Hi guys, I'm planning a trip to South and Central America at the end of June this year. I am flying into Buenos Aires from there to Lima then onto Mexico City. I am really interested in experiencing the natural beauty of sites such as Iguassu, the Amazon, Machu Picchu and the archaeological sites in the Yacutan area. I have a period of two months and want to keep things as cheap as possible. Can I please have some advice on what will be the most effective way to spend my time travelling around SA, learning about the cultures (especially music) and environment, using Buenos Aires and Lima as my base cities in SA. What would be a suitable amount of time to spend in those areas?
My brother lives in Morellia, Mexico so I would like to spend around 3 weeks in Mexico.
You sure posted an interesting question. You want to learn about the environment? Lesson one: don't plan to see more than you can cover using a responsible mode of travelling, or else there won't be any environment left for the rest of us soon
What I mean; five weeks (2 months minus 3 weeks in Mexico, correct?) is not a whole lot of time, not even if you get from A to Z flying (which you shouldn't; hence my point in the first line). In fact, I think it will barely be enough to scratch the surface of Mexico and, let's say, Guatemala. Going to SA as well imo is madness, esp. with the sketch itinerary you have in mind. If you haven't booked your flight yet, I would recommend that you rethink your plans.
So you don't think a 5 week period would be long enough to visit Iguassu, Machu Picchu, and some parts of Amazonia, if I am flying to Buenos Aires spending some time there, then flying to Lima??
Whether you could make it or not wasn't my point. There is plenty to see in Central America, and since you're going there anyway, why cause all the extra pollution to rush through a number of SA tourist attractions as well? Not to mention the stress of travelling under time pressure; hardly my idea of a holiday.
But then again, I don't think this is a feasible itinerary for just five weeks. The points you want to visit are too far apart, esp. if we're talking Brazilian Amazon. Better forget about BsAs/Iguazu, and save that for some other time. That way you could spend some more time in Peru, and possibly Bolivia.
I think 5 weeks would be a bit tight to visit all the places you mentioned, but you could certainly start in BA and travel overland to Iguasu Falls and the Pantanal before crossing into Bolivia, taking the train towards Santa Cruz. This alone will take around 3 weeks or so (more or less, not a blueprint), and from Santa Cruz you have a number of options of flying to Lima, with LanPeru or TACA. Unfortunately no direct flights to Cusco from here that I am aware off, but otherwise you could fly from Santa Cruz to La Paz (Aerosur and the other two airlines I mentioned) and make your way from La Paz overland to Cuzco and visit Machu Picchu before travelling onwards to Lima. Although this can be done in 2 weeks, you really need at least one flight.
Another route would be travelling in about 5 weeks all the way overland from Buenos Aires to Lima, which is possible, but better not to detour too much. Route is BA-Salta-Bolivian Altiplano (Uyuni etc.)-La Paz-Cuzco-Arequipa-Lima.
I would skip the Amazone, way off the route, and for wildlife the Pantanal is better anyhow.
No absolutely nothing about Mexico, sorry, but again there are a number of airlines flying the Lima to Mexico City route: AeroMexico, LanPeru.
Ok thanks guys. I'll head back to the drawing board with this much appreciated advice and see what I can make of it all. Any other bits of info you might find appropriate would not go astray either as I am beginning to realise the vast scale of the whole adventure.
What an awesome community.
Cheers, Joey C