Hi all my name is Ger and im from Ireland and my girlfriend is from Scotland we requiring a bit of assistance in our quest to get from Lima to Santiago in one piece.We hope to do this in two months and see as much as we can. We have no set itenirary, or time in each place. We just wondered if any of you have any advice on our rough plan so far and help woiuld be really realy appreciated.
- Firstly we hit Cuzco on 16th November to do the Inca Trail from here we plan to head to Puno so that we can get to Lake Titicaca and do a bit of skinn dipping!! (my girlfriend takes over the typing here coz I'm too slow!!!)
- from there were crossing into Bolivia heading for La Paz. We then plan to do the Salt flats in Uyuni, hopefully by December 17th.
-Then we are stuck!! We would like to head from Bolivia to the Uguazu falls but are struggling to find transport without heading for Rio or Buenos Aires. If this is our only way of getting there, does anyone have any advice on which is the better city? Are there any sights on the way that we would not want to miss?
- From the Falls we are planning to fly across to Chile(around 21st December) for a couple of weeks of sight seeing around Christmas time. Any ideas on good places to spend Christmas/new year?
- We fly out of Santiago on 12th January to head to New Zealand.
Basically, any ideas, advice or experiences would be fabulous!!
Can't be of much assistance as I haven't been to the Peru/Bolivia region, but in my opinion Rio De Janeiro is the better city out of Buenos Aires and Rio. If nice architecture is what you like, then Buenos Aires would be best, but the general vibe and the sites are far nicer in Rio.
If you don't have a flight booked already, you should do a bus journey from Buenos Aires to Santiago/Chile. That is a very scenic bus trip and can be done as an overnight one. If you did do this, don't be alarmed if you stop in Mendoza and then the bus dissappears for about 20-30 minutes with your underneath baggage still on there. The company I used for that bus trip went and did some short bus trip whilst the Santiago-Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires to Santiago people were off for the break there. It was a bit worrying to begin with, but it is normal according to one of the passengers who could speak a bit of english.
To get to Iguazu Falls, the buses I saw didn't leave or arrive at Rio De Janeiro but instead arrived and departed from Sao Paulo. I was in Rio and had to get a bus to Sao Paulo and then the bus from there to Iguazu Falls. I also then got the bus from Assunction/Paraguay-Sao Paulo and then a seperate one to Rio De Janeiro so I would assume that would be the same from everywhere.
Have a great trip.
It should all be doable in two months, but you wont have much time to sit back on your laurels anywhere - you'll be kept moving to make it to Santiago for that date.
Travel within Peru and Bolivia isn't bad, though it is slow and sometimes busses just dont show, so you need to have a day or two always to spare, just in case To get across to Iguazu from La Paz is doable by bus, but from what I have heard from other travellers it can be a pain in the ass.
If you can avoid a flight and prefer to bus it then I'd do that - you'll get to see remotest Bolivia if nothing else and pass through Paraguay! BUT you coudl also consider a flight from La Paz to Rio. Spend a couple of days in Rio and then bus it from there down to Buenos Aires, taking in Iguazu en route (it;s roughly half way between the two cities), and then from Buenos AIres on to Santiago.
As far as a comparison of Rio and B.A., they are totally different cities in my opinion. Both worthy of a visit. Rio is just so different and effortlessly cool. B.A. has a very European flavour to it, you could be in Madrid really.
As for Christmas/NY, you could go and hang out in Valparaiso/Vina del Mar - about an hour outside Santiago by bus. It'll be HOT at that time of year, so it could be nice to be near the beach Valparaiso is a really cool little town to visit. Otherwise, I'd suggest heading down to the Lake District in Chile, though it wont be the most bustling place you could be for the holidays
Hope that helps.