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traveling south from quito

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean traveling south from quito

1. Posted by mattTurner (Budding Member 8 posts) 7y

hi , I am traveling to ecuador next month, i plan to study spanish in quito for a month then
travel south ( to argentina buenos aires where i plan to study for another month ! )
so I thought I would travel on a bus and visit some spots on the way down!
Does anyone know if a bus in this case would cost more than a plane straight to BA, ? excluding money spent on accommodation of course.
and can anyone suggest places I should visit along the way?

thanks alot
your help will defo be invaluable !

2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 7y

I did this 4 years ago, and back then I couldn't get a flight for nearly as little money as the combined busses have cost me.

Quito - Buenos Aires is one of the most interesting routes in SA you can travel; many of SA's highlight are on the route, many others a short way away from it. Don't know how much time you have, but have a look at the trips I logged on my profile, maybe they give you some idea of what's possible.

3. Posted by mattTurner (Budding Member 8 posts) 7y

thats really good to know ! , I didn't know if they would end up more expensive.
checked your trail out, I think I might event follow parts of it ( all on the bus no trains? )
I should have 2 weeks maybe more, are there any places you recommend I check out in
each country, lima/ cuzco etc
One thing I need to buy a bus ticket before I take my plane to ecuador to prove that I am traveling
out of the country within the month ( not buying a plane return ticket as I plan to live in BA for a year ), can you suggest an internet site or tel num where I can book one and have it sent to me?

thanks again !

4. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 7y

Difficult: the only bus company that services Quito that I know has a website is Ormeño, and they don't seem to sell tickets online.

You may want to take the risk of trying to enter without proof of onward journey; even though it is an entry requirement, I have never heard of anyone being asked for it.

Two weeks to complete the itinerary is rather tight, btw. If time is your main concern, I think the following route is quickest:

Quito - Macará (border with Peru; change to a Peruvian bus company, cheaper that way) - Lima - Tacna - Concordia / Arica (border with Chile; change to Chilean bus company) - Santiago - Mendoza (Argentina; change busses again) - Buenos Aires.

Except for the stretch Arica - Santiago, these trips can be done as one leg. Arica-Santiago needs to be divided in two parts, unless you like being on a bus for over 24 hours. This route is quicker than through Bolivia because it involves less mountains, but it's also a LOT more boring, and travel through Chile may turn out a good bit more expensive.

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Jul-2009, at 04:03 by bentivogli ]

5. Posted by mattTurner (Budding Member 8 posts) 7y

thanks for that I think I am going to extend the time then. I want to visit Columbia, so will I will head
north to begin with. Any place that you would suggest are unmissable?
And what are the buses like to travel in?

cheers bentivogli

6. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 7y

Haven't been to Colombia. Unfortunately, because people tell me great things about it. Cartagena is said to be especially nice.

As to busses: they're all right in Ecuador, good in Peru and absolutely great in Argentina and Chile. You'll like it; consider paying the surcharge for a luxurious seat when travelling really long distances, it's well worth it.

7. Posted by Ofelia (Respected Member 142 posts) 7y

Quoting mattTurner

I want to visit Columbia, so will I will head
north to begin with. Any place that you would suggest are unmissable?
And what are the buses like to travel in?

Buses in Colombia are good, they leave on time and are relatively cheap, although the macho drivers do drive like they're in Formula 1, but then that's often the case in South America.
I'd definately recommend Cartagena on the coast; beautiful town and great parties. The coast line is beautiful, but unfortunately I only got to spend about 3 days there; I went to Tayrona beach but someone might have more info on the beaches. I also really liked Medellin, but I'm a paraglider so that's possibly why ;) It's a great place to give it a go though!
I also really like Popayan, which is a town you might pass by heading south. It is quite a sleepy place, but it has that kind of romantic, slightly run-down architechture I used to dream about before I got to South America. You can also arrange trips to San Augustin caves easily from there. Enjoy! Colombia is wonderful!