Skip Navigation

First Time Travelling South America

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean First Time Travelling South America

Page
  • 1
  • 2

Last Post

1. Posted by finny7 (Budding Member 17 posts) 7y

hi,

i'm gonna be heading off to south america for 3 months at the end of 2009, i've a mate out travelling there at the moment as well, he's in columbia but is due home in a few weeks. i'm gonna have a chat with hime when he is home about his time there. basically i'm looking to visit brazil, argentine, chile, peru and Ecuador.

i'll be travelling from Ireland and first stop will be rio. just wondering how other people have planned such a trip, there are companies that toucan travel and gap travel that offer various trips that can be booked before i leave, does anyone think it might be best not to book with these and wait til i'm in south america as it might be cheaper, also if anyone has any experiences with these companies i'd like to hear your thoughts.

i'd appreciate your thoughts

cheers

finny7

2. Posted by Danielsw25 (Budding Member 50 posts) 7y

Finny, are you trying to do organized tours? Or are you up for winging it?

3. Posted by finny7 (Budding Member 17 posts) 7y

Quoting Danielsw25

Finny, are you trying to do organized tours? Or are you up for winging it?

hi Daniel, i'm thinking about both, i'd be up for winging it. have you had any experiences?

4. Posted by traveled (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y

Finny, to answer your question...
GAP and Tucan travels are a decent idea, but as they don't specialize, they are bound to be more expensive than companies that specialize in certain areas. For example, if you are planning to travel in South America, it would be best to look for a company that does such.

Having been faced by the same dilemma (if you could call it that) a few years ago, I chose Latin Discover, which turned out to be much cheaper than big corporations such as GAP, or Tucan travels. Latin Discover is not the only company that would serve your purposes, but for me, it was excellent, and I would recommend it.

Hope I've been of some use...

Cheers,
Laurence

5. Posted by Sendas (Budding Member 11 posts) 7y

Hi Finny7,

What sort of tours are you looking for? In some cases I'd definitely say that winging it is a good option, but it really depends a lot on exactly what you'll be winging!!

Some things will be very easy to organise once you're here in South America, whereas some activities may be more difficult to organise last-minute.

If you could give some more specific information about what you want then you'll probably get some more useful info back. Are you looking for outdoor activities? City tours? A party atmosphere? Meeting lots of travellers? Something more off the beaten track? etc.

Cheers,
Tristan

Sendas Travel

6. Posted by finny7 (Budding Member 17 posts) 7y

Quoting Sendas

Hi Finny7,

What sort of tours are you looking for? In some cases I'd definitely say that winging it is a good option, but it really depends a lot on exactly what you'll be winging!!

Some things will be very easy to organise once you're here in South America, whereas some activities may be more difficult to organise last-minute.

If you could give some more specific information about what you want then you'll probably get some more useful info back. Are you looking for outdoor activities? City tours? A party atmosphere? Meeting lots of travellers? Something more off the beaten track? etc.

Cheers,
Tristan

Sendas Travel

thanks for all the advice everyone.

I've a basic outline of the route i want to take, basically i fly into Rio. I then want to go to buenos aires, on to patogonia and then up to peru, bolivia and maybe columbia. I'd like to see Iguassu falls, Ilhe grande, salts flats in bolivia, machu picchu. I'd like to see some of patagonia not sure what yet. I mean really I'd be willing to go most places. Just wondering is it easy to organise going to most of these countries and places when I'm on the ground in South America. I've no Spanish at the moment but hoping to do a course before i leave.

7. Posted by traveled (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y

If you know enough Spanish, then it shouldn't be too difficult to organize things when you're there. There is always a risk you'll have a bad experience with this method (which, to be positive, just gives you a good story to tell once you're snug back in Europe). If you want a more secure and stress-free approach, use an agency, such as the one I used. It might even save you a few bucks in the end, as it is quite lucrative for locals to overprice their products when selling to foreigners, hoping to make an extra buck. Out of experience, I can say that the better you speak Spanish (the less accent you have helps, too), the smaller the chance of being ripped-off.

Hope I was of some use,
Laurence

8. Posted by Sendas (Budding Member 11 posts) 7y

Hi again

I'd say that with that route you'll be fine booking most things once you're here in South America. That way you'll have the flexibility to change your plans easily as you go along.

The previous post is good advice!

Cheers,
Tristan

Sendas Travel

9. Posted by Danielsw25 (Budding Member 50 posts) 7y

Finny,

I have been busy for a while, but I wanted to address this. I have two pieces of input:

For you route, do you plan on bussing? The only reason I bring it up is because that is quite a distance to cover. I am sure that 3 months seems like a huge amount of time, but when you factor in a day per activity minimum, and the speed up busses, you might spend more time on busses than exploring! Just a thought.

I also wanted to touch on Peru. I have done a huge amount of research on the country and I am really excited to be there later this year. It sounds like an awesome country with a variety of activities. I would recommend Sand Boarding in Arequipa area. Sounds fantastic, assuming you like that sort of thing... Mainly, Machu Picchu is what I wanted to address.

That will probably be the one tour you need to book in advance if you are trying to do the Inca Trail, though I am not certain about visiting JUST Machu Picchu.

For the trail: they suggest booking at a minimum of 3 months in advance, and if you are going during peak times, they suggest 6 months in advance. The lowest price I have seen is $450 from two locations, though United Mice is offering a $420 or $430 price if you book quickly. However, you need to wire a deposit which costs $30 minimum if I am correct. Keep in mind that the Peruvian government allows only 500 people per day if you plan to do the Inca Trail, of which half are porters and guides.

Just a heads up. I will be in Ecuador and Peru about mid-2009, so I can offer some more input then!

Daniel

10. Posted by i c e (Respected Member 326 posts) 7y

Hello and welcome to Travellerspoint!
I think that you that you would do best to do niether. Don't 'wing it' and don't book a tour.
If you are not leaving until the end of the year you have the time (depending on your job and other duties). If you take the time and do a lot of your own research (you would be suprised by how much info you can gather over the web). Carefully and meticulously plan your route, book all you flights, and your first week or two in a hotel. Book adventure or other day tour )they'll keep you on pace).
That way you'll have the abillity to do what you want and still be prepared and adiquate, you know?

Here's some links to get you started:
poorbuthappy.com
South American Explorers
Lan
Copa
Lonely planet
wiki

Hope this helps-have fun,

ice