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My 3 month trip to South America (map)

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1. Posted by Marta_Marq (Budding Member 29 posts) 2y

Hi!!! I just made a rough plan of my trip to South America and I would like to hear some feedback about it!! Do you think it's realistic to do so many km in only 3 months? Do you have any suggestions of places I shouldn't miss that are not on the map but are somewhere on the way?

Here is my plan:

Take a look! Thanks, Marta (Portugal)

[ Edit: Edited on 03-Nov-2014, at 07:38 by Marta_Marq ]

2. Posted by Alain13 (Respected Member 102 posts) 2y


Seems very realistic to me in three months.
I have an alternate suggestion:
From San Pedro de Atacama, you can visit the lagunas of South Bolivia from there, and then join north Argentina and Salta region, then go to Tupiza, in south Bolivia, then Potosi, Sucre, then go to Uyuni salt flats, La Paz, Tiwanako and Lake Titicaca.
North of Argentina is really worth seeing. So Tupiza area

Then in Peru, do the train trip from Cuzco to Machu Pichu, and after Ica, stop to Pisco to go to islas Ballestas to see birds and seals.

I guess you will take flights (or maybe night bus) between:
- Puerto IguaƧu and Buenos Aires
- Buenos Aires and Mendoza
- Santiago and Calama (North Chile)

Enjoy :)

3. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 2y

Looks pretty good. I did your Atacama - Lima section pretty much exactly, and two months was perfect. Seems reasonable that you can do the rest in another month, though I feel like there's got to be more to Argentina that you would want to see.
One suggestion i would make is to not miss Isla del Sol. Spend a couple days out on the Island and you will have a much better Titicaca experience than in Puno.

4. Posted by Marta_Marq (Budding Member 29 posts) 2y

Hey, guys! Thanks a lot for you suggestions!! I'll keep them in mind ;) I'm happy to hear that it is "doable" since i've already booked the flights :P

Alain, I'll only take buses. From Ciudad del Este to Buenos Aires I'll take a night bus from one of the main companies and from Buenos Aires to Mendoza I still have to check the best way, but maybe also a night bus. From La Paz to Cusco and from Cusco to Lima I plan on taking the tours from Peruhop and Boliviahop. Have you heard about it? They cover a lot of places you mentioned above and they seem like a safer way to travel, specially around Peru, which I've heard can be dangerous sometimes..

Degolasse, I would also like to see more of Argentina, I just haven't searched much about it yet and I didn't know what there was to see. Although I cannot take much time there (because I really want to reach Peru and see it with time) I can surely stop at some places on the way. I'll start with the tips you both gave me and see what I can do!

What about Chile? Apart from Santiago, Valparaiso and San Pedro de Atacama do you suggest some place else?

5. Posted by Alain13 (Respected Member 102 posts) 2y

Marta, I did not hear about the tours companies you talk about.

In North Chile, the best place is really San Pedro de Atacama. Other places of interest are:
Arica: from there you can go in a one day trip from the sea level to 4000m in the parc of Lauca (be careful with the mountains illness)
Iquique: around you can visit the ghost town of Humberstone and see petroglyphs (El Gigante de Atacama en el Cerro Unita)
Chuquicamata copper mines: I did not visit
I also heard about the costal town of La Serena, half way between Santiago and North Chile but I have never been there.

In North Argentina, you also have a lot of nice places: Salta, Purmamarca mountains, the trip from Salta to San Antonio de los Cobres, to Cachi village, the mountains close to Cafayate.
Lot of possibilities. Between Arica/Iquique area and Salta province, my personal choice goes to Salta and surroundings.

[ Edit: Edited on 04-Nov-2014, at 01:24 by Alain13 ]

6. Posted by Marta_Marq (Budding Member 29 posts) 2y

Ok! Thanks a lot! I checked on the map and I saw pictures from all the places you mentioned and I think I'll do the bit of north Argentina but leave the north of Chile (Arica and Iquique) to do only if i have time, which i doubt...

Here's the updated plan:

The map tells me it is 6627km but when I do it on google maps it says it's more.. do you know why?

7. Posted by Alain13 (Respected Member 102 posts) 2y

And you have to check where you can cross the Andes. La Serena to la Rioja seems doable. Close to la Rioja is the Talampaya National Park I still would like to visit. Then straight North to Tucuman and Salta.

8. Posted by Marta_Marq (Budding Member 29 posts) 2y

Okay!! Thanks a lot for the tips, really!! Now it looks like I have a pretty good plan!! :) I'm really excited!!

9. Posted by Alain13 (Respected Member 102 posts) 2y

It seems there is no regular bus to cross the Andes from La Serena to San Juan/la Rioja. Only from Santiago to Mendoza and far in the North from San Pedro de Atacama to Salta (long trip and not every day)

10. Posted by Marta_Marq (Budding Member 29 posts) 2y

Oh... That's sad to hear. I'll have to find an alternative route then... Maybe go north through Chile and then try to find some place where I can cross the border, even if I have to go a bit backwards... I would really like to see the north of Argentina, now that you've said such good things about it.. How did you do it when you were travelling there?