On recent tour of SA we had originally booked flights from Santiago to Buenos Aires but found ourselves with a spare day so looked into hiring a car for a road trip but found it wasn’t possible to take a hire car across the border. No trains either. We came across a review somewhere about a bus trip and got excited about the thought of travelling by land through the Andes as we thought the views would be even more spectacular than flying.
We were not disappointed. This route was one of the high lights of our whole trip. 5 hours of spectacular, dramatic. Incredible views with not many other vehicles around. Sadly, as usual, the photos we took do not do it justice at all to the point where I am slightly reluctant to show anyone! The terrain changes significantly from the green of Santiago, stark baroness of the Andes, then it’s quite something to see green again at the other end.
We travelled with Andesmar, the coach was very clean and seats were large and comfortable. You aren’t able to book more than a month in advance but you can reserve seats we had two at the top front which really paid off.
At the border, everyone had to get off and go through a passport check, all the luggage is taken off and the the bus searched. A little tip, it was really cold in the lofty hanger type building and not possible to get back on the bus for a jumper. Also, no loo roll on the bus so take your own.
We had tea/coffee, long life bun and sandwich offered during the trip so best to take your own if you prefer something else as no opportunity to buy anything en route.
I would definitely recommend this trip and would do it again even though it’s sited as a dangerous road I am guessing that certain times of the year are more dangerous as maybe the roads are busier.
P.s. Mendoza is a good place to stop, lots of pavement cafes/restaurants and craft beer bars, every street is tree lined and of course it’s the home of Malbec!