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South America route for 2 months, is it a good plan???

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean South America route for 2 months, is it a good plan???

1. Posted by dimpalz (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y

Hi! As part of my round the world trip I intend to spend 2 months in South America, I have made a plan but I'm sure I'll have enough time, could you let me know if it's feasible. Thanks!

Ecuador 2 weeks: Quito > Banos > Guayaquil to go to the Galapagos > Cuenca > on to Peru via Loja
My main places of interest are the Galapagos for a about a week, and Quinto and Banos for a couple of nights. I'm leaving the post Galapagos part of the journey open as I don't know what say I'll be arriving and leaving Guayaquil so I may have 5 days to get to Peru or I may have 2 days. Of course suggestions for the interim are welcome!

Peru 2 weeks: Trujilio > Lima > Nazca > Arequipa > Cuzco & MP > Puno/Lake Taticaca on to Bolivia
My main places of interest here are all in the South: Nazca lines, Colca Canyon, Machu Picchu and the lake. I'm trying to keep costs down by bussing so from Ecuador, Trujilio and Lima are a necessity but I'll probably spend a night in each if I have to. Of course then I'm not sure if I'll have enough time to trek to MP AND trek in Colca Canyon as I hear it's 4-5 days for each. Does anyone have approx bus times from Lima??

Bolivia 2.5 weeks: La Paz > Flight to Rurrenabaque > Sucre > Uyuni & Salt flats > Tupiza and on to Argentina
Here I want to go perhaps via Copacobana to La Paz where I want to fly up to Rurrenabaque and do the Pampas tour but I'm not sure if I should trade this extra week for a week in Iquitos Peru and tour the amazon... any suggestions??? I also want to tour the salt flats which I hear takes about 4 or 5 days and then over to Tupiza for a couple of nights and on to Salta.

Argentina 1 week: Salta > Mendoza and on to Chile
From here I'm basically trying to get to Santiago to fly off of the mainland so I've only left a week for this part of the journey, Is that enough time and is there anything new I can gander at along the way (time allowing?), I've heard La Rioja is along the route but I'm not much of a winey so I don't think I'll be that interested. Again, suggestions are welcome.

From Mendoza I'm hoping to get a bus over to Santiago with a day or 2 to wait for my plane to Easter Island.

The main questions are
1)Do you think I've allowed enough time for each country considering what I want to do and if not HELP!
2) Rurre or Iquitos? They probably don't compare but I have no clue. Prices??
3)Should I just cut out BOTH Rurre and Iquitos and spend more time doing Nazca > Arequipa > Cuzco > Lake Taticaca > La Paz > Uyuni??? I do like animals but I'd have had a week in the galapagos by then so maybe it's overkill.
4) Could I see more of Argentina without going too far of the route?

With my current plan I have a month to get from Chile to Indonesia stopping off at Easter Island and probably Tahiti although I'd much prefer Fiji but I don' think it's possible. I doubt I'll need 2 weeks on each island so I can pull time from there.


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

Hi there,

I would say that your route is feasible. However, I think that you'd be better doing slightly less and spending more time in each place, to be able to fully enjoy your time here. Often people spend too much time in terminals and on buses, and not enough time actually *experiencing* the place they're in.

In answer to your fourth question, I'd suggest stopping in the Sierras de Cordoba (where I am based). The area is really beautiful and we enjoy fantastic weather year-round. It's a stunning location, particularly for outdoorsy-stuff, and relatively undiscovered in terms of international tourism.


Sendas Travel

Disclaimer: I run a tailor-made outdoor travel business in La Cumbre. I am not here to advertise, but trying to help out fellow travellers. If you're interested in my business, please PM me or try Google!

3. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 7y

I'm a pretty slow traveler, so I think you are doing Peru a little too fast. What you have listed took me about a little more than a month to see. The only difference is that I stopped in Huacachina (absolute highlight) but didn't go north of Lima. A trek to MP is 4 or 5 days or more depending on what hike you choose (think outside the Inca Trail box, there's loads more options). Colca Canyon though is only 3 days, including transportation days. Give yourself a couple days in Arequipa, it's a great city.
Also give yourself at least one overnight on Isla del Sol. Just stopping for the day is not good enough. The Salt Tour should only take 3 or 4 days depending on what route you choose. \
Here's how long I would stay in each place if I was on a tight schedule (I actually stayed longer in most). This does not include transportation days, which you'll have to add on extra time for that. Sorry, I have no idea where my journal is, so I can't remember how long it took to get between cities.
Lima - 1 full day
Nazca - 1 day
Arequipa and Colca Canyon - 5 days
Cusco and Sacred Valley - 3 days
Hike and Machu Picchu - 5 days (maybe you can do this quicker if you return to Cusco the same day as MP)
Titicaca (from Puno) - 2 days
So that's 17 days, not including transportation days which will probably add on at least 3 or 4 more days. You could cut a day each in Arequipa and Cusco if cities and history isn't your thing but I think they are both worth the time to explore. So I think at bare minimum, plan for 3 weeks in Peru.