Getting Around Argentina
You can travel across Argentina and Chile using a number of different transport options. Due to the large distances involved between some of our bite size trips, domestic flights are inevitable, but there are also routes that can be covered by bus, car hire or private transfer.
Domestic flights in Argentina are a great way to get around quickly, but of course this is usually the more expensive option. Flight changes and cancellations can be an issue so it’s worth checking your flight details before you go to the airport. Direct flights are prone to being changed to fly via Buenos Aires, so when planning a trip around Argentina, don’t focus your whole itinerary around direct internal flights, as they are likely to change. Your Travel Specialist will be able to combine these with your international flights if needed.
Patagonia, in southern Argentina, is such a vast, outstretched area that the distances are enormous and transport can be difficult. The roads are poorly maintained and the landscape, though beautiful, can get very monotonous. The car rental companies offer minimal service in the event of a breakdown in the middle of nowhere, which is why we do not recommend a self-drive in southern Patagonia. Towards the north of Argentina around Bariloche (Lake District), Mendoza and Salta car hire is a good option. The roads here are in better condition and the distances are smaller which makes driving more of a comfortable and safe experience.
Train routes through Argentina are scarce and are not a very reliable transport option. Although ‘The Train to the Clouds,’ which is the famous tourist train route at Salta, is running again for now, unfortunately it’s tricky to get tickets.
Bus services in Argentina are excellent and are a good transport option. There is a very comfortable express bus from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazú, Cordoba, Mendoza and Puerto Madryn (for the Peninsula Valdes). From Mendoza you can take the overnight bus to Salta in north-west Argentina. From Bariloche there is a direct overnight bus to Puerto Madryn and vice versa. Buses have on-board toilets, and often a stewardess who serves you dinner (with wine!) and breakfast. We always book the ‘semi-cama’ seats where you can recline.
In some cases we can arrange a private transfer by car for you during your trip, for example, if you’re arriving somewhere by overnight bus and want the comfort of a transfer to take you directly to your hotel. During the whale migration on the Peninsula Valdes we’ll arrange a private transfer straight to the Peninsula instead of the standard transfer to Puerto Madryn. That way you will spend the night directly on the coast, with a good chance of spotting whales straight from your hotel window.
Travelling with Meaning
We recommend travelling by public bus as it can be fun, and though the distances are large, it can provide a welcome change from flying and has less impact on the environment. Travelling this way means you’ll get to travel with the locals, refreshments are provided and you’ll pass through some less touristy towns on the way. In Buenos Aires it’s great to use the metro to get around and your hotel reception can provide a map and in Mendoza, we suggest cycling amongst the vineyards.