During our South America trip, we traveled with buses as much as we could especially when there were no time limitations. I generally prefer to travel with anything that stays close to the ground such as trains, buses and cars 🙂 In this post I am going to share my reasons and give you some very useful tips if you’re going to see South America someday.
1-You can watch around and enjoy the view of the country side or upstate, outskirts of a city out while you are travelling.
2-Comparing to planes, the trains, buses and cars are much more environmental and green.
3-All the way you can sleep and have some rest.
4-If you travel during the nights, you save money for accommodation, that’s why the buses are much economic.
5-The price of a bus ticket is much cheaper than flights and is also fixed price.
6-You have more comfortable and wider seats than an economy class flight.
I really liked the buses in South America and its services. They are very powerful. You can have a good and comfortable sleep during night rides in these buses and even the standard service is quite good.
How to buy bus tickets?
In South America, almost all bus companies have websites and sell tickets online via their websites. Beside their websites, there are some websites that show you bus companies, their timetables and tariffs and sell you the bus tickets online. I mostly use that kind of websites to check the timetables, the duration of ride and bus services they provide and then I buy my tickets from the company’s website. These are some useful websites for your South America travel planning and during your trip.
Plataforma 10 It shows the bus companies of Argentina and Brazil. You can buy your tickets from here.
Omni Lineas It shows the bus companies of Argentina.
Green Toad Bus – The aim of the company is to help the backpackers who travel in South America. It sells the tours and hop-on-hop-off bus tickets. The buses run in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Peru. You can buy their travel passes without deciding your travel date and time. If you know where to visit but are uncertain about your dates, these travel passes are just for you.
Seat Selections and Bus Services
“What kind of seat would you like to buy?” will be one of the most frequently asked questions you will come up with. You can choose single or double seats. Also, when I traveled in Brazil with buses in 2007, the comfort of the seats and the toilets of buses were better than I expected and surprised me. Indeed, it is quite normal to see this kind of services in the buses cause the size of South American countries is huge.
The price varies based on the seat type and the services you will get. Generally, all buses have a toilet, air condition, DVD, music services. Other differences are catering services and the reclining angle of the seat. The more comfort and catering you get the more you pay. Sometimes the price of a bus ticket is almost same as the plane ticket, depending on what you choose.
Semi-Cama seats recline 145 degrees significantly more than an average plane seat.
Cama / Cama VIP / Ejecutivo seats recline 160 degrees and are usually wider a bit more than semi-cama seats. You get breakfast/lunch/dinner based on your journey length and alcoholic / non-alcoholic beverages.
Cama Suite/ Suite seats recline 180 degrees and lie almost flat. You can travel by lying and by sleeping. The catering services are much better than the cama and semi-cama seats. For instance, I received champagne and whisky on 21 hours long bus ride.
The season we had traveled was summer that’s why air conditioning was on. But it was working very good and almost turned the bus into an ice house. Some bus companies deliver pillow and blanket. My advice is to get some extra blanket, shawl or clothes that may keep you warm. We couldn’t sometimes fall asleep because of cold.
This concludes my advice on buying tickets in South America. Happy travelling.