Crossing the Andes on a bus: Argentina to Chile

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There’s definitely something about bus terminals in South America. I’m in Mendoza, Argentina, and about to embark on the most scenic bus journey in the world: Crossing the Andes on a bus.

Crossing the Andes on a bus, Andes, Crossing the Andes, Chile, Argentina, Argentina to Chile

What is it about bus terminals in South America?

Mostly they are ugly things, bus terminals, and yet I find them attractive. Perhaps it’s the scale of those places that secretly impresses me. Or perhaps I’m just surprised to see some level of organisation in an otherwise fairly loosely-organised place. It’s chaos, but that with a purpose – almost everyone there is waiting to leave, have arrived, or waiting for someone to leave or arrive. I say almost everyone, because of course, for the opportunistic thieving community, it’s a pretty good place to be, too.

There’s no travelling light in South America – very heavy on the packing

Crossing the Andes on a bus

Of all the bus journeys I’ve done so far, this one, crossing the Andes from Argentina to Chile, is without doubt my favourite.

Can a bus ride be this good? Absolutely!

Driving past Lujan de Cuyo in Mendoza

Crossing the Andes on a bus, Andes, Crossing the Andes, Chile, Argentina, Argentina to Chile

And the Journey Begins

Having settled into our first-row seats (pre-booked: this is essential to enjoy this journey to the max) , we’re handed out some Alfajores de Maicena – soft cookies made from corn starch, filled with the sweetest Dulce de Lece. It’s something that Argentines are proud of, but frankly I’d rather stick to their steak and wine.

Crossing the Andes on a bus, Andes, Crossing the Andes, Chile, Argentina, Argentina to Chile

Straight ahead for Chile – heading towards the Andes Mountains

Crossing the Andes on a bus, Andes, Crossing the Andes, Chile, Argentina, Argentina to Chile

There’s already some amazing scenery

Crossing the Andes on a bus, Andes, Crossing the Andes, Chile, Argentina, Argentina to Chile

The sky is just so blue around here – empty roads

Crossing the Andes on a bus, Andes, Crossing the Andes, Chile, Argentina, Argentina to Chile

Into the International Tunnel..

Crossing the Andes on a bus, Andes, Crossing the Andes, Chile, Argentina, Argentina to Chile

Welcome to the Republic of Chile!

Crossing the Andes on a bus, Andes, Crossing the Andes, Chile, Argentina, Argentina to Chile

Suddenly, a queue appears…cars as far as we can see

Crossing the Andes on a bus, Andes, Crossing the Andes, Chile, Argentina, Argentina to Chile

Border Control, Argentina – Chile

Crossing the Andes on a bus, Andes, Crossing the Andes, Chile, Argentina, Argentina to Chile

The worst border crossing in the world – it took about 4 hours to Leave Argentina and enter Chile..and it wasn’t even that busy

Crossing the Andes on a bus, Andes, Crossing the Andes, Chile, Argentina, Argentina to Chile

This is what it’s really about, Crossing the Andes on a bus

Crossing the Andes on a bus, Andes, Crossing the Andes, Chile, Argentina, Argentina to Chile

The bus company I used was CATA, the trip is about 8 hours and cost around USD45 (you can search prices here). Crossing the Andes on a bus, most definitely the best bus ride in the world!

One thought on “Crossing the Andes on a bus: Argentina to Chile

  • 23rd September 2015 at 7:45 pm
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    A short and precise description of the Argentina – Chile crossing and what you can expect.
    This is a proofreading from an Argentinian and I can say that I’d been many times in Mendoza.

    Reply

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