Tacna is a city on the Southern Coast of Peru. It serves as the main gateway between Peru and Chile.
Buses run to Tacna from Lima (20 - 22 hours), with the more luxurious companies (Cruz del Sur, Tepsa, etc) leaving from Gran Terminal Terrestre and the cheaper companies leaving from their own terminals along 28 Julio & La Victoria. Cheapest ticket with Tepsa cost S./107pp, left Gran Terminal Terrestre at 1pm, and took 22 hours (Oct 2015). These buses also stop at points south along the coast, including Nazca (12 hours), as well as Arequipa (6 hours, 20 to 50 soles).
Busses from Arica cost around 2.000 Clp (12 soles) as of January 2019. The trip will take around 1.5 to 2h, crossing the border is generally easy and unproblematic.
- Chifa (Chinese food) around the plaza is as good as most places in Cusco and Arequipa. Also you can eat some pigeons.
Munchener, Reasonable prices and a selection of artesanal ales. A porter from England was 9 soles for 500ml
- Takora Inn, Calle Arias Araguez #662, ☎ 051-052-242247. [email protected] www.hostaltakorainntacna.com Nice location within walking distance of both the bus station and the main plaza. Clean, brand new rooms for what seems like a reasonable price in over-priced Tacna. Paid 60 soles for a matrimonial room with private bathroom for one night. edit
- Hostal Katy, Calle America No 955, ☎ 245372. Matrimonial room with cable tv, wi fi, en suite toilet and hot shower. Very clean rooms and helpful staff. S./55 for a double room with en suite. edit
Hotel Torresur, $21 for a matrimonial, en suite, breakfast included (bread), wifi, clean and reasonable. But a bit out of the way.
Caretur Tacna (Cámara Regional de Turismo) www.careturtacna.com
- Arequipa there are many agencies offering busses to Arequipa. The most respected ones for tourists: San Martin, Flores, cruzdelsur, excluciva.... There are many more. Only bus Flores offers several trips during the day. Most of the other companys offer trips in the morning or night buses (cama bus). If you book your trip with San Martin, it´s possible to leave your luggage in their office (for example if you take a night bus and want to spend the day in Tacna). The regular fare is around 30 Soles per person, the fare for the cama bus (night bus, sofa bed) is 40 Soles (January 19). It all depends which company, 1. or 2. level, sofa bed or normal seat. You´ll have to ask around. The trip is 5-6 hours, if you leave at 10pm, you will arrive around half past 5 in the morning in Arquipa.
- Arica, Chile, take a colectivo taxi from the international terminal, located next to the domestic bus terminal. You will encounter many touts on the way between terminals, but you may wish to wait until inside the terminal to secure transport as prices vary slightly. "Official" colectivos are reachable through the gate marked "Taxi colectivo" and their price is clearly marked on a sign: as of September 2014, you have to pay 1 sol for the terminal departure tax and 18 soles (or 4,000 Chilean pesos) per person for the colectivo. Although you will no doubt be assured that the colectivo is leaving right away, this is often not the case as they will not leave until full (if you are in a group of 4 or more you may wish to try and negotiate your own taxi). The driver will help you through customs and immigration. The journey takes between 1.5 and 2 hours, depending how long border formalities take: be aware that you are not allowed to bring animal and vegetable products (especially fresh fruits or plants) into Chile, so eat your remaining fruits before crossing the border. The colectivo will drop you at the international terminal in Arica; you can try and negotiate a ride to your accommodation but this may not be possible.
To continue onwards in Chile, walk to the domestic terminal right next to the international terminal and buy a bus ticket from there. Food, money exchange, baggage deposit and bathrooms are available inside.
Update November 2018 -- if you take a bus from Tacna to Arica, but you fly into Tacna airport, you need to first take a taxi from the airport to international bus terminal located in town as above. While touts demand 20 or 30 sol, insist on 10 -- someone will agree, few passengers, many drivers; it takes about 10 minutes to get to the bus terminal. Pay that tax, walk diagonally across the building to buses; you will give your passport and they log your information into a cumulative sheet that is then provided to immigration on the border -- Peru / Chile windows are side by side. You get your passport back at the border and you present it to immigration. They collect fare on buses. Very straightforward. When you arrive to Arica, it is possible to change money in domestic bus terminal after about 8:30 AM. No issue getting a seat on a bus travelling south, but some lines accept only cash. There are many more options at the bus terminal than online. The bus terminal seemed safe even at 11 PM -- there was a security guy.