Bus travel is the most common form of transportation in South America. Flights in South America can be expensive and a train system is almost nonexistent. As a result, most travelers spend many an hour on overland, night, and/or long-distance buses. If you are planning an overland trip across South America, it pays to be prepared. While plenty of buses will take you from country to country, each South American country has their own independent and unique bus system. Be sure to check out our break down of the various bus systems.
In Colombia be prepared for less options again. Colombian buses are in general very well maintained and newer; however, double decker buses are very rare. The roads are decent, but tend to be windy so take your motion sickness pills before you get onboard. Food is rare, but snacks are handed out on the longer routes by the higher quality bus companies.
Colombia has a few unique bus travel trends that can throw even experienced travelers off. One example is that with the more respected bus companies, you will be videotaped as you get on the bus or after being seated. A bus company employee with walk by with a videotape and ask every passenger to glance into the lens. This is a security measure in case anyone is robbed while on the bus. The tapes are kept as evidence to turn over to the police.
Another trend is that night buses, heading south from Cali toward Ecuador are not as frequent and discouraged in most guide books. This is one of the few spots remaining in Colombia where rebels still roam the jungles and in the past buses have been stopped and robbed and sometimes even passengers were taken as hostages. The issue is being closely monitored by the military and the chances of something happening now-a-days is rare but buses still tend to run in the daytime only on this route.
Full disclose from Aracely and Jason: We took the overnight ride from Cali to Ipiales with no problems, although, we also heard about the potential for bus robberies.
Ecuador is very similar to Colombia bus rides. Roads remain winding and you constantly feel like you are going to fall off a cliff as they whip around corners driving through the Andes mountains in the middle of the night. You won’t find calm roads until you reach the coast.
The quality of the buses are also similar. Luxury buses do exist, but they don’t compare to the double decker cama (bed) luxury buses you will find in Chile or Argentina. Booking tickets can be a bit crazy too. Rely on your hostel or take a taxi to the bus terminal and purchase the tickets yourself. You might even have to visit the bus company itself, which will have it’s own office somewhere in town.
Once you get to Peru you will again be rewarded with plenty of choices when it comes to bus companies. The companies range from basic chicken buses to very high-end VIP buses that rival first class airline cabins. Food depends on the price of your ticket and again ranges from nothing or a basic snack to full meals.
The only issue with the choices in Peru is that few towns offer a central bus station. In Buenos Aires nearly every bus drops off in a central bus station but in Lima each bus company has it’s own office, which can be miles apart. This makes comparing bus ticket prices and shopping around much more difficult.
The roads in Peru are relatively good, but be prepared for delays in rainy season when mudslides are more common.
Chile buses are very similar to Argentina buses; very nice rides on very flat roads, until you get up into the highlands, then it’s quite scenic and wild. Cama buses, or double decker buses with beds and food service on the bottom are available for long overnight runs.
Of course, the price is a shocker due to the high value of their currency compared to neighboring countries.
The land border crossing between Peru and Chile is much more developed and modern compared to it’s northern neighbors. It’s almost as if you stepped forward in time. You won’t need to worry about late night check points anymore.
The central Buenos Aires bus terminal can be a huge shock to a new traveler. Hundreds of bus companies compete for your business and buses come in every color and shape imaginable. As the main hub of Argentina bus routes, the Buenos Aires terminal will offer up every possible route combination. In general overnight and long distance buses are double deckers with toilets and food offered on board. Cheaper bus companies might offer a snack and water while more expensive companies will treat you to a full meal during your trip.
The buses in Argentina tend to be newer, well maintained, and safe. The roads are also, in general, very good. As a result, you will need to be prepared for expensive bus ticket prices. It’s not uncommon for an overnight bus trip to cost $50-$100 or even more. If you are taking a long bus trip, consider a night bus which will help you save the cost of a night in a hostel.
Argentina bus companies are usually very good at being on time and never show up late for your bus or it might leave without you. Arriving on time is not nearly as common as leaving on time though so give yourself some leeway with travel plans.
The difference between Argentinian buses and Bolivian buses could not be more shocking. The buses in Bolivia tend to be older and more run down. Often they are bought used from bus companies in Argentina, Peru, or Chile. The roads in Bolivia are also quite bad, usually dirt, and prone to mudslides. It’s best to plan for delays when taking a bus in Bolivia.
There are far fewer bus companies in Bolivia and you will rarely have more than a handful of companies to choose from. Bus companies rarely provide food but stops are made for dinner or breakfast on overnight buses. Also, don’t be shocked if a crate full of chickens are strapped to the bus roof.
You might wake up in the middle of your bus ride completely covered in the desert dust.
