I am planning a two month trip from June to August traveling from Bogota, Colombia then making my way towards Ecuador and eventually Peru. I was planning on staying in cheap hostels, and travel by foot or by bus. I just wanted to ask if these are safe areas. I know, as with any place, I will have to be conscious of my surroundings, but I have heard some scary things about Colombia in particular.
Can anyone who has been through these countries please tell me about your experiences with the hostels, food, transportation and the people? What did you do for drinking water? Lastly, did you have a big problem with bugs? How did you protect yourself from getting bit constantly?
Sorry If i'm asking too many questions, I never left the US so I'm a little nervous about this but still very excited!!
oh ps. I won't be traveling alone, my boyfriend will be coming with.
Thank you in advance!
travel by foot
My suggestion is to forget about walking anywhere-it's a long hike-especially through the Andean parts of those countries.
Other than that buy a guidebook-Footprint is my fave followed by Rough Guide.
As the above poster has said the distances are pretty big so covering a lot of the countries you want to go through by foot would seem like a tough thing to be setting out on.
All of the countries you mention are covered by good road networks, very limited or no rail options.
Bus travel is the most popular form of transport for backpackers.
I found hostels in Colombia to be pretty good. Their prices were reasonable, some providing breakfast thrown in. Colombia has been getting backpackers for a good while so there is a good network of hostels.
Ecuador has a number of hostels. Sometimes in some cities you get more a guesthouse style offering. They use the US Dollar as their currency in Ecuador so you should feel at home
Western travellers are sometimes the victims of crime on buses in Ecuador. Be careful with your small daypack that you bring on the bus with you. Robbers have ingenious ways of relieving you of computers/cameras etc from under your nose.
Parts of Colombia, Peru and Ecuador are pretty high up into the Andes so mosquitoes shouldn't be a problem. In parts that are subject to mosquitoes they generally only come out at night. Using a bug spray designed for them usually works well.
If you're going into jungle areas of any of the countries check out if malaria is present in advance.
Enjoy, South America will hopefully knock your socks off. i.e. you'll enjoy it.