Mendoza to Santiago

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Mendoza to Santiago

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Argentina
1. Posted by jarekaf (Budding Member 2 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


Some buddies and I are planning a short 9 day trip from BA to Santiago over the 4th of July break.

We intend to take a bus from Mendoza to Santiago. I understand that the bus would go through the Andes and in the middle of the Winter. Is this a crazy idea?

Also, my buddies were also contemplating renting a car in Mendoza and driving through to Santiago. Is that also crazy? Between the 4 of us, we're 23 and 24 years old, so I don't know if the extra rental charge exists for those under the age of 25 in Argentina/Chile, like it does in the US.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

2. Posted by BobFrassinetti (Budding Member 64 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

The high Andes Mountains can be very dangerous especially in winter for the inexpert driver, even if we are facing a very mild winter, I suggest a bus drive, those drivers know the roads, and if you want to drive you can always do that either in Santiago or Mendoza, there are many areas around these cities worth while driving, that would be a dangerous enough experience! …… Bob

3. Posted by bentivogli (Respected Member 2398 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

frassinett is right; only professional drivers who know what they're doing should be up those passes in winter. Plus it's cheaper going by bus, PLUS I suspect you'll find it a big hassle to find a company that allows you to cross borders in a rental vehicle, let alone do so in winter over the Andes. You might even find yourself paying additional chilean fees when entering, but I'm not sure about that.

Niels (Amsterdam)