Me and a friend are doing a three month travelling stint in South America later this year.
We have booked our flights to Rio at the end of September and apart from this we have no real plan. We have both travelled quite a bit, separately, and prefer to kind of go with the flow rather than have a rigid plan but I wondered if anybody would have any advice on spots we definitely should hit in these three months. I'm pretty much down for whatever but I do want to do Machu Picchu and spend some time in Buenos Aires during these three months, those are the only two things I don't want to leave without seeing. Also I am more of a beach bum than a city person!
My budget is £3000 for three months so I'm thinking on this budget I should spend more time in Peru/Bolivia rather than Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Is this an unrealistic budget?
Any help here is much appreciated!
Please don't make 3 months a fixed target. Ensure you have the means to go home at any point in time & when you have only enough money left to get you home, go home. Get your fill of Machu Pichu as soon as you can & Buenos Aires if you must - then relax til your money runs out.
Your budget will be tight, whatever you decide to do. You'll probably have to use surface transportation to get between countries, since international flights in South America can be expensive. But domestic flights (within a country) are more reasonable. That's particularly so in Brazil and Chile. For example, Sky Airline in Chile frequently has promotional fares. In some cases, the fares are cheaper than surface transportation, including buses. For example, I recently purchased a US$43 ticket for a nonstop flight from Punta Arenas to Santiago. I bought it online with a U.S. credit card after first calling the airline in Santiago to make sure the fare was valid.
A UK friend mine recently went from Rio to Sao Paolo to Iguazu Falls to Bonito and Corumba; and crossed over to Puerto Quijarro, Bolivia. He then continued to Santa Cruz and La Paz. From there, you can either travel overland to Puno (Lake Titicaca) and then to Cuzco for Machu Picchu. Or, alternatively, you can go to Uyuni for the salt flats there, crossing into San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. From there, travel overland to Arica, then cross the border to Peru to Arequipa and Cuzco.
Or, from Rio continue south to Buenos Aires, then wend your way through Argentina north to Salta and onward to either Chile or Bolivia to Peru. There are lots of options. One thing is for certain. You will be covering a lot of territory; and you will be spending long hours on buses.
Are you returning home from Rio? If so, you'll have to have allocate enough time and money to return there for your flight. Allow extra time when traveling in South America, particularly in Bolivia. Be prepared for surprises, such as labor strikes and other disruptions.
You'll have a great time in South America. I returned home this month after 45 days in Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. I traveled through the Salar de Uyuni, the Atacama desert; and Patagonia. The scenery is spectacular. Best of luck!
Thank you! I have no flight back booked yet so no need for me to return to Rio at the end of the trip. I am more than happy to do the long bus journeys, did a lot of this in SE Asia, I'm always happiest to go with the cheapest option. Lots to think about here, thanks again!
Happy travels !!! I read your post and it's daring, challenging and certainly adventurous.
You should go to Arraial do Cabo in Brazil. It's just a couple of hours north of Rio and the beaches are amazing!
Hi there Una! I envy you because you are about to embark on an amazing trip in Latin America. I am nearing the end of my three month stay in LatAm and I would give everything to be back at the start of this trip. For the past three months, I’ve lived in Santiago, Bogota and Medellin and I even spent a weekend in Cartagena. In terms of budget, I definitely think Peru, Bolivia or even Colombia would do the trick. Chile is very expensive compared to these other countries. In terms of things to do in Colombia, I highly recommend you go to Andres Carne de Res (the one in Chia, 40 min away from Bogota). It is a restaurant that is sort of like a mini-city that turns into a party. What more can you ask for, right? If you like the beach, I don’t recommend going to Cartagena. The reason is that the nice beaches will probably be far off from where you will stay and many Colombians (and Chileans, actually) have instructed me to go to Santa Marta and see Parque Tayrona instead. I haven’t been but would recommend you do the research.
While in Chile, I went on a tour to Valparaiso with a company called -snip-
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