I was looking for a bit of advice Re: getting from Santiago to Buenos Aires this June. Will be flying into Santiago around the 15th of June and need to be in BA to meet a friend by about the 20th. It would be greatly appreciated if anyone could give me advice about where to book bus tickets (flights out of the question as I'm broke!), how long it would take, where to stop off and where to stay. Bit of a travel virgin and will be on me jays until BA so as much details as poss would be great. Thanks in advance.
Either direct or with a change in Mendoza (usually cheaper). Online booking is difficult and not fully dependable; better buy tickets as soon as you arrive in Santiago. Trip takes a little over 18 hours I think (never did it in one go).
From my Research (notice the post above) Buses ar plentiful but I can't find any online site like there is for airlines. Some one said it would cost about $40usd for this trip.
The bus can easily be booked when in Santiago and as long as you did it a do or so in advance then you would have no problems (you probably wouldn't even if you booked the same day). It is a really picturesque bus trip through the Andes. On the one I got we stopped in Mendoza and then the bus did some other small route (whilst our baggage was still onboard the bus) and then about 30 minutes later came back with some passengers and then we continued on the way to Santiago. This was a bit worrying seeing I didn't speak basically any Spanish so I didn't have a clew what on earth was happening when the bus drove off with all my possessions still underneath or inside the bus.
When I did this trip back in 2006 I think it was about $50US at the exchange rate at that time, but with pentrol prices a lot more now then back then, the price has probably increased although the USD has got quite a bit weaker since then.
There are heaps of buses from Santiago to Mendoza everyday. Around 10000 Chilean. The use Andesmar from Mendoza to Buenos Aires. There are plenty of other buslines to that do it in comfort, but I cant remember their names. I woudl guess you are looking at around 130Argentinian Peso for that leg.
We where quoted 6 hour journey, but took 8, also because of timezone changes, so dont forget that! I woudl think that if you left Santiago one morning (Dont use CoiTRAM), got a new bus in Mendoza, you should be in BA the next day.
I did this journey back in October, but from BA to Santiago and it took 22hs all together including the 30mins stop in mendoza and the border crossing at the andes (pro one of the coldest moments of my trip!!) at sme very hours in the morning!
I dont remember what company I used, believe it was andesmar or the other big one (cant remember name sorry!!) but they offer similar things,
Bit of advise though, make sure you book with a company that operates a one decker bus, not a double decker, as they are a lot more dangerous crossing the andes, trust me it would be one of the most amazing strech of road you'll ever do, but it is dangerous, and double deckers are stable!
Also, dont ditch the flights just yet, when i was checking to go in some dates it was actually cheaper to fly than to bus it, with flights santiago-BA at only 80dollars at certain dates, so you just never know! Check with the chilean airlines, the argentinian and Gol, which operates that route...
x Miriam x