Hey All. I am trying to plan a trip to South America but I have a problem. I am going to Costa Rica with my family for Christmas and New Years, from there my sister and I would like to travel down to SA: Argentina, Chile, Peru and Brasil. What I dont know is how i go about doing somethng like that, can I bus it and then take a boat so I bypass the Darian gap or is it better to get a flight. And in that where does it generally seem cheapest to fly into. I am trying to be as cost efficient as possible..aka I am cheap and want to travel as long as I can on limited funds.
Your cheapest bet would be to head down to Panama and hitch a lift on say a sailing boat heading to Colombia or Ecuador and then continue the journey by bus from there. When I was in Cartagena in Colombia I met several travelers that did just that. I don´t know from which port in Panama they left but I would think that around the panama canal or ports south from there would be best. The travelers told me that they asked around in the marinas until they found someone who was heading to where they wanted.
Otherwise from Costa Rica a good south american airline is TACA. I once took a flight with them from Peru to Costa Rica, and they were pretty cheap. I would think that the cheapest flights to South America from Costa Rica are to Quito due to the shorter distance.
Hope this info helps,
Although possible (sdaltrey's tip of sailing the Darian Gap is an attractive option), what you plan to do is a rather time-consuming adventure.
A more feasible alternative would be to fly down to Caracas, Quito or Lima, and bus it from there. Flying to Lima would mean missing out on northern Peru, which I liked a lot; flying to Caracas would mean missing out on Peru altogether.
IMHO, flying to Quito would be your best option, but it means missing out on Brazil. In general, it's best to try and avoid too many east-west travel in SA unless you have loads of time, since the road conditions in western Brazil and Eastern Peru/Bolivia are questionable to say the least.
Second, take into account that Chile is very expensive. Instead, I'd recommend that you take ample time to see southern Argentina, which is to a large extent comparable but much cheaper. PN Torres del Paine could easily be included from Tierra del Fuego.
[ Edit: Edited at Aug 29, 2006 12:57 AM by bentivogli ]