Questions continue, What you would prefer?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Questions continue, What you would prefer?

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1. Posted by hennaonthetrek (Respected Member 279 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Hey!

I keep planning our big get away, not until years (still much saving to do) but corona-virus have had me counting budjets etc already :)

So, right now I am struglilng with South America. So far I have 3 possible plans (I don't even dare to start thinking about any other, the possibilities are countless....).

As usual, I don't ask you to tell me what to do, I would like to know what do you think, pro's, con's, what did you like there etc. :) And it's always nice to here about good (and bad) memories!!! :)

Plan A.

Chile-Argentina-Brazil.

We start from Chile, Santiago and from there by bus to Iguazu Falls through Argentina.
From Iguazu, by plane to Sao Paulo and from there, again by bus to Rio de Janeiro.

IMO,

pros

  • Just one flight
  • The cheapest

cons

  • No Machu Picchu
  • Lots of stops/Short stays in one place

Plan B.

Chile-Peru-Brazil

We start from Chile, Santiago, there by plane to Cusco. From Cusco by bus to Lima. From Lima by plane to Iguazu Falls and from there, again, by plane to Sao Paulo and from Sao Paulo by bus to Rio de Janeiro.

IMO,

pros

  • Machu Picchu and Iguazu Falls
  • Most time in Chile

cons

  • No Argentina
  • More flights that plan A.

Plan C.

Chile-Peru-Argentina-Brazil

Again, we start from Chile and go by plane to Cusco. And again from Cusco by bus to Lima. Lima, plane to Buenos Aires. And from Buenos Aires by plane to Sao Paulo, again from there by bus to Rio de Janeiro.

IMO,

pros

  • Machu Picchu
  • Argentina and Peru
  • Possibily to visit Montevideo

cons

  • Most expensive
  • More flights than Plan A.
  • No Iguazu Falls

Decisions, decisions, what do you think? :)

Oh, I forget to add in the first time..I think we will be travelling in South America in latter summer, early autumn (August, September, October).

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Jun-2020, 12:41 GMT by hennaonthetrek ]

2. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1389 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

First consider the weather in the places where you want to visit. The seasons are different in the northern hemisphere, where you live, and the southern hemisphere, where you plan to travel. Unless you like rain you should avoid the wet seasons. There can be multiple climates within a country, so also take that into account.

From my experience, flying between countries in South America can be expensive. But domestic flights within certain countries, such as Brazil and Chile, are reasonable to cover great distances. There are strategies that can be employed to help reduce costs.

Suggest you also determine what your priorities are for the trip. If Machu Picchu is No. 1, then check to see what the weather is likely to be during the time you want to visit. Know that Machu Picchu is very popular and visits are now capacity controlled.

Look at a map of South America. If cost is a factor, consider traveling in contiguous countries. For example, from southern Peru travel to Bolivia by bus, then to northern Chile and then perhaps to Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Fly into Lima and out from either Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. Or you could do it the other way around. There are a variety of routes depending on your interests and budget. Suggest you build some flexibility into your itinerary. Plans can and do go awry in South America.

This is a useful Web site to help in planning: https://www.rome2rio.com/

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Jun-2020, 14:36 GMT by berner256 ]

3. Posted by hennaonthetrek (Respected Member 279 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Quoting berner256

This is a useful Web site to help in planning: https://www.rome2rio.com/

This website has been on hard use, believe me

Quoting berner256

First consider the weather in the places where you want to visit. The seasons are different in the northern hemisphere, where you live, and the southern hemisphere, where you plan to travel. Unless you like rain you should avoid the wet seasons. There can be multiple climates within a country, so also take that into account.

I found very useful finnish website which states average high temp., low temp. and rain for each month for most of the cities on the world. It has come handy with my planning

Quoting berner256

Suggest you build some flexibility into your itinerary. Plans can and do go awry in South America.

That's a good tip, I have been leaning to drop the Plan A doe to the fact that if something goes wrong and we are stuck somewhere longer than we like we have to "run" next towns through..In B and C we have more time in individual places, and of course the Machu Picchu is on those. I have heard that you should book a tour to the Incan city in advance, some say that even in year advance, that sounds little bit overboard to me, can you give any advice on that?

