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3 months in south america

ecuador, peru, bolivia, argintina and maybe chile?
10 years ago, March 22nd 2010 No: 1 Msg: #107058  
N Posts: 8
we have 3 months to travel south america and need suggestions on an itinerary we are not sure exactly were we want to go.... if we could we would go every were but on the cards at the mo is visiting ecuador, peru,, bolivia, argintina and maybe chile.
can any one sugest a itinerary to include these countrys.... we may also include a couple of flights but mainly land travel. also what is must sees in south america

we were thinking of either flying into santiago or bunoe aires from new zealand then work our way up to ecuador were we would fly out to cuba. maybe around sept this year.

any suggestions

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10 years ago, March 23rd 2010 No: 2 Msg: #107074  
What you're planning was part of our South American tour. This is the route we took and comments on the places :-
Buenos Aires. Great city with tons of things to do. We stayed in San Telmo which we loved.
Iguazu Falls. A full day on the Argentinian side and half a day on the Brazilian. This was one of the highlights of our trip and would make our "must see" list.
Pantanal. Great for wildlife (much more to see than in the Amazon) and star filled night skies.
Bonito. Glad we took a detour to have a day snorkelling in the Rio Sucuri.
Death Train from Quijarro to Santa Cruz. An experience we really enjoyed despite it being looooong.
Sucre. A beautiful city and a great place to spend a few days resting and getting a bit of altitude acclimatisation.
Potosi. Astonishing place. A mine tour is a "must do" but you need to be aware of the conditions.
Uyuni. Salar de Uyuni and the altiplano lagunas and volcanoes are a "must see".
San Pedro de Atacama. Nice after the rigours of the salar and altiplano.
Iquique. Nice beachside town. Highlight for us was out in the desert - Humberstone and Santa Laura.
La Paz. Crazy place to build a city, we really liked it.
Puno. Lake Titicaca was a disappointment to us, hugely over commercialised and not particularly scenic or spectacular.
Arequipa. Beautiful city. The Santa Catalina monastery is a "must see"
Colca Canyon. Fantastic hiking. For us this was a "must do"
Cuzco. The city itself is fascinating. Machu Picchu is a definite "must see". Get there early and get tickets for Wayna Picchu.
Nazca. Small aircraft flight over the lines was great.
Lima. Nothing to write home about.
Trujillo. The reason for going was Chan Chan but it's over restored and not that great.
Chiclayo. The Tombes of the Real Sipan museum is good.
Cuenca. Nice city
Alausi. The train down and up the Nariz del Diablo is closed for maintenance, but even if it's open when you go it's only worth stopping if you're going that way anyway. Was one of our biggest disappontments - a bus on rails.
Quito. Interesting city. A visit the basilica is incredible, health and safety is different in South America.
Other places in Argentina , Chile we went to on our trip :-
Ushuaia. Fantastic but a long way from the direction you're going, could be done by flying down and back from BA.
Torres del Paine. Definitely a highlight for us, but again not the way you're headed.
Bariloche. As TdP
Mendoza. Vineyards, great wine and food.
Places we would have liked to go :-
Banos. We went to the hot springs at Chivay in Peru so skipped Banos but would have gone there if we'd had time.

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10 years ago, March 23rd 2010 No: 3 Msg: #107080  
I missed one of the best things !!! between Alausi and Quito we stopped in Latacunga to hike up Cotopaxi, we only did one day (so didn't go to the summit) but if we were to do it again we'd take the 2 day trip. Reply to this

10 years ago, March 23rd 2010 No: 4 Msg: #107136  
N Posts: 8
thanks for the info, it will give us something to think about and work on.
just a couple more questions

would it be wise to take a sleeping bag with us for all the long bus journeys?

which country would it be best for us to visit the amazon jungle in?

what is the cheepest airline to travel withing argintina and chile?

are we trying to see to much in 3 months?

and we want to visit mendoza then cross somewere to atacama dessert then back over to bolivia? is this possible and which crossing would we use?

