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Crossing the Andes

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Crossing the Andes

1. Posted by SkacoreUK (Full Member 56 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I was wondering if anybody has done a crossing of the Andes from around Atafogasta?

I don't want to go too much further South than Antafogasta, as I want to get the full run of Argentina, before travelling back up Southern Chile from Patagonia.

Any ideas or experiences would be great

2. Posted by chilechild (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

The gov't of Chile provides an online list of border crossings, but I could not find it in English. Since you want to cross in northern Chile, you don't want to go beyond the "III Region de Atacama" listing. Many of these roads close, if it snows or the weather is bad.

This looked like an interesting crossing story.
This would be a nice trip, since San Pedro de Atacama is a must see in Chile, and of course the desert is simply glorious...a desolate, arid beauty.

This site lists all the border crossings between Argentina-Chile and Bolivia-Chile (entering to Chile, so just reverse it)

There also is train service from Arica, Chile to La Paz, Bolivia.

Hope this helps.
CHilechild ;)

3. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

There also is train service from Arica, Chile to La Paz, Bolivia./quote]

Wow, I can't imagine how a train could start at sea level and get all the way up to 13,000 to 14,000 feet. How do they do it? I remember the train from Cusco to Machu Picchu has to use switchbacks (you go 1 direction then the oppisite). But Arica to la Paz I would think would be hard. Would be a really, really scenic train trip though.

How long has this train service been around?

4. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I wasn't aware of the train between the two, but a quick websearch does reveal that it seems to exist, but says it is quite slow. Which one would expect in having to climb so high.

I took the bus from La Paz to Arica - I think it was around 6 or 7 hours. A comfortable ride.