4. Posted by zzlangerhans (Respected Member 77 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

My only question would be why you are so committed to Santiago. Pablo Neruda fans or cheaper flights? I've been there and did not find it particularly fascinating. I would certainly go if I was road-tripping in Chile but probably wouldn't make it a special destination to fly in and out of. My recommendation if you think you need to knock out South America in one trip would be Peru -> BA -> Iguazu -> SP/RJ.

5. Posted by hennaonthetrek (Respected Member 279 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Quoting zzlangerhans

My only question would be why you are so committed to Santiago. Pablo Neruda fans or cheaper flights?

Hey, and thanks for your input!! :) Santiago becouse we are going to fly from Australia and as far as I know they only fly direct flights from Sydney to Santiago...If we don't like the city we have plenty of time to re-locate and come back for the flight to Cusco :)

6. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1389 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

It would be helpful if you would share your timetable and itinerary before and after South America. I had thought you were planning to visit South America from Finland. Australia changes things. Please note that international flights have been cut back significantly and that certain routes may no longer be served by the time you plan to travel, or there could be significant modifications such as the addition of intermediate stops. Santiago is indeed a major gateway to South America from Australia. Buenos Aires can be reached from Auckland, NZ. This is a useful site: https://www.flightconnections.com/

If you plan to go to Machu Picchu it would be wise to reserve in advance. Please carefully research the requirements for entry, including the necessity to hire a guide if you're not part of an organized tour. You didn't say if you're planning to go on the Inca Trail. It requires permits.

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Jun-2020, 16:14 GMT by berner256 ]

7. Posted by hennaonthetrek (Respected Member 279 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Quoting berner256

It would be helpful if you would share your timetable and itinerary before and after South America. I had thought you were planning to visit South America from Finland. Australia changes things. Please note that international flights have been cut back significantly and that certain routes may no longer be served by the time you plan to travel, or there could be significant modifications such as the addition of intermediate stops. Santiago is indeed a major gateway to South America from Australia. Buenos Aires can be reached from Auckland, NZ. This is a useful site: https://www.flightconnections.com/

If you plan to go to Machu Picchu it would be wise to reserve in advance. Please carefully research the requirements for entry, including the necessity to hire a guide if you're not part of an organized tour. You didn't say if you're planning to go on the Inca Trail. It requires permits.

Ah, sorry, I didn't think about it but of course one would think that we would travel from Finland

Well, before South America we are in Australia for an month. Flying in to Darwin and flying out from Sydney.

And after we are going to fly out from Rio de Janeiro to Lissabon.

Sydney-Santiago and Rio-Lissabon got chosen both fro the direct flights. I know that things can change before we are able to go, but I needed to make some kind of an route to be able to calculate how much money we would need

I thought about doing things in reverse (I am just about finishing itinerary for whole trip) but I just couldn't get things line up for weather-wise. I much rather do the coldest part of the trip first, so I can ditch the heaviest clothes, instead of carrying them with me across the globe or buying them on the way.

I am aware that we would need to reserve in advance (Machu Picchu), I was trying to ask that is it really necessary to reserve in year advance? I don't think that we would do the whole Inca trail, just day trip to the ruins. Neither of us is that outdoorsy that we would enjoy trekking for days

8. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1389 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

For the same airfare, or perhaps less, consider stopping in Auckland on your way to either Santiago or Buenos Aires from Sydney.

9. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1264 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

You don't say how long you plan to spend in South America - that would be helpful to know. And when you say Santiago then on to Cusco, does that mean you don't expect to see anything of Chile other than Santiago? I liked that city but I wouldn't go all the way to Chile to see it!

Have you considered flying from there to Calama to spend some time in the Atacama, then by bus to Bolivia and from there up to Peru for Machu Picchu? I personally wouldn't try to cover Brazil too on the same trip so I'd look at the option of flights from Lima to Lisbon, perhaps.

Sorry, I know you asked for comments on your own suggested itineraries and I'm confusing things by addling a fourth

10. Posted by hennaonthetrek (Respected Member 279 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Quoting berner256

For the same airfare, or perhaps less, consider stopping in Auckland on your way to either Santiago or Buenos Aires from Sydney.

I would love to but I think that would be fitting too much in to too little time :(