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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Shopping tours from Quito, Ecuador to Ipiales, Colombia. June 2016.

Since middle class in Ecuador is now more into survival mode than travel, some tours operators, who used to bring tourists from Quito to the beach, jungle and other tourists destination of Ecuador, now do weekly shopping tours from Quito, usually to Ipiales and sometimes to Pasto. 
Ipiales and Pasto are cities in Nariño Department, Colombia, near the border with Ecuador. Ecuadorians go there to shop for clothes, shoes, food, household supplies, electronics, coffee, candy, school supplies, medicaments...

I was told about one of such tours operators. His bus is on a bigger side, capacity is about 40 persons. He charges $22 per person, including breakfast, to go from Quito to Ipiales for a day of shopping, round trip.
Every Friday night at 11:30 p.m. he drives his bus to Ipiales with at least 20 passengers. Around 5 a.m. on Saturday they are in Colombia, passing the customs before rush. 
First stop at Los Lajas to pray for good shopping day, to exchange dollars for pesos and to have breakfast. Shopping in Ipiales until 5 p.m. and going back to Quito.
If you want to shop independently, it's up to you, however your shopping can be guided, meaning he would bring you to the trust -worthy stores in Ipiales where his passengers can purchase whatever they need, best prices and good customer service guaranteed. 
If you need to get big TV or other appliances from Ipiales to Tulcan - it can be arranged. 
Tulcán, capital of the province of Carchi in Ecuador, is just 7 km (4.3 mi) from the Colombian border. Tulcan is in crisis, majority of stores are closed there.

There are unofficial border crossings and people who will move your big TV or new kitchen appliances from C to E unofficially.  You have to pay for this service, of course - however much cheaper than tariffs paid to customs.

I don't have any info about this person, I just have heard a story about his service and his satisfied customers who don't like high tariffs and ever-increasing taxes imposed on them.

Shopping in a supermarket in Ecuador is more expensive that in USA, Spain, Colombia and Peru

Trendy shops leaving Ecuador. Six fashion brands left Ecuador in 2015.

187 firmas de calzado han cerrado sus puertas

Rental in Quito, for tourists and expats.
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