I'm heading from Buenos Aires to Lima within the next couple of days to meet a friend. Last-minute plane tickets are a tad pricey and to be honest, I'd rather throw myself into the adventure of a 3-day bus ride anyway. But I'm suddenly hesitating because I'm getting some really mixed advice on the trip, though it may be from people who don't know what they're talking about. I'm a 20-something woman, very clearly not South American, and my Spanish is okay to good. I'm not really concerned about comfort issues -- what I want to know is whether this a notoriously dangerous bus ride (as someone told me), and whether it would just be silly for me to chance it alone. (Others have told me I got weirdly negative advice and the trip is no big deal at all.) Also, any tips would be appreciated, including bus lines you recommend or advise against, or any other tidbits you might want to share. Thanks so much.
Well, I don't think it is dangerous, it is just...long. Travelled around most of the countries by bus in South America and usually buses are fine.
You might check buses from Retiro or I stumbled upon this experience link. Seems that if you don't mind comfort it is just exhausting.
Oh, I would certainly take the Ormeno bus: it is shortest and it has a good reputation in general as far as I know!
A few years ago I was in South America, and I took a bus from Valdivia, Chile, to Buenos Aires, and it took more than a day. It was safe, because it was through a good bus company, but it took FOREVER. Just be sure to bring lots to do, and lots of snack and water. Other than that you should be okay.
I hope I am not too late and you are already on-route.
The trip is not dangerous, just long and tiring I will say. From Buenos Aires I advice to go to Chile and then Peru. It might not sound reasonable (on the map it makes more sense to go across Bolivia), but the roads are in better shape between Argentina and Chile, and once there you just drive along the Panamerica that cross the continent from South to North next to the coastline. You should check with the bus companies the state of the roads in Chile after the earthquake, though.
I suggest to ride with Cruz del Sur from Tacna (Peruvian border with Chile) to Lima or wherever you go in Peru. I do not advice to travel with Ormeno as a previous post suggested. The latter used to be good but it is not anymore. Another good bus companies in Peru are Oltursa and TEPSA.
Have a safe trip,
A friend of mine took this bus this January. From what she told me the best advice i can give is take some food, because what they'll give you is really bad. And lots of patience, it's a veeeery long trip.
As far as safety goes, it's fine by southamerican standards (people on this continent are BAD drivers)