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Where in South America should I not miss, and how to budget a 1-2 month summer trip?

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    I want to go to


    Rio de janeiro

    el salvedor

    iguazu

    cuzco-machu pichu

    manaus

    several destinations in the amazon rainforest and along the river

    any nice places imbetween

    I have July and August, but may not go for the entire time.

    I am happy to stay rough in hostels/backpacking/travel by bus, but need to know the practicalities and costs.
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    I have no advice but can I just say how jealous I am! That sounds amazing
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    I would travel up and down Chile wide variety of enviroments visit Calama it's never rained there. :eek:
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    (Original post by lizfairy)
    I want to go to


    Rio de janeiro

    el salvedor

    iguazu

    cuzco-machu pichu

    manaus

    several destinations in the amazon rainforest and along the river

    any nice places imbetween

    I have July and August, but may not go for the entire time.

    I am happy to stay rough in hostels/backpacking/travel by bus, but need to know the practicalities and costs.
    Buenos Aires

    Salar de Uyuni

    Colca Canyon

    Quito/Pretty much all of Ecuador

    Titicaca

    Uruguay!

    Patagonia

    Nazca

    Pisco

    Tierra del Fuego/Antarctica/Los Glaciares

    Galapagos

    Rapa Nui

    Manú

    Huascarán

    I'd do some more volunteer work.

    And on and on and on and on...

    Two months is nowhere near enough time. Good luck!
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    I know, I know I'll want to keep going back there, but would be best to get a bit out the way first, and manage it financially the best I can!
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    In my book, 2 months = 2 countries, 3 if you rush or a whole load of touristy stuff all over the place if you dash around like a headless chicken/tourist.

    Travel slow, do it properly. Most of it'll be there when you get back.

    Of your list, i would prioritise Bolivia and Peru. Compact, easy transit, rather different to here and stunning. MP, Salar, death road, jungle in Rurrenabaque, Arequipa/Colca, La Paz, Huaraz (awesome), Potosi and Nazca is your 2 months right there.

    Maybe a flying visit to the Galagapos if you have money to piss up the wall.

    For me though, a priority would be Colombia. Safe, friendly and has a well developed backpacker trail...though few/any real tourists. This is one that will probably change beyond all recognition before you manage a return visit.

    Col, Ec, Peru, Bol are cheap. Hostels under $7 inc. brekkie. You can eat out on under $5 day. Buses are $1-1.50 an hour. Arg is expensive by comparison, Chile is extortionate and Brazil is an effin king's ransom.
    MP is expensive (google the free way), mountains/trekking is cheap in Peru and Bolivia. Jungle is cheap in Bolivia. Nights out are cheap everywhere and rock in La Paz.



    Have fun.
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    (Original post by lizfairy)
    I want to go to


    Rio de janeiro

    el salvedor

    iguazu

    cuzco-machu pichu

    manaus

    several destinations in the amazon rainforest and along the river

    any nice places imbetween

    I have July and August, but may not go for the entire time.

    I am happy to stay rough in hostels/backpacking/travel by bus, but need to know the practicalities and costs.
    I'd definitely recommend Machu Pichu it's a great place to visit and learn a LOT about their history The people who built that city built it well. They built it at the right place too
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    I will be in South America at the same time. Fly out on 30th June and at the moment my route is

    Lima
    Nazca
    Colca Canyon
    Machu Picchu
    Lake Titicaca
    Copacabana
    La Paz
    Rurrenabaque
    Uyuni
    San Pedro de Atacama
    Salta
    Iguazu (maybe)
    Santiago

    Just over 8 weeks for the whole thing, travelling mainly by bus with a couple flights due to time restrictions. Are you going alone?
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    (Original post by miml)
    I will be in South America at the same time. Fly out on 30th June and at the moment my route is

    Lima
    Nazca
    Colca Canyon
    Machu Picchu
    Lake Titicaca
    Copacabana
    La Paz
    Rurrenabaque
    Uyuni
    San Pedro de Atacama
    Salta
    Iguazu (maybe)
    Santiago

    Just over 8 weeks for the whole thing, travelling mainly by bus with a couple flights due to time restrictions. Are you going alone?

