My wife and i are having a gap year and our first port of call is South America. We arrive in Rio in oct 07 and depart out of Santiago in early march, we're very flexible in between those dates. We have been planning to visit Iguazu, Buenos Aires, Patagonia, Chile, southern Peru including the inca trail and Bolivia. We would aslo like to fit in a language school (2wks) at the start of our trip but dont know where. The point is we cant decide on what order to visit those places i.e a good language school, the weather, bus connections and new year etc etc. We would be grateful for any ideas and suggestions, thanks and happy travels Andrew and Lisa.
[ Edit: Edited on Feb 16, 2007, at 2:40 AM by bruntonal ]
For most of the places, you picked the right time of year, that is their summer. Maybe try to focus on Patagonia and other southern parts in the months of december and januari. That way, you will maybe escape the extreme heath more in the north.
Southern Peru has much less nice weather, because of the rains. Maybe try to visit it as early or late as possible. So october or march.
For starters, browse around the forum to see the many possible itineraries that have been posted before. They may give you some ideas.
A few general comments:
a) bus connections are excellent, so no need to worry. With a bit of patience, you'll get everywhere from anywhere, eventually.
b) you picked an excellent time, namely summer. I suggest you try to be in the southern-most part of SA around mid january (i.e. after xmas holidays are over)
c) with the kind of time you have, you could see most of SA, so consider making a round trip clockwise around the continent. There's several of those posted in the forum
d) as to language schools; Brazil is not the most logical place since they don't speak spanish, but you could learn it there nevertheless. Else, consider Ecuador (which doesn't make sense in conjunction with what I said about making a round trip), or Argentina; university of BsAs offers good classes for foreigners at modest prices, and BsAs is by far THE best city on the continent to spend a month.
cheers for all your input,
After spending an initial 2 weeks in Rio and Iguazu i think we will head down to Buenos Aires for the language school and then take it from there. Does anybody know of a good language school there?
Thanks again, Andrew