Arriving in Arica the next morning, the surprise was there were no bus routes from Arica (Chile) even to Tacna and further on to Arequipa (Peru)! After asking around and struggling with our broken Spanish, we were finally pointed to one of the bus counters which offered a service to Arequipa from Arica. But it involved taking a taxi from the bus terminal in Arica to Tacna, and catching the bus to Arequipa at the bus terminal in Tacna. The total cost of the service was US$40.
|Passport stamps from Chile and Peru. Peru is the 50th country/territory I've visited!|
We were dropped off at the bus terminal in Tacna where the taxi driver purchased our onward tickets to Arequipa. It was convenient alright. But I did the math after observing tariff signs posted in the taxi and the bus terminal.
The commuter taxis called colectivos charge CL$40 (US$8.20) per person for the trip between Arica and Tacna or v.v. The local who was with us paid that amount directly to the driver. The bus from Tacna to Arequipa was S./20 (US$7.50). So the total cost, if we knew how to do it on our own, was just US$15.70. We were overcharged US$24.30 per person! But we also felt the taxi driver purchased cheaper bus tickets since we were assured by the agent in Arica that the bus would serve us lunch which unfortunately was not the case.
So to make the long story short, if you want to travel from Arica (Chile) to Tacna or Arequipa (Peru), exit the Arica Bus Terminal and look for the colectivo taxis right beside it and find a ride to the Tacna Bus Terminal. At Tacna, you have more choices and can easily purchase bus tickets for your onward travel to other cities in Peru.