    Yeah I'll be going alone, a few people have expressed interest in meeting up but i highly doubt it will happen!
    Which of those places are in Brazil other than Iguazu? Have you found out about buses between Brazil and Peru? What's your budget?
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    (Original post by lizfairy)
    Yeah I'll be going alone, a few people have expressed interest in meeting up but i highly doubt it will happen!
    Which of those places are in Brazil other than Iguazu? Have you found out about buses between Brazil and Peru? What's your budget?
    I'm not going to Brazil, apart from the half day to see the falls from the Brazilian side.

    For what it's worth, I'll also express an interest in meeting up (my plan is relatively detailed so I know where I should be on each day if everything goes to plan).
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    (Original post by miml)
    I'm not going to Brazil, apart from the half day to see the falls from the Brazilian side.

    For what it's worth, I'll also express an interest in meeting up (my plan is relatively detailed so I know where I should be on each day if everything goes to plan).
    Cool, i'd love to meet up to do the machu pichu trail, I need to figure out which organizer i'm doing it with or whether it's better to organize it when I get there?
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    (Original post by lizfairy)
    Cool, i'd love to meet up to do the machu pichu trail, I need to figure out which organizer i'm doing it with or whether it's better to organize it when I get there?
    I was looking at this earlier this week. Basically Inca Trail (the classic one that most people do - walking into MP) bookings open middle of January and if you want a spot for your preferred dates, pretty much have to book them straight away. There are several other treks though and I think it is ok to book these a few days before (July/August is the peak of high season though, and everywhere I've read says to book in advance), with varying pros and cons. The main thing about the Inca Trail is that you get to walk into MP, but it is very crowded.

    http://www.apus-peru.com/trek_comparisons.htm

    For me its between Salkantay, Lares and the classic Inca Trail. I'd love to do the Inca Trail but if it means being surrounded by masses of tourists, I'm not so sure. The Salkantay is fairly popular as well but not as crowded. The Lares trek passes through several small communities which sounds interesting.

    Having a look around the internet, I think LLama Path has good reviews, and is reasonably priced. Just under 300 quid for the trek.
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    (Original post by miml)
    I was looking at this earlier this week. Basically Inca Trail (the classic one that most people do - walking into MP) bookings open middle of January and if you want a spot for your preferred dates, pretty much have to book them straight away. There are several other treks though and I think it is ok to book these a few days before (July/August is the peak of high season though, and everywhere I've read says to book in advance), with varying pros and cons. The main thing about the Inca Trail is that you get to walk into MP, but it is very crowded.

    http://www.apus-peru.com/trek_comparisons.htm

    For me its between Salkantay, Lares and the classic Inca Trail. I'd love to do the Inca Trail but if it means being surrounded by masses of tourists, I'm not so sure. The Salkantay is fairly popular as well but not as crowded. The Lares trek passes through several small communities which sounds interesting.

    Having a look around the internet, I think LLama Path has good reviews, and is reasonably priced. Just under 300 quid for the trek.

    Ooh thanks that site is really helpful, all the options you mentioned and the four angles sound good. It would be really useful if we could group together with some other people to make it a less expensive trip.
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    I did Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil.

    Peru - Lima, Machu Picchu etc, Bolivia - La Paz, salt lakes/flats, Tupiza etc, Iguacu falls, Rio De Janeiro, then near Corumba, to see some Brazilian wetlands, back to Lima.

