We made our way from Huaraz in the Peruvian Cordillera Blancas to our first week in Ecuador at Puerto Lopez via two overnight buses, one from Huaraz to Trujillo, and then onwards to Guayaquil, the latter being a mere 18 hour bus journey!
As we don’t really want to spend huge amounts of time in cities, our stop in Guayaquil was limited to one full day, during which we separately wandered the city. I found the Parque Semanario, where Guayaquil’s iguanas live, before wandering over to Isla Santay.
Isla Santay is Guayaquil’s attempt to ensure some of the city remains green. The island is a mangrove, reached by footbridge. Apparently I took the wrong path for seeing all the interesting things like crocodiles, but thankfully I’ve seen my fair share of mangroves in Australia!
How we got to Guayaquil
Our journey to Guayaquil had the small complication of starting in Huaraz which required a journey back to Trujillo first (alternatively, you can head from Huaraz to Lima, but that obviously goes too far south). We arrived at a fairly ungodly time in Trujillo. Thankfully we’d done a bit of advanced planning and Emily, the manager at Casa Fresh in Huanchaco where we’d previously stayed said it was fine to crash there for the day. As it was so early, we grabbed a mattress on the roof of the hostel and had a few more hours sleep.
Our next overnight bus was an 18 hour journey from Trujillo to Guayaquil. We did this with Cruz Del Sur, which when we investigated seem to be the only company offering a bus across the border without having to change. We did stop in Mancora and Tumbes, but we weren’t stopped for long, and the change of passengers allowed a bit of a leg stretch. Some sources said that it was also possible to do this directly with CIVA, but we couldn’t make such a booking ourselves. Again, we opted for the front two seats so that we didn’t end up with our legs getting squashed. We were given basic food on the bus. Breakfast was a cheese roll and a small cake. Lunch was a warm meal, and having opted for the vegetarian option I got a piece of vegetable omelette, potatoes and rice. We were stopped before the border on the Peruvian side for some sort of check. No idea what that was about, we just had to show our passport and then went back on the bus. The actual border crossing was very easy. We just got off the bus, went into an office which had a desk for Peru followed by one for Ecuador. After that, we went directly to Guayaquil. All in all, a fairly comfortable and uncomplicated 18 hour bus ride.