Hello everyone! A buddy and I are planning a trip down to south america. Specifically Peru, Chile, and Argentina. I have a pretty good idea of places we would like to see and stay, but would like to hear from anyone who has travelled these parts. Our trip is going to be 8-12 weeks leaving in December.
How much money? What to bring? Transportation? Attractions, places to see/places to avoid?
Well thanks for the help!
Well... Peru and Argentina is a bit cheaper than Chile, but count on $20-25, possibly more if you want some luxury, possibly less if you're real budget travellers.
There are loads of bus companies, and in Chile and Argentina they are always fast and comfy. Busses in Peru can be a bit dodgy but if you pay a bit more (like $5) for your ticket you're likely to end up on a decent bus arriving on time (more or less...).
December over there is summer, but you're probably gonna need some warm clothes anyway. The mountain areas in Peru can be quite chilly, and the same is true for southern Patagonia.
As for further recomendations, it really depends on you interests and preferences. What do you want to do? Outdoor stuff or cultural stuff or partying or a good mix?
Hi. A couple of months ago I spent 3 months travelling up from Santiago to Ecuador. this is purely my opinion but here's my view on some of tthe places that i went (the gringo trail...)
Santiago - characterless and relatively expensive but clean, easy to get around and a good starting point. Just don't stay at the HI hostel!
La Serena / Bahia Ingles - both completely dead whilst i was there as it was out of season but they're pretty average beach resorts. Good nightlife high season apparently.
San Pedro - Great little place. Touristy and quite expensive but loads of camp grounds within a few mins of the centre, lots of excursion options and lots of groovy open air bars. Visit Moon valley while you're there.
Salta - Lively, pretty argentinean town. Great nightlife and very very cheap (especially after chile). Recommend barney gomez bar. and go zip lining!
Uyuni - the town is nothing but u have to go there to visit the salt flats which are amazing.
Potosi - town is complete Sh*thole. there's no air, its freezing, no restaurants/bars/clubs and very little to see. But its worth going to visit the silver mine (which is intense btw) plus you can say you've been to the highest city in the world!
Sucre - Lovely bolivian town. definately recommend for a night or two. Joyride cafe is a riot.
La Paz - not the safest but one of my favourite cities in SA. Be careful in taxis and make sure you mountain bike down "death road!"
Puno - average little town. very touristy but good for excursions to Lake Titikaka.
Cuzco - Loved it! Loads to see and amazing nightlife! i spent 2 weeks here but could have stayed longer. plus its the starting point for the inca trail.
Arequipa - really pretty town. loads of cultural stuff to see (including a mummified girl who was sacrificed not far away)and great nightlife.
Nazca - Horrible town. If you're going to fly over the nazca lines then just come for a day trip - i wouldnt bother staying over.
Lima - Rough around the edges but great in the centre. Loads and loads to see and do culturally and socially!
Huaraz - pretty nasty little town. I would only visit if you're going to do some hiking in the area.
Mancora - Simply a beach resort running along the pan american highway. its not cheap and quite touristy but good to chill out and relax by the beach for a few days.
If you need any more detail on any of these places just let me know!
Acdale, I don't think veho21 was asking about Bolivia?!?
Anyway, I don't agree about Huaraz being a shithole - it has got some of the most amazing surroundings in all of South America, and you can do about any extrem sport there (climbing, ice climbing, downhill skiing, white water rafting, canyoning, etc.)
Máncora is presumably good for surfing but when we were there we didn't have any waves at all. Try out Huanchaco outside Trujillo instead, relaxed little place with good surf.
Huacachina in Peru (close to Ica) is pretty cool too, it's just a small oasis in the middle of the dessert but it had got some sandboarding options, and the hostel (there is one) have a daily (nightly) bbq.
Cusco is alright if you want to do the Inca trail or have free drinks (mostly pisco sours) in the bars, but it's ridiculously touristic and you will feel abused.
(And for your information, the places listed above are all in Peru)