Long-distance buses in Argentina

How to take long-distance buses in Argentina

Long-distance buses in Argentina have always been more popular than planes because they were historically cheaper. However, that is slowly changing thanks to the arrival of new budget airlines. There are as many reasons for the buses’ popularity as there are passengers: fear of flying, the airport is a few hundred kilometres away or there is no airport anywhere near, the myth that buses are cheaper, “it’s what we do and that’s that”.

Long-distance buses in Argentina

I prefer flying because I get bored easily and do not like to spend hours cooped up in any means of transport. However, I do sometimes take the long-distance bus when I visit my brother and his family. Why? Because the airport at both ends is too far away and it’s a royal pain to get there and back. Instead, I have a 10-minute’s ride to and from the bus at both ends of the trip.

There are many bus companies that provide that service around the country. They provide the connectivity that the airlines sometimes can’t.

What’s the service like?

Cheap tickets mean uncomfortable seats that don’t recline much. The higher the price, the more comfortable. Some seats recline all the way back, like a bed. These are called coche-cama, or suite. They are as comfortable, or even more so, that first class seats. The semi-cama seats recline quite a bit and have a footrest. These aren’t too bad at all.

There’s dinner and breakfast service. Dinner consists of a cold appetizer and a hot dish. The quality is the same as airplane food, albeit more abundant. Breakfast is an infusion of your choice and a croissant, crackers and/or an alfajor. You can always bring your own food and drink.

Long-distance buses in Argentina

Most trips are overnight. However, you can look out of the window when the sun rises. Chances are you’ll see vast expanses of farmland. I personally love this view. But it depends on which direction you’re going. You will see mountains if you go, say, west, or the Patagonian tundra if you go south.

Where do I buy the tickets?

You can buy them online from websites like Plataforma 10. Be advised that they hit you with a ridiculous service charge and your foreign credit card may be rejected. You can choose the Mercado Pago option. Alternatively, you can buy them at the Retiro terminus or any travel agent in the country. They do not charge anything extra.

Long-distance buses in Argentina

Do the bus crew speak English?

I shouldn’t think so but they will surely be eager to help.

 

What are the advantages of taking long-distance buses in Argentina?

  • Not having to go through security.
  • Seeing the country.
  • Comfortable seats equal to business or first class.
  • The ability to go to towns that are not serviced by an airport.
  • The bus terminals and stops are in the city, no need to take an expensive taxi to the airport.

 

What are the disadvantages of taking long-distance buses in Argentina?

  • Long hours cooped up in a bus.
  • Slightly less expensive than airfares.
  • Certain luggage restrictions, like no surfboards.
  • No individual entertainment system but one screen for the bus.
Long-distance buses in Argentina are an alternative means of transport. The seats are very comfortable, they serve meals and connect remote locations.

Long-distance buses in Argentina are an alternative means of transport. The seats are very comfortable, they serve meals and connect remote locations. #argentina #longdistancebus

About Ana O

Hi, I’m Ana. I’m originally from Argentina but I’m currently living in Dallas (USA) with my British husband. I’d like to share my experiences as an expat and as a traveller.

14 thoughts on “How to take long-distance buses in Argentina

  1. This is very interesting! I was just in both southern and northern Argentina, but flew to Buenos Aires to connect my destinations. I had no idea you could take a bus instead. I love that they gave you an alfajor – that is my favorite dessert from there now!

  2. I think one of the best reasons to take a bus is the opportunity to enjoy the views of the countryside, towns and cities as you pass through. But like you say, the added time factor and being stuck in a limited space for so long is the downside. Budget and fear of flying may also be factors for many people!

  3. A really thorough ‘how to’, I think if you are afraid of flying buses are an easier option. Plus you don’t have to go through security like you said! I enjoy bus rides, putting on some headphones and watching the landscape change with the miles but can see that it isn’t for everyone 🙂

  4. I’m not a fan of buses, as the leg room is never good enough for me, but the coche-cama sound more comfortable! Seeing the countryside rolling by on an overnight journey could be quite lovely too. My husband took greyhound buses all over the USA, but I’ll be honest, it’s not my preferred form of travel – I like to road trip instead 😉 But I can see why they’d be a good alternative for some people.

  5. I was pleasantly surprised with bus service in Argentina. There are lots of options and the buses are high quality. Thanks for the tips, its been years and I’d love to go back again. Hands down I think their bus service is far better than North American Greyhound or Red Arrow. It’s worth the extra time!

  6. Very helpful. Give me a coche-cama any day. I love that you can get a bus with a flat bed seat. It’s like the magic bus in Harry Potter. Truly though, it is like flying business class except your ears won’t pop.

  7. I never thought to take a bus mostly because I never realized how nice they were inside. This looks like an excellent option to save a little money and hassle plus see some area you otherwise might not reach if you were only flying in and out.

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