Hi! On the verge of booking a 2 or 3 month trip to South America. I'm a student so I'm on a very tight budget. I'd love to go for 3 months but its looking like I only have the money to go for 2. I will have around 3,500 euro which will have to include flights and jabs (they come to around 1000). So what I'm trying to find out is, how long will 2,500 euro last me ? I want to enjoy myself while over there (drinking/eating/activities etc) so take that into account!
We were thinking of going - Rio - Sao Pauolo - Iguazu Falls - Buenos Aires - Salta-Salar de Uyuni-Potosi -La Paz-Rurrenabque - La Paz - Copacabana - Cusco - Arequipa - Huacachina - Lima
Any thoughts ? Am I missing any must see places ? Is the Inca trail worth doing (it seems v.pricey) ?
Also, can anyone recommend good hostels (good location/fun/cheap being my priorities) in any of the places we are visiting ?
My friend really wants to go to Colombia but Im not so sure about it....
All help muchly appreciated!
[ Edit: Edited on 16-Mar-2009, at 07:01 by Bentonio ]
You won't need many jabs unless you are going into the jungle. Towns are OK. Travelling is expensive in SA though partly because distances can be great. You can spend ages on buses. Flights are cheaper if booked outside SA.
You do need to check out hostels beforehand. hostelworld and the name of a town will often get you something good with a search engine. You can book onward rooms in internet cafes.
Not that much in Rio except some good beaches. Sao Paulo I stayed away from as there can be violence there. The Falls are expensive. I popped over to Marguerita Island instead for a small fraction of the money. Not a lot in Buenos Aires (I took a short hop by plane to Uruguay). La Paz I have heard some bad stuff about recently. Theft is endemic all through Central and South America. In La Paz, they got so fed up, gangs of vigilantes were seriously beating and worse any thieves they caught. Copacabana? Rio again? Cusco has a number of good tours from town (lots of travel agents there). The town itself is good. Lima is worth some days (most stay in Miraflores):
Do try and follow a continuous path and not cut back. Parts of Columbia are dodgy and violent. I would avoid them. The Inca Trail I would say is not worth doing, but some would. A 5 hour train ride from Cusco is a lot easier. Do have a money belt, and keep a reasonable amount of cash (they are not going to settle for $20) in your pocket so that in the very unlikely event you are held up, hand over the money and forget it. The cops won't help. Do take ATM cards for an emergency, even if unused, you cut them up when you get back home.
You could cut across country from Buenos Aires to Santiago (Chile).
One vote for Brazil !
Rio is amazing, samba by night in Lapa, beaches by day, great views, terrific restaurants.
Check www.ipanema.com and plan to spend at least 4 days. There are also lots of nice side trips from there...Buzios, Paraty, Ilha Grande, Petropolis, as well as Ouro Preto and the other picturesque historic Colonial cities in the mountains of Minas Gerais.
Salvador, Bahia has lots of great music and history, unique culture and food...and wonderful people. Lots of great urban and more isolated beaches for miles and miles. Music everywhere! Hiking to waterfalls in Chapada Diamantina is one good side trip.
Look at www.bahia-online.net for a good overview.
Sao Paulo is mostly a business city, but has museums, restaurants, clubs..... 'danger' is mostly limited to rich residents.
Iguacu is spectacular. Plan a half day when you arrive to see the Brazil side (and go into the middle of the falls on the catwalk), a full day for Argentina (to go over the tops of the falls on the catwalk and maybe take a boat ride under them), and maybe another half day when you leave to walk with the macaws, parrots and toucans at the bird park.
Florianopolis/Ilha de Santa Catarina (in the south) has lots of great beaches to relax on and tons of nightlife.