Our border crossing should have gone a lot smoother than how it actually went, however, we had politics against us.
We decided to cross the border at the Peruvian, Tumbes area, partially because we wanted to follow the coast in Peru instead of the mountains as we had done in Ecuador, but also because all the main bus routes seemed to head that way.
After a 3 hour bus journey from Puerto Lopez we reached the very large bus terminal of Guayaquil. We had originally wanted to stop in Mancora, Peru but as we had delayed already by a couple of days in Puerto Lopez we decided to skip our beach days and head straight to Chiclayo.
We had previously looked into going with Cruz del Sur but they only went on certain days and they also seemed a little expensive. So we scoured the desks until we found a bus company called Semera, who could take us straight to Chiclayo on an overnight bus for $22 each. Perfect we thought, we could grab something to eat, freshen up and head out that same night.
However, as we paid for our tickets they alerted us that there may be a problem as the frontier was currently closed due to a political dispute. They assured us that by 5pm it should be resolved, so we bought our tickets and headed off to eat. At 5pm we returned to be told that yes they would be going and that we should return at 9pm to collect our backpacks, as they had been storing them for us.
At 9pm we came down to collect our things only to be told that the frontier was still closed. We had now spent 9 hours in the terminal. The staff explained we could change our tickets for the following night’s bus and that things should be resolved by the following lunchtime. We had nowhere booked and the prospect of hotel hunting in Guayaquil at 9pm was not appealing. Luckily, they helped us into a taxi and pointed the driver into the direction of cheap hotel.
The following day we returned in the afternoon and were luckily told that yes the bus would be going. We therefore proceeded to wait again in the terminal until our departure at 10pm.
We finally arrived at the frontier at 2.30am and I have to say this was so far the easiest crossing we have had. We simply disembarked and went into a building with 2 desks, an Ecuadorian and a Peruvian. It was literally that simple, stamp out at desk 1 and stamp in at desk 2, then back onto the bus. Life had been made even easier by the bus company who had given us the immigration forms to fill in ahead of time.
We proceeded into Peru but came to a military checkpoint a little after the frontier. We disembarked again, had our hand luggage briefly looked at and were allowed to board again. No fees, no real checks and really quite hassle free.
Just after 10am, following a 12 hour bus ride, we finally arrived at our destination: Chiclayo.