Getting there & away
All northbound buses depart from the Villazón bus terminal (fee US$0.25). All except those bound for Tarija pass through Tupiza (US$1.25, 2¼ hours); it’s a beautiful trip, so try to go in the daylight and grab a window seat. Regular services also head to La Paz (US$20 to US$30, around 20 hours) via Potosí (US$9, 10 hours) and Oruro.
Daily services along the rough but amazing route to Tarija (US$3.15, seven to eight hours) continue to Bermejo and Yacuiba at 11am and 8pm. Argentine bus companies have ticket offices opposite Villazón’s terminal, but all Argentine buses leave from the La Quiaca bus terminal.
You’ll be hassled by ticket sellers for both Argentine and Bolivian bus services; don’t be rushed into buying a ticket, as there may be a service leaving sooner. You can easily bargain down the price on longer routes; conversely, the sellers may try and overcharge you on shorter journeys.
The Villazón train stationis 1.5km north of the border crossing – a taxi costs US$2. The Expreso del Sur departs Wednesday and Saturday at 3:30pm for Tupiza (popular/salón/ejecutivo US$1.60/2.10/4.25, 2¾ hours), Uyuni (US$4.75/7/16.90, 8½ hours) and Oruro (US$9/13.60/29.50, 16½ hours). This is an enjoyable trip with superb scenery for the first few hours. The more crowded and basic Wara Wara del Sur departs Monday and Thursday at 3:30pm for Tupiza (popular/salón/ejecutivo US$1.40/2.10/4, three hours), Uyuni (US$4.25/5.75/12.40, 10 hours) and Oruro (US$8/10.75/23.10, 17½ hours). It’s a good option as far as Tupiza, but after dark it turns tedious.