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General South America Backpacking help...

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean General South America Backpacking help...

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1. Posted by Chilledout (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

Hi, I'm flying into Santiago next Thursday with plans to travel to Bolivia, then to Peru, and hopefully up to Ecuador, then Colombia and Fly back from Caracas. The whole trip should take me about 3 months (I have planned out the general direction, but will cut back on certain parts if i need to). I have several questions for those who have backpacked across south america in these countries please....

1)Do I need a sleeping bag? My aim is to stay in Hostels, but will there be trips which require a sleeping bag? (obviously I would rather avoid carrying one if I dont need it)

2)I did a basic spanish course a few years ago, it was just about sufficient for me to get by in Argentina and Uruguay (Spanglish). I was planning on buying a spanish phrase book this time around too, will that be sufficient or should I book myself into a one a week intensive spanish course along the way?? (Obviously it means I spend less time out and about)

3)Currency - My plan was to take about 600-700 USD in cash with me and then spend the rest on my credit/debit card. Will having just USD cash be sufficient only? (Where required I was planning on withdrawing/converting the cash in local currency)

4) Are the hostels generally open on Xmas day? and where would you spend NYE - Bolivia or Peru?

Many Thanks

2. Posted by littlebex (Budding Member 20 posts) 7y

1) Not really. Hostels will provide bedding. Should you do the Inca Trail/Salar de Uyuni trip etc, you will be able to rent a sleeping bag.

2) You'll get by with only basic Spanish but I personally think you get a lot more out of a trip if you can converse with locals. It would probably be cheapest to do it in Bolivia (the Spanish is 'purer' there too). If youve already got the basics you should pick it up along the way though.

3) You can change USD anywhere, British debit and credit cards seem to work everywhere. $700 US is quite a lot of cash to have on you at once!!

4) Most hostels will be open. If you look on Hostelworld, it will show you where is accepting reservations over xmas. As for NYE, id say Cuzco.

3. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 7y

Hang on to your hat for Argentine Spanish. the double L sound that Spanish pronounces with a "Y" the Argentines pronounce with a "SH"

So, me Llamo es Piecar *My name is Piecar*

Mi Yamo es Piecar--regular

Mi Shamo es Piecar--Argentina

It actually hurts my ears to hear it.

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