Border Crossing: Colombia to Ecuador at Rumichaca

This is an account of our experience in crossing the border from Colombia to Ecuador at Rumichaca with a motorcycle on 20th September 2017. Rumichaca is a major border crossing and is well organised. There were no “helpers” to be seen. There were money changers but they weren’t pushy. We changed our remaining Colombian Peso notes into USD and received a surprisingly favourable rate. We use to check rates before arriving at a border crossing.

This border crossing was far more efficient than those we’d experienced in Central America. About half the time needed. The basic process is the same, they just seem to be better at it here 🙂

Time arrived at the border was 12:00.


Colombia Rumichaca side

Parked Tigger in a small car park opposite aduana. No queue at aduana. Presented Tiggers temporary import papers which were processed and cleared in five minutes.

Next stop migracion, a few metres from the aduana office, for a Colombian exit stamp. I go separately from Janette so that she can watch the bike. Security guards man both the entrance and exit gates. Once inside, no queue meant that I had my exit stamp in almost no time. Back to the bike and Janette’s turn for migracion. Her experience was the same as mine. Total time to get our exit stamps – ten minutes.

Ride across the international bridge to Ecuador. 


Ecuador side

First stop migracion to get entry stamps into the country. There is a significant queue but there are nine booths processing people in and out. An orderly system whereby the next available booth is called and displayed means that it only takes us twenty five minutes to get our entry stamps valid for ninety days. We were able to park Tigger directly in front of the migracion office in order to keep an eye on him whilst we waited in line.

Lastly, Ecuadorian aduana (customs). Just around the corner from migracion. I needed my passport with my new Ecuadorian entry stamp, driving license and proof of ownership. Although I was prepared, they didn’t ask for photocopies and never looked at the bike to check the VIN or take photos as we’ve experienced at previous border crossings! Janette stayed in the shade but in view of Tigger whilst I went to aduana. There was a short queue and the process took about thirty minutes. I was given temporary import paperwork which matched the date in my passport. Always worth checking that before leaving the border. I was told that to overstay the permit for Tigger would incur a fine of $365 USD PER DAY.

Unlike other countries there was no insurance, either compulsory or voluntary. There just doesn’t seem to be a mechanism to insure a foreign registered vehicle in Ecuador.



Simple. There were no costs associated with crossing this border.


Total elapsed time

One hour and twenty five minutes.



Rumichaca Border Colombia Ecuador Triumph Tiger 800XC RTW motorcycle adventure

Riding across the International bridge towards Ecuador.


Rumichaca Border Colombia Ecuador Triumph Tiger 800XC RTW motorcycle adventure

Janette waiting patiently whilst Steve gets the Ecuadorian temporary import for Tigger. Translation is “Ecuador Love Life”

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