According to a thread on tripadvisor:
To enter my country you need to show the registration which prooves
the vehicle is yours. After that the Customs will give you a "perniso
de internacion" for 3 months.
You can leave your vehicle at your hotel, and then you can return and
continue with more journeys down to Peru or Colombia in it. You have
to pay a revenue every 3 months after that to the government.
I had clients that had done that before and I had take care of their
The contact email address in the post, might be worth dealing with for your travels.
Searching for "perniso de internacion" leads to this site which translates (via google (badly)) into:
Requirements for obtaining a permit for temporary use of a vehicle in
He must submit to Customs officials of Ecuador, the qualifying
documents for this purpose:
- Identity document (passport) duly stamped
- Get a Mandatory Traffic Accident Insurance (SOAT)
- Driver's license and vehicle registration, whereby the vehicle is
special and preferential entered for the Customs of Ecuador garment[sic].
- The permanence of the vehicle for private use tourist equal to the
maximum time allowed tourists (90 days).
- The time allowed for the
temporary custody of the vehicle is up to 90 days extendable once for
- If the vehicle is not owned by the driver, you must present
authorization granted by the owner of the vehicle before a notary for
use during the trip, where the time the vehicle will remain in
Ecuadorian territory stated.
This site claims to be able to provide the permit in 30 minutes.
The key to searching for permits appears to be "Temporary Import" together with "vehicle" or "car". An additional anecdote for Nicuragua here says:
We drove our Pathfinder 2000 from Canada in December 2011 and were in
Nicaragua for 18 months with it (until May 2013)... Every 30 days (not
90 days) we had to either exit the country in to Costa Rica for 3 days
and then come back in Nicaragua to get another 30 day "Temporary
Importation Visa" for the car or drive to Managua to the DGA office
and ask for a 30 day extension for a fee (I don't remember the how
much, I think it was $1/day...) so in 18 months we probably drove in
and out of both Costa Rica and Nicaragua with our Canadian car at
least 8-9 times.
Depending on the countries you intend to stay in, it would appear that you typically need to apply for a temporary import permit, and this is usually of a restricted duration. You may be able to renew this one or more times in country, or exit the country and re-enter to renew.