Cheap Bus Travel in South America
flickr image by Marcos A.Lisboa

Cheap Bus Travel in South America


South America is an immensely popular tourist destination that offers travelers gorgeous landscapes, a diverse cultural experience and an opportunity to travel quite cheaply. One of the best ways to take advantage of cheap travel in South America is by using their bus system. Long distance busses in South America are by far the cheapest way to get around. While the continent is quite enormous and traveling to certain destinations can take a few days, the savings is unmatched. Flights in South America are quite expensive in comparison and there is no real rail system to speak of other than intercity rails, so bus travel has emerged as the top option for budget travelers.

Brazil Bus

flickr image by roger4336

There are many different companies offering service in South America and getting around here is quite easy. Big companies such as El Rapido and Cata offer top notch buses with availability of seats that recline a full 180 degrees. This is a luxury that you will find quite appealing when on a long distance trip. I personally chose to go the cheaper “semi- cama” as it is called route on a 80 hour bus ride from Buenos Aires to Lima. Trust me, going for the “full-cama” option is well worth the addition pesos you may shell out.  More remote locations may require connecting local buses so do your research before heading here. If you speak even a little Spanish, you will likely have no problem in getting around and booking your tickets at the city’s central bus station.

Lima Bus

flickr image by Neo-Kat

In South America, bus travel is treated much like domestic flights in the US or Europe, offering an onboard attendant and meals many times. Check with the specific company to confirm if these options are available as some buses will instead stop at restaurants along the way. Remember that you will not have a place to charge your Laptop for the duration of the trip and bring something to pass the time like a book or set of cards, as some trips between cities can be very long and border delays are common.

Finding information online can at times be difficult so come to the bus station ready to ask questions about what is offered on the bus trip. Each company is different and I would advise the bigger companies mentioned earlier for travelers who are looking for the most comfortable experience possible. In using these tips and tricks it is possible to save big on your next voyage to South America, just remember your pillow or seat cushion!

Date posted: 28th April, 2015

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