Bus tickets and planning from Sucre to Tarija, Bolivia


on: 2022-02-06

by: Alice Silva

Quick Facts

  • Duration
    10 hours 30 minutes
  • Rating
  • Experience
    wineries, waterfalls, hiking
  • Best Price
    USD $ 30
  • Maximum comfort or class
  • Departures
    2 departures daily
  • Recommended by
    68 travelers

Price may fluctuate due to seasonal demand and other market-driven and regulatory events.

A Guide to the bus journey from Sucre to Tarija

Casa Vieja, Tarija, Bolivia

For bus trips in the medium-length range, about a full day on the bus, this is one that I remember more than most. It’s a splendid bus route that takes you from the constitutional capital of Bolivia through breathtaking highlands all the way to the gorgeous wine country of Tarija.

But before you leave Sucre going south, take a day trip east to what I think is Bolivia's best traditional market town, Tarabuco. On your way there, make sure to stop and walk with the dinosaurs at Cal Orcko, which contains over 5,000 tracks of 294 species of these ancient beasts.

Going southward from Sucre, just before you get to Tupiza, you might be tempted to do as I did, which was to just get off the bus and do some hiking around the picturesque Laguna Kharachi Orcko.  If you pass it by, and then regret it, you can also get off in Tupiza where you'll find lots of outfitters to take you horseback riding or mountain biking through the area’s canyons and valleys.

By this time you do get into the Tupiza area, you will be thoroughly convinced you are on the set of an old western cowboy movie, and so it shouldn't surprise you that your destination Tarija is the rodeo home of Bolivia! It is also the wine capital, and also the flower capital!  How about doing them all?  Get a bottle of locally produced wine and a bouquet of flowers and take yourself out to the rodeo!

To get started, you’ll need to reserve your tickets by clicking the Reserve Now button above. 

But if you’re wanting to get some more information to plan out your epic journey to Tarija safe and sound, read on and I’ll fill you in on all the details.

How are the buses in Bolivia?

Even though it is rich in natural resources, Bolivia is the second poorest country in South America (after Suriname). Therefore you shouldn’t expect to see the same level of luxury or pampering when it comes to transportation that you might experience in neighboring Argentina or Brazil.  

That said, Bolivia is still a very large country in which a lot of people travel long distances by bus. This helps create a demand for coaches that are decent and well-maintained, if not opulently furnished.  All coaches have cushioned seats and reclining seats, and the longer you travel (like from Sucre to Tarija), then you will get to be on a bus with seats that recline even more and often with two decks. 

Long-distance buses (which are the only type we promote on AndesTransit) usually don’t stop between cities, as that kind of thing is left for municipal or intra-provincial buses that are more used for getting between villages.  Even so, you will be stopping usually once for a necessary rest break, to use sanitized restrooms, stretch your legs, and grab a quick hot meal or packaged snack before getting back on the road again.

How long is the bus ride from Sucre to Tarija?

Expect the bus ride from Sucre to Tarija to take you between 10 and 11 hours.  Most of this you won’t notice because the only buses that make the route depart at 19:30 (7:30 pm), so you’ll be catching most of the scenery outside your window in the dusk and dawn light, and the rest you’ll be sleeping. 

The major intersecting towns you’ll be going through are Padcoyo (which has a loop road that goes east up into the mountains before coming back down and rejoining the highway at El Rosario); and El Puente (which is where you would jump off if for some reason you wanted to abandon going to Tarija and go west to Tupiza instead). 

Aside from that, you’ll arrive at Tarija early the next morning, fresh to take on the town’s sights, sounds, and aromas.

How much is the bus fare from Sucre to Tarija?

The bus ticket from Sucre to Tarija will cost you between $30 and $32 USD, with the cheaper one actually the shorter trip by a half hour.  The fare goes up on weekends and holidays, but only by a small amount.  The price goes down on occasion when the exchange rate lessens the value of the Bolivian peso or in the low season when tourists are creating less demand for seats.

Are the bus schedules reliable?

Yes, this route from Sucre to Tarija rarely changes its departure times and is rarely delayed or canceled.  Nonetheless, you should book online in advance to avoid showing up only to find the bus was canceled.  At AndesTransit you will find a professional travel team that speaks English and Spanish fluently, and we work with downstream providers directly to be made aware of any changes based on road conditions, fleet repair, or other potential disruptions so we can notify you too.

