Looking for help on determining a good itinerary for my trip starting in September. I'll have 3 months and planned on hitting up Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
I'm an outdoors kind of person, so the focus here is on hiking. From the recommendations I have gotten this far, my itinerary would be:
Fly into Cuzco
Puno and Lake T
Salar de Uyuni
Valparaiso (other beaches that are worthwhile?)
Aconcagua (straight inland, but may be out of the way)
Puerto Montt (way south here in Chile, maybe across into Mendoza wine region from Aconcagua instead, but then I would miss traveling into Argentina via the lakes... Opinions?)
Calafate (Perito Moreno)
Torres del Paine
Ushuaia and Tierra del Feugo
Peurto Madryn (hear it is great during the whale migration, but in December I'll miss it, other options along the coast?)
It is heavy on Argentina, but from what I have seen it has the most amazing natural landscape in the Patagonia region. Also, I go through Peru really fast, but I've not heard great things about Lima. Is Huascaran NP worth adding in another week or more to Peru? Other parts to Peru I need to see?
Also, does the direction I'm traveling make sense with regards to rainy seasons? How much should I plan on budgeting for the trip (plan on dorms and street vendors when possible). Lastly, sorry long post, can you go hiking without a guide or do you need to take one in most places. Found out the hard way that in parts of Laos it is actually illegal to go solo...
check with lots of people when you get to far out places, ,,, in bolivia we met some people that met with a real dangerous, and they had a guide, yet only 1 guide, situation, on other hand the mountains north of la paz bolivia and a bit east our out of this world for hiking/treking.
some call it the new nepal . and la paz is a phenomenon.
hiking the islands on lake titicaca, well spoken of.
yes , lima is a drag. period.
The amazon river is also an amazing trip. you fly to iquitos and go up or down river. not much for hiking, but it is the amazon... and that is amazing.
I´m currently in Chile at the moment. Although Valparaiso, Chile is a must see, the beaches here are less than impressive. You need to go to the city next door, Vina del Mar or Renaca that´s also right next to Vina. Stunning beaches and just a warning the water is cold. If you like to hike I recommend that while you are in Valparaiso you hike the tourist spots here. There are cable type cars/elevators that take you to tourist and Kodak moment type places. Instead of riding the cable/elevator hike it. This is a backpacker friendly type of town. Enjoy.
Your itinerary is very good but I don't see a mention of time of year. For Cusco (or anywhere in the Andes) the rainy season is January/February while that is the best time for Patagonia. To try to combine both, maybe Nov/Dec/Jan? Anyway, the Pacific off Chile has a cold current and you won't get much bathing except in the far north. Valparaíso is a port and has no beach. As mentioned, Reñaca would be the closest and most popular.
The lake crossing between Chile and Argentina is very nice but very expensive. The crossing from Santiago to Mendoza is spectacular and will cost about US$10. But then you have a fairly long haul down to the lake region in Argentina. One option would be to take a bus from Puerto Montt (or Puerto Varas or Osorno, they go through the three) to Bariloche. The scenery is very nice as you go through a bit of national park in Chile and get great views of Nahuel Huapi in Argentina. Cost about US$20. Once in Bariloche there are a variety of boat trips on the lake available.
Another option is to cross to Argentina at Hua Hum from Panguipulli. You do a short ferry crossing and end up at San Martin de los Andes, which is very nice. Then you can bus to Bariloche via the 7 lakes road.
Thanks Fiona. As for the time of year, I was thinking I would start in Cusco around the end of September and then end in Argentina around the middle of December. Sounds like I'll be getting the beginning of the good weather (or the end of the bad weather for the pessimists!). Thanks again, everyone, for your help!
It sounds like you are in the process of planning a great trip. I am currrently in Peru, having travelled for the last 7 months through Argentina, Chile and Bolivia with my boyfriend (have a look at my blogs for more details). We have done lots of hiking and most of it has been on our own. Just ask around locally and you will quickly find out whether you need a guide or not.
Some random thoughts:
- Try to get to El Calafate, Argentina. Stunning location and very cheap but good food. Also, from there you can hire a car and visit Los Alerces national park which is stunning.
- If you want to try for some "easy" 5,000 / 6,000m peaks hire a guide in Arequipa or go trekking in San Pedro, chile. We hired a car whilst in San Pedro and managed to hike from base to the summit of Cerro Toco (5,640m) in a day.
- From Pucon in the Chilean lake district you can hike up Volcan Villarrica. A bit touristy but still an amazing experience.
- Isla del Sol on Lake Titicaca is great for hikes. Also lots of nice and safe one day hikes from Copacabana.
As for costs, it varies significatly from country to country. Cheapest to most expensive is Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Chile. But bargains can be had everywhere. Last night we stayed in a hotel by the Colca Canyon for just US$8 between us including private bathroom and breakfast. More usual price is about $20 for a double room en-suite. As a couple we look to budget about $40 a day to cover living expenses such as hotels and food. Long-distance transport tends to push us beyond our budget though.
Let me know if you have any more queries,
Anyone for a bit of cultural exchange and literacy work? Up the amazon and / or in highlands of ecuador? Maybe in rural bolivia?????? wondering if it is possible to take a lazy boat down amazon from iquitos, stop by the 2 libraries (one we began another by an amazing american women....look up amazon libraries and you can find her between 2 well known eco tourism places,,,all 3 names escape me at the moment....) then hang in hammocks and float into ecuador..
CAN YOU TAKE A BOAT INTO ECUADOR FROM PERU..I MEAN THOSE BIG OLD ONES LIKE IN THE KATHERINE HEPBBURN MOVIES...
I have months upcoming fall, and some money to establish rural community libraries, could use some company and backs to help carry the books to sites. see www.ruralliteracyproject.org
I’ve recently know about a wonderful trip, In Puno- Peru. This trip is about making a tour around the Lake Titicaca via bus and cruise. You can start your trip doing various activities in Puno as: The Island Uros Island, which hosts a large number of pre-Incan people who live on 42 self-fashioned floating man-made islets. The Uros use the totora plant to make boats (balsas mats) of bundled dried reeds as well as to make the islands themselves. Also you can visit the Sillustani ruins located 34 km northwest of the city of Puno, on the shores of Lake Umayo. This archaeological complex was a cemetery of Culture Kolla. Established by a group of stone towers called "Chullpas" whose height varies from 10 to 13 meters. Aymara buried where their high priests.
After this visit, you can tour the lake by a great cruise. The activities start sailing to Sun Island, the legendary birth place of the Inca Empire. Visit the Inca Garden, steps and fountain then the Inti Wata Cultural Complex including the Ekako Underground Museum, the traditional medicine and the Titikaka Reed Shipbuilders display centers, visitors have the opportunity to interact with one of the most unspoiled indigenous Titikaka villages through an innovative program organized with the local community sharing rituals, ceremonies, folkloric demonstrations, etc.
You can finally complete the journey and return to Puno, or continue traveling to Bolivia where you will still experiencing the wonders of the Andes.
It is amazing to know so many wonderful places, cultural heritage innate from our past before, where each one lives an unforgettable experience.
For more information about this place, do not hesitate to e-mail me!!!
Re Post #8:
My understanding is that there is very little regular riverboat traffic from Iquitos into Ecuador. You would need to go up the Napo. However there is plenty of riverboat traffic into and through Brazil. You could easily start in Pucallpa or Yurimaguas and to all the way to Belem (I've done it, although not all on the same trip).
try to read the ebook on this site ..gives u a lot of tips on how to travel without paying a lot of cash
For your weeks in Argentina and Chile we are an option http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/jagrz/