People's experiences vary depending on crowds at the border, corrupt or honest border officials, and rules can also change. Read more about individual experiences at specific borders here.
For general information on borders, roads and driving, and hotels and camping in Peru, read the Peru article.
Aguas Verdes, August 23, 2012
Step 1 for this border crossing is to ignore everything Lonely Planet says about it. The border has moved outside of the sketchy town of Huaquillas and is now several kilometers before the town. You'll see big beautiful "Frontera" signs on the main road. Take the turn off, and drive to the SECOND set of big blue and white buildings. (The first set is for people going the other way). You'll know it's the right set because it will be on the right side of the road. Immigration for both Peru and Ecuador and Aduana for Peru are all in the same building. Yay!
Get your Ecuador exit stamp, then your Peru entry stamp. (Ask for 90 days and you should get it with no problem). Then go to Aduana and get your vehicle permit. Aduana will want the vehicle title, drivers' license, and passport and one copy of all those things. Insurance is required and costs $8 at the border for one month. Buy 2 months if you think you will stay longer as it is a total pain in the butt to find someone else in the country that will sell to a foreign vehicle for less than one year. Also, as mentioned on the other Peru page, if you have insurance from another source, you do NOT need to buy SOAT in Peru. Be careful about not having insurance. When exiting to Bolivia we were asked to show our insurance documents. More details and photos on our site: http://liferemotely.com/trip-shenanigans/peru/240-ecuador-to-peru-border...
Aguas Verdes, June 5th, 2009
After reading the guide book's exaggerated write up of the Huaquillas / Aguas Verdes border crossing we almost went inland where the border was supposed to be a lot calmer. But we wanted to check out Mancora for the surf so we went for it. It took four hours to drive from Quenca and we rolled into Hauquillas on a Friday afternoon right around comida time, probably the worst time to cross a busy border anywhere, so we were braced for madness but after canceling our Ecuadorian car permit and driving the 3km to Aguas Verdes we found only one other person waiting in line for both immigration and aduana. We made the mistake of trying to import the car without having first been issued our 90 day visa from immigration – get your passport stamped first and then get a photocopy of the stamped page to give to the aduana. The older guy at the aduana desk seemed easily confused so make sure you get everything stamped right. He stamped our first form in the wrong place and only upon our insistence filled out another form (better this minor hassle now than weeks dealing with cops looking for any reason to give us the runaround) After preparing for a hectic cross ... this one, at least for us, wasn't too bad at all!
--posted by Tom
Huaquillas / Aguas Verdes
June 19, 2009
We accidentally entered Peru illegally at this border crossing. If you follow the giant road signs that say 'Frontera' they will guide you down a brand new highway past a customs building that is still under construction. Don't follow the signs! Instead, head in to Huaquillas. You will have to pay a municipal $0.25 'toll' to enter the town. Right after the tolls on the opposite side of the road is a small aduana building. If you pull a U-turn to park in front of the aduana, you will then be forced to drive through the toll both a second time and they will insist you pay again. At the aduana, you will need to surrender your Tarjeta Andina that you received when you entered Ecuador, have you passport stamped, and then head through the crazy market that takes over the streets in Huaquillas. One other word of advice: do not pay anyone anything if they are not wearing a uniform. We stopped at something we thought might be the border office and some guy waved semi-official looking tickets at us saying we needed to pay $5 to cross the border. We refused to give him money, and asked a uniformed official nearby if we should pay anything. He said no, never give anyone money if they aren't wearing a uniform, but didn't seem too concerned when we told him that someone was outside his office trying to collect money. I guess that's just the way it works.
--posted by Kristin
The Peruvian immigration and customs aduana offices are located on your right 3km after crossing the international bridge over the Rio Zarumilla from Ecuador. Angle park on your right directly after the small car importation office, there is a 4 sol or USD $1.50 enforced 'parking fee' paid when you leave. To get to the correct immigration window you will need to walk to your right then turn left into the building, after another left the booths will be ahead of you to your right. After immigration stamps your passport you will need a photocopy of the stamped page and also the face page of your passport for the car importation. Head back to the importation office and give the passport copies and a copy of your car title and or registration to the aduana agent. Then fill out 2 parts of the SUNAT (superintendencia nacional de circulacion y salida) form, aduana will stamp and date the back of the form - they keep one part and you keep the other. You then get a pretty big SUNAT sticker to stick on the windshield. There is no charge for importing your car. The car will then be Fumigated by a person wearing a backpack sprayer unit, they just spray around the bottom of the car, this is obligatory and costs 3.10 sol or USD $1.25 then you're on your way.
Note: 17 km north of Mancora on the Pan American highway as you're driving south from the Ecuador border there is an aduana where they will check to make sure you have your temporary vehicle import permit.
Near Copacabana, October 5, 2012
Very easy exit, buildings were all close together and it wasn't busy when we crossed. You have to go to the police office first and have your tourist card stamped, and then go to immigration to have your passport stamped. Aduana is equally as easy, just turn in your permit. To drive through we had to go to the second police office. We weren't sure why, they just asked us basic questions and wanted to see our insurance. I'm guessing it was to make sure our insurance wasn't expired. But we had no hassles. Into Bolivia in 10 minutes max. Photos on our site.
I lived in Peru for 6 years and drove to Chile and back once during that time (in the fall of 2008). I bought my car in Peru so it had Peruvian registration. At the border crossing between Tacna, Peru and Arica, Chile, we had to take everything out of the car and carry it across, they also didn't give us the paper work needed to bring the car back into Peru. Thankfully we realized that before we left and went back to the window to get it. Other than that, it was a easy crossing both ways, with no fees. I had Peruvian SOAT and didn't need to buy any other insurance to get into Chile. Not sure what would have happened if I would have had an accident!