The best part of bus travel in Bolivia has to be the custom paint jobs on the sides of nearly every bus. There seems to be no restrictions on what can be displayed on the buses. I saw everything from naked women to highly political messages and of course plenty of images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary.
If you have experience or advice related to bus travel in South America, please leave a comment and share your tips.
Couples Travel Tips
- If you are traveling as a couple, be sure to book your bus ticket ahead of time if you hope to sit together. Buses, especially on popular routes or during holidays and weekends fill up fast.
- If you are sitting together, consider packing valuables in a small bag that can sit on the seat between you. This way the bag can be watched closes and you will be less likely to have it taken, even when sleeping.
- A great benefit of traveling as a couple is that there are two people to watch your bags. Take turns getting off the bus at stops to stretch your legs and watch to be sure your bags, stored under the bus, aren’t take by anyone else.
What is the meaning of the watch in hawkeye?
What are assessments?
What stores are open near me?
how be faster kitchen helper
What is ready reckoner meaning?
What are tips in facebook?
What does senora mean?
What does opportunity cost mean?
What is kim kardashian's net worth?
How to set home xbox?
What does shabbat mean?
where do i find browser helper objects stored
What does the number 854 meaning?
What is the meaning of the quebec flag?
How long are the tips on chiaogoo 12" circular needles?
How to track someone location?
How to link facebook to instagram?
What is wap mean?
What does being pansexual mean?
What does fmla mean?
How to pair samsung buds?
Tips on how to do a good class presentation?
What does death mean in a dream?
How to care for chickens?
Title of the first how to book on magic tricks?
How to watch bravo without cable?
What happens when you do tricks on a fidget spinner in the eye]?
Tricks to starting a lawn mower when the cord is too long?
Black pepper tricks to tame it down when cooked?
How to do tricks in mx versus atv reflex?
How to compute an inverse matrix faster by playing around with some computational tricks?
why google chrome helper ram
How to skate?
What is the meaning of christel?
Why are they forcing tips for food?
What is the meaning of logistics jobs?
a snowman who wanted to be a helper for christamsas
How to be perfect?
What are the birth years for millennials?
What are dominicans mixed with?
What self awareness meaning?
How to find perpendicular line?
What is tmj?
How to kt tape knee?
What does a lice bug look like?
What time does the super bowl game start?
What is the meaning of article in english grammar?
What does it mean to sell a stock short?
What are some cool card tricks?
What percentage of americans are millionaires?
What is the use of q tips?
Tips on how to create a custom minecraft modpack?
How long to fry catfish?
Tips on how to close medical front office end of the day collections?
How to keep strawberries fresh?
What does resignation mean?
How to cut a dragon fruit?
How to get dd214?
Tricks to do with your tongue when sucking?
What does shoplifting mean?
What time does zaxby's open?
Tips when attempting to grow a beard?
How to find midrange?
What is the meaning of surface?
What is lamb?
What is the meaning of inclusion?
How to find percentage increase?
How to get rid of ants in bedroom?
How to win monopoly?
How to make chia pudding?
what do ups driver helper do
What does turmeric help with?
Jobs where you earn tips?
outer worlds weapons salvagers helper where?
What does valentine's day mean?
What does 100 emoji mean?
What does incubation period mean?
What is the meaning of groping?
What does half board mean?
What age does a man stop being sexually active?
How long to microwave ramen?
5 tips for eating healthy when eating out?
What does dne mean in math?
How to clean battery acid?
What is the meaning of parasthesia?
Show where magic tricks are revealed?
What does breast cancer look like on a mammogram?
What does pure mean?
Evil slut gf tricks bf into trap where e has o watch her gangbang?
How to update firefox?
What level does drifloon evolve?
how to change the sprite on the alttp randomizer helper
Fable 2 how do you change your dog tricks?
Buffalo springfield - for what it's worth 1967 meaning?
How to heal sunburn?
How to lower high blood sugar?
What is graupel?
How to take a screenshot on a macbook pro?
hypixel what is a helper rank
What is the meaning of ignored?
Who does bicycle tricks?
How to add widgets on ipad?
Why are the tips of our fingers sensitive quora?
How to walk with crutches?
how to setup wii u helper
How to cook omaha steaks steak tips?
What does woc mean?
Bonds-which poster meaning?
what is a press helper specialist
How to improve working memory quick tricks?
What does 3 4 cup look like?
How to find hypotenuse of right triangle?
How to get rid of flea bites?
Tips how to use light at the party?
What does the second impeachment mean?
what does java plug-in ssv helper do
What does supplementary angles mean?
What is dark web?
How often do hat tricks occur?
What is the meaning of manner?
What is the meaning of peter in the bible?
