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Best Route Around South America?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Best Route Around South America?

1. Posted by tushtee13 (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y

tushtee13 has indicated that this thread is about South America

Hello everybody!

I am going to fly from UK to Colombia in January.

I have roughly two months in SA and intend to visit Colombia/Ecuador/Peru/Bolivia/Argentina/Brazil

Is this too many places for the amount of time I have?!!

If so - can anybody recommend a better route?

I definitely want to do Macchu Picchu, Salt Flats, Amazon Rainforest and Igazu Falls!

Any help would be amazing!!!!!

2. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3719 posts) 1y

I think that's way too much to try and do in 2 months. There's so much to see in those countries and the distances are vast. I'd stick to one part of the continent and see fewer places, so either Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, or Argentina and Brazil. I've been to Argentina and Colombia (on separate trips) and loved them both but was particularly blown away by Colombia - I totally fell in love with it. However, Iguacu Falls is my number one place in the world as I was totally blown away by that too!

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4834 posts) 1y

Agreed that this is way too much for two months. Two or three countries would set a good pace where you're on the move a lot, but also get to see things in depth; six is a deathmarch.

For what it's worth with picking what to do, Peru is amazing, but Jan/Feb is probably a lousy time of the year to see Machu Picchu, since it's the middle of the wet season (though some people say that the clouds around Wayna Picchu adds to the mysticism of it all). Jan/Feb is a great time of the year to be down south in Patagonia, though, which is an absolute hiking paradise if you're into that. (If you are: El Chaltén!)

4. Posted by berner256 (Travel Guru 528 posts) 1y

Focus on Colombia; and perhaps Argentina and Brazil.

It's the wet season in Machu Picchu; and the Inca Trail will be closed in February.

The Salar de Uyuni also will be wet, so some parts of it may not be accessible. Allow extra time when traveling in Bolivia for weather and other reasons.

In the Amazon basin, water levels are likely to be high, so you'll be able to visit more tributaries by boat. But opportunities to hike will be more limited. There also will be more mosquitos. Manu National Park is in the Amazon basin; and tours leave from Cusco, going first to the mountains, descending to the cloud forest; and finally to the jungle. It's a bird watcher's delight!

5. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2455 posts) 1y

Ditto everyone above... 6 countries in 2 months is a crazy schedule... you won't be actually seeing/understanding anything, you'll only be checking off guide book destinations from your bucket list. If that's your style of travel then go for it, otherwise rethink your plan.

Have fun with your research.

Cheers,
Terry

Post 6 was removed by a moderator
7. Posted by tushtee13 (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y

Quoting berner256

Focus on Colombia; and perhaps Argentina and Brazil.

It's the wet season in Machu Picchu; and the Inca Trail will be closed in February.

The Salar de Uyuni also will be wet, so some parts of it may not be accessible. Allow extra time when traveling in Bolivia for weather and other reasons.

In the Amazon basin, water levels are likely to be high, so you'll be able to visit more tributaries by boat. But opportunities to hike will be more limited. There also will be more mosquitos. Manu National Park is in the Amazon basin; and tours leave from Cusco, going first to the mountains, descending to the cloud forest; and finally to the jungle. It's a bird watcher's delight!

Thanks for your help!

I've had a look and think it might be safer to do, Colombia, Ecuador for a month. Then fly to Paraguay and then hop over to do Igazu Falls, then across to Brazil to fly home.

How does that sound?

Does anyone have any advice?! There's two of us, both females, so want to make sure there's lots to do and that we are safe!

Thank you again!

8. Posted by berner256 (Travel Guru 528 posts) 1y

You might want to revisit your itinerary, unless you have a generous travel budget.

Flights between countries can be very expensive in South America for the miles flown. There isn't much competition. Have you checked the cost of flights to Asuncion, Paraguay? I once flew to Asuncion from Santiago, Chile. It wasn't cheap. I then took a bus from Asuncion to Ciudad del Este and Foz do Iguacu (Brazil) to see the falls. I saw the falls from both Brazil (the panorama) and Argentina (up close). I then flew to Rio de Janeiro from Foz do Iguacu.

Flights within countries are more reasonable. That's particularly so in Brazil, where GOL and TAM compete on many routes. Sao Paulo is South America's biggest city, with a population of 11 million. So it stands to reason that it also has the most flights, even more than Rio. It's a major gateway.

It will cost you hundreds of dollars to either fly from Colombia or Ecuador to Paraguay or Brazil. Look it up on Skyscanner or Kayak.com. If your funds are limited, it might be better to focus on Brazil, Uruguay, perhaps Paraguay as a sidetrip from Foz do Iguacu; and Argentina. Fly from London to either Rio or Sao Paolo; and return from Buenos Aires.

Travel in Brazil usually costs more than many other countries in South America. But the country is in economic and political turmoil, so its currency has plunged in value against the U.S. dollar. That makes travel in Brazil a relative bargain this year. I would take advantage of it. Argentina also has economic and political problems. But travel there isn't quite as easy as Brazil. One reason is that there is a "parallel" currency market. Currently, you get about 50 percent more for the dollar in the parallel market than the official exchange rate. I've written about this recently in another part of the Forum. So, you need to bring cash if you want to travel in Argentina, since banks and ATMs dispense pesos at the official rate. Locals know where you can change money.

Personally, I'd concentrate on Brazil. It's a huge country with lots to see and do. North is different than South. It's one of my favorite countries; and I've been to quite a few. If you want more, cross over into Uruguay, the take the ferry across the Plata River to Buenos Aires.

If Colombia is your top priority, then by all means consider Ecuador and Peru; and perhaps fly home from Lima. Or, spend a chunk of your budget to fly from Colombia to Brazil.

Travel in South America isn't quite as easy as travel in Europe. You'll need to do some extra planning, unless money isn't a major concern. Hope this helps.