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18 year old planning to travel South America solo next year

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean 18 year old planning to travel South America solo next year

1. Posted by jtaylor477 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y

Hi there, I am planning on travelling South America solo for 3-4 months next year, flying out from the UK in March or April. I aim to fly to Buenos Aires and then travel around Argentina, Chile, Peru and perhaps a few other countries.

I have never been outside Europe before and I was just wondering if anybody has any advice or if you have been in this position yourselves. A lot of people I know don't think its a good idea, however I have a friend who got back from travelling around the afforementioned countries, and he had a great time, with no trouble or danger, which is my main worry. Is it safe enough for young travellers, and will there be plenty of likeminded people doing similar things?

I am planning on going to Spain for a few weeks beforehand to brush up on my Spanish(ive been studying for 4 years at school) which will hopefully give me a little confidence and experience.

Any views, advice and opinions would be very much appriciated.

Post 2 was removed by a moderator
3. Posted by i c e (Respected Member 326 posts) 9y

HI dude,
Howz it goin? I'm 19 and have been traveling my whole life. I've been to 36 countries. I have traveled extensively in latin america (though i have not been to south america yet) and i totally luv it, yeah. People say its dangerous but where can you go in the world that isn't dangerous, yeah? my five bothers and sisters and parents and I spent the summer in central america. its better than anything you could ever imagine! I hear South america is even better. Were planing to leave ASAP. I just saw your post and had to say sumding. I think thats a pretty brave thing to do and know that your gonna have loads of awesome times!!
Pura vida,


4. Posted by rick20 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

hey! just saw your post and wanted to say my name is Rick and im 20 and i'm plaining on traveling to South America next year maybe round April 08 until my money runs out!

I have traveled round Australia, Singapore, Thailand and a bit of Europe. But this will be my first trip that i will be on my own, and everyone around me says the same thing, that it's not safe!!!! but currently i dont no any spanish and im unsure still where about to visit! maybe if you do end up goin, we should meet up?

5. Posted by BelPeru (Budding Member 9 posts) 9y

Hi you all!

Sure thing you're gonna luv it here!
I'm a Brazilian living in Peru after being to all of South America!!!
I must agree with what #2 said, what place on earth is really safe?
If you are precautions about a few points such as respecting people's costumes and habits and not looking too much like a tourist, you're up for having a great time anywhere in the world!
I assure you there are tons of things "down here" you're gonna be amazed with!!!
I work for a travel agency here and if you want any pro advice, send me a mail!!!



6. Posted by miromar (Respected Member 175 posts) 9y


i replied to rick's post, and most of it might be of use to you. Dont worry at all, everybody was discouraging me when i told them i was coming to SA. especially a girl travelling solo, nobody supported my decision! But it has been the best one i took in my life. No regrets at all! (if anything, i wish i could stay here for longer!!) Definately try to improve your spanish, if you can, and for the rest, just get ready to have the time of your life! You will find PLENTY of people likeminded and many of then around your age! trust me, you will love this place (dont miss bolivia, it is a must!)

good luck!!

x x Miriam x x

7. Posted by Macachae (Full Member 240 posts) 9y

traveling safe is not a matter of age more is about common sense.
In road you will not travel so "Solo" ... always you'll have fresh info at hostel or travelers meeting point. There is about you to listen the news and good-cheaper place to go...
Backpacker community in the world is well connected and all we care each others.
Prior you departure read news and check the weather...

8. Posted by Nico G (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y


Common sense is the way to stay safe. Don't go about alone a night, like anywhere you don't know. In SA you probably won't have that problem. I would definitely go to Iguacu Falls, on the Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay border, that was probably the highlight for me. Here's a few other high points.

Uruguay, i got robbed here but it's still my favourite country in SA

Buenos Aires, the night life is unbeatable, and a stop at Boca Juniors for a match is worth seeing for the exprerience even if you don't know or don't like football.

Salt flats, Bolivia: and Bolivia in general, you'll hear that a lot.

Peru, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. They are really touristy but that's for a very good reason.

Ecuador: It has a different atmosphere to the rest of SA, unique.

Have fun, whatever you decide you'll change as soon as you get there. Have fun!

9. Posted by JungleJano (Budding Member 54 posts) 9y

Quoting Macachae

In road you will not travel so "Solo" ... always you'll have fresh info at hostel or travelers meeting point. There is about you to listen the news and good-cheaper place to go...
Backpacker community in the world is well connected and all we care each others.

This is so true.
I traveled alone in Central America for 3 months last year, 18 years old as well. And i'm female. There was a lot of skepticism from my friends and family before i left, but i'm so glad i still decided to go!

Some of the coolest people you'll meet will be fellow travellers at hostels along the way. you'll probably stay in touch with a few, and you might even end up living or travelling with a few for a little while.

I not only found the "Backpacker" or "mochilero" culture, i ended up living with a couple of guys from spain and italy who i met randomly, and i consider them like family now!!

definitely brush up on your spanish, but i think you'll find that english is the universal language of travellers, so try to practise spanish as much as possible (because it's a great skill to have!) but don't worry if you're not yet fluent.

good luck! as someone who already has the "travel bug" i am SO jealous of you right now!! :)

10. Posted by Reece Sanford (Travel Guru 1368 posts) 9y

I spent 9 months in South America between 2006-2007 and it was amazing.
I felt as safe there as i have done anywhere in the world.Not once did i have a problem.
Things could happen to people anywhere even outside your front door.All you have to do is be sensible and keep your eyes open.
The people from Latin America are so friendly and i wish i was there again now.To me Argentina will always be my 2nd home

Have a great time.