Traveling Arica chile to tacna peru in sept 2012 an then on to Arequipa open for your suggestion an help thanks Ian
Hi Ian, we're doing the same thing a few weeks later and have encountered the same bewildering problem. We have done this trip twice before, south to north in 2009 and north to south in 2010 and both times used Cruz del Sur between Tacna and Arequipa but they no longer cover this route. The main operator seems to be Hermanos Flores but their website isn't helpful. The only saving grace is that Chilean time is 2 hours ahead of Peru time so if you catch your cab or collectivo in Arica at 08:30 it is only 06:30 in Tacna and you should arrive in plenty time to book your onward bus. That's what we'll be doing on October 28th so please let me know how you get on. If you need any further help let me know.
Thanks Baz, will let you know how we go. This is our first time to South America, so it is all a bit of the unknown. Perhaps we will call on your advice again as you have probably encountered a few problems on your previous travels over there.
Bazza, I notice your date of October 28th. This is the day of local elections all over Chile. Expect a lot of activity at the border and general movement of voters to and fro. Or, since this is the first year with optional not mandatory voting, not much movement at all! "Ley seca", no alcohol available, from midnight Saturday.
Wot no Pisco sours !!
Surely against the Chilean constitution.
I just did this transfer 4 days ago. I bought a bus ticket at the terminal in Arica going to cusco Peru. It was 28,000 Chilean pesos. A cab driver will pick you up and then you will proceed to jump thru a bunch of hoops clearing Chilean and Peruvian customs. Took us about two hours to get to the bus terminal in tacana. Following that was 17 hrs of pure hell on the bus ride up to cusco. The bus company was San Martin. DO NOT use them. Any more details just ask. Good luck!
You'll have to have your pisco sour on the other side of the border, so not a hardship! A friend always travels with a thermos on night buses.
Thanks for the tips - sounds like pure hell, but will be worth it. Will be avoiding San Martin bus company. We only want to go as far as Arequipa on that day so hopefully not as long a day. Ian
Thought people might like to know how we got on. It turned out there is now a basic bus service from Arica to Tacna which was cheap (4k CLP), frequent but, as I said, basic. Watch out for touts at the Tacna end - we were approached by a very pushy chap who insisted he could help, took over our case and broke the handle then negotiated the purchase of our tickets from Tacna to Arequipa. When I checked what had happened I realised he had scammed me for about a couple of pounds but as I have some Spanish I may not have been hit as badly as someone who only speaks English. The bus company was called Moquegua, bus looked good externally but was scruffy inside. We did the return trip a couple of weeks later with Hermanos Flores who were much better but still well short of the standard which Cruz del Sur would give.
I'm doing this tomorrow so hopefully it all goes smoothly.