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Santiago to Buenos Aires

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Santiago to Buenos Aires

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1. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Hi everyone

I'm hoping someone can give me a realistic idea of how long it would take to travel at a relatively comfortable pace from Santiago to Buenos Aires.

Is it possible to travel overland easily or would you have to fly?

Any advice would be really appreciated!



2. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y

There are decent roads between the two. I think if you wanted to go direct, you would need to switch buses in Mendoza. It's a long haul - probably 20 - 30 hours.

Taking your time, it depends on how often and where you want to stop, of course. Mendoza I've heard is nice and along the way.

Snows can be a problem crossing in winter.


3. Posted by Leo_arg (Inactive 54 posts) 11y

Hi, from BsAs!
If you travel in winter, the road may be closed because of the snow(you are going through the Andes!). The lenght of the trip also depends on how many passengers have to process their documents at the border, and whether you take a direct bus or stops at Mendoza.
It took me 24 hs last january to make this trip, waiting for an hour at the border and another hour at Mendoza.
BTW, Mendoza is a beautiful city!
Hope I helped you...excuse my poor english!

4. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

That's perfect - thanks both of you! I have been looking at Mendoza and it looks great - I think I'll definitely stop there for a while and maybe take in some trekking!

Thanks guys;)

5. Posted by titovv (Budding Member 16 posts) 11y


It takes 24 hours, and probably they wont close the border, as its rare that snow will fall after mid August. Still, if they close it, it normaly reopens in about 2-3 days, and you can stay in MEndoza, which is a really nice city! its about 7 hours from mendoza to Santiago, so when they open the border, you can cross again.

there are also flights that take 3 hours (A bit less), but its more expensive..

The road, from Buenos Aires to Mendoza, is boring, just.. flat, so dont expect something expectacular. From Mendoza to Santiago, its very nice, as you will cross the Andes.

Any more help, drop me a line


6. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 11y

My wife and I took the bus from Mendoza to Santiago back in mid February, and the Andes were magnificent. Of course that was in high summer, so would expect lots of snow in winter.
Mendoza is a beautiful place to relax for a few days.

7. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Hi guys,

Thanks for the info. Im going to be travelling in February/March (dont have exact dates yet) so that should be a good time to travel!

I've been dpoing a bit of research since I first posted this, and I think I will definitely break the journey and stop off in Mendoza for a few days. It looks like a great city!;)



8. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 11y

We were in Mendoza JUST before their official annual Wine Festival which started in late February 2005.
I believe that accomodation during the actual Festival gets scarce and quite expensive, so watch the dates.
I think we got there the week before (I'll check and get back to you on that), but the weather was lovely and they had ramped up the food stalls, wine-tasting venues and local (plus national)bands already in the Main Square so it was a wonderful 3 days we spent there.
We did a full day organised hike in the Andean foothills which was really good, although it took me (not my wife, though!!) about 30 minutes to get used to being 2,500 metres above sea level.
If I'm in Argentina again in Feb, I'll be in Mendoza for sure.


9. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Great advice! Thanks Anthony!

Might try to time it to get there just before or just after the festival.

Was the hike you went on with a tour group? Was it expensive?



10. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 11y

Hi Ev,
We were at the the bus station in Mendoza checking out buses to Santiago and walked into a travel help/tour office in the complex. A full day hike in the Andean foothills with lunch included wasn't very expensive at all, and we could have done the more expensive horse trek up the mountain.
I'll check my notes and get back to you about when exactly we were in Mendoza just before the Wine Festival really kicked off.
My wife and I backpacked for 3:) months in South America, Cuba and Mexico starting off at the end of January this year 2005. We did quite a number of flights inside SA due to time restrictions and damn the expense anyway. You only live once.
We visited -
Brazil - Rio, Ilha Grande and Iguazu Falls
Argentina - Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aires, Mendoza
Uruguay - Montevideo and Colonia de Sacramento
Chile - Santiago, San Pedro de Atacama and Arica
Bolivia - La Paz, Copacabana and hiked Isla del Sol on Lake Titicaca
Peru - Puno, Uros reed islands on Titicaca, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Arequipa, hiked Colca Canyon for 3 days, Lima, Iquitos and two Amazon lodges out of Iquitos
Cuba - Havana, Santa Clara, Trinidad, Vinales and Cayo Leviso
Mexico - Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel island, Isla Mujeres and Chitchen Itza

Spent a few days at all of these places and the trip was awesome.

If I was asked for my highlights of South America, they would probably be Rio (just being there on Copacabana beach and the statue of Christ), Ilha Grande for the scenery and meeting actor Colin Farrell in the local pub, Iguazu was the duck's guts, Mendoza for being lovely and laid back and easy hiking in the Andean foothills, San Pedro de Atacama for the stunning scenery, La Paz for the lack of air!!!!, anything to do with Titicaca, Cuzco and Machu Picchu, Arequipa and Colca canyon was mega, the Peruvian Amazon, Chitchen Itza and Tulum.
If you want any info, message me and hopefully I will be able to help.

El Legendado