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Can anyone help with the planing of my south america trip? December 2010

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Any help grateful on planning my trip round south america?? Never been to this continent, have not got a clue what to expect...
8 years ago, June 27th 2010 No: 1 Msg: #114157  
N Posts: 6
Hi. im a 25 year old male from london looking to go traveling alone around south america starting the 1st of december 2010. A few friends are coming to spend 3 weeks with me starting boxing day an we plan to spend our time in rio / Florianopolis.. other than that i have no other plans on where to go an what to see an was jus going to go with the flow... is this a good idea ?? 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 !!

having never been to this continent im really am un sure what to expect, ive travelled parts of thailand and find myself comparing the 2 with the price of accomadation food an travel... even though from what i have read south america is going to be alot more expensive !! im planning to stay in hostels and eat local food .. does anyone have any advice on this ?? and on transport in south america.. planes or buses ??

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 ???

Any sugestions on where to spend xmas in brazil ?? i will be on my own so will wana meet people?

wheres the best place's to party in south America??

Any suggestions on places to see ?? ive read about people going on treks these sound intresting ??

Any help will be much appreciated as u can see i havent got much idea...

Thanks G xxxxx




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8 years ago, June 28th 2010 No: 2 Msg: #114268  
Travelling to South America? You will need travel guide and destinations for complete tourism... wish you have a great holiday there... Reply to this

8 years ago, July 2nd 2010 No: 3 Msg: #114680  
B Posts: 171

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.

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8 years ago, July 8th 2010 No: 4 Msg: #115226  
It sounds like a fun trip. I am currently in Chile now and have been here for almost a year. The places I would recommend would first be Patagonia if you like hiking. Also I agree with Matty1 about Bolivia and Peru. If you have time then you should go there. It is much cheaper then the rest of the continent, with amazing places to see (salt flats in Bolivia, Cusco in Peru)
You will do most of your traveling by bus. The buses are very comfortable and you can do most of your traveling by night. Make sure you keep most your valubles on your seat with you or under the bus. Dont put anything on the bus in the top compartment(I have seen people get their bag stolen). Also when you are traveling keep an eye out for deals with LAN. They have many cheap air travel deals but it is only worth going with them if it is a deal. Reply to this

8 years ago, July 9th 2010 No: 5 Msg: #115242  
N Posts: 6
thanks to both of u for ur replies they have been alot of help... ive havent got a reason why i havent looked into peru and bolivia, as u have both mentioned them ill have a look into them see what they have to offer.. matty ive looked to the spanish lessons, ive started a little thing online to get the basics.. did either of u have spanish lesson over there ?? i wouldnt mind giving that a go.. im also intrested in working in the hostels i think that could be intresting... thanks again for your advice its helped alot, if there anything else that u think could help me on my travels let me kno. G Reply to this

8 years ago, July 9th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #115244  
N Posts: 6
1 other question... matty u mentioned the price of hostels a food.. was that in american dollars ?? Reply to this

8 years ago, July 9th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #115263  
B Posts: 171
yes but each country has their own currency , i just thaught of things in terms of american dollars, for example Peruvian soles = about 3:1 dollar


Ecuador uses US dollar

to elaborate on restaurants:
around ecuador & peru you can easily get breakfast or lunch for 1 dollar 50 or not far off it. thats if you like some rice, a leg of chicken, instant coffe and some freshly made fruit juice as a breakfast! not bad in my opinion.

in colombia , about 3 to 5 dollars, similar meal.

if you search around in chile you can get a nice lunch for 3 to 5 dollars too.

argentina , eat all you can buffet for about 4 dollars as far as i remember! (18 pesos argentinos)


you' l never want to spend another cent at home :-)



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8 years ago, August 18th 2010 No: 8 Msg: #117766  
B Posts: 24
Hey my boyfriend and I are going to be in Rio for New Year. If you plan to be there for that period then it is a good idea for you to book your accomodation early (as in the next few months) as we have found accomodation selling out quicky already, and most hostels are around £50 a night for their most basic dorms- they also have restrictions such as 'must book 4 nights minimum at this price'

From what we have read, Lapa is apparently the place to party in Rio, but there are big party scenes in places like La Paz in Bolivia, Cuenca Ecuador and Buenos Aires.. But we will find out!!

We have done a lot of research into budgeting and it seems that overland travel on coaches and buses will be the most expensive part of travelling in SA.

As budget isn't really an issue for you maybe you should consider the Galapagos islands trip (from Ecuador) and the Inca Trail. We have decided to visit Maccu Piccu by train as can't really justify the £500 approx each for a 4 day hike.

Happy travels! Reply to this

8 years ago, August 18th 2010 No: 9 Msg: #117770  
B Posts: 171

ive started a little thing online to get the basics.. did either of u have spanish lesson over there ?? i wouldnt mind giving that a go.. im also intrested in working in the hostels i think that could be intresting...



hi grant

sorry i missed your question so, sorry about the late reply

i didnt take any spanish lessons there, and relied only on what i had learned beforehand.

i would not recommend that you depend on lessons over there, i dont think any real progess can be made on these things when on the road. its better to do it beforhand when you have a little more time to absorb the words and less crazy stuff going on in your life as there will be when travelling.likewise you are probably unlikely to spend more than a week or a month in any one place so you cannot make any progress with any one teacher. that is my own opinion , but maybe someone would disagree , i would like to hear about it.


however there are some places you can get lessons and im sure it would help,for example a hostel in quito ecuador called the secret garden does free spanish lessons for the staff along with free accomodation. i think the minimum working agreement is one month.

ive started a little thing online to get the basics..



this is good, the one i would recommend is pimsleur spanish, its normally available as a box set of cds, 100 lessons in total that if done daily will take exactly 3 months, it can probably be found online somewhere for download also...


if you want to take it a step further you can do a few salsa lessons before you go..that might seem crazy now but over there it makes a lot of sense. even the basic steps of salsa & merengue will go a long way as these music styles are played all across the continent. (to a lesser extent in argentina & chile and i cant comment on brazil)
im sure your local town has a teacher somewhere who can show you the basics in just a couple of hours.
the south americans love dancing and it s great way to meet them. again you can learn there, i know a great teacher in lima peru.

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