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First forray into C & S America

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean First forray into C & S America

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1. Posted by SkacoreUK (Full Member 56 posts) 11y

This is my first post here so....Hi all...

I am currently in the planning stages of my first major travels, and am after any help & advice I can get, so here goes the plan ...

I spend the 1st Sept to 4th Oct travelling between Cancun & Costa Rica with G.A.P Adventures.

I then fly to Quito and start travelling independently down the west coast via Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile, till approx 25th Nov ending in Cancun. I may then fly down to Patagonia depending on my funds.

A few questions.....
Have I got enough time to do all these countries, or should I concentrate on one or two?

What is the best way into the Amazon from Peru, and how much time & money should I assign to this?

I have budgeted £20 a day, not including Machu Picchu, and some diving. Is this realistic?

And finally, what are your hot tips for things do do in each country?

Thanks for any help you guys and gals can offer

2. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

An area that often gets overlooked is Northern Chile. The landscape is really beautiful and very different. I really enjoyed the North of Chile.

All of Peru is great (obviously Machu Picchu), the trip (via land) from Cuzco to La Paz around Lake Titicaca was very interesting.

In Patagonia, Torres del Paine (Chile) and Moreno Glacier (Argentina) are highlights.

You can spend a few days in Iquassu Falls (exploring both the Argentine and Brazilian sides).

Rio is a FUN city (and the natural beauty of the area that the city is built upon is as nice as any in the World).

I'd say you could hit all the highlights of South America in the time you have, BUT the distances are great so you may need to do some flying.

3. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 11y

When you're in Quito, don't forget to take time out to visit the equatorial line. Crossing from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere with one small step is something you don't get to do too often!!

4. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

"What is the best way into the Amazon from Peru?"

I don't know the details of the costs because when I was in peru I decided to skip the Amazon. But I do remember that Iquitos is the gateway to the Peruvian Amazon. I think they have boat trips that go through that area of the Amazon and end up right over the border at Leticia, Colombia.

With the time you have I think you could have a great trip in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Northern Chile. That way you'd spend most of your time in a reasonably small area (compared to including Patagonia, Buenos Aires, Rio, etc.).

Also in Ecuador, there's a Saturday Market in Otavalo not toom far from Quito which is very large and interesting.

In Northern Chile (copied from my travel log):

Started in Northern Chile in Arica. Took a great trip from Arica (sea level) to 4500/meters and visited the Parque National Lauca, the Volcanoe and Lake Chungara are spectacular! Then rented a car, drove through the Atacama desert and went to San Pedro de Atacama and the surrounding lunar landscape (think its called the Valley of the Moon).

5. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting daveh

When you're in Quito, don't forget to take time out to visit the equatorial line. Crossing from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere with one small step is something you don't get to do too often!!

Yea, I forgot about that one...you can be in both hemishpere's at once.

Hey dave,

Have you ever stood on the Equator anywhere else in the World besides in Ecuador? I also did it in Tanzania (it's not as elaborate as the place outside of Quito, just a small sign, with a Rhino, saying you are standing on the equator.

6. Posted by SkacoreUK (Full Member 56 posts) 11y

Cheers for that guys.....I put my deposit down today, so its all happening

Have added an extra week (now leave on 2nd dec)and have decided not to do the north and east of SA as I don't want to spread myself too thin, but AM going to travel down to Patagonia after looking at some picks on the net it, looks pretty incredable!!

Thanks for the help I'm sure I will be needing more

7. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting SkacoreUK

Cheers for that guys.....I put my deposit down today, so its all happening

Have added an extra week (now leave on 2nd dec)and have decided not to do the north and east of SA as I don't want to spread myself too thin, but AM going to travel down to Patagonia after looking at some picks on the net it, looks pretty incredable!!

Thanks for the help I'm sure I will be needing more

Are you still starting the South American portion of your trip in Quito? I think adding Patagonia (and not doing the NorthEast since its so far from everwhere else is a good idea).

So what places do you think you will try and visit?

8. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 11y

Quoting Travel100

Quoting daveh

When you're in Quito, don't forget to take time out to visit the equatorial line. Crossing from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere with one small step is something you don't get to do too often!!

Yea, I forgot about that one...you can be in both hemishpere's at once.

Hey dave,

Have you ever stood on the Equator anywhere else in the World besides in Ecuador? I also did it in Tanzania (it's not as elaborate as the place outside of Quito, just a small sign, with a Rhino, saying you are standing on the equator.

I have crossed the equator at sea too. In the Royal Navy i crossed at sea in the atlantic and pacific. First time was good because it is a naval tradition that you have a 'crossing the line' ceremony. All first timers are rounded up by Neptunes 'henchmen' and we have to stand before Neptune and get permission to enter his domain. It's all good fun with lots of beer thrown in. Not quite the same as the Quito experience though!!!!

9. Posted by SkacoreUK (Full Member 56 posts) 11y

Too be honest, I'm not to sure....want to see the towers of Paine, Calafate(sp.) Glacier (my Pa went there years ago, and said it was unbeleievable). I also want to go to Puerto Madryn as Im not doing Galapogos, and heard that as far as Fauna goes, its pretty awesome for whales, penguins, birds etc.

If any of you seasoned travellers have any other reccomendations for anywhere on the west of S A, that would be great....

Cheers all

10. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting SkacoreUK

...want to see the towers of Paine, Calafate(sp.) Glacier (my Pa went there years ago, and said it was unbeleievable)...

Moreno Glacier is the glacier near Calafate (which is the nearby town where people stay and make the trip to see the glacier). Your PA is right, it is unbelievable!