Bus travel is the most commonly used mode of transportation in South America, and takes you to zillions of fascinating places you will never see any other way. Whether you are planning a short- or long-distance trip, if there’s a road, a bus can take you. So, just use your imagination and put your finger on a map!
Make the most of your South America bus trip
While enjoying the eye-popping landscapes is the biggest win, bus travel also offers a number of other conveniences that can add to your positive experience. If you are traveling on popular routes, you can choose between economy and luxury class seats, and expect the same difference in service as you would on an airline. Luxury buses are more common in the Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Uruguay) and are quite comfortable with air-conditioning, sterilized bathrooms, full recliner seats and a personal T.V.
Some of the best travel kits and snacks are offered for sale by independent vendedores, who board the bus at major intersections, make their presentation at the front of the bus, and then go down the aisle offering passengers samples to inspect before committing to buy. These can include everything from chocolate bars, home-made empanadas, toothbrushes, ginseng energy packs, you name it, and they will always be much better deals than you can find in the stores.
Maps, books, and audio guides come in very handy when you are traveling South America by bus so you can either pass the time or understand better what’s passing you by. These days however, most travelers have their gadgets to help them. Keep your gadgets charged or carry Power Banks so the technology doesn’t betray you in the middle of your trip. Many long distance and high-end carriers include free wi-fi, so just ask the conductor for the key (clave in Spanish).