Argentina is the second-largest country in Latin America, and it is a bus rider’s paradise where you can get to every corner of the vast country in total comfort and style. Thanks to the relative wealth of the country and a history of European associations, long-distance buses in Argentina have gained a reputation for their quality for exploring the extensive road network of the country, giving tourists the opportunity to admire the beautiful landscapes made up of lakes, valleys, and mountains.
Since 1860, the official name of this South American nation is República Argentina. Within it, there are many places beloved by travelers, like Los Bosques de Arrayanes, a unique Patagonian Andean forest where you can find beautiful old-growth trees with maroon trunks. Or, the very thought of Argentina conjures up the sweeping plains of its famous Pampas region, or Los Glaciares National Park and Tierra del Fuego considered “the end of the world.” Then there are other iconic destinations in Argentina like the massive falls at Puerto Iguazu that spread into two other neighboring countries, and the mesmerizing high Andean desert cities of Salta and Jujuy. This is all before we have even mentioned Argentina’s great metropolises of Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Rosario, and Mendoza where you could spend a whole lifetime falling in love with the people and cultures of this country.
How to travel to Argentina by land
One thing that characterizes Argentina is its accessibility, that is to say, how easy it is to get there from any neighboring country. Buenos Aires, known as “the Paris of Latin America”, can be found as the destination from all of the major cities in Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, and even Peru.
With the exception of Uruguay, these are all long hauls, but Argentine carriers make up for it with their attention to service and hospitality along the way, and travelers on these long routes often say it is where they created a second family from the other travelers they meet on the bus.
From Bolivia, the best option to get to Argentina is to travel from the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, which winds its way down through Paraguay on its way to Buenos Aires.
From Chile, you have a number of options. The most popular route is from the Chilean capital Santiago, which in eight hours just goes over the mountains to the east of the city and then down the other side into Mendoza, Argentina. Other popular Chile-Argentina routes go from Osorno to Bariloche (five hours but only operational in warmer months), Puerto Montt to Bariloche (seven hours), Temuco through the lakes region to Neuquen, or if you are down in Patagonia, it’s only six hours from Puerto Natales, Chile to the Atlantic ocean city of Rio Gallegos, Argentina. All these routes can be consulted on the AndesTransit website, selecting the day and time of your preference.
Buses from Brazil and Paraguay are no less popular, especially the route from Asuncion (Paraguay) or Foz do Iguacu (Brazil) to Buenos Aires. Brazilian carriers even have a long-standing contest with Argentina trying to try and best their southern neighbor with high comfort coaches and onboard services, so expect to be pampered if you’re coming from Brazil.
Ferry from Montevideo to Buenos Aires
In case you are in Uruguay and want to opt for another means of transportation, we advise you to travel on the high-speed ferry, which is able to connect Montevideo with Buenos Aires across the very wide river La Plata. The river is so wide you may mistake it for a sea, but it is mixed with saltwater, and so it feels like you on an ocean cruise. Ferries depart from either Montevideo or Colonia del Sacramento, and there is both a fast ferry that has thirteen crossings per week with a duration of two hours and fifteen minutes or a second slower ferry that departs three times daily and the trip lasts four hours and 45 minutes.
While this is the most attractive way to move between the two countries, we recommend you get your ticket online in advance to bypass the hassles, inconveniences, and sellouts at the ferry terminal.
Once inside the ferry, you are free to move around the deck and enjoy the spacious seating anywhere onboard. Big picture windows encircle the ferry so you can take in the view of the skylines, river, and open sky. The hours will pass very quickly because the ferry also has onboard services like cafes, stores, and even a money exchange.
Prices vary according to the time of the year you travel, with June and August being the lower-priced months.
Getting around: Transportation inside Argentina
The transportation network in Argentina is robust and efficient. For example, if you are ready to escape the city of Buenos Aires and go to the beaches to take a dip in the ocean, you can easily get on a train or bus going to destinations like Pinamar or Mar de Ajo. Connections to other major cities like Rosario, Cordoba, and Mar del Plata are frequent for those that want to explore the urban areas. If you want to experience the range of climates, you can easily find connections from the heat of northern cities like Corrientes or Resistencia, and with just one or two connections find yourself in the gorgeous alpine skiing villages of Bariloche or visit the penguins in Ushuaia.
