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.
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
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
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.
Straight ahead for Chile – heading towards the Andes Mountains
There’s already some amazing scenery
The sky is just so blue around here – empty roads
Into the International Tunnel..
Welcome to the Republic of Chile!
Suddenly, a queue appears…cars as far as we can see
Border Control, Argentina – 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
This is what it’s really about, Crossing the Andes on a bus
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!