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Tulcán is a city in Ecuador and is the main border crossing to Colombia.

Topiary and sculpture in the Tulcán cemetery (Cementerio)

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • Teniente Coronel Luis A. Mantilla International Airport (TUA IATA). TAME, the national airline of Ecuador ceased operations leaving Tulcan with no commercial air service. Teniente Coronel Luis A. Mantilla International Airport on Wikipedia

By bus[edit]

There are frequent buses from Quito. The bus terminal is about 2 km south from downtown area. Take a city bus ($0.30) in front of the bus station to parque Ayora to catch a colectivo to the border (Rumichaca, $0.75). On Colombian side, another colectivo will take you to Ipiales centre or bus terminal (1700 COP or $1, Feb 2016)

Get around[edit]

Unfortunately the taxis have fixed the price to and from the border into town at $3/trip, even though this is more than it should be (or would be if they had meters).

There is frequent city bus running between terminal and the centre (and beyond). The fare is $0.30. At parque Ayoro, you can catch a colectivo to the border (Rumichaca, $0.75).


  • Tulcán Cemetery (Cementerio de Tulcán), Av. del Cementerio. What? Visit a cemetery? Yes, visit if you like elaborate topiary. Called by some the most elaborate collection of topiary in the world, this cemetery is a special place worth your taking time out to see.
  • Reserva Ecológica El Ángel. A nature reserve near Tulcán.






There are many hotels ranging from $10/single in downtown area and near the bus terminal.

  • Hotel Saenz, Calle Sucre y Rocafuerte, +593 6-298-2881. An affordable, but nice hotel in the center of town. Cable TV, private bathrooms with hot water. Priced for backpackers.


Go next[edit]

Ipiales is just on the other side of the border and can be reached with collectivos or taxis.

Otavalo is a few hours south on the Panamericana.

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