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?