What to see in Tarija

Walking in a vineyard near Tarija, Bolivia

Often compared to the Andalusian region of Spain, Tarija has an enchanting Mediterranean climate replete with the refined charm of what you dream of in a vineyard village. While seriously loyal to Bolivia, <i>chapacos</i> (as the people of Tarija like to call themselves) are also so far away from the large population centers of Bolivia that they are a bit of a country unto themself.  

#1 - Casa La Vieja

There are several wineries in the Tarija area (check out our multi-country winery guide), but the most romantic and easiest to arrange a visit is Casa La Vieja.  The property dates back to 1616 and has been in continuous use since then, although wine has been their passion since 1978.  You can go on vineyard walks to see the grapes cultivating, and visit the bodega where the wine is aged in old barrels.  You will of course be welcome to taste samples of the fifteen varieties of wine and the grapes that produce them.  Visitation hours are Monday-Friday, 10 am - 6 pm.

2 -  Take a rowboat out on Lake San Jacinto

The large lake just south of town is Represa San Jacinto. It has beautiful vegetation and green spaces surrounding it that make for an ideal setting to go out on a rowboat with a picnic lunch and soak in some peace and quiet.  Set your target on the group of businesses on the eastern side of the lake where several restaurants line the side of the road.  Behind the restaurants, they have several rowboats for rent, and you can inquire either inside the restaurant or to a localchapaco (that’s what people of Tarija call themselves) in the back if there’s someone there on the beach.  

#3 - Casa Dorada

The unavoidable grand house that dazzles the eyes in the middle of Tarija is Casa Dorada (tr. “golden house”).  Tours of the 1887 palace provide a rare look into the Art Nouveau architectural style employed in Bolivia, including embossed doors, gold leaf frames, and grand balconies.  

#4 - Sample local delicacies at Mercado Tarija

The people of Tarija are not just proud of their wine but of their local and unique cuisine.  The very best place to chow down on what momma is cooking is at the central market, or Mercado Tarija.  There you will find or can seek out what local people eat, like Saice (a beefy stew made with cumin), Pique Macho (a warm salad of tomatoes, beef, onions, peppers, and sausages), or salteñas (stuffed empanadas).  

#5 - Hike and bathe at the Coimata waterfalls

A taxi of about $8 USD will take you out a short distance west of town to the trailhead in Coimata where many go to enjoy the splendid waterfalls.  The cascades fall in two sections and glide down to a pool that is very safe for clean and cool bathing or cooling off your feet from the hike.  You can also take local buses to and from the nearby Tomatitas, but this is still a good walk from the trailhead, and getting the bus back to Tarija is very unpredictable.  So it’s better to make an arrangement with a local taxi to come and get you or ask the driver where and how to get the bus back on that day.


You will not be disappointed going out of your way to visit Tarija, which is a stop we feature in our Ultimate Bolivia Road Trip.  It is often cited as the favorite and most beautiful place in the country by the tourists who are earnest enough to make the trip there.  You will find it all the more tempting if you are visiting other cities not so far away like Potosi, Sucre, Uyuni, and Tupiza. Get started by reserving now.

Route Map

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does Bolivia have its own wine?
Yes, the Tarija region of southern Bolivia near the border with Argentina has a long history of cultivating its own vineyards and the making of wine, thanks to the naturally sloped hills that get bathed in clouds.
Does the Bolivian train go to Tarija?
It does not. Tarija is a fair distance east of the rail line that goes to Villazon at the Argentine border. Most people find it easier to get to Tarija by bus from Sucre or Potosi.
Are there buses that cross the border from Tarija to Argentina?
Buses from Bolivia cross the border to Chile, Peru, and Paraguay, but not to Argentina or Brazil. You can take the bus from Tarija to the border town of Bermejo, or to Villazon, and then walk across the border bridge to buses on the Argentinian side.
What are the ticket policies?
It depends on the carrier you choose, but their specific policies can be previewed during checkout or in the summaries printed on your ticket email. For a general overview, see the Ticket Policy page.

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