much cheaper it would have been had I booked the tickets seperately. He stopped Jen I shouted at him to shut up. Many days on buses make tom a rude boy. 

The route is

1. La Paz to Santa Cruz Terminal (big terminal, lots offices) (I went with El Dorado)

2. Santa Cruz to Quijarro (frontera/border) (I went wth BARUC)

3. Do immigration on both sides. 4 hour wait on Bolivian side, 2 hours on Brasil side. 

4. Quijarro to São Paulo (with La Preferida)

At this point (at the border) I run in to problems. If you have previously overstayed your visa in Brasil then you need to pay your fine. I thought I would pay at the border but I have had to go to the bank in the nearby town. I hitched in to town pretty easily but as it was a Saturday afternoon there were no clerks at the bank. So I have to wait till Monday to pay. Whether I get the Preferida bus from the border and pay again I’m not sure. To be continued…

BRASIL border – 11 March

Recommended packing list

Amoxicillin – Imodium if you are happy with 5 hours relief. Use amoxicillin if you want to get on with your life and aren’t too concerned with the super bug thing

Sleeping pills – highly recommended. There is nothing worse than waiting in a bus terminal 10 hours not having had a lot of sleep. You end up wanting to kill people. The Xantex that I bought are also anxiety pills so they help me deal with the fucked up situation that is a South American bus terminal. 

Toilet roll – for throwing over statues. And because the toilets generally don’t have them. 

Water – because otherwise you’ll die in a week

Clothes – I would wear shorts as the temperature can fluctuate massively. I wore jeans out of cold cold La Paz thinking I was clever but in the morning we were in some tropical jungle and I was sweating like a fat kid. My preferred wear is: shorts or very light trousers and t shirt. Then I take a thick wooly jumper to wear at night/if they have air con, and then a down feather jacket that I use as a pillow or blanket if it’s cold. 

Pen – for filling in customs forms 

There you go. You’re sorted. 

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