1st Trip to So. America - Where to Visit?

Old Feb 6th, 2008, 07:40 AM
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1st Trip to So. America - Where to Visit?

Hi Fodorites,

Been many places but haven't been to South America yet. Thinking of a two to three week trip.

So... what have been your hightlights or best experiences in South America? What country (or countries) should we target? Any particular time of year? We're thinking February.

We're all adults in our 40s. Experienced travelers. Light hikers/campers. We can rough it a bit, but generally would stay at comfortable four or five star hotels.

Thanks for sharing your ideas!

Sass
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 10:17 AM
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Sass,

We visited South America for 3 weeks in Feb/Mar 2006, and went to the following places:

Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
Iquitos
Cusco/Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu
Galapagos

We had a great time. In a few weeks we are going to South America again, for three weeks, to:

Atacama Desert
Torres Del Paine
Buenos Aires
Iguazu Falls
The Pantanal
Rio

At some point we also want to the Nazca lines, Lake Titicaca, Salar de Uyuni, and a couple of other places.

Let me know if you have more specific questions on lodging, transportation, etc.
mistadobalina is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2008, 08:11 PM
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Galapagos is always good. But Jan-Mar the waved albatross are out to sea. Everything else is there, though.

If you like wildlife, the Pantanal.
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Old Feb 10th, 2008, 10:03 PM
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Hi mistadobolina, I hope you don't mind If I ask a question on this post. I read about your South America 2006 trip and you traveled to all the islands in the Galapagos I would like to see. What company or book did you use?
thanks!
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 10:03 AM
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I went through A&K for the whole trip, but if you're just going on a cruise, you really don't need to book through them. It's not like we got any preferential treatment or anything on the boat - we just paid more than the other passengers.

While we were on a personalized itinerary, about half the boat (The Eclipse) was on part of a packaged tour including Machu Picchu and the Galapagos - several people were very upset when they realized that it was not an A&K boat, and that "regular" passengers had paid far less than them for the same exact experience.

So when we go back (probably in May when the Albatrosses are there), we will just book directly with the Eclipse.

One word of caution - somewhere in the depths of my mind I recall the captain saying that they were not going to go to Tower (Genovesa) much longer - you may want to check on that, since we really liked that island.
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 01:54 PM
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No more Genovesa? That's the best place for the red footed boobies. Did you recall why that island may not be visited anymore?
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 03:58 PM
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Distance. It's a long trip comparatively, and so its more cost effective to just skip it if 90% of the people won't know any better anyway.

I guess they figure the specialized birder boats will still go there.

I thought Tower was amazing. Besides the boobies, that's where all the red-throated frigate birds were, puffing away.
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 06:05 PM
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To the OP, I'd highly reccommend Buenos Aires and/or Rio with perhaps a couple of days at Iguazu Falls. In Feb, it will be summer in the southern part of SA, so places like Argentina make a great choice. Prices in Argentina are also very good right now, so it would probably be a great choice for you.
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 07:56 PM
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So that's just certain companies not going to Genovesa. It's not off limits due to a rule change. That's good.
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