Information on good train or bus service in South America.

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Information on good train or bus service in South America.

1. Posted by konvict (Budding Member 6 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Is there any good bus or train service which could take me throughout these countries mentioned below:

ecuador, brazil, chile, peru and far are these countries from one another when travelling by land.

2. Posted by Moonmonkey (Budding Member 52 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


I think the main form of land transport in South America is the bus as they don't have an extensive rail network. From what I have read on the subject alot of buses are pretty dependable and you have a choice of bus in alot of places (ie - pay a bit more for air con and reclining seat etc.). As far as distance is concerned all I can say is that S America is a huge place therefore you should be prepared for some long journeys, perhaps even some overnight ones.

An example of a bus journey I'll be taking soon is Caracas (Venezuela) to Manaus (Brazil) which is about 36 hours in total and costs around $50 for an air con bus (according to LP S America on a shoestring 2006). Of course we will stop along the way and probably break up the journey with a few days in various places but it's a reasonable timescale and cost for such a distance to be covered.

I'm sure there are some other posts relating to bus travel on the forum if you do a search. It's also worth checking out the bus company websites. Try Eucator to see what kind of service they offer.

Good luck!


3. Posted by bentivogli (Respected Member 2398 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

To give you some idea of travel times:

  • Quito (Ecuador) - Guayaquil - Tumbes (Peru): about 10 hours
  • Tumber - Lima (overnight): about 12 hours
  • Lima - Iquitos: about 36 hours. Could be much more, depending on the weather. From Iquitos, you can take a boat to Manaus, Brazil, which takes another 4 days or so
  • Lima - La Paz (Bolivia), via Puno: about 36 hours
  • Lima - Antafagasto (Chile): about 18 hours
  • La Paz - La Quiaca (Argentine border): about 24 hours
  • La Quiaca - Buenos Aires: about 24 hours

All these are VERY rought estimates; did this from the back of my head, so I may be off a couple of hours on each. But, as you can see, distances are pretty large. Please contact us if you have more specific questions, happy travels,


[ Edit: Edited on Feb 5, 2007, at 12:50 AM by bentivogli ]

4. Posted by mariaines (Budding Member 39 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

i'll give you some info about bus and train network here in Chile
Bus: you can go by bus practicly everywhere, with the obvious exception of the southern part of the 10th region (the road ends there).
The distances from santiago to north (Arica, Iquique, Antofagasta) are HUGE, i'd recommend a flight: 3-4 hours is much better than 30 hours by bus.
From santiago to surroundings: You've got lots of bus companies travelling to the coast and southern cities & towns, just have to ask for your destination. For example, a trip santiago-valparaiso-santiago costs less than US$10 for a 1hr:30 min trip.

To the deep south: good bus coverage in general; for example, a trip to puerto montt (1000 Km south santiago) costs about US$ 70 (return included); 12 hr trip.

Train: It's the best option to cities southern santiago until temuco. Further than that, bus is the best option. Particulary good is the fast train to chillan which stops in every important city and have a good connection by bus to concepcion. There (the most important city in the area) you have a local train network to the local towns, some of the in the coast.
If you need more info, just let me know ;)

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 5, 2007, at 10:44 AM by mariaines ]