Peru to Ecuador: A 30-Hour Bus Journey

Country Bus from Peru to Ecuador | Dates July 10-11 | Accommodation Cruz Del Sur Bus

[Please excuse the horrible out-the-window blurred photos in this post taken in the back row with excessive bumps trying not to throw up]

We grabbed a flight out of Iquitos back to Lima, which was also delayed meaning we had to take a pricey cab to our hostel as we arrived after midnight. We entered our room and a girl was sleeping on her bed without sheets (sick). Two minutes later she woke up and puked all over the bathroom shower. The next day we did nothing but relax, grocery shop, and prepare for our 30 hour bus ride to Ecuador. We considered flying, but since we exceeded our budget in the Amazon we were forced to take the lengthy bus ride to save money instead. Here’s how it went.

Lima to Guayaquil Via Bus

We bought tickets aboard our favorite South American bus line, Cruz del Sur, to spend 30 hours in relative luxury (reclining plus seats, personal TVs with movies, several meals, heat, safety). The bus left Lima mid afternoon at 2:45 and was scheduled to be 28 hours long, arriving in Guayaquil at 6pm the following day. When all was said and done, it took 30 hours.

The Beginning | The first part of the journey was fine, uneventful. We ate, chatted, and watched a hilarious film at which time we woke other passengers crying laughing.  The girl in front of me put her seat into full recline during minute 3 of the ride. At dinner the attendant yelled at the girl put the seat up so I could use the tray. She proceeded to abruptly put it back down spilling food onto my lap. She also struggled to operate the seat recline button (basic function) and kept pulling on the headrest when she was repeatedly yelled at.

The Middle | We slept a good deal overnight thank goodness, and the morning was OK. Some views out the window, more food, and I made travel bracelets. We stopped in Mancora (backpacker destination, but we were over Peru so skipped it) long enough to get out. We nearly ran off the bus and did some jumping and stretching outside while the attendant laughed at us (this doesn’t seem weird to me; people NOT existing the bus to stretch seems weirder). There was much time to pee which was needed, as I’d avoided the smelly and treacherous bumpy onboard bano.

Border Crossing | We stopped at a random checkpoint in Peru and showed our passports quickly, then waited for I am not sure what. People bought snacks. Then we stopped again for about an hour at the border crossing into Ecuador, with two separate lines for the exit and entry stamps. During this time, someone on the bus got free unknown vaccines from a public health tent located next to the line (I know this is a good thing, but it seemed a strange time/place). We stopped again two minutes after the border and waited in a small tent while the bus drove through a giant scanner. People bought more snacks.

The End | The last 7 or so hours were brutal. We felt gross, despite having washed our faces and brush our teeth in Mancora, and the free food stopped arriving. We had no movies as we’d watched the decent ones, and I was insanely carsick (we were in the last row of the bus…yet again). I finally took some Dramamine to prevent puking, but then felt highly drugged and couldn’t keep my eyes open for more than 10 minutes at a time. FINALLY we made it to Guayaquil way after dark and had to take a taxi rather than bus since the lady at the info desk said “Don’t take the bus at this time of night, it’s not safe!” The hostel was up steep stairs and we almost fell down them as our leg muscles had atrophied and ceased function after sitting for 30 hours straight on our bus ride from Peru to Ecuador.

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