Whats the cheapest most efficient way of traveling the length of these countries and getting from one to the other?Ive read Argentina have super cheap long-haul coaches but instead of jet setting from place to place wanted to know the best alternative as it may make a massive impact on if we go to certain places or not...
How much we are likely to pay and what the conditions are etc x
I know in Chile they have a bus service which you buy a ticket and you can jump on and off anywhere along the way the length of the country, its valid for an extended period so you can take in all the sites and always know you have onward travel, can;t remember the name of the company but I'm sure you could google it, I remember it was reasonably priced as well. Chile is 2700 miles long and I remember thinking it was a great deal, sorry my info is vague
Flights in Argentina are really cheap and very efficient. We took three whilst we were there and it saved us a lot of time and a few 30 hour bus rides!
The buses in Argentina are amazing - easily the best in SA - and you can get ones that have seats that recline 180 degrees and you get free wine!
Buses in Peru are also very good and we used Cruz del Sur, as they were very safe and reliable.
Ben & Clare (or anyone)
How did you get such cheap flights???
My friends and I are going in July. We've checked some fllight prices, and they are crazy money. e.g. B.Aires to Lima £350 one way.
Did you pre-book your flight, or turn up at the airport befoe hand and arranged it that way?
I'd really like to know as 50% of our travelling budget is having to go to 3 flights.
We never actually flew between countries, but rather fly inside Bolivia and then inside Argentina.
We booked the Argentine flights either through Expedia or directly with Aerolineas - they have offices in most towns and cities.
I think that train is the best option for that
Busses in Argentina are indeed very good and reasonably priced. There are however places where it is hard to get by bus, and you may need to consider renting also a car. For example to best edxperience the area around Bariloche, and to enjoy the 7 likes drive - I suggest a car.
In Brazil the busses are Ok but are expensive! they cost around 5US$ for every hour drive (~70 km). We found them less comfortable than the ones in Argetina. Over there, it would be wise to have internal flights - and they could be cheap, sometimes even cheaper than a bus. It is wise to book them in advance and not just show up on the airport. Expedia is a good website to do so.
I agree that the busses in Peru are very good as well. Cruz Del Sur is indeed a great company to use, but slightly more expensive than the rest, and does not necessarily serve all lines that are needed. Yet, we have found also most of the other less known companies to be very good and with fair busses, so we just go to the terminal and look for the companies offering bus service to where we wanted and then compare prices. Normally, booking a few hours in advance or the day before was enough. You always get a seat with a number, they do not board more people than seats. Also in Bolivia the bus service was fairly good and most night buses are comfortable - prices are low, just like in Peru. The problem in Bolivia is that some roads are very bad and so the bus is normally slow - 30 km/hr would be a good average, unless it is the bus line between La Paz and Sucre or Cuchambamba or Santa Cruz.
In all the busses around South America that we have been to during night (and we have done a lot of night rides!) it gets very cold! so make sure you take with you sweader, blanket or sleeping bag - anything you can cover yourself with and keep warm.
There are many busses corssing countries, and normally it is well organized and easy process. I guess you need first to decide from where to where you want to go and how much time you have - sometimes if there is time pressure you should take a flight even if it more expensive... And yes - flights across countries in South America are NOT CHEAP!
The Sapir Family
Good luck in your travels! enjoy it - its an amazing continent!