Are you considering the Mendoza to Santiago bus? Worried about how long the journey is? How comfortable the bus ride will be?
Don’t be. Read our review about riding Andesmar bus from Mendoza to Santiago.
Mendoza to Santiago Bus: the Andesmar Bus Review
In our opinion, the best way to reach Santiago from Mendoza is by taking a scenic 7 hour bus ride through the beautiful Andes Mountains.
While flights can cost as little as $50 USD per person, you would miss the beautiful scenery that the bus allows for. If you would prefer to take a flight, search skyscanner for the cheapest dates.
Mendoza is wine country (don’t miss the opportunity to visit the best Mendoza wineries). On the bus you have lovely views of the mountainous regions overlooking Uco Valley.
Before long you will be among the clouds in the stunning Andes Mountains which basically stretch from Santiago to Mendoza.
Best Seats for the Mendoza to Santiago Bus
In South America, there are generally three levels of overnight bus seat comfort. The perks also vary according to which level of comfort is selected:
- Semi cama seats – Seats that recline 120 degrees & that usually include a cold dinner, breakfast & drinks;
- Cama seats – Seats that recline 160 degrees & that usually include a hot dinner, breakfast & drinks;
- Cama deluxe suites – Seats that recline 180 degrees & that usually include a hot dinner, breakfast & drinks as well as individual tvs & wifi.
Seat tip: Sit on the left hand side of the bus to get nice views of the Andes when driving from Mendoza to Santiago
For overnight bus journeys, I would highly recommend purchasing the most expensive cama deluxe suites. However, for shorter journeys such as this one, a semi cama or cama seat for a bit more luxury is completely adequate. If you however, would like to book a cama deluxe seat for this route, one of the few companies that offer it is Cata International.
The range of prices of this particular journey are as follows in Argentinean pesos:
- Semi cama – 360 – 600 pesos;
- Cama – 700 – 800 pesos;
- Cama deluxe suites – 800 pesos +
Our Andesmar bus had comfy large leather seats. There were shared tvs that played one English movie for the journey. In terms of food and drink provided, you were given a light snack upon embarking consisting of biscuits, a muffin and a hot beverage followed by lunch (ham and cheese sandwich) and a soft drink. No alcoholic beverages were offered. While the good was eatable, it wasn’t anything to particularly rave about.
Border Customs (Argentina to Chile travel)
Before going on the journey we read online that the border crossing on the Mendoza to Santiago Bus can take hours.
It only took us approximately one hour to complete the border crossing. Potentially, this could have been because we took an early morning journey (leaving at 7am) and arriving at the border around 11am.
When you reach the border, the entire bus is required to get off and firstly move through the passport control. This didn’t take long at all (around 30 minutes).
After passport control, all passengers get back on the bus which drives a few metres down the road to border control where all passengers are required to get off the bus again for their bags to be scanned.
Don’t worry, border control does all the heavy lifting or you, you aren’t required to get your own suitcases from underneath the bus and put them back inside.
You wait inside border control with your carry on luggage while your suitcases are being scanned.
A border control dog runs along the bench on top of all the hand luggage to check for illegal substances.
What we found interesting is that all the South Americans were patting the dog and giving it hugs (something you would definitely get in trouble for in Australia as it may impede the dogs ability to do his duty).
To be fair to the locals, I must admit, I did have the urge myself to pat the gorgeous golden labrador – he was so gorgeous!
Where to Stay in Santiago
In Santiago we stayed in San Isidro (click for hotels here) – a central area of the city. We recommend anywhere near Plaza de Armas as you can walk to a lot of the attractions.
Mendoza is a fairly small city so most hotels are in a central location. Unless you plan on a farm stay (really a vineyard stay) then most hotels will be within walking distance of anything worth seeing inside Mendoza.
Have you done this journey or are you about to complete it? We’d love to hear from you. Write any tips you have about bus travel in Chile, Argentina or generally in South America in the comments below!