We are just starting to plan a trip to south america starting september 09 and ending mid december 2009, we are looking to do 3 solid months and are unsure where to start, we are reading up on the south america guides but was wondering whether anyone had done a 3 month trip or could recommend the best places to see/itinerary during this short period. We really want to visit specifically Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru, of course if we could just 'visit' the countries and fit a few more in then this would be fantastic. We are looking to do quite a few flights and have a semi-good budget.
Also, can anyone recommend a good guide book, preferably a combined one and with 'shoestring' features, the lonely planet seems a little out of date now and was considering footprints? Any advice?
Also, has anyone heard of a ticket you can buy that can save money on flights, for example a pay $1000 and get 5 flights or something??
Thanks a bunch everyone.
(currently living in New Zealand and will be leaving from Auckland in Spetember)
For me, Peru has more to see than the rest of South America put together but it depends on what you like. A fair bit to see in Lima. Machu Picchu and a number of tours from Cuzco (lots of travel agents there). Nazca Lines, etc. From Buenos Aries, it's only a short hop by plane to Montevideo (Uruguay). It does depend on what you like, how much of each country you see.
Bus journeys can be very long and not cheap. Since you will be in a number of different countries with different airlines, I don't think you'll find any multi-trip tickets like you want unless you can book it from NZ which will require you travelling in one direction. ie: Auckland to Quito with stopovers at Santiago and Lima. Return from Buenos Aries with a stopover in Rio, to NZ, or the other way round if returning to the UK. Failing this, it is usually cheaper to book SA flights outside those countries.
Do watch out for petty theft as there is a lot of it about in certain places in Central and South America. You do need to do a lot of planning for each country. Maps are often a good investment rather than the micro-maps in guidebooks.
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 4, 2009, at 9:43 AM by Cyberia ]