2.3.1 Ecuador Land Border Crossing of Rumichaca (Colombia)


There are several official border crossings between Ecuador and its neighbors Peru and Colombia. The main ones are Puente Internacional Rumichaca Tulcán-Ipiales,  Puente Internacional San Miguel, Huaquillas and Macará. Travellers are required to present a valid passport to stamp and proof of financial independence which may be in the form of return airfare, cash ($ 20 daily minimum), traveler's checks, and /or credit card for access to Peru and Colombia from Ecuador. 

Authorities will only accept original identification documents. Very few nationalities are required consular visas to enter Peru or Colombia from Ecuador, but is is recommended to check first with diplomatic offices or specialized agencies.

65% of exports from Colombia to Ecuador and 90% of those from Ecuador to Colombia are carried out via road. As a result of this, last year through the Tulcán - Ipiales Border Crossing, operations were recorded for an approximate value of FOB US $ 1,500 million.

Note:  As per June 2020 the Rumichaca border crossing / Tulcán  is open with transit restrictions. The restriction of the border crossing will continue to be permanently reviewed. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Colombia and Ecuador closed their borders as a preventive measure to stop the spread of the virus in 2020. However, as of June 2021, Colombia opens its borders while Ecuador keeps them closed. The border is partially open and allows entry of qualified travelers. The Emergency Operations Committee (COE) has established Rumichaca International Bridge as the only point of entry into the country at the common border by land, for the passage of cargo, merchandise and related migration control. 

At the Tulcán  land terminal, averages of departures exceeding 1,000 people a day to cities in southern Ecuador were observed. During the period from January to March 2021, the border between Colombia and Ecuador remained closed due to the pandemic. In January and February, a considerable increase in the income of people from informal points of the border has been noticed, although with a slight decrease from the militarization of the border with Peru. On the other hand, a greater number of returns to Colombia were observed, probably encouraged by the Temporary Protection Statute (ETP) announced by the Colombian government in mid-February.

Border Crossing Location and Contact

Name of Border Crossing

Puente Internacional Rumichaca

Ecuador: Tulcán

Colombia: Ipiales

Province or District

Provincia de Carchi

Nearest Town or City with Distance from Border Crossing

Quito (240 km)





Managing Authority / Agency

CENAF Rumichaca

Contact Details

(06) 2245 251

Travel Times

Nearest International Airport

Quito (240 km)

Truck Travel Time: 6:00 hrs

Car Travel time: 4:30 hrs

Nearest Port

Esmeraldas (375 km)

Truck Travel Time: 8:00 hrs

Car Travel time: 06:14 hrs

Carr. Panamericana/Troncal de la Sierra/E35, E10 and Troncal del Pacífico/E15

Nearest location with functioning wholesale markets, or with significant manufacturing or production capacity

Quito (240 km)

Truck Travel Time: 6:00 hrs

Car Travel time: 4:30 hrs

Other Information

Carr. Panamericana / Troncal de la Sierra / E35

Hours of Operation


24 hours


24 hours


24 hours


24 hours


24 hours


24 hours


24 hours

National Holidays


Seasonal Constraints


Daily Capacity

The Rumichaca Bridge presents a total average daily traffic of 12,629 vehicles, with a 52% distribution (6,513 vehicles) in the direction of Colombia-Ecuador and 48% (6,117 vehicles) in the direction of Ecuador-Colombia. Regarding the vehicle composition in the Puente de Rumichaca, total capacity (period of 3 days counting), the result is 88% are cars, 3% buses and 9% trucks.


Customs Clearance

Resolution No. SENAE-DGN-2013-0361-RE regulates customs activities that take place at the land borders of the Ecuadorian customs territory. Foreign trade activities between the border between Ecuador and Colombia have historically been characterized by problems of smuggling, illegal traffic of merchandise that the government and the customs surveillance unit try to stop.

Although the border customs control procedure is the same as in a port or airport, there is a longer time due to the dangers posed by smuggling and drug trafficking at the borders.

If the merchandise does not require control documents for dispatch, the border importer may declare its taxable merchandise in chapter 98, in the specific subheading that corresponds to taxable goods of travelers. On the contrary, if the imported merchandise requires control documents, it will be declared in the specific subheading between chapters 1 to 97. *


If the taxable goods exceed $ 2,000, the cargo will be moved to a temporary warehouse while the Customs Import Declaration is being made. Travelers are recommended to declare their taxable assets honestly and avoid penalties for customs offenses or crimes derived from smuggling. The Organic Code of Production, Trade and Investments (COPCI) is the established code with purpose of regulating the production process in the stages of production, distribution, exchange, trade, consumption, management of externalities and productive investments. RCOPCI, is the regulation to the Title of the Customs Facilitation for Trade, of book V of the Organic Code of Production, Trade and Investments, has the objective of specifying the regulation of book V of COPCI.


For more information on customs in Ecuador please see: and 1.3 Customs Information.  


Other Relevant Information

Public entities that operate in the Centers of Attention at the border: 

  • Ministry of Public Health: Carry out the screening and control of all citizens of Ecuadorian nationality, foreigners residing in Ecuador and drivers of cargo vehicles.
  • National Police: Provide support in border control of people and vehicles, additionally to control the access doors to the Centers direct to people.
  • National Customs Service: Carry out the control of customs processes and redirection of people with symptoms to the MSP.
  • Agrocalidad: Fumigation and exterior disinfection of all vehicles that they enter the centers; control and compliance with phytosanitary processes.
  • Armed Forces: In coordination with the National Police, carry out the control of user entry to Border Service Centers.
  • Transit Commission of Ecuador: Review of the qualifying titles for carry out international transport, additionally register incoming vehicles and leaving the country.
  • Ministry of Transport and Public Works: Carry out the control of weights and dimensions to cargo vehicles. The MTOP is in charge of administration of the Border Service Center, they have an official public for this activity.
  • Migration: Registration and migration control for users entering and leaving the country, additional users are registering to issue the Andean Card.

For more information on government contact details, please see the following link: 4.1 Government Contact List.

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