"Take The Bus From Arica" Iquique Transportation Tip by wrjones
Iquique Transportation: 4 reviews and 2 photos
One way to get to Iquique from Arica, is by bus. It may not be glamorous, but it only costs 3000P/$5US per person (Nov '03). The trip took about 4 hours.
Our bus (Pullman Santa Rosa) had adequate leg room. The overhead was sufficiently large for our small backpacks, so we did not have to stow them in the luggage compartment. No food (normal), but we did get a cup of tea (not normal on most buses).
In the north of Chile, be prepared for a lot of police/customs checks. On this particular leg of our trip, we were offloaded and had our bags checked. More of a concern was when the bus steward took everyones I.D. including our passports, stuck them in his pocket and took them to the carabineros. It's bad enough when someone grabs your passport without explanation, but we were afraid our tourist cards (which were just loosely stuck into the passport) might be lost and then we would be in trouble. In future, I would keep the tourist document seperate from the passport.
As usual on a Chilian bus, be sure to bring water, snacks, toilet paper and sanitary hand wipes/hand towels. Even on long trips do not expect drinks, food or ANYTHING in the toilet except the toilet (which will be pretty filthy in a short time!) itself. Having said that, traveling by bus is cheap and pretty comfortable. To avoid all the negatives, take the luxury classes of buses. You will pay a lot more, but you will have snacks and toilet paper.
Once we arrived in Iquique, a taxi downtown was 1200P/$2 for two. TIP: Always be sure the negotiated price in a non metered taxi is the total and not per person.
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