Ushuaia really is the bottom of the world. Between there and Buenos Aires there isn’t a whole lot to see or do and the journey by the bus is long. 54 hours long to be exact. Which is why many travellers take a short cut and fly south – like we did. After our visit to Antarctica however, we wanted to see Patagonia so we were going to head north via bus.
The first thing you will notice about buses in the Patagonia region is that they are ridiculously overpriced, lack comfort, and they take forever to get anywhere. But, unless you try hitch-hiking the whole way north, there are few other options.
From Ushuaia you have the choice to go a number of ways.
#1 Tolhuin. Only an hour and a half way, this small village is serviced by both Montiel & Lider bus companies daily. Prices start from ARS 260.
#2 Rio Grande. A little further away (3.5 hours), Rio Grande offers visitors natural attractions such as hiking. Montiel and Lider service the town daily from ARS 350.
#3 Rio Gallegos. This is the route hub between Ushuaia and El Calafate. It’s a gruelling 12+ hours and will set you back ARS 1140. It involves 3 border crossings (in and out of Argentina & Chile), a ferry crossing, and several police checks. Daily services are available by Tecni Austral (5am) and Taqsa (7am) from ARS 700.
#4 El Calafate. A further 4 hours from Rio Gallegos, El Calafate is well serviced by a regular bus schedule. Taqsa and Quebek offer daily buses from 9:15am until 8:30pm. Sportman also offer one service a day, Monday to Saturday at 9am. Prices start at ARS 293.
#5 Punta Arenas (Chile). Can be reached from Rio Grande in roughly 9 hours. Pacheco runs this route every day EXCEPT Monday & Thursday at 6am. Fares start from ARS 800. Alternatively, Bus Sur can take you every Tuesday & Saturday at 8am (ARS 900) and Bus Barria leaves Ushuaia at 5am every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (ARS 900).
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