So I'm traveling from buenos areas to mendoza to cordoba to cafayette to salta to potsi to la paz to puno to cuzco to machu pichu to lima over three weeks... (excuse my mispellings!)
I;ve done a lot of searching on this great forum to figure out this route... Everyone talks about how important it is to get the bed seats for the busses, and I've also heard mention that the best bus seats sell out ahead of time... Here's my question... how do i know which are the good bus lines and can i reserve ahead of time on the internet? (My guide book, Rough Guide SA isn't so great on these details...) Anyone have any suggestions? (I've heard cruzdelsur.com.pe recommended, but i think they only do the last leg from cuzco to lima)
Also, anyone want to chime in on the iternerary... which cities should i linger in and which should i just spend a day in before taking the next night bus? Right now i think we're going to spend 5 days in Buenos Aires since we have friends there, then 2 days in mendoza (since we like wine) then every other place a day at most until cuzco and machupichu in the end (how long do i need there?)
Anyway, any advice would be great!
Best to book your buses when you get there, no point booking them over the net.
Any buses which give you a cama (bed) seat should be good to go with.
I traveled with the bus company CATA between Buenos Aires and Mendoza. I did this trip overnite and I managed to get a cama seat. It was a great trip.
Then from Mendoza to Cordoba I traveled in a daytime bus with CATA and got a semi-cama seat which was not as good as a full cama.
A couple of other good bus companies in Argentina that I traveled with were Andesmar and Mercobus/Plusultra. But my advice would be to book these when you are over there, not on the net in advance.
Spend a few more days in Mendoza and Salta, maybe only a couple of days in Cordoba.
Im travelling in Peru now and I have done most of my journeys with cruz del sur. From Puira and Tumbes in the north down to Arequipa and Lima, Cusco, they have a good range of cities to travel between. They are abit more expensive then other companies but are very safe, they give you tickets for your bag, and they are very comfy. Most of the journeys include food too, which is nice.
Dont know about Bolivia, going there next.....
Have a great trip!!
Can also recommend Cruz del Sur. Travelled with them a few times in Peru. Ormeno are another good company.
I crossed from Peru into Bolivia with San Luis, and I found them slightly less comfy than the others, but still fine. Im travelling to Potosi tomorrow night but dont know who with yet..so Ill get back to you and let you know how that goes.
Bus fares are inexpensive and its worth paying the extra bit for a semi-cama (espeically for the overnight journeys)
For bus travel in Argentina, I must just warn you: avoid FlechaBus! If you book with them, they may betray you and sell you a ticket which is actually a bad quality local's bus for most of the way and only a small part of your trip then in an actual Flecha Bus. Of course for the price of the full trip in FlechaBus...
This happened to me, when I was booking a trip in the FlechaBus office in La Quiaca going to Salta. I had to spend over five hours in a cheap bus (Arco Iris) with neither air conditioning nor bathroom and only the last two hours were actually in a FlechaBus. When I protested before boarding that I had requested a trip in a FlechaBus, the staff at the FlechaBus office told me that I would be changing from the cheap bus into the FlechaBus after 15 minutes. Well, this was a pure lie!
If that's what you're looking for, well, then you sure can book with FlechaBus...
In Peru, I can really recommend Cruz del Sur, reliable and safe. Ormeño seems to be good, too, but I could not online book with them because their website requires Flash which my iOS devices do not support.