After traveling 7,000 miles by bus through the Americas, Andrew Evans found the gold standard of buses in Argentina.

Photo: Argentina BusAs far as buses are concerned, I saved the best for last. I’m so glad.

Had I started my journey on an Argentine bus, I would have been spoiled rotten right from the beginning. Every bus that followed would have turned out to be a disappointment. Instead, I got to experience the first-class bus experience during my very last week of bus travel–a welcome respite from all the adventurous mishaps and minor discomforts I’ve had along the way.

It makes sense that Argentina’s buses are so nice. When you take the population (40 million) and figure in all the huge distances in the country–the need for comfortable, long-haul transportation is evident.

Dozens of upscale, private bus companies operate long-distance routes across Argentina. The buses themselves tend to be double-deckers that seat up to 60 passengers. The first floor is often “first-class” with plush leather seats that lean nearly all the way back. Upstairs is often just as comfortable with cama (“bed”) and semi-cama seats that allow you to sleep through the night. Flat-screen TVs, heat and air conditioning and regularly-served meals puts Argentine bus travel on par with international business-class air travel, except it cost me only $65 for every thousand miles that I traveled. I was very impressed.

Photo: Argentina Bus PassengersThe bus stations are equally impressive–equipped with a whole range of restaurants, free Wi-Fi Internet, full-size grocery stores, high security, hot showers, clean bathrooms and short-term hotels. They even have a “concierge” from the local tourist board who sits at a desk, welcomes every bus that comes in and will help you find a hotel, taxi, or interesting destination to visit during your stay. Argentina bus stations resemble modern airports in the United States except they are much nicer and had much better food.

It’s hard not to compare the two countries and frankly, all of this high-class travel in Argentina made me wonder, why don’t we have any of this back home in the U.S.? We have similarly a great interstate network and plenty of people who travel long distances, so why not? For now, we Americans settle for Greyhound when necessary, but if there was a county fair category for bus travel and I was the judge? I’d be giving the blue ribbon to Argentina.

Andrew Evans has reached Antarctica, and is tweeting about his travels aboard the National Geographic Explorer at @Bus2Antarctica. Want more? Follow the map of his journey, bookmark all of his blog posts, watch videos, and get the full story on the project here. Photos by Andrew Evans.

Comments

  1. Janelle
    February 18, 2010, 2:50 pm

    Those look like some comfy buses!

  2. Bob
    February 19, 2010, 10:09 am

    I have taken buses on 5 continents. Almost always they have seemed like the very worst form of transportation (some of the stories I could tell you!). Now I can see that they don’t have to be that horrible…

  3. Outdoor Equipment
    February 24, 2010, 5:31 am

    Pretty cool one.This is one of the great site which is really superb one.Thanks a lot for the information.Keep it up.Keep blogging.

  4. tyre changers
    March 13, 2010, 6:21 pm

    Love this one.A comfortable seat and vehicle to ride on for a trip is very important especially if it’s a long trip.Keeping in mind how to enjoy all the sceneries on the way going to the place.

  5. Martyn
    May 7, 2010, 10:29 am

    There are many countries out there that have much better things than us, its just a matter of opening your eyes and not being blinkered. I mean in India the rail network is the lergest in the world and some of the facilities there are really classy (although not everywhere), also the U.K. has an incredible cannal system that has been in place sine the early 1800′s. It’s still in use today but more so for boating holidays and trips. I wonder what else is out there that we don’t know about? Anyway, great article Andrew.
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