South America: Budget Tour Vs Going it Alone???

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean South America: Budget Tour Vs Going it Alone???

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

Hey! I hope you can help!

I have never travelled alone before (28 year old male). I will only speak whatever Spanish I can teach myself in the next 10/11 weeks...

I have approx 9 weeks from 29/1/2008 to see as much as South America as possible (before moving on to the rest of my RTW trip).

I plan to start in Rio for carnival (1 week), then hopefully find my way on a bus to Buenos Aires (definitely via Iguacu Falls, and may be Asuncion & Montevideo (Paraguay & Uruguay respectively)). Following that to Santiago (via Flight), then La Paz (via Flight).

After that I am keen to make my way via surface to Lima (via Inca trail @ Machu Picchu), then into Quito Equador.

Does this sound feasible in the time given?


I see there are many tours offering the opportunity to do such trips on pre-organised busses i.e. Budget Expeditions.
These sound tempting - since a lot of the leg work is done for you & there are groups of people to meet. Although, I am concerned that this will take away from the independent part of travelling & also, they seem a bit pricey!

In your experience, what would you recommend? Budget Trips or going it alone???

I hope that someone can help me on this one!

2. Posted by Born2Trvl (Budding Member 10 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I´d do it independent if I were you. You feel a lot better and prouder of yourself at the end, and it really adds to the experience and unpredictability of the trip.

If you´re here to purely see the main tourist attractions then maybe it´s a good way of doing it, but if you want to interact more with the people and have real original experiences then I´d go independently.

Some of the best memories you´ll have are from the most random occasions that just don´t happen on package tours.

3. Posted by miromar (Respected Member 175 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

hey!!! do it solo, nodoubt!!!!!!

I had never travelled solo before, but after my experience in SA, i can only reccommend that way!!! other people i met that took tours like the ones you are mentioning regretted it after the tried to do it on their own! you will spend a lot more money, and you are only meeting the people you are travelling with, whereas when you do your thing you'll end up meeting more people that you can actually keep track of!

As per your route, bus from Rio to iguazu, easy (also check out flights with gol airlines, sometimes they are chepear than the bus!!) Dont bother with asuncion, it is not worth the detour. If you want to experience paraguay, you need to go to the countryside, and mingle with the locals, that is the richness of paraguay. But be aware that not only need spanish, but guarani, the local language, as most of the people outside the cities not even speak spanish!! Uruguay is nice, specially the atlantic coast, and i guess you could try to enter from brazil after iguazu and cross to BA from there! dont plan much time in Montevideo, there is not that much to do there. BA on the other side, well, i was there for 6weeks and i still feel i havent been there long enough!

So, yes, defo do it solo!!!

good luck!!!

x x Miriam x x

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

Thank you both very much! I will be going solo for sure... on all except the trek up Machu Picchu!

Miriam, I love the blog! Not sure I fancy getting the boats through the Amazon after your experiences!!!

All the best