South America by Bus: Ecuador to Argentina

by Phil

I'm in Central America at the moment, flying into Columbia next week, then taking lots and lots of buses to Ecuador.
What's the best way to get from Country to Country? I want to make it all the way to Argentina, without using a plane.
Is this possible?

Hi Phil,
It's certainly possible to travel throughout South America by bus (and to experience South America culture in a very unique way).
Your back end may suffer a bit but you will have one of the greatest experiences in your life.

For instance, Expreso Internacional Ormeño is a bus company that links all South America overland, or just about.
I haven't personally used their services so I can't give you a first hand experience on this. However, it seems to be mixed opinions by other travellers regarding quality and service.

Once you make it to Bogota or Cali, Colombia, check a bus company named "Rutas de America", they can take you down to Quito, Ecuador and Lima, Peru. The ticket Bogota-Lima will cost you around U$D 200.00.

Their phone in Cali is 018000520540. In Quito: 250-3612 / 250-3611 / 254-8142. Or contact them by email (
By the way, try to write in Spanish if you could, to increase your chances of getting an answer.

As far as I know, they can also take you to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Please check with them for more info.

Once you get to Lima, Peru, there are several international bus companies that cover the route Lima-Buenos Aires.

Here're some options:
- Cata Internacional
- El Rapido Internacional
- La Veloz del Norte - Leal Bus
- Expreso Internacional Ormeño

The journey should take around 70 hours to complete, arriving at Retiro bus terminal (Estacion de Omnibus de Retiro) in Buenos Aires.

- Be specially careful with your belongings when hanging around bus terminals anywhere. It's a fertile ground for thieves and smart guys.

- Bus in Spanish means "autobus" or "omnibus". In Argentina is often referred to as: "colectivo" or "bondi" (particularly in Buenos Aires).

Happy travels!

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