I intend to go soon for a few months trip to South-America with my wife.
We'll land in Buenus Aires, then fly to patagonia anf from there we'll move north along chile/argentina, to Bolivia and finally Peru. We'll mostly hike/trek.
I wonder, can you please recommended me on a book for this trip? There are two books I've been told about: Footprint's Handbook of South America (Ben Box) and Lonely Planet's South America on a shoestring. Which one is better for our kind of trip? Are there better/other books I should consider?
Maybe someone can find out usefull, but for me Lonely Planet's South America on a shoestring is a piece of heavy paper. There is just the 'core' for each country which you can find on web very easily. The prices are old, even we were waiting for the last edition in 2009 and we were in south america last month. Then there are books which concentrate on each single country, which I have browsed already in home and then decided where to go. If your itinerary is not fix, you will meet many people and everybody recommends something. lonely planet is not that bad, its just heavy and full of unusefull information. have a nice trip
the books are both useful in the planning stage. Maybe take a few photocopies of pages that have hostel contact details etc. Other than that I would get a country specific book then swap it in a hostel bookswap as you go from one place to another.
Info picked up from fellow travellers is far better than something written in a book. Prices and conditions are up to date for a start.
However, places of interest and treks won't move so in that respect these books are valuable.
The treking I did (eg. Torres del Paine) is obvious and a hand book won't help you. So long as you are clear in your head which treks you want to do and where they are I think you will be ok. Just chat to fellow travellers.
enjoy your trip!
I used Footprints on my trip in Argentina last year and was disappointed. It has good information, but is catered - in my opinion - to more of a higher-end traveler.
I'd say go for Lonely Planet. It is brief but it has some great starting points. If you do your research ahead of time and ask questions in forums to get suggestions and advice, I think you will be set.
For Buenos Aires, I'd say either by the Time Out book or get the Time Out magazine when you arrive. It is in english and has all of the information you would want on things to do, events, nightlife and restaurants. I live in Buenos Aires now and use the magazine almost daily.