Cheapest way to travel?


Sep 2, 2009
Hola! My husband and I are wanting to get out of town for a bit for our anniversary and have heard great things about the bus transporation here (full cama, etc) but there seem to be so many bus lines out there offering such services. Anyone have a good line or website they would recommend that you had a good experience with? We are thinking of possibly Chile, Brazil, or Patagonia. Ideally though, Chile(Santiago) or Brazil, whichever is cheaper (we need to leave the country to renew our visa but don't really want to go to Uruguay just yet) :) We are looking to spend about $300USD total for the entire trip, hopefully getting to stay 2-3 days if possible, not including travel time. ANY thoughts on bus lines, great places to stay (hotels, B&Bs or even well-kept hostels would be fine) or towns/cities to visit would be soooo appreciated! Muchas Gracias!!!!
Why not go to Iguazú for a few days? You could travel all the way to Puerto Iguazú on a good, comfortable bus (I always use Andesmar for reasons I've given here many times before but other bus companies are available). Then, to see the cataratas at their best, go over to Brazil - either by taxi or on a tour - and there's your visa renewal too.

Of course I'm assuming that you are not US citizens who would be subject to the Brazillian visa charge and formalities: that would blow the budget a bit. But if you are US citizens, be content with the view of the falls from Argentina and instead pop over the Paraguayan border to Cuidad del Este for a spot of shopping - but keep your wallet in a zip-up pocket, okay?
Thanks so much!!! We ARE actually US citizens; I forgot about the Brazil visa issues (that I didn't know about before moving here and have only learned from this site). I thought about Iguazu Falls as well...I will look into that and Andesmar also. Anyone else have thoughts, especially about Chile?
With $300 usd for 2 people your choices are limited. Go to to get an idea about bus schedules and prices. RT bus fares to Mendoza are 320-500 peso per person and another 150-170 p.p. rt to santiago. That alone will use up most of your budget. If you travel by night, pay the extra money for the Suite service. Regular service is fine for daytime travel. Bariloche and Patagonia will be even more expensive. I've taken Chevallier to Cordoba and that bus line is fine.

For the money, Montevideo or colonia is the best bet (I know this isn't your #1 choice). Go to to check out the schedules/prices. You can get specials for around $200 peso's per person round trip though colonia to montevideo. If you decide to go.... go to buque bus office and see if they have any hotel specials. Last time we went we stayed at a 3 star hotel with a 3/2 night special. Hotel was fine. Good luck.

So... have you thought about going to Salta or Jujuy? They are supposed to be great. Your bus tickets for two people will be most of the $300 if you go to Patagonia, Chile, Brasil, etc..... Also- Chile has a $130 "reciprocity tax" that is charged to American tourists. I had to pay this at the airport for a layover- I did not even leave the airport..... I am not sure if they get you by bus as well, but worth it to find out. With Brasil- you need to to get a visa before you go and it is $100 USD + . My bus trip to Patagonia was 365 pesos each way- but I got the premium seat.
i could have gotten the ticket for $245 pesos for the cheapest seat- but it is a 20 hr or more bus ride..... something to think about. I liked being able to sleep so I was not super tired when I arrived in the am.

I would recommend avoiding Batel or Chevellier..... Batel is a Jesus line and they read scriptures and wake you up to read a bible verse with them. If you are religious- maybe this is the bus line for you.

Chevellier- the bus driver smoked the whole time, so it went into the main area. The service was bad. The food worse than normal. And the seats were just dirty and gross. I have heard that Chevellier is also nicknamed the mafia because they boss around the little bus companies and tell them where they can and cannot go. I am not sure I want to support such behavior.

Via Bariloche was excellent! Highly recommend it.... but bring your own snacks. Bus food is worse than airplane food- always!

Good luck with your travel plans. PM me if you have any questions.... I am a master of budget travel and have been able to find great room prices and cheap fares to some great places.