6 week SA Itinerary - opinions & suggestions welcome please

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean 6 week SA Itinerary - opinions & suggestions welcome please

1. Posted by oogles (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hey everyone!!

so my friend and I are newbies to this site and are hoping to get some help from experienced travellers like yourselves

South America will be the last leg of our RTW trip. This is our itinerary and basically we would appreciate if anyone can tell us if we have chosen the best route to travel (we tried to limit backtracking).

Thanks and we look forward to your replies

Date Location
21-Sep-07 arrive in Santiago
22-Sep-07 Santiago
23-Sep-07 Santiago (Valparaiso)
24-Sep-07 Leave Santiago to head to Calama
25-Sep-07 Tour the desert
26-Sep-07 travel to Salt lakes (Uyuni)
27-Sep-07 Salt lakes
28-Sep-07 Salt lakes
29-Sep-07 Salt lakes
30-Sep-07 Uynuni to Oruro to Cochabamba
01-Oct-07 Cochabamba - Isla del Sol
02-Oct-07 Puno to Cuzco
03-Oct-07 Cusco
04-Oct-07 Cusco
05-Oct-07 Cusco- Nazca Lines??
06-Oct-07 Inca Trail
07-Oct-07 Inca Trail
08-Oct-07 Inca Trail
09-Oct-07 Inca Trail
10-Oct-07 Inca Trail
11-Oct-07 Cusco to La Paz
12-Oct-07 La Paz
13-Oct-07 Fly to Rurrenabaque
14-Oct-07 Amazon
15-Oct-07 Amazon
16-Oct-07 Amazon
17-Oct-07 Amazon
18-Oct-07 fly to La Paz
19-Oct-07 travel to Salta
20-Oct-07 Salta
21-Oct-07 Salta
22-Oct-07 travel to BA
23-Oct-07 BA
24-Oct-07 BA
25-Oct-07 BA
26-Oct-07 BA
27-Oct-07 Travel to Iguazu
28-Oct-07 Iguazu Falls
29-Oct-07 Iguazu Falls
30-Oct-07 travel to Rio
31-Oct-07 Rio
01-Nov-07 Rio
02-Nov-07 Rio
03-Nov-07 Rio
05-Nov-07 Arrive in Dublin

2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5672 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Nice route, but really this will be rushing it to the max and in some cases it will be impossible to stick to it. Generally, better to skip some parts and stay longer in others and fit in some days for delays etc.
Some specific remarks:

- From Santiago to Calama is about 20 hours, even a bit more. From there you have to go to San Pedro de Atacama, add a few hours. Probably there are direct buses from Santiago as well...at least I had a bus going the other way directly. Just check on the busstation in Santiago.
You will arrive the other day, and theoretically you can do a late afternoon sunset tour to the Moon Valley. But better would be staying in San Pedro a few days. You really need the time as well for searching a good tour to Uyuni, which takes some time as well.
- Why would you like to go to Cochabamba if you just go there for a night, you will be travelling a lot if you can make it in that time anyway. From Cochabamba to Isla del Sol in one day might just be possible if you are lucky. Not counting any roadblocks in Bolivia! Isla del Sol is not Puno by the way.
- Nazca lines are way of Cuzco, and not worth the long travel just to see the lines.
- Flights in Bolivia are cancelled sometimes, due to weather etc. Overbooking can be a problem as well. You need some time in Rurrenabaque as well to sort things out for a trip to the Amazone or the swamps for seeing the anaconda/capibara etc. Basically, you will see more wildlife in the swamps than in the rainforest.
- travelling all the way to Salta can take more time and to really appreciate Salta and surroundings (cafayate, the altiplano etc.) you need more days. You can only see the city in the time you have. Better flying from La Paz to BA directly.
- The BA/Iguassu/Rio part looks fine, but I would skip these days, and use those days for the above things I said. From Salta you can travel south again towards Mendoza and over the Andes to Santiago again. Might be a cheaper flights as well instead of flying out of Rio.

Have fun though!

3. Posted by oogles (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hey Michael!!

thanks for the comments and advice.

We were worried we were trying to do too much in such a short time but we decided to fly to Calama and get the bus/airport shuttle to San Pedro de Atacama, get the train/bus from Uyuni to La Paz and then bus to Cochacabana and on to Puno.

We are going to book our Amazon tour with Balatours so we'll have that sorted. We'll probably leave out the Nazca Lines & Salta and fly from La Paz to BA and then bus to Iguazu & Rio. We have to fly out of Rio (it's already booked with our RTW ticket....)

Thanks again :)

4. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5672 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

You are welcome!
One thing, maybe you can travel further from Cuzco towards Arequipa/Colca Canyon/Nazca and on to Lima depending on the time you have. That means you don't have to go back to La Paz for the flight and instead take a flight from Lima to BA....just a thought.
Cheers! Michael

5. Posted by bentivogli (Respected Member 2398 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Michael said it all, but for one thing; if you really cannot do without making these continental/domestic flights, *please* consider offsetting the CO2 emission they cause.

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 9, 2007, at 12:57 AM by bentivogli ]