THANKS Reply to this

10 years ago, March 24th 2010 No: 5 Msg: #107146  
We didn't use our sleeping bags on the buses, but did make sure we had plenty of warm clothes as some of them are freezing. We did use them in the Pantanal (we were camping) and on the Salar de Uyuni / altiplano - it's cold up there and the places you'll stay are basic.
We went into the Amazon in Brazil (Manaus) so can't make any recommendations for the countries you're visiting. Almost certainly Bolivia will be the cheapest, everything is incredibly cheap there.
We only took one flight (BA - Ushuaia) which we did with Austral (division of Aerolinas Argentinas). I think it was ~US$130 one way. Be aware that all South American airlines have two fare structures, one for local nationals and one for foreigners.
We took ~10 weeks to get from BA to Quito by the route in my first message. We weren't rushing but we did know that to see everything we wanted to in 6 months was going to be tough. I think you'll be about right.
If you want to go to Mendoza then up through Chile and or NW Argentina to Bolivia you'd have to skip Iguazu (you shouldn't miss this place it's amazing), or go back on yourself a couple of times. One way is to go to Mendoza then head north through Chile and Argentina, cross through Paraguay to Foz do Iguaccu in Brazil then head to the Pantanal and on into Bolivia. We didn't go to Paraguay so can't say anything about that. Reply to this

10 years ago, March 24th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #107147  
N Posts: 8
we were considering maybe flying into BA then catch a flight to igazu then a flight to mendoza... then just carry on by land travel. just so we can see both and save us some time?

we really did also want to do a return flight down to patagonia but maybe thats pushing it with our time limit? Reply to this

10 years ago, March 24th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #107155  
We didn't travel in NW Argentina nor the part of Chile north of Santiago south of San Pedro de Atacama so I can't comment on what's there. If you fly BA - Iguazu - Mendoza then overland up to Bolivia you'll probably miss the Pantanal in Brazil, or it'll be a difficult journey to get there. What you may be able to do is go through Paraguay from Argentina to Brazil then head into Bolivia after that. While we liked Mendoza it's nothing so special whereas the Pantanal is unique.
Where did you have in mind in Patagonia ? it's doable to fly down to Ushuaia, spend 3 or 4 days there and fly back up to BA. Although not strictly speaking Patagonia, Bariloche is also doable for a few days. Patagonia is vast so surface travel takes time, more so if a border crossing with Chile is involved. Reply to this

10 years ago, March 31st 2010 No: 8 Msg: #107646  
Whatever you do try and go to Peru early on in the trip. South America is not easy to travel around (a lot of buses long distances) and Peru is in the high elevations so it takes a toll on a body, especially a body that has been traveling for a couple of months.

Eric Fieland
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10 years ago, April 2nd 2010 No: 9 Msg: #107780  
It is easy to cross from San Pdero De Atackama to Bolivia - there are tours going out from the town into the Salar de Uyuni, and they could "drop you off" on the Bolivian side. However, Chile is way more expensive than Bolivia, so you might want to do it the other way around - and pay bolivian agencies for the tour in the salar and then have them transfer you through the border to San Pedro.
I agree with the comment that Mendoza is not so special, and with the time limit you have, I would also skip it in favor of the many other sites that are way more unique.
Regarding the amazon - I have not (yet) been to the amazon in Brazil, but you could see amazon basin jungle both in Bolivia and Peru. We have been to Mano National Park in Peru and it was an amazing experience.
In Bolivia we have been to Rurrenabaque and the next door pampas and we greatly enjoyed it (it should be similar to the pantanal in Brazil, which I have not seen) - and you really get to see plenty of animals. And it is VERY cheap compared to the other countries.
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10 years ago, April 14th 2010 No: 10 Msg: #108634  
N Posts: 8
were are the best places to visit between lima peru and quito ecuador??
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