I recently had to get to Iguazu Falls, Argentina in order to get a Brazilian visa to enter Brazil. The last minute flights from Buenos Aires were quite pricy so I decided to take a bus along with a friend I’d met in BA (he’s from Rotterdam).
We decided to go with the “full cama” service on via balloche bus line, which provides a full lie flat seat for the 18 hour bus ride.
The bus itself was quite nice, it was rather new (still had that new bus smell), had fake leather, fully reclining seats, window curtains as well as privacy curtains, access to 2 radio channels, and a computerized entertainment system with on demand maps, music, movies, as well as othe information – similar to what one may find in business class on an airplane.
The entire bus both upstairs and down had this same configuration and probably seated around 30 passengers (1 seat on one side the isle and 2 seats on the other side) – both upstairs and down.
There was one bathroom for the entire bus (on the bottom floor), but it was kept relatively clean.
Upon first boarding a non alcoholic drink was served, then with dinner another soft drink or if wanted a miniature bottle of wine. The meal itself was in 2 courses, first a small salad and appetizer, with some jello, then a main course of chicken and potatoes. The food was not great but it was edible. A couple hours after dinner a drink of whiskey was also offered (though it was horrible whiskey).
For breakfast we had some marmalade and toast with juice and coffee (I passed on this).
The bus itself was very smooth the entire time, never lurching or jerking around much. Each seat had 2 A/C vents that could be adjusted to maintain a comfortable temperature.
The bus did not have Internet nor where there any electrical outlets.
Sleeping was comfortable but had a very business class on the airplane feel too it. The seat had many ridges making it difficult to get comfortable. The pillow was small, and the blanket also very small. Again very similar to an average business class airline seat (though the lack of power, extremely limited drink selection, and poor quality food were more resembling of economy on an airplane).
The ride was beautiful though. The other passengers were very friendly, as was the staff.
All in all, 18 hours in the bus wasn’t too bad, given the same seats and service I would gladly do it again.
Total price – around USD $150.