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Getting to Mendoza - better from B.A. or Santiago?

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Getting to Mendoza - better from B.A. or Santiago?

We're planning a 1 month return trip from Canada to B.A. this coming March. We haven't booked our flight yet because we're deciding between flying to Santiago Chile and then taking the bus to Mendoza for 5-7 days and then a bus or flight on to Buenos Aires.

OR

Flying straight to B.A. and then flying or busing to Mendoza.

Can anyone give us any recommendations please?

Mendoza
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1. Re: Getting to Mendoza - better from B.A. or Santiago?

There is so many ways to do it, it really comes down to your preferences ... the only thing to really avoid is flying into Ezeiza and having to change airports for an internal flight to Mendoza, or vice versa. (There are some flights from EZE to Mendoza but they don't always connect well).

If I were you I'd try to book a flight Canada-Mendoza via Santiago, then bus from Mendoza to Buenos Aires.

Santiago airport is small and pleasant, and including the Santiago-Mendoza portion into your international ticket is often only marginally more expensive. The flight over the Andes on a clear day is spectacular.

Maybe the airline even offers a forked flight ticket Canada-MDZ EZE-Canada

Mendoza, Argentina
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2. Re: Getting to Mendoza - better from B.A. or Santiago?

Through Santiago definitely. And the bus route is beautiful.

If you just connect thru Santiago, and book your bags thru to Mendoza, you would avoid both the Chile fees (US160 for US, US130 for Canada, and 80US for Aussies) and the Argentina fees (similiar).

-I have just had a number of relatives fly in from around the world for a family reunion in Mendoza through Santiago, and all were able to stay in the international flight transfer area of Santiago airport without going through immigration or customs. These included Americans, Australians and Canadians flying in on various airlines, who would have had to pay the hefty reciprocity fees if they had had to leave the international transfer area on entry, but did not have to pay that. They avoided the fees for both Argentina (payable only on entry by international flights at both airports in Buenos Aires) and Chile (only payable on international entry at Santiago airport), and all visited Chile by land after as well without having to pay the fees.

Take the bus back to Santiago during the day, very beautiful mountain scenery (BA to Mendoza boring). You do not have to have paid the fee to enter Chile or Argentina by land, or to exit from anywhere (it is only an exit fee).

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3. Re: Getting to Mendoza - better from B.A. or Santiago?

Can't comment on Santiago and bussing, but will share our flight experience and feedback we heard from others who have taken the bus. TAKE THE BUS!!!

We flew Aerolineas from BA (AEP) to Mendoza: outbound flight was fine, on time, half full (so we were able to move to rows with empty seats as they have the least amount of leg room I have ever seen!) We learned that was an anomaly. The whole time we were in Mendoza on our tour, our local guide kept talking about how nice the buses are, the trips she's taken to Santiago and was surprised we were flying back to BA as there is an overnight bus that is like first class flights, but a fraction of the price. Then when we headed back to BA we had a more typical Aerolineas experience: delayed over 90 minutes (60 of which were on the tarmac), rerouted to EZE (with no announcements in English...so we figured it out when we landed!), ran out of water on the plane (not even 1 glass per passenger) and the temperature was hotter inside the plane than a sweatshop. Needless to say our taxi ride back to BA was 3x the cost & time and we missed our dinner reservations by 90 minutes.

The next day we ran into some Americans who had recently took the bus back from Mendoza to BA and they LOVED it for the price, comfort (seats almost 100% recline), value (movies) and service (dinner, breakfast, coffee included.) The only thing they warned of was security at the BA bus station where folks run a scam to clean fake bird droppings from your bag (and actually open it & steal items.)

If we were doing it over again, i'd take the bus!

4. Re: Getting to Mendoza - better from B.A. or Santiago?

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