When people plan trips to Argentina one of the key things they try to plan is how they’re going to get around. If they’re only going to be in one city then of course they’re concerned with such things as taxis, subways, walking, maybe renting bicycles or maybe even renting a car.
But for travelers planning on seeing several cities within Argentina the options of course include such things as air fares, trains, buses and perhaps boats.
If you’re from America you very probably might think that the experience of traveling by bus would be the same nightmare it’s become in the US where buses are crowded, mostly used by lower middle class (or worse) people, bus stations are usually not very pleasant places, rates aren’t really such a good deal and the schedules are usually terrible.
If you’re going to Argentina however, you’re in for a very big and pleasant surprise because the bus systems and options there are absolutely superlative. Once you’ve experienced travel by bus in Argentina you’ll marvel that we can’t do a better job with buses in the US.
Here are some of the basics about travel by bus in Argentina.
First of all, you can get to just about anywhere in Argentina by bus. The situation is also helped by the fact that Argentina has a very good highway system and takes excellent care of their roads.
Every major city in Argentina has a main bus station as well as usually a few secondary terminals. The only reason a town might not have a bus station would be because the weather makes bus travel too difficult anyway. This would be the case in some of the towns in the far south Patagonian regions where people use either car or air transport to get in or out.
Unlike the US where there’s really only one truly national bus line, Trailways, in Argentina there are several bus lines and companies. Not all are national in coverage but a few are but that’s usually not a problem because they can book tickets on the other lines for you.
Buses in Argentina come in three basic types as far as comfort, price and service (but they’re all better than what you probably expect):
- Super-cama…..the absolute most comfortable (and most expensive).
- Cama….medium class (for Argentina) but still very nice.
- Semi-cama….probably what would be equivalent on of our US buses.
Now…more details on each.
The Super-cama bus is top of the line all the way. You’ll have 180 degree reclining seats (almost a bed), usually they’re double-deckers, great service, excellent meals, safe drivers, excellent schedules. You’ll feel like a rock star. This class is also sometimes called “ejecutivo cama”.
In the Cama class bus you’ll get nice airline-type seats that recline ¾ way back, decent food, double deckers sometimes but always the buses are in top condition. And of course you’ll save a little bit of money over Super-cama. Decent food and some wine is usually thrown in too (remember that they make wine in Argentina so it’s not a luxury to them).
In this Semi-cama class bus, it’s very similar to one of our nice buses in the US. All the buses, including this one, have toilets of course but this is the one where you shouldn’t expect toilet paper (so bring your own if you’re going on this class of bus). You’ll usually get free coffee and water but you’ll be eating either whatever you bring with you or whatever you can buy at your rest-stops.
Often the meals are included in the bus fare but sometimes they’re not. So…you’ll just have to ask.
You can find buses, and bus stories, that aren’t so ‘nice’ but the point is that the really nice buses in Argentina are readily available and their rates are very very affordable in comparison to other means of transport within Argentina and certainly in comparison to anything you’re used to in the US.
There’s plenty of information about bus companies in Argentina, schedules and rates on-line and in many cases you can actually book online. Obviously you’ll want to do some research via your social media contacts and travel-review sites but overall you can expect excellent value, good rates, great quality, great service and you won’t regret “taking the bus and leaving the driving to….” them.
Traveling by bus in Argentina….you bet. It’s the real deal!
Check out the following videos from one of the premium bus companies in Argentina;
CATA INTERNACIONAL – VIDEO INSTITUCIONAL
Spot publicitario de la nueva línea de alta gama de Cata Internacional. Royal Suite.