If your plans are to stay in the capital, you can move from one place to another in any of its metropolitan buses (colectivos) or the Buenos Aires subway (better known as the subte). On the other hand, if you want a more ecological alternative, Buenos Aires has a rentable bicycle system (Ecobici) to get you around the major parts of the city. to walk around the capital city. Just remember that at the end of each trip, you must wait 15 minutes to rent the bike again.
You can also opt for the train network that will connect you from the capital to the main cities of the country, such as Córdoba, Rosario, and Tucumán. Being quite safe and affordable, they transport 345 million people a year.
In big cities, you will find other means of transportation such as remises (cabs). While these are often more convenient, they are not as safe as buses, and tourists in cabs are often targets of crime. You also don’t get as intimate of a view into Argentine culture as you do with seeing the way people interact on buses and trains.
How to get tickets to travel to or in Argentina
Once you have decided to travel to Argentina, the best way to get your land transportation tickets is by visiting andestransit.com. You will only have to enter your point of departure and destination anywhere within Latin America, as long as there is a land or sea route connecting them. If there is no direct route, the platform will still lay out an itinerary of one or more transfer points.
Select the service and route that meets your price or timing preferences, secure the reservation with a credit card or PayPal, and that's it, you’re set to go. When you finish the payment process, the electronic reservation or voucher will arrive directly in your email inbox, no waiting in long lines or spending your vacation time finding a ticketing agency somewhere near where you’re staying.
It should be noted that on the AndesTransit website you can also choose the option of traveling in a vehicle or shuttle exclusively reserved for you or your private group. If your itinerary is more complicated and you want someone to talk you through your options, you can make an appointment to have either an English-speaking or Spanish-speaking agent and expert traveler help you over a scheduled phone call.
Sightseeing in Argentina
We touched on some of Argentina’s dreamy destinations that you cannot leave out of your itinerary, but let’s explore these and others a bit more.
The city of Mendoza is a perfect destination for wine lovers since it is there where the best vineyards of the country are located. Most travelers come to it from Chile, as it is much closer to Santiago than Buenos Aires, and wine aficionados usually include Chile in their itinerary as well. Admire the Andes mountain range as you cross over the summit between the two countries.
Aconcagua Provincial Park, a protected area in the Argentinean Andes, is also very close to the border with Chile, although further south. There you will have the privilege of seeing glaciers that form a wonderful landscape and continue to captivate thousands of tourists from all over the world.
On the Atlantic side, Mar de Plata is another emblematic destination, where you can't leave without taking surfing lessons at Honu Beach, visit the popular lighthouse, or go through the Peral Ramos forest on horseback.
If you want to stick to the capital of Argentina, there’s plenty to do. The Barrio la Boca district is one of the most colorful and lively areas of the city, where you will run into travelers from all over the world as well as the best place to learn some tango moves. On the north side of the city, definitely go to Olivos and San Isidro for a mix of entertainment, nightlife, and adventure. You’ll find there nightclubs and bars by the river, or for water sports lovers (kayaking, kite surfing to windsurfing), visit Peru Beach or Club 7.
Of course, visiting this beautiful country also implies immersing yourself in its culture and cuisine. Before you leave Argentina, make it a point to taste their signature asados, traditional Mate, or if you are traveling north to Paraguay, stop in Corrientes in the Chaco province to get an experience of the culture and flavors of the many Eastern European immigrants that have migrated here over the decades and their contributions to Argentine society.
Fortunately, you can visit any of these thanks to our ready access to transportation services across the country. We recommend that you make your reservation in advance so that you are not prevented by over- or under-bookings from doing what you want to set out to do.
Before embarking on your trip, we recommend you to have a well-planned itinerary. This doesn’t mean you can’t change your plans or be spontaneous, but you will be able to think through your options for a longer period of time and be better able to prioritize based on what you learn along the way.
Also, don’t forget to have all your documents in order when traveling to Argentina. Keep them in a well-sealed and protected pouch, or make copies of them and lock the originals in your hotel receptionist’s safe.
If you’re still undecided and need further help planning your trip to Argentina, feel free to set up a free 20-minute consultation with the AndesTransit staff and we’ll survey the different transportation options that will make your trip successful.