I'm am starting to plan my travels which I plan to start next year, not sure exactly when just yet. I want to go to South America but will be going solo. The thought of this frightens me a bit so would love some helpful advice and tips from anyone who has been, and any routes that are recommended. Any recommendations on places to stay and things to see would be gratefully appreciated!
Thanks in advance!
You really need to provide some basics such as length of trip and budget before anyone could hope to provide useful information. South America is a very large place.
I don't have a set length, but my budget will be about £6000
Your budget is OK. I was in Bolivia and Patagonia (Argentina, Chile) earlier this year; and I've been to South America several times.
Suggest you buy an "open jaw" ticket from London, entering South America in one city; and exiting from another. You'll save time and money.
Flights between countries in South America can be expensive for the distance flown. But domestic flights within certain countries, such as Brazil and Chile, are reasonable. One reason is competition. In Brazil, for example, there's GOL, LATAM and Azul. In Chile, there's Sky and LATAM. If you buy in advance from its Web site, Sky's fares can be a bargain, particularly its many promotional fares. Sometimes it's cheaper to fly if you need to cover great distances, particularly in Brazil and Chile.
Bus transportation is convenient and reasonable.
You'll be in the southern hemisphere, so be sure to factor in climate and weather in your planning. For example, if you want to hike in Torres del Paine National Park, know that bus service to the park from Puerto Natales will be limited as winter approaches (in April, for example). Some businesses in Puerto Natales also close for the season.
Suggest you bring a rain jacket and a fleece. The rain jacket will be useful in the jungle and elsewhere; and the rain jacket and fleece will provide warmth and wind protection as you travel at the higher elevations, particularly in the Andes.
Plot an itinerary using the Travellerspoint mapping system. Go online to look at bus and flight schedules. But while there is a lot of information online, much of it is dated. Check and double-check when you're there.
Flexibility is important while traveling in South America. For example, I've been affected by transportation strikes in Bolivia and Chile. Keep informed; and be alert. Try to keep one or two steps ahead of where you are going. Have options.
You'll have a wonderful time in South America!
There are some awesome solo female travelers who have travelled and run their blog for guidance.
I would recommend you to check mappingmegan, misstourist, mytravelaffairs, adventurouskate and theblondeabroad.
They are doing wonderful job in helping people to travel more and easy.