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Bermejo & Aguas Blancas Border, Bolivia - Remote Border Cross to Argentina

Bolivia experiences and stories by a backpacker - Sept 2015   » View Photoset (40 Photos)

From Tarija you have 3 choices of border crossings into Argentina and I have done all 3 in fact! You have Villazon in the south-west, Yacuiba in the south-east or Bermejo/Aguas Blancas more or less directly south. Yacuiba is a little out of the way so there's not much point taking that route - I crossed at this crossing on an 18hr bus from Salta (Argentina) to Santa Cruz back in 2008. If you are heading straight to Salta you would be best off taking the Bermejo route but if you are heading north of Salta to Humahuaca or Purmamarca you should head to Villazon! The town of Bermejo is 207km south of Tarija. To Bermejo it takes 2hrs 50mins in a shared car which are available outside Tarija's bus terminal or if you go by bus it takes 4hrs. Of course I went by car! The journey between Tarija and Bermejo passes through several small towns and communities like Portillo, Padcaya, La Mamora, Emborozu and Nogalitos. The terrain is a mix of rocky mountains, desolate plains, fertile valleys, rivers, waterfalls and jungle (Tariquia Flora and Fauna National Reserve). The road is in good condition and there are several tunnels under the rocky hills to pass through along the way. Once you get to Bermejo you can stay the night in one of the hotels in town. There is not a hell of a lot to see in the town itself but there are several restaurants around where you can eat a cheap meal. From Bermejo to Aguas Blancas for the border cross into Argentina takes 10mins by taxi. From here you walk across the bridge over the Bermejo River to the Argentinian side for the exit stamp from Bolivia and the entry stamp to Argentina, all in one place. From here there are taxis to take you south, you need a taxi at least to Oran which takes 50mins at 140kmph (yes that's how fast we were going). From Oran you can get a bus to Salta. Or you can share another car and continue south to Ledesma which takes 90mins at 140kmph (different driver, same speed). Of course you could catch a bus from Ledesma to Salta, but in my case I continued in yet another car for 2hrs at 100kmph to finally get to Salta by early evening. Adding that up, from Bermejo to Salta takes 4 and a half hours travel time, from Villazon to Salta takes 7hrs.

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My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Bermejo & Aguas Blancas Border, Bolivia:

Querubines Hotel, Bermejo, Bolivia - Large Photo
Querubines Hotel, Bermejo, Bolivia (September 2015 - 1 night) - Not a great hotel at all. The wifi hardly functions and the breakfast is the worst you can get, bread 'n' coffee. I went out and bought my breakfast elsewhere. The beds had ants crawling around everywhere. The woman who owns or runs the place didn't care. Across the road is the Paris Hotel, I suggest you pay a little more and stay there. I do not recommend Querubines Hotel at all.

Distances & times (if available) from Bermejo & Aguas Blancas Border (Bolivia) to:
 A : Tarija - Bolivia 142 kms 142 kms straight distance | 3hrs 12mins 3hrs 12mins by car (199 kms) | 3hrs 50mins 3hrs 50mins by bus (199 kms) (199 kms)
 B : Jujuy - Argentina 193 kms 193 kms straight distance | 3hrs 30mins 3hrs 30mins by car (277 kms) | 4hrs 12mins 4hrs 12mins by bus (277 kms) (277 kms)
 C : Salta - Argentina 256 kms 256 kms straight distance | 4hrs 19mins 4hrs 19mins by car (330 kms) | 5hrs 10mins 5hrs 10mins by bus (330 kms) (330 kms)
 D : Villazon & Argentinian Border - Bolivia 148 kms 148 kms straight distance | 6hrs 56mins 6hrs 56mins by car (384 kms) | 8hrs 19mins 8hrs 19mins by bus (384 kms) (384 kms)
 E : La Quiaca to Jujuy - Argentina 116 kms 116 kms straight distance | 4hrs 55mins 4hrs 55mins by car (394 kms) | 5hrs 54mins 5hrs 54mins by bus (394 kms) (394 kms)
 F : Tupiza - Bolivia 203 kms 203 kms straight distance | 7hrs 1min 7hrs 1min by car (405 kms) | 8hrs 25mins 8hrs 25mins by bus (405 kms) (405 kms)
 G : Salta to Cafayate - Argentina 327 kms 327 kms straight distance | 5hrs 41mins 5hrs 41mins by car (406 kms) | 6hrs 49mins 6hrs 49mins by bus (406 kms) (406 kms)
 H : Tupiza via Atocha to Uyuni - Bolivia 278 kms 278 kms straight distance | 9hrs 35mins 9hrs 35mins by car (503 kms) | 11hrs 30mins 11hrs 30mins by bus (503 kms) (503 kms)
 I : Salta to Paso de Jama (Chile Border) - Argentina 271 kms 271 kms straight distance | 6hrs 57mins 6hrs 57mins by car (509 kms) | 8hrs 20mins 8hrs 20mins by bus (509 kms) (509 kms)
 J : Gran Chaco to Santa Cruz - Bolivia 311 kms 311 kms straight distance | 8hrs 36mins 8hrs 36mins by car (540 kms) | 10hrs 19mins 10hrs 19mins by bus (540 kms) (540 kms)
 K : Potosi - Bolivia 381 kms 381 kms straight distance | 8hrs 36mins 8hrs 36mins by car (540 kms) | 10hrs 19mins 10hrs 19mins by bus (540 kms) (540 kms)
 L : La Quiaca & Bolivian Border - Argentina 146 kms 146 kms straight distance | 6hrs 45mins 6hrs 45mins by car (550 kms) | 8hrs 6mins 8hrs 6mins by bus (550 kms) (550 kms)
 M : Paso de Jama to San Pedro to Calama - Chile 282 kms 282 kms straight distance | 7hrs 10mins 7hrs 10mins by car (585 kms) | 8hrs 36mins 8hrs 36mins by bus (585 kms) (585 kms)
 N : Uyuni to Potosi - Bolivia 354 kms 354 kms straight distance | 9hrs 49mins 9hrs 49mins by car (618 kms) | 11hrs 46mins 11hrs 46mins by bus (618 kms) (618 kms)
 O : Uyuni & the Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flats) - Bolivia 360 kms 360 kms straight distance | 11hrs 27mins 11hrs 27mins by car (725 kms) | 13hrs 44mins 13hrs 44mins by bus (725 kms) (725 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.
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