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Ecuador-Peru Border Crossing

Due south of Vilcabamba is a crossing into Peru, convenient for getting to Cachapoyas, Peru. This journey has been described as adventuresome and beautiful, through a landscape of cloud-bathed jungle mountains strewn with orchids. Expect delays due to landslides (especially December-April) and roadwork. You will need two days; hotels exist in every transfer point, though Jaén is best.

From Vilcabamba, starting at 6-6:30 a.m. there are several buses called Cooperativa “Sur Oriente” that pass in front of Hosteria Izhcayluma and head to Zumba (5-6 hrs, $6.50). From Zumba to La Balsa there are several open-air buses called “rancheras” or “chivas” that will take you there (1.5 hrs, $1-2). Once in La Balsa, either catch a bus to the border or take take a taxi there for $20. The border is open on both sides from 6:00 a.m. to 6 p.m., and there are moneychangers available as well.

From the border Peruvian border you can get to San Ignacio via a colectivo taxi (2 hrs, 15 soles/$5.50). Then from San Ignacio take a combi (microbus) to Jaén (3 hrs, 12 soles/$4.50). From Jaén head to a Bagua Grande in a one hour-hour taxi colectivo ride (8 soles, $3). From Bagua Grande you can get to Chachapoyas via colectivo taxi (3 hrs, 25 soles/$9); or alternatively, catch a combi to Pedro Ruiz (1 hr, 22 soles/$8) and then ride another combi to Cachapoyas (2 hrs, 8 soles/$3).

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Southern Andes: Getting Around Cuenca, Getting Around Vilcabamba and South To Loja.

12 Apr 2013

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