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Any last tips on South America??

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Any last tips on South America??

1. Posted by Kristo (Full Member 58 posts) 11y

I'm bursting with excitement...4 weeks to go until I embark on my 4 month adventure CAN'T WAIT!!

I'm flying from London to Buenos Aires on the 27th July, and will visit the following places during the 4 months - Several Cities in Brazil (Rio, Natal, Salvador, Campo Grande, Iguazu) Venezuela, Cuba, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile.

Just wondered if anyone has any last tips on the above mentioned places!
Thanks in advance!

2. Posted by Kingwindle (Respected Member 302 posts) 11y

There is so much to say about all of these places, what do you really wanna know??
If its about cool places to eat, things you MUST see?? I can help but what do you wanna know specificaly??


3. Posted by Kristo (Full Member 58 posts) 11y

Any help would be appreciated..Yeah places that you think are a must see and good places to eat.
If you know of good hostels too that would be helpful
Thanks in Advance...

4. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Kristo, I am going to post here a reply I sent to someone regarding what to do in Lima and Cuzco (for the Peru leg of your trip).

Here it is:

"...well, Peru like any other third world country has its drawbacks but all and all I think is a phenomenal place to visit. Poverty makes petty theft a very common situation in certain areas of the city. More so in poor areas but in good areas you must be aware that as a tourist (if you are caucasian-looking it will be more difficult to "blend" with the crowd per se), you automatically have to be more in-tune with what goes on around you.

For example, dont carry a purse, dont carry jewelry, dont carry anything valuable. If you have to stop and take a picture of a place, dont leave you backpack on the ground because someone may be looking for an opportunity to snatch it.

As far as going alone, no, i wouldnt be worried about that. When I go visit I see a lot of tourists wondering off alone around the city and people are very very friendly wherever you go. If I were you, I wouldnt be too concerned about the alone part, I would just try to be aware of your surroundings and what you carry on you...that should be the extend of your worries.

Another piece of advice, dont go to the center of town at night, that can be dangerous. Stay in Miraflores, San Isidro at night. One nice area is a street called Conquistadores in San Isidro. For what I hear that is the new "IN" area in Lima for bars, nice drinks and nice atmosphere. I would call it more of an "americanized" atmosphere. I was just there in December and I went to a place in Conquistadores called "Tres Monitos"...I loved it!! But the prices all of the drinks were what I am used to paying here too, not on the cheap side. Keep that in mind if you want to have a relaxing night with some good socializing.

Another place for fun that has a touch of the peruvian culture and music is a place in Barranco (very near to Miraflores) called "La Peña del Carajo" or "El LLonja". Anyone will know where "El Carajo" is. It is very famous in Lima, you will have the best is somewhat of a show, they pull people to dance in front of everyone (especially tourist hahaha) but it is truly GREAT fun.

I can certainly recommend this other place called "Las Brisas del Titicaca" for folklore music, food and this website, I've been there and you will have a great cultural experience there: Go to "noches de folclor".

The other two are smaller, more intimate shows.

By the way, yes...stay in Miraflores for lodging. It will be the perfect area for you to stay, there is a lot to do around there and it is pretty safe to walk around. If you need to go to the center of town (Plaza de Armas, Catedral de Lima, Catacombs, etc) go during the day. I will try to have the hostal staff to find you a cab. I think any cab driver will be extremely happy to get paid $20 or so for a full day to be driven around but it may be less. Even though you may be going on a budget, most people in Peru think that tourist equals money so you need to tell them you just wont pay a lot of money for things. It is extremely customary to bargain for things, including the cab fares. By the way, dont take public transportation. I am from there and I dont even do that. It is very chaotic and that is one of the most common places for petty theft.

While you are in Miraflores and you just want to relax and grab a bite to eat or watch a movie, or just watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean go to Larcomar. It is another nice place for you to go.

I was looking in this website for hostals in Lima and they have some really good ones. Pick the ones in Miraflores, take a look at the pictures and decide from there. I was going to suggest some of the places in Miraflores posted in this website but I am not sure what your budget is and I am also going by the pictures. They all looked pretty decent and clean. This will be a good place to start.

I think 4-5 days in Lima may be enough to see what you have to see. When you go to Cuzco, you may (or may not) have to get acclimated to the altitude. You may want to rest the first day. If you really want to get adventurous, do the Inka Trail but you may want to do that ahead of time. Now you need reservations. It is an experience you will never forget. I did it few years back. It is safe to leave your luggage behind at the hotel while you do the hike. I can probably get you the name of the place I stayed at. I think it was about $10 a night, cheap clean hostal.

There is a lot to see in Cuzco, the ruins of Sacsayhuaman is a highlight, the churches, the markets, etc etc. Beware of petty theft again. When you head down to Macchu Piccu, the town there is called Aguas Calientes. Good food, thermal spring waters (do that!), nice markets. There is a very uphill rope hike right in Macchu Piccu that is awesome. Try that too.

