There are numerous blogs and information on how to get across the border from Colombia to Ecuador, with very accurate descriptions of what to do. So with vey little Spanish I was rather confident in my route.
Starting in the early morning at Pasto (which is important as it does take time, and you don’t want to do any of it once dark!) , a 1 1/2 hour journey to Ipiales. Then a quick collectivo ride to the border (also known as Rumichaca) to start the 2 hour process of stamping my passport in each country. Colectivos or taxi sit outside the Ipiales terminal- so hard to miss!
I am not sure if this is really slow process or just because it was a Saturday- but I couldn’t wait to get through and start my next part of the journey on the bus. There are 2 immigration offices to go throught- Colombia and Ecuador which is split between a bridge.
Once through to Ecuador, another taxi ride to Tuclan costing less that $1 is needed and then you just have to know where to go from here- often Quito and hello Ecuador! Make sure that you have a few small dollars in your purse as buses will cost no more that $5.
I choose a bus ride to the nearest major town of Otavalo…as I needed a break from travelling which only took 3 hours.