jus going to go with the flow... is this a good idea ??
depends on your personality but since your thinking of it then my answer is yes, its a good idea,
you can hop from hostel to hostel , based on recommendations from other travellers and hostels, and each new place you visit will come with a host of recommended activities in that place, that and a guidebook for a quick briefing on new places and a basic guideline of where to stay/party etc.. when your stuck for ideas.
south america is designed for travel, because it has beautiful landscapes, loads of outdoor activites , a fun backpacker scene, and the locals are often great fun to meet too,
i would recommend you learn some spanish now ! you have a few months, you can get the basics, your trip will still be amasing if you dont, but you will kick yourself.
im planning to stay in hostels and eat local food
its a good idea, the hostels should cost around 10 dollars a night more or less and you can often do some part time work in a hostel bar or so, for free accomodation to prolong your trip.
as for local food, great idea, south america is full of small family run restaurants, which serve a set menu of rice , chicken, or meat, and a drink, the price range between about 1 dollar to 5 dollars.
the places i would like to visit are brazil, argentina, chile an columbia, i have no time scale a i will have a decent budget !!
im a little curious as to why your not considering peru, bolivia in particular as they host some of the most fascinating landscapes and cultures
on transport in south america.. planes or buses ??
you will bus it most of the time, in argentina try to book "full cama" (full bed) buses for long journey , and do it a little in advance.
be careful of your belongings on all buses in any part of the continent. take the bag with you when you hop off for a break.
its possible to take internal flights reasonably cheap at times and can turn a very long journey into a very short one at the expense of a few landscape photo opportunities, this may be an option to weigh up when crossing the peruvian andes for example going from lima to cuzco or lima to iquitos.
Is it safe to travel alone ?? you hear all bad things about this place. i take it all with a pinch of salt to be honest, i think im jus as likely to get muged in parts of london .. or am i being naive ???
this is a hard one to answer, south americans will tell you, there are good people here and there are bad people. i believe if you are sensible you can avoid any danger, but you definitly need to be a little more precautious than at home.
also i would not recommend hitch hiking with all your gear, or walking around the cities with your bags on you, its better to get your luggage away out of dodge, and then travel light. be swift and with eyes on the back of your head when using bank machines.
i think im jus as likely to get muged in parts of london
comparing it to my own country, ireland. i can say your certainly more likely to see a fight break out in a bar in ireland than in a bar in south america.
though you cant generalise too much, there will be some very dangeruous areas and some quite safe , you should enquire in your hostel about the safety in a given area.
wheres the best place's to party in south America??
the best answer is probably Buenos Aires, because you can party into oblivion there.. but i found all the cities i visited to be great for partying!
south americans are generally great people, i would recommend that in your travels that you dont forget to break out of the tourist bubble wherever possible. as this will make the experience truely memorable.