Im traveling to Colombia next week, im visiting Bogota for 4 days to see a friend then will be in Barranquilla for 3 months staying with another friend where I will go to university to learn Spanish! The plan is then to travel by myself (or with someone if I meet someone doing the same thing) to Ecuador, The Galapagos Islands, Peru, Bolivia and Chile. I fly home from Santiago and will have 2 1/2 months to make my way from Colombia to Chile, this is a rough idea of where I want to go and nothing is set in stone, im just wondering the best way to do this and how to travel from place to place. I would appreciate any advice. Thanks
[ Edit: Edited on 21-Apr-2011, at 08:09 by Piecar ]
Hey Jenny, great plan!
I was thinking of making something like that, but a bit later - in the beginning of 2012.
Any thoughts of how much such a trip might cost?
No idea! Guess il find out soon......
after a couple of months in colombia, you will learn a lot about the continent. especially, if you meet other travellers in hostels, who all will share their experiences with you.
to your question in short - buses are a comfortable and cheap option to get around. trains are non-existent and flight are relatively expensive.
2 1/2 will just be enough to make your way down to chile and may mean a lot of long bus journeys.
but again, you will learn so much in colombia and on the road that you will not need much preparation at this stage.
enjoy colombia! colombians are one of the friendliest (also very educated) people on the planet and they are always happy to have chat and a cup of coffee.
Thanks so much for your advice, I think bus is definitely the way to go! Looking forward to those coffees and chats in Colombia!!
in case you have time to discover colombia, there are two places that people talk little about but we found very beautiful on our bicycle trip across the country:
- capurgana/sapzurro at panama border, walk from capurgana to sapzurro and climb over to playa del miel on panama side - it is the most beautiful beach i have seen in my life
- las lajas cathedral near ipiales (town at border with ecuador)
- and another two small towns that are not mentioned in any guidebook but if they are on the way, worth stopping there and spending a night to get a real feel of the laidback colombia: canasgordas (on the road between turbo and medellin) and santa barbara (on the road between medellin and manizales).
Have a very nice time!
Columbia to Chile is a CRAZY long way. You'll spend most of it in the bus.
Consider flying to Peru instead. You can probably find a one way for about $250. You loose two countries but save tons of time. Traveling from the border of Ecuador/Columbia to Ecuador/Peru border alone can take well over 24 hours in the bus not including time waiting for connections. If you skip Bolivia you'll miss Lago Titicaca which is truly beautiful (touristy or not). If you really aren't into touristy stuff I would suggest:
Lima-Arequipa-Puno-La Paz-Sucre-Salta Argentina-Córdoba-Medoza-Chile.
If you do make it to Sucre check out some of the traditional pueblos like Tarabuco and Candelaria where they barely speak Spanish.
But if you want you can always throw in more of the gringo trail and go to Cuzco & Machu Pichu (just skip Arequipa).
Remember to have a blanket and maybe even a little pillow for the bus rides. An mp3 player can be invaluable to block out sounds and let you sleep. As far as your laptop, keep it in a not so nice looking bag and always take it on the bus with you instead of packing it with luggage, but keep an eye on it. Never take it out in public. I've traveled with my laptop before and it's been fine. Pickpockets and thieves are notorious at the Lima bus stations so be careful.
- Bery Smith.
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