For Nazca (Ica) the best way to see the lines is by taking a helicopter. It isnt the cheapest thing but you will NOT regret it. For budget accomodations, I would go to this website to check out some places. I checked the ones in Lima and the ones located in Miraflores seem nice, clean and of course, very inexpensive. Ck out the pictures and take your pick but do look for Miraflores areas. I would do the same for the other locations you will be visiting.

Well, I havent visited the other places you will be traveling to so I cant be of much help there so good luck! Let me know if you need additional info. I can probably get it for you

5. Posted by Kristo (Full Member 58 posts) 11y

Thanks so much!
Any other takers?

6. Posted by stephy (Full Member 51 posts) 11y

hi..that so intersting bout peru...makes my looking forward, ill go there in 3 weeks...
i am living now in BA... which is a great city, kristyo u will love it too. If u want a real ly really reall really really cheap place- go to Hotel Bolivar en Bolivar y Estados unidos...) pesos- yes it is true. in santelmo.
there is so much to see and do, stay at least 8 days, i have been there since march and i still dont know so much.

!!!!!!!!ANd about Aguas calientes: do u know if i can do the hike, if u say it is quite steep and demnading during the nite to arrive for the sunset?
Soroche pills are not necesarry, rigth?
Stupid qustion, what is the temparature more or less? 10 celsius?

kristo, i can help u out with argentina and some parts of 2 month i can tell some more stuff ;) jippie!

All the best steph

7. Posted by janszham (Full Member 35 posts) 11y

I hope you realise it is a short time to visit all these countries. But I´m sure you will enjoy it. My advice is learn a bit of spanish before you go and be prepared to get robbed. Not a very nice thing to be thinking of but if you are prepared for it it will not be that bad.
Happy travels

8. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 11y

Quoting Kristo

Thanks so much!
Any other takers?

Excellent advices on Peru. We are presently involved in Central American Alternative Travel (I am a 20 year resident "ex pat", not a traveler) We are soon shall be setting up volunteer vacations along with Spanish language study for those wishing intensive immersion into the culture. Some travelers of course have budget and time limitations, and for them is best to "hop" from destination to destination to experience as much as possible within their time frame ("If this is Tuesday it must be Ecuador?")but more should do their homework on the Search Engines, buy up to date Guide Books and read up as well as the best maps possible specific to the areas they intend to visit. I find giving too extended advice on travel forums is time consuming and only rarely is it really appreciated, more like expected. Best to advise newbies to search search search plan plan plan and read read read, dozens of excellent interactive sites and bloqs on the net. If one reads up on destinations, history, culture and studies a bit of Spanish before departure, it will amplify their experience. On our "South America for Visitors" forums, I received a highly detailed request last week from a man in the US intending to drive his 1989 classic Cadillac from USA to Buenos Aires! Basically, sometimes, I have to say it, like many years ago when my Father cut off my weekly allowance and suggested I get an after school job for money, "what don't you understand in the word "NO" the letter "N" or the letter "O"?" gotta do some homework..don't rely on other people to thoroughly plan your trip..unless you are going on a prepaid group "bus tour" or something! Independent travel is also being flexible once you arrive to your destinations, often civil unrest or natural disasters suddenly occur and unravel the best laid plans of mice and men! PS Both petty and violent crime is on the rise throughout Latin america due to economic and other factors, if traveling alone, especially women of any age, best to "buddy up" in a destination or try online before departure.

David Bloom

No promotional website or e-mail links, please.

[ Edit: Edited promotional link ]

9. Posted by Kristo (Full Member 58 posts) 11y gotta do some homework..don't rely on other people to thoroughly plan your trip..unless you are going on a prepaid group "bus tour" or something! Independent travel is also being flexible once you arrive to your destinations, often civil unrest or natural disasters suddenly occur and unravel the best laid plans of mice and men! PS Both petty and violent crime is on the rise throughout Latin america due to economic and other factors, if traveling alone, especially women of any age, best to "buddy up" in a destination or try online before departure.

Just to let you all know :) I have been planning planning planning reading reading reading...Just wanted any last ideas/advice from anyone who's actually been there or lives there! I think TP is a fabulous idea - and there is nothing wrong with seeking advice and ideas from fellow travellers! I'm not asking for someone to write a full itinerary!!
I know its a short time frame to see what I want to see and to do the trip - I may well cut out some things if I want to spend longer in a certain place that's the beauty of independant travel not an organised bus - I won't know till I get there I guess.
I've been studying Spanish for 12 weeks so hopefully this will help me out along the way! :)
I've never heard so many people talk about getting ROBBED!!! GOSH!!!! Guess I will have to be very wary.