I am planning to go backpacking in South America for a year. The plan is to start in Brazil during carnival and then sort of travel around. My question has to do with tickets. I am flying from NY and I need to know what the best option is. I was thinking one way but then again being a tourist, I might be required to have a return ticket. So then the next option was maybe a round trip or an open ended ticket. What would be the best way?
I flew from NYC to Lima for US$360 with Lan! If you check out their site, maybe you can similar fares to Rio. As for the one-way thing, I didnt have an onward ticket when I got to Lima and I had no trouble at Immigration. They were concerned about it at the check-in desk in JFK airport, but it was fine. I think they are quite used to backpackers landing and just continuing on by land...and if you do run into trouble when you get there, you can always just purchase a ticket there and then.
There's a very recent thread about return vs one-way fares somewhere in the General forum. Summing up, none of the posters there had very favourable experiences with one-way tickets, since they usually turn out much more expensive than other options.