whats the best way to travel in SA?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean whats the best way to travel in SA?

1. Posted by rorone (Budding Member 40 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


I am trying to plan a route around South America.
Im not sure what the best way to travel is...
I hear that trains are few and far between and bus is the most practical way of travelling..now its a rather big place and i dont want to do it all on bus. im looking to spend about 6 months there starting in Brazil then Argentina then Chile and up to Bolivia and fly to Venezula..

Can i buy air passes that will help me out and is the western part of SA practical by bus?

also does anyone know of any good resources to study about south america..i have footprints but its kind of hard to follow and i prefer the Lonley Planet books but is it any use over there or will i have to make do with footprints?

Help would be appreciated

Cheers guys :)

2. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


If you have 6 months, I would do it mostly by bus! Its the best way to see the continent. In Chile and Argentina the buses are pretty luxurious to travel on...and you always meet other backpackers...which, if arriving in a strange place on your own in the middle of the night, can sometimes be a godsend!
If you travel on a nightbus, you can just sleep right through and save a night's accommodation.

Also, it really doesnt take as long as you might think to bus around. I know 15hr journies sound massive when you come from a tiny place like Ireland! I know the trip from Limerick to Dublin will never seem quite so long again!

If you do want to fly to a few places though...check out these

Lan.com sometimes do specials and low fares
Gol is the low fares airline in Brazil. Plus, the national carrier, Varig, is in trouble right now and fares are really cheap
Aerolineas Argentina - lots of low fares.

Hope that helps.


3. Posted by rorone (Budding Member 40 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


Thanks for the advice! Il make a note of the air carriers!

I was thinking about bussing it allright im sure it will work out once i arrive.

Il never complain about a long bus journey again if i do it all by bus!

Talk to you later.


4. Posted by LauraMC (Inactive 30 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I lived in Peru for 3 months a few years ago doing a field school. If you stick to the main backpacking circuit you'll find some swanky deluxe tourist coach buses. If you decide to break off the beaten path, local buses make for great stories but probably not much else. Be prepared for the bus companies to pack the bus full with people standing for hours in the aisles with their bags of produce and/or goats or chickens. I took a bus from Pisco to Ayacucho in the highlands and there were several women who were forced to stand in the aisles who attempted to sit down on my armrest which was essentially in my lap.

If you decide to go the bus route, I would advise against sitting in the first few rows as you won't get any sleep from the hordes of passengers getting on and off the bus (they seem to pick up passengers on the side of the road too) plus at night, sitting in the front makes for may lead to near heart attacks when you see the bus narrowly avoid careening over the edge of that narrow windy mountain road.


5. Posted by rorone (Budding Member 40 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Il keep it in mind. Thanks.

6. Posted by bentivogli (Respected Member 2398 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I'll just say what I always say...

Taking continental flights is environmentally irresponsible travel, ESPECIALLY in a continent like SA, where bus connections are so good, quick and reliable. Opt for ground transportation; there's a large number of threads in this forum to help you underway.