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Backpacking through South America - Summer 2010

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Backpacking through South America - Summer 2010

1. Posted by ellenmelon (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I am interested in traveling around South America after I graduate from college next year. I will definitely be on a serious budget, but I managed a semester in Europe on a small budget as well and didn't feel limited by it so I'm sure I can manage. My biggest question is the itinerary. I don't want to plan everything out but I would like to have some stuff figured out and then allow for adjustments along the way. I was thinking about a 2 month trip (June and July 2010) but I might be able to go for slightly longer and stretch it into August depending on when I have to start my job. Here is a completely rough list of places I want to go in an order that made some sort of sense to me. But I would love feedback. Is this feasible in 2 months? How much time should I spend in each place? I know some of the places I've listed are just too far from one another to take a bus so which places would I need to fly to? Is there a better route to see these place? And are there any must-see places I'm missing? Or any on my list that just aren't worth it? Thanks!!!

Start in Rio de Janeiro
Pantanal via Campo Grande
Quito and the market in Otavalo
Galapagos Islands
Iquitos to see the Amazon
Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
Lake Titicaca (Peru side)
Colca Canyon
San Pedro de Atacama
Easter Island (probably not feasible but there’s a total solar eclipse on July 11, 2010 so that would be pretty cool to be there for)
Valparaiso and Vina del Mar
Mendoza and skiing in Las Lenas
Buenos Aires
Iquazu Falls (Brazil side too if possible)
End in Buenos Aires for flight home

I can already anticipate people saying that I am missing out by not visiting Patagonia. I traveled to Argentina 5 years ago and spent a week in Patagonia, visiting the Valdes Penninsula, etc so I don't feel the need to go again, especially considering that it will be the middle of winter. I also visited Buenos Aires and Iguazu on this trip but would love to go back to both. I could cut out Iquazu if I run out of time, but I definitely want to see BA again.

Thanks for all your input.

2. Posted by 415femme (Budding Member 18 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

skip lima, it's dirty and not a whole lot to do

also i spent 2 days in mendoza and wished i would have spent it somewhere else.

also the brazilian side of iguazu was not that great, if i could go backi would perfectly content with just seeing the argentinian side

3. Posted by elmo1984 (Budding Member 2 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I am doing South America at the same time, also on a shoestring budget. Will be setting off beginning of June and spending 3 months travelling round before spending the other 9 months going around the rest of our amazing planet.

My plan is Sao Paolo, Rio, Paraty, Curitiba, Iguassu Falls, Bonito, Pantanal, Corumba, Santa Cruz, Sucre, Potosi, Salar De Uyuni, La Paz, Lake Titicaca, Inca Trail, Colca Canyon, Arequipa, Puerto Inca, Nazca, Lima, Huanchaco, Mancora, Cuenca, Banos, Amazon then Quito.

Not sure if I can fit all this into 3 months but i'm going to give it a good old try! plan is around 9 days per country. Are you going alone?

I'd miss out Galapagos if you're on a budget as it's sooo expensive and maybe replace that with Islas Ballestas as they are apparently just as good but cheaper (maybe a little less wildlife)


Happy Travelling