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1st time traveler...taking on too much?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean 1st time traveler...taking on too much?

1. Posted by PiesMan (Budding Member, 14 posts) 26 Oct '09 07:54

Hi everybody...
This is my first post here...and will be my first time ever traveling. I guess first I will tell you my travel plans. I am starting off in Playa de Carmen with my mother and her side of the family for christmas. When they leave I need to somehow get to Costa Rica to cook for a wedding with my brother 12 days later. The wedding is from the 9th to the 15th of Jan. After that we were thinking about going to Peru and hiking the Inca Trail from Jan 25th or so to Feb 5th. Then to Buenos Aires for a week, my bro would leave and I would go to Patagonia solo for the rest of my trip which would be close to a month total say Feb 15 thru March 10. I plan on bringing a small tent and sleeping bag and doing some camping and trekking. So I have 2 questions. Do you think it would be wise to go to Peru just for the Inca trail and spend the money and short amount of time or just go straight to BA and hit up a trek there and eat lots of delicious foods? Flights seem so expensive in CA and SA. Which brings me to my next question. What do you think the best way to get from Cancun/Playa to San Jose would be...I was thinkin about bussin it from Cancun to Oaxaca for tasty mole then up to Mexico City for some treats there but flights from Mexico are $535 USD!! I said "Damn"!!! Is there a cheaper way where I could still see some cool stuff and not feel rushed? My goals are pretty much to eat everything I see and Take some photos and meet some cool people. Im pretty easy going and flexible with my schedule. I would like to do this on the cheap but dont mind spending some cash. I was thinking $6,000 for the trip does that sound feasible? Im new to all this so if my questions seem elementary I apologize.
Thanks for any advise.
Derek

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4383 posts) 26 Oct '09 08:03

Quoting ChefDerek

After that we were thinking about going to Peru and hiking the Inca Trail from Jan 25th or so to Feb 5th.

I don't know enough about the region to comment on most of your plans, but be aware that this is smack in the middle of the rainy season. Also, the entire Inca Trail is closed for cleanup in February. (Since it's a four day trek, you could still do it at the end of January, but it'll be a tight fit given that you'll also need to acquire acclimatization first.)

3. Posted by tricky (Respected Member, 322 posts) 26 Oct '09 09:00

If you love your food don't miss out on Afrigonia restaurant in Puerto Natales (the gateway to the Torres del Paine national Park).

I agree on the point re: the Inca Trail closing. If you want to do it seriously look into booking ahead as the last thing you want is to turn up and get knocked back. Disasterous.

On the plus side in Cusco there are many many fine dining experiences on the relative cheap. Go up the hill a little and have a good look around there. I found the restaurants to be wonderful. I am sure my blog names them if you want to look. Don't eat around the main square as mostly cheap and cheerful 9which in itself has a time and place for all travellers).

I'd break up the BA to Patagonia trip with a stop in Bariloche (20 hours on a bus) as it's simply stunning and again food, drink, company, accomodation is all first class. El Bolson beer. Fabulous. A few micro breweries there too.

Then down Route 40 to Patagonia and do go as far as the Torres. You won't be dissappointed.

Oh, and bus it as much as possible. You see some amazing scenery and its easy to sleep on buses in Argentina if you splash an extra $10 (if that) and get a full cama.

Good luck.

4. Posted by tricky (Respected Member, 322 posts) 26 Oct '09 09:01

oh, and $2,000 a month and you live like a KING.

Patagonia prime time is Mid Jan to mid March. I went mid-end Jan and it was perfect.

5. Posted by PiesMan (Budding Member, 14 posts) 26 Oct '09 20:11

Thanks alot guys....i was plannin on hittin bariloche...also doin the W trek. With regards to the cleanup I am thinking about just axing peru from the trip...save a few dollars and I kinda want to go to Mendoza...I do love my food and wine and am tryin to make this trip a culinary adventure. Maybe save the inca trail for another time. I will pay homage to the Mayans and put a rock on a step or somethin in Mexico so in case 2012 goes down im good. I feel the Mayan gods would appreciate a rock on a step. Tricky Ive read alot of your posts. Do you know any cool towns in Argentina where the people are super friendly and kinda blew you away?
Well thats it for now...Thanks for the replies
Derek

6. Posted by tricky (Respected Member, 322 posts) 27 Oct '09 06:05

Derek, my Argentinian adventure took me from the fall in the north - Posades (Jesuit ruins) - Cordoba (2nd city, 7 universities, amazing food and drink) - La Cumbre (nearby countryside for paragliding and outdoor activity) - Cordoba - Rosario (v.friendly people but not that brilliant a city) - Uruguay - BA - Bariloche - Chile - Mendoza (hostel Lao is a must here) - Lares de Chacras for wine tasting (seriously very amazing stay) - San Juan - various national parks - Salta.

Defo a varied amount of cities. Prefered the smaller one's.

Most friendly locals I met were in Rosario. I was a bit sceptical about getting invited to people's houses etc but that is no bad thing. I just made sure people new where I was going. Met wonderful people.

Cordoba, Mendoza, Bariloche are all essential places on the cullinary trail. Obviously BA has many many restaurants too.

You'll have a great time where ever you go mate.

7. Posted by tricky (Respected Member, 322 posts) 27 Oct '09 06:06

and the W Trek is still my favourite place in the world. So beautiful.

Remember Afrigonia restaurant!!

The lady who owned it was from a small town in Kenya where I actually spent my honeymoon. She mixes those recipies with those from Patagonia to create something truely brilliant.