Hi Guy & Girls
I’m looking to travel to South America from 29th of Oct to 13th of Dec. That gives me 45 days to explore. Last year I went to South East Asia backpacking and loved every min of it.
The country is like to cover Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Brazil (only visit to fly out). I know its short time and lot to do.
Do you think I can add Argentina as a port of entry and Brazil to exit back to Europe?
The tour I would like to do is:
Machu Picchu (how expensive is it?)
Visit the Amazon (Jungle trek and stay few nights), which country will it be easier to visit (Peru, Ecuador)?
Galapagos island (how expensive is it? 4days trip)
What sort of budget should I be looking at overall?
I’m stuck in figuring out what would be a good itinerary?
How long do the buses take to each country and city? How much do they charge?
All Helps are welcome
I'd want maybe four thousand pounds for such a trip (besides air tickets to get there). With not much time, I'd use planes instead of buses. Not that much dearer if booked soon, long before arrival.
A day trip to Machu Picchu from Cusco maybe £100.
Galapagos islands only allow a certain number of people on so you will need to book a trip (from Ecuador maybe), and sometimes based on two people sharing, you can expect £600 all in for four days (includes entry fee to the National Park, about £70). Another "book early".
A few days in Lima is not too expensive (stay in Miraflores) and some good places to see. Taxis cost little (often just cars with a bit of cardboard in the window with "taxi" written on it.)
A number of good trips from Cusco available for not too much money, and the town itself deserves a look around. A multi-ticket gets you in most places.
If you take the jungle trek, remember inoculations and pills. A pharmacy will tell you what.
Going to Brazil and Argentina will add a lot to your costs and not that much in either place.
Why would you use Brazil and/or Argentina to fly in and/or out, while there are flights directly between Europe and Ecuador, Peru and even Bolivia (only via Madrid)?
International plane tickets in South America are relatively expensive, even when booked in advance. Along with Africa, this is territory where budget flights have not yet popped up, except a few Brazilian airlines like GOL.
Galapagos is expensive like Cyberia mentioned above, but it's not even worth it for just 4 days. If you spend that much money, better to go a week at least.
Itinerary could be made in so many ways, but best to fly into Ecuador or Bolivia and out of the other one, avoiding backtracking. I would say 10 days in Ecuador (mainland, excl Galapagos), 20 days Peru and 15 days Bolivia will do the job.
As for Amazon trips: equally good and possible, though Maldanado is a very good base in Peru, for the Manu NP for example. Probably a little bit cheaper, as competition is bigger than in Ecuador.
Just thought id join this thread because its likely il be heading out to the same countries as you at pretty much the same time as you. I too need lots of advice, im really fascinated by the area but really dont know much about travelling within these countries.
Frey201. Don't try to do too much in one trip. I'd try Peru and another country as a first trip. Peru alone has lots and lots to see. Make sure you go when the weather is good.
Like Shomel122 you need to have some idea of what you want, so answers can be given to specific questions.
Hi! As I have traveled around , my advises would be very basic but probably worth, the part you want to do between countries is possible by bus, all you have to do is drop by the bus stations and ask for buses and destinations you may want to follow, now on regards of the Amazon, I have been to most of it and the most amazing, wild and unspolided jungle I could experiment was Bolivia, not only because it is the only "real" amazon which they share with Brazil, but also because it is worth every penny and much better priced that peru or Ecuador, where you could easily pay three or four more times for a tour than in Bolivia. Considering the salt flats in Bolivia and Chile, well they are both amazing (Specially Bolivia) the problem here is that somehow this country has not yet developed any relilable means of operation for this tours, most of tourists that have been to uyuni have enjoyed it but had a bad experience with drunk drivers bad food and fake offerings that never come true, so the best advice for uyuni is try to book with a company in la paz and take a guide along with you from la paz to guarantee that everything promessed will be given, that is the way we did it, we had a great guide from la paz and all went perfect. Between bolivia and peru buses run regulary and are not too expensive, however if you plan to drop by brazil, then consider good daily expenses as it is an expensive country.
Hope this helps
With such a limited time frame I would recommend maybe joining a tour, I backpacked around South America at the beginning of this year and I started my trip with this tour:
It seems to cover a lot of what you want to do!
It is two weeks, starting in Lima, Peru, first two nights in Amazon, also covers Inca Trail and Macchu Pichu, and finishes in La Paz, Bolivia. From the finish point you can easily get a bus to the Salt Flats and get them in to.
Also make sure to try the Death Road bike ride in La Paz, I didn't get a chance when I was there but looks like a serious adrenaline rush!
Good luck with your planning!
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
I agree with what Utrecht said above, but I'd add this:
I'd budget 1000 pounds a month for however long you go, except for the Galapagos which costs a lot so you'd need more for that.
Salt Flats - 3-day tour costs around 100 pounds, we did it from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile to Uyuni, Bolivia and the companies in the Lonely Planet can be recommended for this trip. It may be a bit cheaper if you do a round trip from Uyuni or from Tupiza but remember to get recommendations on companies from other travellers before you book anything.
Machu Picchu - depends if you want to do a treck or not. The classic Inca Trail treck costs around US$400, but has to be booked well in advance. Jungle trecks can be booked in Cusco a few days in advance and cost around $200. There are also loads of other trecks available apart from the classic one. Getting the train/bus combo up costs around $200 for the cheap train.
Buses vary greatly from country to country - for example, in Bolivia you can travel 8 hours for around 2 pounds, but you'd be looking at 30 pounds for a similar journey in Argentina (you get what you pay for though in terms of bus comfort!). The details on buses in the Lonely Planet have proved to be quite accurate so I'd advise on getting a copy of the latest SA book and studying that!
Hope that helps a bit