South America - 4 Month Itinerary Help

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean South America - 4 Month Itinerary Help

1. Posted by matt_25 (Full Member 42 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hi Folks,

Gonna be leaving at the end of the year on a 10 month round the world ticket (Global Explorer). I have got my itinerary sorted for the places I am going in Central America, South Pacific, OZ and Asia but I am trying to sort out an ideal itinerary for South America starting from Lima and ending up in Santiago for my onward leg to Easter Island. I don't plan to visit Brazil on this trip as am saving that for another time.

At the moment I have come up with this:-

Lima - Pisco - Ica - Nazca - Arequipa (Busing this leg and was thinking about 2-3 weeks for this?)
Arequipa - Cuzco (LAN flight - but thinking a week in Cuzco for Machu Pichu, Sacred Valley etc - is a week enough?)
Cuzco - Puno - Lake Titicata - La Paz - Potosi - Uyuni - Salta (This leg will be all overland and I was thinking a month - is this enough/too much?)
Salta - Iguazu (Was thinking of flying this leg or is there stuff worth seeing and doing it overland? - Planning 3/4 days in Iguazu)
Iguazu - Buenos Aires (again thinking of flying this leg and spending 5-7 days in BA and maybe hopping over to Montevideo on ferry for a few days)
Buenos Aires - Ushuaia (Flight down to save time - a few days in Ushuaia)
Ushuaia - Torres Del Paine - Moreno Glacier - Bariloche - Pucon - Santiago (This leg will be all buses and I know it's a great distance, not sure how much time I will need to do this so any thoughts on this would be great!)

Does this look do-able on a 4 month timescale or am I trying to get too much in? Also are there any places I've missed out that are a must visit?

Thoughts and comments greatly appeciated!


2. Posted by Suzanne15 (Inactive 5 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hi Matt,

I spent two months travelling around Peru and Bolivia, doing a mixture of volunteer work and cultual sightseeing, so hopefully I can give you some useful feedback on your itinerary!

With regards to the places you're looking to cover in Peru - you've definitely done your research! You mention the coastal areas of Ica and Nazca, but one place I would definitely include is Huacachina. This is a desert oasis town where you can put your feet up for a couple of days but also do some sand-boarding, which is amazing!

Two weeks is definitely long enough to do the first leg of the trip (Lima - Arequipa). For Cusco, Macchu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, you can do this easily do this in 7-10 days. Cusco is a great city, so I would spend some time here acclimatising and exploring. Puno isn't a very nice town, so you don't need to spend more than 2-3 nights here to do a boat trip onto the lake. You may also be interested in doing an overnight stay on one of the islands.

Bolivia is an amazing country! I've never seen such stunning landscapes as the salt flats and lagoons here! Again, a month is a long time to travel around Bolvia, as it's a small country. I spent a month in the lovely city of Sucre, which I don't think you've included, so I would recommend popping there for a few days. I also went down the silver mines in Potosi - what an experience! It's not a walk in the park, so take a deep breathe before you head down the mines! -snip-

Have you considered doing a stay in the Amazon jungle? You can do this in either Peru or Bolivia, and it's such an adventure! This is something you can easily arrange locally in either country.

Please see the following link for ideas and inspiration on what trips to do in Peru: -snip-

I hope you have a fantastic time on the trip!!


[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

3. Posted by matt_25 (Full Member 42 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hi Suzanne,

Thanks for the comprehensive reply and the links - I will add in Sucre and Huacachina to the itinerary as sandboarding sounds like something that needs to be experienced! This silver mine also sounds quite interesting, so I guess I will check that out too when in Potosi.

I haven't considered the Amazon yet but I've been trekking in the jungle before in the north of Thailand and that was an awesome experience so I would probably do it again.

It's been 5 years since my last big trip so really looking forward to this one!

Thanks again for the advice!

4. Posted by mayahahaha (Budding Member 29 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hi Matt!
You're a lot more organized than I am! I'm embarking on my first round the world trip on Jan 20th and also spending about 4 months in South America before heading to Oz and NZ, and then South East Asia. I'll be landing in Buenos Aires and leaving from Santiago at the end of May, and am also in the process of figuring out an itinerary.. sorry to be barging in on your thread like that seeing as how I can't really help you out, but do you mind if I ask you a budget question?
I've never done anything like this before and it looks like I'll have approximately $800 per month in South America, does that sound sufficient to you?
Will you be going to Ecuador and Colombia before heading to Peru?
I've also heard Bolivia -Sucre- is not to be missed but check the weather forecasts if you're planning on busing it, I heard it can get very tricky.
Cheers and all the best!

5. Posted by matt_25 (Full Member 42 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hi there Maya,

As such I am quite lucky as I don't have any budget restrictions so unfortunately I can't really advise you on whether $800/month is sufficient - maybe there are others on here that can help you out on that front.

What I can say is that Argentina and Brazil are the most expensive places to visit as they are the most developed. Bolivia is the cheapest country most probably followed by Peru and then Chile I guess. So you might want to take this into account when planning and maybe spend more time in the cheaper places.

I've not planned to go to Ecuador or Colombia on this trip. I have been to Colombia before and spent 2 months there - my time split between Cali (Valle de Cauca) and the lovelly seaside town of Cartegena in the north. I can highly recommend Colombia, there is some stunning scenery and the people are some of the friendliest/happy people I have ever met. The country gets a bad rep from the drug trafficking etc but it really is a hidden gem. I never had any problems there - although I was staying with a local. Like most places you just need to avoid making yourself a target by flashing jewellery, expensive watches etc. this is just common sense anyway when travelling to places where people are much poorer than you.

Anyways - good luck with you planning and happy travels


[ Edit: Edited on 17-Nov-2011, at 02:55 by matt_25 ]

6. Posted by matt_25 (Full Member 42 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Has anyone got anymore ideas/comments on my original post? As it's getting close to the time I need to book my ticket!

and still not 100% on the route that I am looking at...

How long would it take to bus it down from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia and then bus it back up Chile to Santiago? Anyone got any ideas?



Posts 7 & 8 were removed by moderators
9. Posted by Beckiboo (Respected Member 134 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

No advice as I'm heading to Latin America myself, but I will be stealing your itinery

Let me know if you need any advice on SE Asia as I done that route a few years ago...

10. Posted by Beckiboo (Respected Member 134 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

oh my friend has done the BA - Ushuaia bus journey and I think it's something like 35hrs to one town, then another 12hrs onto Ushuaia.

[ Edit: Edited on 23-Nov-2011, at 07:16 by Beckiboo ]