im looking for anyone who can help me regarding traveling South America, I have been thinking about joining a organized trip for 6 month and it will cover almost all the countries, but its not cheap (about £3500) and was wondering if anyone has regretted doing it this way as it takes the adventure away from the trip and maybe cost more in the long run then traveling on your own by bus/ train??
Also need to ask if you can book cheap organized trips in South America and leaving out the middle man (travel agent)?
If anyone has traveled South America backpacking on a budget for a year I would LOVE to hear from you and hear any of your tips and advice about your trip and what’s best to do and not to do
All advice is welcome and will be really appreciated
[ Edit: Edited on Dec 23, 2006, at 8:32 AM by Jyroge ]
I recently came back from doing an organised tour of south america. I did Santiago to Quito with a company called budget expeditions and had the absolute time of my life! Everyone on the tour was great (well most of them....) and it was fantastic to experience everything with such like minded people. It also took the hassle out of everything (eg leaving to tour leader to deal with the bribes at border crossings) and you got the chance to camp out in some places that you wouldn't have been able to if you're on your own.
If you're unsure you could always do a tour for part of the trip and do the other part on your own
And re the pricing, i work for a famous student travel agent now and there is no mark up on the tour price bought directly. plus the benefit of booking it through a middle man is that you have someone to fall back on to sort out problmes if anything goes wrong.
If you need any more info about what i did just give me a shout
Hi Ian how's it going?
I'm travelling to S America in February with my best mate but originally I was gonna go with an organised tour from Quito to Rio. I must admit I had to think about it alot in order to make a decision between going with a group or doing it on my own and the majority of advice I recieved from fellow travellers on this site was to go it alone if I felt up for it.
Have you had any thoughts about your itinerary if you decide to go it alone? It would be good to hear what you decide to do!
Good luck and enjoy planning your trip!
Tours are a major waste of money; SA being very accessible, it's much better to go on your own, and invest those 3500 on smt else.
Let the threads in this forum inspire you, and contact any of us if you have questions, doubts, etc. One thing you should definitely consider is acquiring some basic knowledge of Spanish before you go.
I travelled around South America a couple of years and firstly comepletely envy you going out there, lucky bloke! I did the whole thing without a tour group and had an awesome time. I travelled from Paraguay to Bolivia to Peru to Chile. To these countries and around the countries themselves I used the buses that are there, they are seriously easy and very cheap and can save you loads if you take a night bus (save a night's accomodation)! Every little helps. There are many companies thoughout SA that off these sorts of journies, if you get a book like SA on a shoestring or something like that it will list them and some of their prices!
Let me know if there is anything else I can help with mate, all the best.
When i first read your comments about 6 months travelling for £3500 i thought that was a pretty good deal because it may sound a lot but its really not for what you are getting.
I went to Peru for 3 weeks in December last year and the flight alone cost me £650 and that was very cheap as it soon rose to nearly £1000 but luckily i booked well in advance.
Also whether you stay in hostels or hotels it will cost a fair amount of money and you'd be surprised how much you will spend especially if you plan to visit different areas and sites each day.
I took £1000 spending money on top of the combined £1500 i paid for the trip and i still fell short towards the end of the trip so i ended up spending a few hundred on my credit card which i didn't mind because i had the best few weeks of my life out there.
The taxis and buses and all forms of public transport were incredibly cheap so you wont ever spend too much there, however the entry to some sites and museums etc may set you back so always try and find out if there is a tourism pass from the tourist information centres as they are great value.
Hope this helps
Thank you sooo much for all your help and info guys.... every little bit of information is greatly appreciated, please keep the info coming...