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Santiago To Mendoza, Chile - Spectacular Bus Ride Across The Border

Chile travel blog by Mark Berman - April 2014   » View Photoset (38 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
This blog focuses on the ascent by bus from Santiago Chile up to over 3000 meters above sea level at Cristo Redenter which is the border crossing over to Argentina
Chile Photo - Ascending above the green valley and river between Los Andes and Portillo.
Ascending above the green valley and river between Los Andes and Portillo.
and Part 2 focuses and has photos of the descent all the way down to Mendoza, it is absolutely spectacular!

Bus from Santiago

The first leg of the trip took exactly 3hrs from Santiago to the top of the mountains at Cristo Redentor but we were actually stopped at roadworks for a good 30mins during that time. After crossing the official line separating Argentina and Chile it is another 10mins to get to passport control on the Argentinian side. As we left Santiago and headed through the towns of Colina and Los Andes we passed farms and many vineyards, this is an area of green valleys surrounded by grey mountains. Tall green and yellow trees color the landscape beautifully beside the road and river. The ascent begins up and through this dramatic and spectacular terrain.

Small Towns and Communities

1hr 40mins into the
Chile Photo - A long line of trucks down on the left waiting at roadworks before the ascent up to Cristo Redentor.
A long line of trucks down on the left waiting at roadworks before the ascent up to Cristo Redentor.
journey we passed through the town of Guardia Vieja. From here it is 26kms to the next town of Portillo, 32kms to the Cristo Redentor Tunnel, 38kms to Las Cuevas and 227kms to Mendoza. It is at this point the ascent becomes a little more extreme, it's amazing how they cut a road through it! It is steep in parts and there are chair lifts for skiers up here, but there was no snow in April luckily for us. I would imagine if there was snow, it would add another 2-3hrs to this trip. There are a few small communities up here, a few buildings grouped together in places. I didn't see the monument of Cristo Redenter but it is at this point before the tunnel and official borderline that there is a right turn to get to it.

Argentinian Side

Now we crossed from Chile into Argentina and the journey down the other side continues of course, in Argentina!

     

View all photos in the Santiago To Mendoza Photoset


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Distances & times (if available) from about halfway from Santiago to Mendoza (Chile) to:


Map location: Santiago to Mendoza, Chile. This is the first half of the journey from Santiago to Mendoza through spectacular mountainous terrain, the 2nd half is in 'Argentina - Mendoza From Santiago'.
 A : Santiago - Chile 75 kms 75 kms straight distance | 1hr 13mins 1hr 13mins by car (93 kms) | 1hr 27mins 1hr 27mins by bus (93 kms) (93 kms)
 B : Mendoza from Santiago - Argentina 80 kms 80 kms straight distance | 1hr 50mins 1hr 50mins by car (106 kms) | 2hrs 12mins 2hrs 12mins by bus (106 kms) (106 kms)
 C : Valparaiso - Chile 93 kms 93 kms straight distance | 1hr 46mins 1hr 46mins by car (141 kms) | 2hrs 7mins 2hrs 7mins by bus (141 kms) (141 kms)
 D : Mendoza - Argentina 162 kms 162 kms straight distance | 4hrs 10mins 4hrs 10mins by car (278 kms) | 5hrs 5hrs by bus (278 kms) (278 kms)
 E : Coquimbo - Chile 325 kms 325 kms straight distance | 4hrs 28mins 4hrs 28mins by car (415 kms) | 5hrs 21mins 5hrs 21mins by bus (415 kms) (415 kms)
 F : La Serena - Chile 331 kms 331 kms straight distance | 4hrs 31mins 4hrs 31mins by car (420 kms) | 5hrs 25mins 5hrs 25mins by bus (420 kms) (420 kms)
 G : San Juan - Argentina 242 kms 242 kms straight distance | 6hrs 6hrs by car (450 kms) | 7hrs 12mins 7hrs 12mins by bus (450 kms) (450 kms)
 H : Cordoba - Argentina 613 kms 613 kms straight distance | 11hrs 30mins 11hrs 30mins by car (933 kms) | 13hrs 48mins 13hrs 48mins by bus (933 kms) (933 kms)
 I : Rosario - Argentina 920 kms 920 kms straight distance | 13hrs 6mins 13hrs 6mins by car (1130 kms) | 15hrs 43mins 15hrs 43mins by bus (1130 kms) (1130 kms)
 J : Santa Fe - Argentina 936 kms 936 kms straight distance | 14hrs 11mins 14hrs 11mins by car (1174 kms) | 17hrs 1min 17hrs 1min by bus (1174 kms) (1174 kms)
 K : Parana - Argentina 951 kms 951 kms straight distance | 15hrs 13mins 15hrs 13mins by car (1223 kms) | 18hrs 15mins 18hrs 15mins by bus (1223 kms) (1223 kms)
 L : Antofagasta - Chile 1037 kms 1037 kms straight distance | 14hrs 10mins 14hrs 10mins by car (1311 kms) | 17hrs 17hrs by bus (1311 kms) (1311 kms)
 M : Cafayate - Argentina 875 kms 875 kms straight distance | 17hrs 8mins 17hrs 8mins by car (1322 kms) | 20hrs 33mins 20hrs 33mins by bus (1322 kms) (1322 kms)
 N : Salta to Cafayate - Argentina 954 kms 954 kms straight distance | 18hrs 44mins 18hrs 44mins by car (1430 kms) | 22hrs 28mins 22hrs 28mins by bus (1430 kms) (1430 kms)
 O : Salta - Argentina 1023 kms 1023 kms straight distance | 18hrs 39mins 18hrs 39mins by car (1569 kms) | 22hrs 22mins 22hrs 22mins by bus (1569 kms) (1569 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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