Buses in South America

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Buses in South America

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Chile
1. Posted by grakav (First Time Poster 1 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hi All,

This is my first posting so hopefully I won't be annoying people too much! My girlfriend and I are going to be flying into Santiago to begin our travels in South America next May and are in two minds whether to travel overland up to La Paz or get an internal flight. Similarly we would need to get from Buenos Aires to Rio and are wondering again if we should do this overland or fly.

Would anyone know if there is enough to see between these places to make it worthwhile doing overland and if so, are the bus services alright? Are the frequent, expensive, comfortable?

If anyone needs any tips on travelling in Ireland let me know and I'll be happy to return the favour.


2. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

I took a bus from La Paz to Arica, Chile, and then from Arica (after a short stop over) down to Santiago. It's a pretty long journey. La Paz - Arica wasn't bad, but Arica to Santiago was 30 hours.

That being said, all the buses I took in Chile, Argentina and Bolivia were very nice. On many of the overnight buses you can get sleepers, which allow you to almost fully recline and get some good shut-eye.

I would look into taking a bus up to La Paz - maybe fly up to Arica or Lima and grab a bus from there. Really this is more for altitude aclimitzation more than anything else. I flew from B.A. to La Paz and got really sick with altitude sickness. Taking the bus allows you some time to get used to the higher altitude.

Not sure about the B.A. to Rio portion.


3. Posted by sgalitzki (Budding Member 4 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

I lived in Buenos Aires for awhile, and although I never made it to Rio I know a number of people who did and all of them flew - I suppose there might be a few things to see between the two places, but its really a very very long trip overland and from what Ive heard definitely not worth it. I hope that helps, and if you have any questions about Buenos Aires in particular let me know!

4. Posted by titovv (Budding Member 16 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hi there, i dont know if you already traveled, but just in case, if you are in Santiago, try and see "last minute offers" from Lanchile (www.lanchile.cl), thats the national airline, and sometimes you can find very cheap flights to Peru, Argentina, Uruguay and Even Brazil! anyway, if you think to take a bus, try www.turbus.cl, thats the best private bus system over here, but remember that distances are pretty long, maybe a flight would be nice..

hope thats good for you, bye!

5. Posted by reta (Budding Member 3 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

I think to start in Santiago and go to san Pedro de Atacama, then to Uyuni salt flat, then to La Paz. I suggest travel by plane from Santiago to Calama, also depends on your budget and time.
In Brazil visit Salvador of Bahia, the true brazilian root.