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Santa Cruz to Quijarro on the Death Train, Bolivia - No One Here Gets Out Alive

Bolivia experiences and stories by a backpacker - May 2009   » View Photoset (5 Photos)

The Death Train (Ferroviaria Oriental) was due to leave Santa Cruz mid-afternoon and would take about 15hrs through the night and arrive at the border in Quijarro first thing in the morning, it cost between $15-20USD. The journey was quite comfortable and fun, the seats were not bad and there was food onsale on the train, some nice little chicken and rice meals for about $20 Bolivianos. But better still was the food that the local children brought onboard to sell to the passengers when the train stopped at various places along the way. Along the journey Mexican music tv was playing, it was actually quite good. The train arrived in the morning and now we were at the border, Frontera Bolivia - Brasil. Migration control is just a short distance away. On the last leg of the train journey there were a few tour operators asking me to do tours with them. I told them that I would not make a decision about it after all night on the infamous Death Train and without a decent sleep. Immigration control was straightforward and my yellow fever certificate from Santa Cruz was not questioned. I took a taxi into Corumba.

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Distances & times (if available) from a point on the journey from Santa Cruz to Quijarro on the Death Train (Bolivia) to:
 A : Santa Cruz - Bolivia 267 kms 267 kms straight distance | 3hrs 58mins 3hrs 58mins by car (287 kms) | 4hrs 45mins 4hrs 45mins by bus (287 kms) (287 kms)
 B : Corumba - Brazil 351 kms 351 kms straight distance | 4hrs 34mins 4hrs 34mins by car (385 kms) | 5hrs 28mins 5hrs 28mins by bus (385 kms) (385 kms)
 C : Filadelfia - Paraguay 507 kms 507 kms straight distance | 9hrs 58mins 9hrs 58mins by car (690 kms) | 11hrs 57mins 11hrs 57mins by bus (690 kms) (690 kms)
 D : Cochabamba - Bolivia 581 kms 581 kms straight distance | 11hrs 48mins 11hrs 48mins by car (738 kms) | 14hrs 9mins 14hrs 9mins by bus (738 kms) (738 kms)
 E : Gran Chaco to Santa Cruz - Bolivia 352 kms 352 kms straight distance | 11hrs 20mins 11hrs 20mins by car (743 kms) | 13hrs 36mins 13hrs 36mins by bus (743 kms) (743 kms)
 F : Sucre - Bolivia 498 kms 498 kms straight distance | 14hrs 32mins 14hrs 32mins by car (760 kms) | 17hrs 26mins 17hrs 26mins by bus (760 kms) (760 kms)
 G : Gran Chaco - Paraguay 661 kms 661 kms straight distance | 12hrs 34mins 12hrs 34mins by car (874 kms) | 15hrs 4mins 15hrs 4mins by bus (874 kms) (874 kms)
 H : Potosi - Bolivia 562 kms 562 kms straight distance | 16hrs 55mins 16hrs 55mins by car (911 kms) | 20hrs 18mins 20hrs 18mins by bus (911 kms) (911 kms)
 I : Oruro - Bolivia 676 kms 676 kms straight distance | 15hrs 36mins 15hrs 36mins by car (949 kms) | 18hrs 43mins 18hrs 43mins by bus (949 kms) (949 kms)
 J : Tarija - Bolivia 587 kms 587 kms straight distance | 16hrs 22mins 16hrs 22mins by car (978 kms) | 19hrs 38mins 19hrs 38mins by bus (978 kms) (978 kms)
 K : Uyuni to Potosi - Bolivia 620 kms 620 kms straight distance | 18hrs 20mins 18hrs 20mins by car (1002 kms) | 22hrs 22hrs by bus (1002 kms) (1002 kms)
 L : Bermejo & Aguas Blancas Border - Bolivia 660 kms 660 kms straight distance | 13hrs 56mins 13hrs 56mins by car (1050 kms) | 16hrs 43mins 16hrs 43mins by bus (1050 kms) (1050 kms)
 M : Tupiza - Bolivia 658 kms 658 kms straight distance | 20hrs 30mins 20hrs 30mins by car (1157 kms) | 24hrs 36mins 24hrs 36mins by bus (1157 kms) (1157 kms)
 N : Villazon & Argentinian Border - Bolivia 692 kms 692 kms straight distance | 20hrs 6mins 20hrs 6mins by car (1163 kms) | 24hrs 7mins 24hrs 7mins by bus (1163 kms) (1163 kms)
 O : Tupiza via Atocha to Uyuni - Bolivia 668 kms 668 kms straight distance | 21hrs 51mins 21hrs 51mins by car (1354 kms) | 26hrs 13mins 26hrs 13mins by bus (1354 kms) (1354 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.
Videos from Santa Cruz to Quijarro on the Death Train, Bolivia:
Kids Swarm the Death Train Selling Food Video
Kids Swarm the Death Train Selling Food Video
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