Huge thanks to the many people who make these forums such a wonderful resource. I'll be sure to submit a trip report at the end of the summer .
Thanks to many people's input I believe I have my final draft of my itinerary for my 10 week/70 day trip through South America this summer.
All comments, critiques, rants, diatribes, etc are welcome!
HERE IT IS:
Toronto flight to Lima (1 day/1 night)
->Arrive Lima on the 5th at 2:20am
Lima to Huaraz (1 day)
->take first bus to Huaraz.
Huaraz (2 days/ 3 nights)
->arrive in evening ,begin searching for travel buddies for Huayhuash Circuit, day hikes to acclimatize
Huayhuash Circuit (10 days/9 nights)
->arrive back in Huaraz on the evening of the 10th day??
Huaraz (1 day/1 night)
->Sleep here on the 10th evening of the circuit. Spend the day relaxing. Take night bus to Lima.
Lima (3 days/3 nights)
->On 4th day take flight to Arequipa
Arequipa + Colca Canyon (4 days/ 3 nights)
->on evening of 4th day, catch 8pm bus to Cusco.
Cusco (4 days/4 nights)
-> arrive 6:30am, find a tour company to do Salkantay, book all tickets and explore city.
->2nd & 3rd days -> Explore Sacred Valley
->4th day -> explore Cusco
Salkantay or Lares as backup + MP (5 days)
->hopefully arrive back in Cusco on the 5th night.
Cusco (1 day rest)
->leave on the ~10pm bus.
Transfer in Puno
->arrive at 6am in Puno
->bus leaves Puno at 7:30am and takes 3.5 hours
Copacabana (3 days/2 nights including transport to La Paz)
->Arrive ~11am. Explore copacabana.
->2nd day: Ferry to Isla del Sol (leave at 8am and 1pm I believe) Spend full day exploring the island. Sleep in Copacabana.
->Take 1:30pm bus to La Paz (there is also a 6:30pm bus). Takes 3 hours.
La Paz (3 days/4 nights)
->Arrive around 4:30pm. Begin Organizing tours.
->Day 1: Organize Death Road, Huyana Potosi, and Rurrenbaque + Pampas and explore.
->2nd & 3rd day: Explore city.
Huyana Potosi (3 days or 2 days?)
1 day of Rest in La Paz
Death Road day trip, back in La Paz by 7:30-9:30pm.
Rurrenabaque + madidi: 3 days/2 nights. Fly in and out with Amaszonas or TAM
->Last day, finish in Rurrenabaque in afternoon. Fly to La Paz
Day of Rest in La Paz
->Take night bus to Uyuni
Uyuni (1 day/1night or less if possible)
->Find a group to do Salar de Uyuni.
Salar de Uyuni (3 days/2 nights)
San Pedro de Atacama (3 days/3 nights)
->Arrive on evening of day 3 of salt flats tour.
->Be flexible here because buses may leave 3 times a week for Salta, or they may not.
Salta + surroundings (4 days/4 nights)
Iguaçu Falls (2 days + 1 day to get here)
-> just argentinian side because I'd need a visa for Brazilian side.. unless it's really worth it???
Buenos Aires (5 days + 1 to get here from Iguacu)
FOR A TOTAL OF 67-68 days out of 70 scheduled days. Additional days are there for flexibility. Could replace a bus with a flight to save time if running behind schedule. Could also easily add a couple days to the end of the trip if I'm behind schedule.
If there is extra time I could do: Puerto Madryn + Peninsula Valdes (4 days including transport, maybe 3?)
1. General impressions???
2. What are some of the must-do things at these various spots?
3. Recommend any specific tour operators for Salkantay? Huayhuash Circuit? Madidi National Park? Huyana Potosi?
4. The cheapest flight I can find right now is 150$ from Lima to Arequipa. But I've heard of 80$ flights... is that just an old price or is there a way to find cheaper flights?
5. I've heard that starting June 2014 you'll require a licensed tour operator to do the Salkantay Hike. Can anyone confirm? Any idea of how this will affect last-minute bookings?
In case you're wondering, my top priority is outdoor activities (mountain biking, lots of trekking, canoeing/kayaking, beginner climber) but I'm also fascinated by history, really enjoy photography, really into beer (i homebrew), no experience but I love the idea of horseback riding, interested in learning more about wine, love good food (who doesn't!), enjoy self-guided walking or biking tours of cities, and one or two party nights along the way certainly don't hurt.
Thanks in advance to anyone willing to help out!!!
All the best,
REVISED: Please critique my (well researched!) Itinerary
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