Week 59 – Copacabana to Mendoza, Argentina

Check out the map below and you’ll see that we’ve covered a tonne of ground this week. Well I say a week but really it was only five days and in that time we spent 44 hours on buses. It sounds like a nightmare but surprisingly it’s quite comfortable and far less stressful than flying. Our motivation for getting to Mendoza ASAP was so we could make the most of the last two weeks of our trip. We’re going to spend some time in the wine districts of Mendoza, then visit coastal Valparaiso and then Santiago before we fly back to Sydney.

Map to Mendoza
Our travels this week

Last week’s post was a marathon effort because we had seen so much on the salt flat tour then went to La Paz and then Lake Titicaca. We don’t have much to report this week so I’ll keep this super brief.

Copacabana to La Paz
We caught an afternoon bus which put us in La Paz early evening. We booked a hotel that is directly opposite the bus terminal so we could walk in, dump our bags and go find dinner. The next day our bus was at 3:30 so we had some time to kill. We caught another Teleferico across La Paz and then explored until it started raining. We sought refuge in a pizza restaurant but eventually we had to brave the elements and make our way to the hotel and then the bus terminal. Boarding the bus fairly wet wasn’t ideal.

La Paz to Villazon (Bolivian border)
This overnight bus was probably the most adventurous bus ride of the week. The journey was 15 hours long and only cost $20pp which is a steal. There was no food service on the bus so we survived on crackers and biscuits, but we made it safe so no complaints. The road was pretty windy at times so waking up in the middle of the night with your head sliding off the chair back was an odd sensation. Fun times. Once we arrived in Villazon we completed the first border crossing on foot for our trip and then walked to the La Quiaca bus terminal (Argentina side).

La Quiaca to Salta
Yep we’ve already been to Salta, but going from bus to bus meant an eight hour bus journey was all we could manage without going crazy. When we arrived we went straight to the hotel and had a nap. We jumped at the opportunity to visit another Parilla BBQ restaurant and then returned for more sleep. A proper bed and a nice hot shower was much appreciated.

We missed Argentinian steak and cheese feasts like this one in Salta

Salta to Mendoza
The longest journey of the week – 3:30pm to 10am the next day! As we’ve previously reported Argentina isn’t quite the bargain destination compared to Bolivia though… $180pp!!!!! We were surprised when we received multiple coffees, full hot dinner service with a plastic cup of wine, but the price was still very steep.

Dinner service with wine on our fancy overnight bus to Mendoza, Argentina

So there were are. We’ll be in Mendoza for 4 nights doing wine tours and a Sommelier course which will be fun. Then back into Chile to finish off our adventures before becoming adults again.



Fail of the Week
We booked the hotel right opposite the bus terminal in La Paz to minimise the fuss between buses. When we went to check-in at the hotel the receptionist gave us a blank look and asked “are you sure”. Turns out that two hotels have similar  names and ours was one block down. The two colleagues at the desk were having a good laugh at us.

Meal of the Week
With the consistent rain in La Paz we decided to have pizza and pasta for lunch since we suspected there would be no food on the bus. The pizza was a proper Italian style crust with traditional Diavola toppings which took us straight back to Italy. The only downside was it took them one hour to make it which made us very stressed about missing our bus.



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