    I strongly recommend Bolivia. My highlight of the holiday - cycling the so-called 'world's most dangerous road' and the salt lakes and flats in Bolivia were ****ing beautiful. Srrly.
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    I did the Lares trek and it was awesome. So quiet, didn't pass another group. Shame we had to turn back because there was snow at one particular mountain pass. Ended up staying for a day at a hot springs location instead :cool: The Inca trail had fully booked but I knew about this before I booked my trip. I don't feel I lost out through not having done the Inca trail.
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    What company did you go through when cycling 'Death Road'? I just want to make sure I don't end up with a :snow::snow::snow::snow::snow::snow: bike, especially having seen the pictures. Also I haven't biked in a few years now, was it relatively difficult or is it more a case of nerves?
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    (Original post by miml)
    What company did you go through when cycling 'Death Road'? I just want to make sure I don't end up with a :snow::snow::snow::snow::snow::snow: bike, especially having seen the pictures. Also I haven't biked in a few years now, was it relatively difficult or is it more a case of nerves?
    Gravity Assisted Mountain Biking. Be aware that some of the companies do change their names because of having lost reputation through a number of cyclists who have either got injured or died doing the 'death road'. Tbh, get a good company, keep 100% concentration at all times, know when and where to brake, you can tell as the quality of road surface is variable, some surfaces are better to brake on that others etc. Also, obviously don't cycle too close to the edge and watch incoming vehicles etc. They usually beep loudly but you can get some truly **** driving even on this really dangerous road.

    A Top Gear episode was on very recently and they drove down the 'death road', although they clearly stage-managed a few scenes, one of which was showing a car wheel right on the edge of a sharp drop. The deceit in that programme was laughable.

    It's not difficult, more a mental thing really. Know your limits. A girl in my group clearly didn't, she went too fast, went over her handlebars and severely bruised her wrist, could have been much worse. Served her right for having the cheek to overtake me, rofls.
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    Gravity Assisted were in that years 'Lonely Planet' book, they were recommended. Having used them, in 2006, I'd recommend them to anyone. But of course, companies change, personnel changes, and they may not be what they were back in 2006. You get a free t-shirt at the end of the ride, still have mine and it's lasted really well. I work out in it alot of the time and it's kept really well :cool: Also got photos and dvds done of the ride :cool: Some food and drinks when you finish...

    It's an awesome day. Couldn't do the uphill part of the ride because of the altitude and you're given the opportunity to sit in the van for the 'going up' bits of the ride. I did just that because I was seriously concerned about my health wrt the altitude.

    www.gravitybolivia.com
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    You can really do a whole load of traveling in a period of 4-5 weeks. If it means cramming it all in, cram it in.

    I beg of you to go to the salt flats and salt lakes in Bolivia! Went on a 3 day excursion. I was sleeping in this environment for one particular night, in some cheap hut place, in this really barren, deserty landscape, had to go outside to then go into another building to empty my bladder, looked up and the sky was immense. So dark, the stars were really bright. I was like "**** this is incredible, soak it all up son because you may never come here again". Just one of those moments, tbh. Unforgettable. Like your first ***k.
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    I did the Lares trek this summer (or rather, I did one of them- there are a few different routes) and although I'd been kind of disappointed before hand because I wanted to be doing the Inca Trail, in the end I was glad of it. We went through a few communities on our way which was really nice (if you do it, take some cheapy toys or something to give out to children, they were really amazed by these little winnie the pooh things we gave them, was such a priceless moment). Also, it meant that we had a night to rest before seeing macchu picchu whereas members of our tour group who did the inca trail said they were too knackered to properly enjoy it which is a massive shame.

    Would definitely reccommend Colca Canyon (and Arequipa), Nasca (not just for the lines, there are some really interesting old graveyards, can't remember what they're called) Puno and Titicaca (we had two homestays which were really good) and Cusco although it was much more touristy that I expected. Someone mentioned Pisco but there's not really that much there and it's not very safe- if you do go however the Ballestas islands are worth a visit and there's an oasis between pisco and nasca where you can do sandboarding which is so much fun!

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