Great Sidetrip! Getting to Colombia from Ecuador

I love Colombia. Just like I love Ecuador. Don’t make me choose mama…

I’ve lived in Colombia about a year, and now Ecuador on and off since 2005.

It’s true what the Colombian tourism promoters say, “If you go to Colombia, you may never leave, but because you want to stay”…

The big cities and even the small towns of Colombia are safe, and have been since their recent president Alvaro Uribe really cleaned up shop in the years since 2000.

Wondering around in the deep jungle of Colombia is the main place I I’d say don’t go, due to known security problems.

Great people, good food, reasonable prices… all with a colorful, unique culture all it’s own, Colombia makes a great side-trip for folks living in Ecuador.

Getting from Ecuador to Colombia has gotten cheaper and easier in recent years…

Train is not an option. Buses are easy, cheap and plentiful (if you can stomach the hours on the road)…

From Quito to the southern border of Colombia is 5 hours by bus. From the border to the next largest city (Cali) is another 16-22 hours. To Bogota, or Medellin from Cali add another full day of bus riding.

But the buses in both Ecuador and Colombia are extremely cheap, at about $1 per hour traveled. Buses leave every few hours, I recommend buying your ticket at least one day in advance at the PanAmericana station in the Mariscal district of Quito.

Getting between the two by air is getting cheaper with each passing year as more airlines open flights…

You can fly from Quito to Cali direct in one hour for around $100-150 (one way) with LAN, and Avianca (depending on the season). Same goes for Bogota, but to Bogota you have a few more options like the local Ecuadorian carrier, Aerogal.

Sometimes carriers have specials for $50 one way, $100 round trip that they advertise locally in Ecuador in the papers, usually only a few weeks in advance of the sale dates…

Get your salsa shoes ready and be sure you know what an “Arepa” is before you go!

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