This is our first time posting a thread on this forum. We have done quite a bit of research and would appreciate any additional info/input from anyone with experience. There are 4 of us travelling to SA in October. at the risk of posting a huge thread please see below our current itinerary! sooorrry
1 Auckland - Santiago // Flight (booked)
2 Santiago // Sightseeing in the city:
3 Santiago // Chilean Vineyards: Casablanca Valleys
4 Santiago// Horseback Riding in the Andes
5 Santiago - La Paz // Flight booked
6 La Paz // sightseeing
7 La Paz - Isla Del Sol // Lake Titicaca
8 Puno // Lake Titicaca day tour - floating islands
9 Puno// Adapt to the altitude
10 Puno - Arequipa // Travel Day
11 Arequipa // Colca Canyon
12 Arequipa // Colca Canyon
13 Arequipa - Cuzco // Travel Day
14 Cuzco //Flexi Day - bus breakdown/roadblocks
15 Cuzco // Adapt to the altitude
16 Cuzco // Inca Trail Depart- 5 days special
17 Cuzco // Inca Trail
18 Cuzco // Inca Trail
19 Cuzco // Inca Trail
20 Cuzco // Inca Trail
21 Cuzco - La Paz // Flight if possible
22 La Paz - Rurrenbaque // Travel Day
23 Rurrenbaque // Amazon Bazin
24 Rurrenbaque // Amazon Bazin
25 Rurrenbaque // Amazon Bazin
26 Rurrenbaque - Salt Lakes // Possible flight to La Paz and bus/train to Uyuni
27 Salt Lakes
28 Salt Lakes
29 Salt Lakes
30 Salt Lakes
31 Salt Lakes - Santa Cruz // Bus
32 Santa Cruz - Rio // Flight
33 Rio // Sightseeing in the city
34 Rio // Sightseeing in the city
35 Rio // Sightseeing in the city
36 Rio // Copacabana beach
37 Rio // Copacabana beach
38 Rio // Possibility of Football match
42 Rio //Iguazu Falls Bus
43 Iguazu Falls
44 Iguazo - El Calafate // Flight (booked)
45 Perito Merino Glacier
46 Perito Merino Glacier
47 Torres Del Faine Nat Park
48 Torres Del Faine Nat Park
49 Torres Del Faine Nat Park
50 Torres Del Faine Nat Park
51 Torres Del Faine Nat Park
52 Torres Del Faine Nat Park
53 El Calfate - Buenos Aires// Flight booked
54 Buenos Aires
55 Buenos Aires
56 Buenos Aires
57 Buenos Aires
58 Buenos Aires
Just to let you know, some flights are already booked in our round the world itinerary and although we would like to keep the number of flights to a minumum we are under time constraints so it may be unavoidable.
I have a couple of specific questions:-
1. The La Paz to Isla Del Sol/Lake Titicaca days - are these doable?
2. We need to travel from Rurrenbaque to Salt flats - is this a day trip? Or should we book a flight to La Paz and travel down?
3. Should we book a tour through Torres Del Paine or is it best to do this ourselves? Which town would have the best selection of tours?
4. We have quite a bit of time in Rio. Do you think this time may be better spent elsewhere? Anyone with any suggestions?
5. We need to travel from Perito Merino to do some treks in the Torres Del Faine National Park - how long does it take to travel?
Ok im sorry about the long thread! I didnt know a better way to post it. Thanks again to anyone that replies!
1. If visiting Isla del Sol these days are not possible. It is possible though to travel from La Paz to Puno in one day, with a brief stop in Copacobana. In Puno on day 2 just go to the waterfront and step onto a boat for a visit to the floating islands.
2. The total amount of time for Rurrenabaque and visiting Amazon or the swamps is a bit short. Also check out if you want to see either the Amazon or the swamps, as the latter has much more wildlife if that is what you would like to see. But sorting things out when arriving in Rurrenabaque might take some time as well. A flight back from Rurrenabaque is not a bad idea, as it is not possible to travel overland to Uyuni on the same day. It will take a night extra and again you need to sort things out in Uyuni for the trip to the saltflats and the southwestern corner of Bolivia. One good operator is Tupiza tours by the way, just google their name.
3. No experience with trekking or so, but Puerto Natales is one of the best places to book a tour or organize things in general.
4. When reading it I already thought a full week in Rio is much compared to the other days spend in South America. I am not the big city type, so spending so much time in Rio or even BA would be boring for me. Maybe use that days for spending some more time in Bolivia, as it is a cheap, beautiful country with friendly people, but is more difficult to travel around and roadblocks are more of problem here than in Peru. Also, an extra day around Iguazu is not a bad idea, as both sides (brazil, argentina) should be beautiful and the argentinian side is a park as well.
5. Not sure, but certainly not more than (half) a day?
Some general remarks:
- I see you added some time for adapting to the altitude in Puno and Cuzco. But actually, if you have been to La Paz already adapting to altitude is not necessary anymore. La Paz is at 3600 meters, the airport at 4000! Puno at 3800 and Cuzco at 3350 meters. Maybe skip the altitude adapting in Puno as it is a boring city, better to spend that time in Cuzco.
- Going to Arequipa and Colca Canyon is rather tight as well, maybe also better spend to visit some places nearby like Pisac and Ollantaytambo (cuzco area) or using it for Bolivia as well.
- Travelling from Uyuni to Santa Cruz is not doable withouth a night of travelling as well. I see you haven't booked flights to Rio, so why not travel down from Bolivia into Argentina to Salta and take flight from there to Iguasu (argentina) and then see if how you want to go to Rio?
Cheers and have fun!
Thanks for the reply it was very informative and will help us out a great deal! we have amended our itinerary slightly to take account of what you have said! Thank you so much
Lisa, I dont think thats too much time for Rio, you can do loads of day trips out of the city, there's a lot to do, if you take it easy and take life at the Brazillian pace you'll enjoy it a lot more,
have a great trip and remember to enjoy yourselves!
Whilst in Rio remember to head 2 hours south to Paraty and Ilha Grande for some beach paradise.
That seems a schedule full of plans. Personally I don't like to plan quite as much and would try to loosen some of it up a bit. Nowt worse than having to be somewhere when you are effectively on holiday.
Yes, you can do one serious trip from there if you like something like this:
Inland, there is a state called Minas Gerais. It is famous for it's cofee. There you can see
a rural Brazil, a traditional one, and taste some miner's strong food.
In that state is a town called Ouro Preto (black gold - reffering not to the oil, but the precious stones). It is under the protection of UNESCO. It has about 70k inhabitants and 72 churches (since any miner who had luck built it as his token). It is shaped with interesting hills, and the town is
spread on several hills. Good reastaurants, places to stay, and to enjoy something different and very valuable in Brazil. Nice people can take you to plantations and even to climb Itacolomi, famous for it's shape.
Take note that it takes about 10 hours by bus, but very rewarding if you're into this kind of atmosphere and brazilian heritage.
Do not miss soap-stone handcrafts, this area is famous for that.
Just a suggestion.
my name is joshua i posted a simular post under South America (expedition to South America Please help). I am also trying to gather as much info on traveling in south America as possible. maybe we can share info as we go? I will probably be leaving at a later date so any insights you can pass along would be appreciated.
Your trip sounds great!!
Buenos Aires is in the last place of your list....i hope you don`t arrive to the city tired out because there`s a lot to see and to do.
I live in BA, so if you need some advice, just ask.
thanks everyone for your replies. they have helped us greatly.