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My South/Central Trip

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean My South/Central Trip

1. Posted by makka (Respected Member 248 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!


Ive been back from my epic 14 country RTW trip 6 months now, and im currently figuring out my next voyage, which will be through south/central america but taking in a few south pacific islands on the way (Galapagos, Easter island & Tahiti) ....

My plan is to fly into Rio, Brazil then return home from Mexico City.

Countries im wanting to include in this trip are: Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, (Hondorus/El Salvador - Possibly), Guantemala, Mexico.

Ive spoken to STA travel, and gave them my rough idea, they suggested i fly from into Brazil, make my way to Ecuador b4 flying to the Galapagos (only possible with an organised tour as its protected - is this 100% true?) ... then fly from Galapagos to Easter Island b4 heading to Tahiti, from there i will fly into Central America ... and carry onwards @ my own pace to Mexico where i will return to London, all this will cost me approx £2100 (flights)

My questions:

Will 5-6 months be a suitable amount of time to explore these countries?

Instead of booking my flights to the South Pacific Islands with STA, would it work out cheaper to book them on my own with various airlines?

Also like Asia, are there cheap airlines like 'Air Asia' etc to get from 1 country to the next? ... i will minimise this method of transport, but i'd like to have that option.

Ive heard Tahiti is crrrazy exspensive, is this correct? or can it be done on a 'backpackers budget'?

Generally which countries that im heading to are the more exspensive, im guessing Brazil, Argentina & Mexico, am i correct?

Im sure many more questions will follow, but these are the main ones concerning me now. If Tahiti really is that exspensive, then im willin to give it a miss this time round, ive allready discussed with STA that, taking Tahiti out of the flight scedule would save me a fair few $$$, so its a possibilty.

Really appriciate any advise put forwards guys! - as allways youre a great help!

2. Posted by makka (Respected Member 248 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Yeeeeah, any input would be appriciated!

3. Posted by joey22 (Respected Member 561 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

galapagos and easter island will be accounting for around £1000 at least of this cost. skip them and you can do all flights for less than a grand. return flights from santiago in chile to easter island are approx $600 us. galapagos cannot be done very cheaply and will be as part of package. have a look in a peru guidebook for the 'poor mans galapagos'.

my advice is to look at open jaw flights into sao paolo or rio and out of mexico city with both BA and Iberia, roughly £700-850 depending when you fly. You will also need to fly from somewhere in south america to central america, cheapest option often colombia to panama. try looking at Copa Airlines or similar and flights from cartagena to panama city.

you are trying to do an awful lot in 5-6 months. 14 countries in 6 months sounds impressive but I might recommend you spend 5-6 months in just south america. huge distances, loads to see, some very cheap countries bolivia and ecuador, some hugely expensive chile and brazil. more than enough to do without overdoing it by staying in south america. if I was you I would spend minimum 2-3 months in central america, and 5-6 months in south.

i am considering 1 month brazil, 1 month argentina, 1 month bolivia, 1 month peru, 1 month ecuador, 1 month colombia.

just my thoughts for what they are worth :)

4. Posted by makka (Respected Member 248 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Yeah i figured the south pacific isles would be killer for flight prices, but gotta be done while im down that way! ... i think i'll do it off my own back tho, rather than commiting with STA ...

I can extend my time, im just thinking of my budget and how long i can stretch it for i guess ... You mind me asking Joey - whats youre approx budget for youre trip?

I was aware that there isnt an overland route from south to central america, so i planned to make my flights to the isles include the one that will eventually land me in central america, like for instance, as i leave Tahiti it will take me to either Panama or Costa Rica ....

Anyone with any insight to costage of a visit to Tahiti for a week or so??

Thanks for your input Joey! :)

5. Posted by Ofelia (Respected Member 142 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Quoting makka from Galapagos to Easter Island

Unfortunately you can only fly to Easter Island from Santiago in South America. Flights are pretty expensive, but I think they tend to be slightly cheaper if you buy them at the same time with your international flights. I would totally recommend Easter Island, it is pretty unique, and very different to anywhere else I've been to.

There are no budget airlines as such in South America, and getting around by planes can be expensive. The only exception seems to be flights in Brazil, which you can sometimes pick up fairly cheap (I paid only about 20USD more for a flight from Rio to Salvador than what the bus would've cost). It does seem like a very long list of places for such a short time. South America is packed with things to see, so maybe it might be worth it to concider covering less area (such as South America only) or spending longer in total on your trip? In terms of expensive, the Andean countries seem to be the cheapest, whereas I found Brazil and Chile quite expensive in comparison. Argentina is pretty affordable as well.

Instead of flying between South/ Central America, you can also try and catch a cruiser from Cartagena, Colombia, to Panama. It might involve waiting around for a few days, but Cartagena is absolutely beautiful!

6. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

There are no "cruisers" Panama and Colon down to Cartegena, however there are private Yachts that make the trip every few days,ask around in the hostels in Panama City where to book, sailing via Panama's San Blas Island. more specifics on WikiTravel dot Org, Google for the Panama Travel Guide

Before depature check the weather, worldwide, on "Weather Underground" site wunderground.

Tropical rainy season now north of Equator, so bring rain gear, in case of storms.