Getting futher into our travel planning now and having a bit of a mare trying to ensure we can do as much as we wanted in S America leg without overdoing things so advice on my current plan would be great....
We are going to be in S America for 2 months in June/July or July/August 2008 (depending on when we fly) which probably isn't enough but it's all we have ...
Fly into Lima
overland travel to Cuzco to do MP
overland travel to Bolivia - Lake Titicaca, Salt Plains etc
Fly to BA
Overland to Iguazu Falls
Overland back to BA
Overland to Santiago and fly out to NZ
The current problems and questions I have on this are:
Can you fly from anywhere in Bolivia direct to Iguazu Falls? This would be much better to save us backtracking.
Ideally we wanted to do a tour of the Amazon. I am guessing the best place to fit this in would be to fly/bus to Iquitos when in Peru but if this fiesable and what would be the best way to do this?
My boyfriend is desperate to go to Patagonia to see/tour the glaciers. This seems really far down to me and will take us well out our way and I just don't think we'll fit it in would I be right?
Also is there anything we are missing that we just have to do I am keen to see Rio but the other half thinks this will be trying to do too much.. This is obviously a very simplified route and we hope to fit in much more along the way..
Any advice gratefully received as my head is swimming a bit at the moment!
I am almost positive there are no direct flight from Bolivia to Iguazu Falls. There are however flights to Rio and from there you can travel overland to Iguazu and down to BA. That way you can fit in Rio if you want.
Another option would be travelling further south, for example take a tour from Uyuni and end up in Tupiza in southern bolivia. from there you can go south to Salta. Not sure if there are direct flight from there to Iguazu, but you might even consider doing everything overland first and take a flight out of BA to Mendoza on your way to Santiago. Domestic flights are just much cheaper than international ones.
The area around Salta is just beautiful as well.
Actually, if I'm allowed to say: if I had about 2 months I wouldn't go eastwards towards to falls just to see the falls. BA is nice if you like cities, but the weather in july is just nothing much. That applies to Patagonia as well, it can get very cold that time of year.
I would go: lima-cuzco-titicaca-la paz-uyuni-tupiza-salta-mendoza-santiago. Or from Uyuni go to northern chile (san pedro de atacama and surroundings are really beautiful) and from there over the Andes to Salta. This route doesn't involve any flight and it's not rushing it too much.
Another route could be: lima-cuzco-arequipa (colca canyon)-tacna-arica-Lauca NP- san pedro-uyuni-tupiza-salta. That way you miss titicaca and la paz but I thought that wasn't very special.
[ Edit: Edited on Jun 16, 2007, at 12:34 PM by Utrecht ]
I'm pretty positive you can't overland to Iquitos, and if you can you probably wouldn't want to (probably not the safest way to travel in that area). Easiest way to get there would be a flight from Lima or Cusco.
If you want an Amazon experience and can settle for not actually being on the Amazon you could checkout the Puerto Moldonado area which is a quick flight from Cusco or Lima. It is near the Peru-Bolivia border and there are many jungle lodges on the Tambopata and surrounding rivers such as the Tambopata Research Center.
You might want to consider a trek in the Huarez area of Peru. A trek in the Cordilerra Blanca is an amazing experience. It is home to Alpamayo, dubbed the "most beautiful mountain the world" by UNESCO as well as Siula Grande, the mountain from the movie and book "Touching The Void".
If you want to include a flight (offsetting you CO2, of course), I'd fly Lima-Cusco, and do Uyuni-BsAs overland. Flying that last bit is complicated, as there aren't any airports in the region, and overland can be done fairly quickly via lovely Salta.
Don't bother about the glaciers; there's only one (Perito Moreno) that you can easily visit, but it's waaaay out of your way, really not very spectacular, and VERY touristy. I'd recommend spending what little time you have more wisely.
Overlanding from Cusco to Iquitos is possible, and a true adventure, but also very time-consuming. If you're keen on seeing some jungle, Iquitos isn't your best shot anyway; from there you'd have to take additional transport, which again takes considerable time. Instead, you could choose to go east from Uyuni, heading to Santa Cruz de la Sierra, from where you can do some jungly excursions. But given your timeframe, I'd decide against it.
If there's anything else, I'd be glad to try and help you out. Happy travels,
Thank you all for your replies which have been most helpful. I am currently trying to plan all this on a map which I think will help get everything straight in my head! really liking the Huarez trek suggestion and I have also read somewhere else about the sand dunes in Peru which look like fun and we may also try to squeeze in?!
At the moment it's looking like we'd be best to focus on Peru, Bolivia and the West of Argentina over to Chile to fly out of Santiago does that sound ok??
No doubt I will be back with more questions soon!
I recently posted the itinerary my boyfriend and I did on this thread. We got a free flight from Sao Paulo to Bs As but you can fly to BsAs from Heathrow via Sao Paulo on the World Discovery Plus (one day the flight goes up to Rio, the next it goes to Bs As). We also got a Bs As flight to Lima included for an extra £150, which isn't bad for a 5 hour flight.
We found this route a logical way to do things to avoid backtracking on ourselves.