Easy tricks on how to find crossword words?
What is the meaning of the term grass eater as a form of police corruption?
What does bystander mean?
Tips on how to successfully quit smoking?
how to use videodownload helper in google
What does the ph scale measure?
What does white spots on tonsils mean?
What is moldavite meaning?
how to start a neighbor hood moters helper job
What is religious festival dance meaning?
How to not be sad?
Governor of poker 2 tips how to collect money?
How to get emancipated without parental consent?
How to delete voicemail?
How long to cook a hot pocket?
How to make crab salad?
How to do transitions on tiktok?
Tips on how to get a girlfriend in middle school?
What is the meaning of ethnic group?
How to cure a zombie villager?
What does lonely mean?
How to harvest lavender?
How long to renew passport?
What color does purple and pink make?
who played jerry helper
What muscles does cycling work?
What does psat stand for?
What are some tips for teaching students who have hearing loss?
How to make tips as a server?
Tips how to lay cable attic?
What is morphine?
What is the meaning of inconceivable?
How to block spam texts?
What does in mean?
What does true breeding mean?
What does lyt mean?
How does dmc do magic tricks is it real?
How to get rid of calcium deposits?
What is the meaning of dawn fm?
What does getting laid mean?
What is the meaning of probation period?
What is the meaning of genocide?
What is tips dtd?
How to yoyo tricks for beginners?
What color are the chakras?
what nutrient acts as a helper molecule in chemical reactions within the body
How to enter safe mode windows 10?
How to teach a cat tricks .;lllllpo?
What is the meaning of meta?
What does nv mean?
What does growth mean?
What time does the rams play today?
What is the meaning of hot flashes in menopause?
How to unblock websites on school chromebook 2022?
Tips on how much an audio engineer should charge starting?
What are you watching?
What is the meaning of peeking?
What tbh mean in text?
What automotive emblem had 3 spear head looking tips that make it look like a triangle?
How to do the moonwalk?
Fable 2 how to.make dog do tricks?
What does doi stand for?
What channels are nfl games on?
What are money market accounts?
What does e.g mean?
How many hours is 8am to 4pm?
How late meaning?
What does it mean when you are always cold?
What is the meaning of segue?
How to use fix a flat?
How to know if you are pregnant?
Tips on how to deepen your voice?
What is the meaning of the root word "angi"?
How to write a business letter?
What does substance mean?
What are some tips for speaking when presenting?
what does ups driver helper make
What does recondition mean?
What does nazi mean?
Why don't jedi mind tricks work on jabba?
What time is it edt?
What is an amendment?
Where is the estore's manual checkout settings area? tip and tricks?
What does congruent angles mean?
What is the meaning of high creatinine?
What do the lightsaber colors mean?
What is side hustle meaning?
how much do pepsi driver helper make
What does conglomeration mean?
how to change the icd code in therapist helper
What time does stock market close today?
How to mirror iphone to smart tv?
Tips on how to shrink clothes?
How to get pregannt after insemination tricks?
How to crack someone's back?
What does pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis mean?
What does lemon water do?
What does it whole nation?
What are cpt codes?
What are the spiderman movies in order?
How to cook rice in microwave?
What does islam mean?
What is the meaning of force majeure?
What is it called when someone tricks another person out of money?
What does the winner of nathan's hot dog contest?
What are the best drain cleaners?
How to tone your stomach?
How often to change air filter?
Meaning when you see a bluebird?
Tips on how to get 2200?
How to make your veins show?
What does lupus do?
What are the nationalities?
how do you delete panda helper
What does gravity mean?
What team does cam newton play for?
Speak when you are angry meaning?
What is the square root of?
What does twit mean?
What is the meaning of shoes on telephone wires?
how to make hamburger helper in pressure cooker
Dragon story how do i get tricks for toil and trouble?
Which big cat is named from the native american word meaning "he who kills with one leap"?
What are houdini's tricks?
What does individual mean?
How to delete xbox account?
Sir gawain and the green knight what party do they play tricks?
What kinds of swords had flat tips?
How to heal a torn rotator cuff naturally?
How to get water out of iphone?
wii u shows cemu version 1.9.0c how do i play outside of wii u helper? wherew is the folder%
What does it mean when someone ghosts you?
How to do tricks on a skateboard?
Different wood burning tips and what they do?
How to temple tips?
What is an otaku?
What are the tax bracket for 2020?
How to change my name on facebook?
a good letter to a helper who help you in school
What does inadvertently mean?
How to play train station game tips?
How to cure high blood pressure in 3 minutes?
What time is it california?
What are the healthiest fruits?
What time does kohl's open tomorrow?
How to recall a message in outlook?