Posts Tagged 'border crossing'

across the water to Uruguay

Our final border crossing was our first border crossing by boat and, as it turns out, also one of our easiest. From the Buenos Aires suburb of Tigre we sailed across the Delta del Paraná to the Uruguayan town of Carmelo.  It’s also possible to travel by boat directly from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento or Montevideo, but this particular border crossing is said to be the most interesting and cheapest of crossings between the two countries.  Prior to departing for Uruguay we spent one day and night in Tigre, a small riverfront town and popular porteño weekend destination.  A two hour boat ride the next morning followed by simple immigration procedures carried out at the port brought us to Carmelo, Uruguay where we spent a relaxing afternoon.  From Carmelo we traveled another hour by bus to Colonia del Sacramento.

Bienvenidos a Argentina

el rapido to Mendoza

Chile/Argentina border crossing at Libertadores

After departing Valparaíso we traveled eight hours by bus across the border to Mendoza, Argentina.  The first of several planned crossings between the two countries, border formalities were simple and straightforward and the scenery along the way was spectacular.

on to Bolivia


Having discovered that the real reason Carlos was initially refused entry to Peru was an attempt to extract a bribe in exchange for ushering him across the border left us nervously anticipating this next crossing.  Though at that time neither of us had any idea and we spent the day jumping back and forth between the consulate and the border before they finally gave up on us and let us across.  I had also heard rumors about Bolivian border officials confiscating “fake dollars” from travelers.  That being said, we were wondering if we would encounter any unusual problems crossing from Peru into Bolivia.  We didn’t.  Everything went smoothly and we were on our way to Copacabana in just under a half hour.  

American citizens require visas to enter Bolivia and at $135 they’re not cheap.  Fortunately, I had already obtained mine at the Bolivian consulate in Cusco.  Crossing into Bolivia I was one of five Americans on our bus and the only one to make it across the border.  The others had waited to obtain their visas and apparently didn’t have all the documentation the immigration officials were demanding.  Ironically, when I arrived at the consulate in Cusco I was prepared with all of the required documentation and without looking at any of it they took my $135 in U.S. bills, stuck a sticker in my passport and that was it.  Apparently the charge for the visa is considered a reciprocity fee and Bolivian citizens are charged the same amount for a visa to visit the U.S.

crossing into Peru

ecuador borderperu border






What should have been a simple and easy border crossing from Ecuador to Peru aboard an international bus line was complicated when immigration officials at the border informed us that Mexican passport holders require visas to enter Peru.  We were then forced off the bus and sent back to the closest Peruvian consulate in the border town of Macará, Ecuador.  After waiting for the office to re-open following an unusually long lunch break, we were told that Carlos did not require a visa after all and to try to cross again. 

We returned to the border wondering who had provided us with the correct information.  Luckily, it turned out that the worker at the consulate was right and we were eventually allowed to enter Peru.  Unfortunately, our bus was long gone and we had to purchase new tickets for the next bus as well as turn over our previously purchased tickets all the while knowing that the driver would just pocket our cash and have the company reimburse him anyway.  But it didn’t matter, after such a long day we were just glad to be continuing on our way and not stranded all weekend in a dusty Ecuadorian border town.

peru desertAnd so we continued into Peru, stopping overnight in Piura and continuing another eight hours the following day south on the Panamericana through the desert to the city of Trujillo.  Check out the view from the bus window!

Bienvenidos a Costa Rica


The border crossing between Nicaragua and Costa Rica at Peñas Blancas is busy and slow.  We arrived in the morning and lined up alongside hundreds of Nicaraguan migrant workers.  Two and a half hours spent waiting in line to leave Nicaragua and another three waiting to enter Costa Rica was complicated by a power outage.  And every so often the guard monitoring the line would rearrange its positioning and a mad dash to the new front of the line would leave Carlos and I standing in a cloud of dust further back than we had been just minutes before, our frustrations building.  Our lengthiest border crossing to date, we finally made it across around 4 p.m., nearly 6 hours after we first arrived in Peñas Blancas.