I know Paraguay but I am not familiar with the the rest of the countries. Does anyone know which travel book is the best for advice? Lonely Planet or Frommer's ? Or any other suggestions?
The Footprint South america is supposed to be good. I used Footprint for Argentina and it was fine. I'd avoid the Lonely Planet shoestring guide, and especially the most recent LP Peru & Colombia guides, as they're shockingly poor.
I have made it around South America with the LP shoestring South America. I just thought it would be easier to have 1 book and it has served its purpose. It is quite vague in parts but hard not to be when it is for all of the countries. I have heard pretty poor reviews on the Footprint guides....they are set up really strangely and not very user friendly. I have a Frommer´s but forgot it back home and so I have not used it and I have not seen anyone else with it.
If I have to use a handbook, I prefer Footprint. I also find useful the LP Thorn tree forum, as the information comes from real travelers. I don't like LP shoestring guides so much. I was in Argetnina and I think the combination of Footprint guide + LP Thorn tree forum was perfect.
I´d say avoid the rough guide to south america! in my opinion it´s really poor.
In these days I reckon the net is your best friend... though it does mean spening a lot of time in grubby internet cafes when you could be out and about
I agree that the internet is now a huge resource for travelling. In particular, the Thorntree has a very large membership and almost all of your questions will already have been answered if you search through.
And remember that guidebooks are written by normal people too. They do not have all of the answers and indeed often have missed out whole things to see or do. Ask other travellers and ask locals and do some exploring of your own!
Have fun, Ruth
Oh, and use Travelblog of course - there are loads of clever people and good blogs on here!
I would agree that the Footprint guides are great. I have the big thick one for Argentina and although I'm not travelling around as I live here now, it has been a fantastic resource to read up on somewhere before I plan a trip.
I also agree that the internet and forum's like this can be the best place to get advice from people that have actually been to the places you're asking about. Especially as your asking for advice on the whole continent, not just one or two countries within it.