Replies: 5 - Last Post: Sep 16, 2012 10:28 AM Last Post By: Dalin
Aug 4, 2012 8:31 PM
I am going to Putre from La Paz and then back to La Paz in September. I have a couple of questions, that I hope somebody could help me with. Thank you in advance!
1. It appears that buses stop at "Putre Alto", and our hotel is in Putre proper (Putre Bajo?) The lodge offers transfer, but I am wondering if it necessary. Is there public transport generally available from Putre Alto to Putre (taxis, minibuses, etc.)?
2. There is limited info on bus schedules on the La Paz - Arica route. I have figured that there are buses leaving around 6 - 6:30. When do they arrive in Putre? And when do buses going to La Paz pass Putre Alto?
3. Is there an official stop, or do we have to flag it down? If it's the latter, how do we recognize that it's the right bus, or any bus passing there going East will be going to La Paz?
4. Is there always room available on the buses going to La Paz? And how do we buy tickets for them? Do we pay directly to the driver, or do we just buy a round trip ticket in La Paz?
Thank you again for any help!
Aug 5, 2012 6:08 AM
11. Putre Alto is almost certainly the junction with the main road (not part of the village) and about 4km (uphill) from Putre village (Bajo). Doubt theres public transport though there's bound to be taxis.
2. Most La Paz buses (there are several) leave Arica between 6.30 and 9.30am, allow 2.5 to 3 hours up to Putre Alto.
3. No official stop, just flag it down. They are big buses and probably the only public transport on that route (may possibly be a couple of smaller buses going to villages). Buses have La Paz in the windscreen, plus the company name on the bus (different companies are different colours as well). Drivers are used to dropping / picking people up there as I dont think there are daily services between Putre and Arica (maybe 1/2 a week?)
4. Depends. On holiday weekends and summer holidays (Jan Feb) they will probably be full. If your lodge in Putre offers a transfer they might be able to call and reserve seats for you in Arica. You could ask when you get your ticket in La Paz if you can get a return as well (not sure if an option, never tried it). If you can, make it clear you are getting on in Putre and call Arica to check / reconfirm the day before - times sometimes change and if there are few passengers they sometimes cancel / combine services with other companies.
Aug 27, 2012 7:30 PM
2Yes, all buses from-to La Paz stop at Alto Putre, 4,7 km from Putre village.
Schedules for La Paz to Arica are never reliable due to several reasons: the bus leaves late from La Paz; long wait (sometimes) at the two borders and now (maybe until Dec. 2012) road works between the border and Putre.
The solution is to have a mobile and call the lodge/hotel you are going to. At Alto Putre there is signal.
To go from Arica to La Paz it is better to have a ticket bought in advance. If this is not possible, hope in a bus driver... and if there is a seat available he could stop. In this case you pay the driver.
Aug 27, 2012 8:23 PM
3Thank you guys!
Are there taxis waiting in Alto Putre for people to go to Putre bajo? I don't have an unlocked phone and am concerned about getting stranded. Or is there a store or something like that with a land line that I could use to call the lodge to get picked up?
Also, any idea when the buses from Arica generally pass through Putre Alto and arrive in La Paz? I am trying to figure if I can get there in time to take a bus to Copacabana.
Aug 28, 2012 4:16 AM
4From what I remember (only seen from passing bus though) there is nothing at all at Putre Alto. Quite likely a taxi or 2 from Putre goes up there to wait for the buses to see if there are passengers wanting to go down to Putre, they will know when the buses pass and I think you can see the main road from the village. If you tell the lodge in advance which bus you are on they can easily someone up to meet you. If all else fails hitching is an option.
Buses from Arica to La Paz take approx 8 hours, depending a bit on delays at the border (its usually quicker going into Bolivia than Chile), the morning departures arrive in La Paz around 4pm. The roadworks #2 mentions may well add a couple of hours though. Last buses to Copacabana leave a couple of hours before sunset (in Sept approx 6.30pm, there is a ferry on route that stops running at sunset) so probably best to assume you need a night in La Paz
Sep 16, 2012 10:28 AM
5There´s absolutely nothing at Putre Alto, it just is a road fork. When we alighted from the La Paz - Arica bus in Putre, there were no taxis waiting, so your best bet would be to call your hostel when you cleared the border and tell the hostel folks about it, they can then figure out the time of your arrival at Putre Alto and fetch you. When going back to La Paz - there are travel agencies in Putre that can get you a ticket and phone the driver asking him to stop for you. A Dutch- Bristih couple we met at our hostel in Putre did it this way and it apparently worked fine.
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