When its time to leave its time to leave. Say goodbye and head to the bus station to take the border crossing over to Mendoza. Its best to book tickets online as there are a bunch of different bus terminals around Santiago. Prices might be cheaper at the stations. But $50 Aud for a premium seat and border crossing is pretty good. We rode with Andesmar but any bus going over the border should do the trick just fine.
Driving in the night has benefits, you get to sleep. But you also get woken up 4 hours in to go through through border control, which is perfectly safe and organised, takes about an hour, just not enjoyable at 2 in the morning. If you do a day bus you can avoid the annoyance but have to ride a bus in the day. Which we personally think is always worse. However the views are amazing, if you love taking it all in as you drive through a country then the day bus is for you.
Make sure you don’t lose your entry receipt or you’ll have to pay a leaving fee. And if you’re Australian, catching a bus in and out of Chile will allow you to avoid the $150 Chilean Australian reciprocity fee.
Because no one likes photos of a bus, below is a few random ones!