Skip Navigation

Travelling South America ALONE

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Travelling South America ALONE

1. Posted by chris_Arg (Budding Member 10 posts) 4y

Hi all,

I am 22 years old and have just left University. I have been planning a 5 month trip to South America with a friend form University for some time now, unfortunatly due to personal reasons, he cannot come now. I still want to go ahead with my trip but have become apprehensive in regards to travelling alone. This is mainly due to the fact I do not speak spanish or portuguese.

I plan to arrive in Buenos Aires for the 7th of Dec, staying in Argentina until after new years day. The plan was then to visit the Iguazu falls before travelling along the east coast of Brazil (ending up in Rio for the carnival). After the carnival, I then plan to visit Bolivia for some time before finishing my trip in Peru where I will fly home from Lima to London mid April.

I would really appreciate any information/ tips for travelling alone, the best ways/ locations for meeting English speaking travellers, 'must see's' in any of the mentioned countries and wether I will be ok getting around on my own with very limited Spanish/ Portuguese.

Any help/ advice would be absolutley amazing,

Many thanks,

Chris :)

Post 2 was removed by a moderator
3. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1818 posts) 4y

Not really a lot in Brazil or Argentina. I'd like to visit both places again but probably would not stay more than a week or so in either place.

The Carnival is VERY crowded and most of the accommodation in the area will be booked up already.

I had it on TV one year when I was in Gran Canaria and I checked back on it over the day and it was just endless floats going by. That for me would get old very quick.

To me Peru has most of the stuff worth seeing in South America. From there you could go into Equador. Then if you have time, a plane to Panama (I would not go through that part of Colombia by bus) and through Honduras, Belize and Guatemala into the southern part of Mexico, flying back from maybe Cancun.

There are English speaking travellers everywhere in Central and South America. There is also lots of petty theft too so be careful of your money, passport, valuables, etc.

It is easy to do on your own, and with little or no Spanish or Portuguese. "Please, hello, thank you and goodbye" in those languages goes a long way.

Consider investing in one or more guide books. Lonely Planet are the best and they are packed with valuable information.

4. Posted by chris_Arg (Budding Member 10 posts) 4y

Quoting Cyberia

Not really a lot in Brazil or Argentina. I'd like to visit both places again but probably would not stay more than a week or so in either place.

The Carnival is VERY crowded and most of the accommodation in the area will be booked up already.

I had it on TV one year when I was in Gran Canaria and I checked back on it over the day and it was just endless floats going by. That for me would get old very quick.

To me Peru has most of the stuff worth seeing in South America. From there you could go into Equador. Then if you have time, a plane to Panama (I would not go through that part of Colombia by bus) and through Honduras, Belize and Guatemala into the southern part of Mexico, flying back from maybe Cancun.

There are English speaking travellers everywhere in Central and South America. There is also lots of petty theft too so be careful of your money, passport, valuables, etc.

It is easy to do on your own, and with little or no Spanish or Portuguese. "Please, hello, thank you and goodbye" in those languages goes a long way.

Consider investing in one or more guide books. Lonely Planet are the best and they are packed with valuable information.

Thanks Cyberia!

I have thought about panama, the only thing was the added expense of the flight, but I will look into that further now :)... Yes I will be avoiding the likes of Columbia.

I have been trying to learn some Spanish and will take lessons once I'm out there, I was just a little concerned with the limitations of this and the fact it is more than one language to learn, but hopefully I will have the basics.

Carnival is something I really want to experience, but I agree with you in regards that I will not be spending a lengthy amount of time here.

Thank you very much for your post, much apprecaited!

5. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2422 posts) 4y

Central/South America has a very well defined Gringo Trail - just follow any of the usual guide books (like Lonely Planet) and you'll have no problems meeting lots of travellers exactly like yourself.

Colombia is my favourite country in South America, incredible diversity and super friendly people, do some research and include it on your itinerary.

Buy a guide book, start researching, and learn some really basic Spanish - you'll have lots of fun and won't have to travel by yourself.

Have fun.

Cheers,
Terry

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Nov-2011, at 17:31 by CheersT ]

6. Posted by chris_Arg (Budding Member 10 posts) 4y

Quoting CheersT

Central/South America has a very well defined Gringo Trail - just follow any of the usual guide books (like Lonely Planet) and you'll have no problems meeting lots of travellers exactly like yourself.

Colombia is my favourite country in South America, incredible diversity and super friendly people, do some research and include it on your itinerary.

Buy a guide book, start researching, and learn some really basic Spanish - you'll have lots of fun and won't have to travel by yourself.

Have fun.

Cheers,
Terry

Hi Terry,

To be honest with you, I had been put off the idea of going Columbia from people who hadn't actually been but say how dangerous it is... However I am considering it more and more.

Thank you very much for your post!

Chris