The last poster is right...in most Latin American cities and travel destinations there are always places open till late, just stay out of red light districts and marginal areas where you are just asking for trouble..party till 3AM, and take a taxi home, never walk down dark residential streets late at night..and yes, often women have more problems with other travelers in hostel type situations than they do with locals, a tip if you go out as a group of women...have one person in the group stay sober as a "designate" in case anything goes wrong..this person should also speak a bit of Spanish/Portuguese.
Machismo is part and parcel of Latin culture...a barking dog does not bite..It's the one that attacks from behind...the 1% or less that can break a journey...go out in groups, use common sense, have fun and taxi back late at nights if in a big city or toursit destination. Stay out of "hostels" and try to find the best budget private rooms in your guidebooks or via word of mouth.
To clarify what I meant Stephies, I was advising against females going out very late a night.
Of course, it's safe to go out in a bigger group of people. Probably one of the most intoxicating things about South American culture is its nightlife and, particularly in Buenos Aires, most nights didnt finish until 7am in the morning. One of the highlights of my trip in SA were the clubs in BA.
What I was trying to get across was the need for care. Its easier for guys travelling, they just dont have to exercise quite as high a level of caution. They certainly dont receive the same level of attention as female travellers do.
Its just advice, not paranoia. I travelled alone, had no real plan, met so many great South American ppl who will remain friends, ate in their homes, travelled with strangers, sampled as much as I could of the various South American lifestyles and cultures, but didnt take any stupid risks.
You will have an amazing time and probably the best advice to jsut to follow your gut and trust your own judgement. ;-)
I think you forget to speak about Machu Picchu which is one of the most popular archeological sites of the world, and therefore, the most visited attraction in Peru.
See my tips : -snip-
Moderator comment: Promotional website addresses are not allowed in the open forums.
[ Edit: Removed website address. ]
Wow, now i'm scared! I'm just days away from booking my ticket to Brazil as a solo female traveller. I'm not normally a paranoid person but reading this thread is making me a touch nervous, I must admit.
Is it really that bad?
i know what you mean steffi - i'm heading to rio on my own mid april for the start of my rtw trip and it is pretty scary. but i figure that it would be much worse to look back and regret not going to such an amazing place just out of fear. plus i'm hoping that there will be loads of other travellers to hook up with once i get over there so wont actually be on my own for that much time..........
No, Steffy, it isn't that bad. At all
I dont mean to make anybody nervous with what i said. I would be the first person to encourage you all to do your trip to South America solo.
But, you'll know after you;ve done it yourselves. It's good to have a healthy level of wariness. And of course, you'll always hear the horror stories. When I was in Bolivia, that story about the Dutch couple who went missing around Lake Titicaca was prevalent in the media, and it made me think hard about Bolivia. I went anyway, and Bolivia turned out to be probably my favourite country.
Stephies asked for an honest experience and that's what I gave her. Meeting that Canadian girl was a reminder to me that you have to be ever-cautious in some of these places. It would be a lie to say that South America is a walk-over. It's simply not. It's a different travelling experience to Central Europe or the States, but I guarantee you it will be one of the most rewarding of your life.
Samsara, I for one appreciate your honesty. It would be wrong for anyone to claim 100% safety in any region of the world....I think we all know that anything can happen. Your firsthand experience with that Canadian girl should definitely be given as an example. Do you know what happened to her after that attack?
When people say don't venture out alone late at night - what is "late" in Brazil?
Thanks Steffy. Myself, that Canadian girl and a bunch of others actually ended up travelling on to Uyuni together and we did the Salar de Uyuni. She was really courageous and went on travelling by herself back up through Peru and Ecuador after she left us. She was only 19.
I thought she handled herself really well after it. She wasnt overly dramatic and just told it like it happened. Her advice to anyone she met after that was first hand and she had the bruises to prove it.
I really admired the way she picked herself up and didnt let it dissuade her from her adventure. I'm sure it affected her hugely, but she didnt let herself become one of those people who run back home and tell everyone else never to go there.
It could of course happen you in your own neighbourhood at home, but you can be an object of fascination and curiosity to people in very different parts of the world, and that obviously can increase the chances of something bad happening.
The vast majority of the other travellers I met in SA had no bad experiences, and that's the thing to focus on.
As for Brazil, I only visited Rio de Janeiro. Your hostel staff will tell you not to go out alone once darkness falls. Rio is amazing! and seeing it at night is spectacular with the Christ and the Sugar Loaf lit up. So, dont miss out on that. Just find some good folks to hit the town with.