South America Suggestions

Old Feb 20th, 2006, 07:31 AM
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South America Suggestions

I am interested in suggestions for my first trip to mainland South America. Of the many options (Brazil, Peru, Venezeula etc...) which would be the best/safest for my first foray further south. I am in my late 20's, would be travelling with one or two others females, and am not interested in tours.

I have previously travelled to Mexico (many times) and Costa Rica (which I absolutely loved).

Thank you in advance for any help!!
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 10:27 AM
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It depends on your own interests and specific itinerary. Any of 'em *could* be great, any of 'em *could* be dangerous if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time (Brazil's poor favelas are infamously violent, Peru's had problems with crime in Lima (not to mention the age-old Shining Path rebel issue), and Venezuela has had recent unrest over controversial leader Hugo Chavez (not to mention the constant wiggliness of urban crime around Caracas).

Know before you go, and you'll probably avoid the risky areas and have a great time.

Personally, of the three options you give us, I'd pick Brazil. It has *MORE* things going for it than the other two and is generally easier to handle for a typical tourist.

Just my opinion....
Mark
www.tiogringo.com
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 10:56 AM
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or.... go further south. Argentina and Chile are in most cases, safer and more stable if that's what worries you.

but again, as the above poster said, without knowing what your interests are, it's hard to recommend anything specific.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 11:02 AM
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Also, if you are on a tight budget, know hat a visa is required for US citizens, $100 when done in person, $110 plus postage both ways if done by mail. Make sure to request a 5 year visa, otherwise you may only get a 90 day visa. It's the same $ for both. You have to enter Brazil within 90 days of visa issue to validate it.
Chile has a $100 one time entry fee for US citizens and they will stamp your passport. That "visa" or "tax" is valid for the lifetime of your passport.
I know that Argentina and Peru don't require a visa. Not sure about Venezuela, but I wouldn't be surprised after the war of words between the 2 governments going on lately.
Just something to think about when and if you are on a budget.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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I am a woman in my 30s and recently travelled through Chile and Argentina alone and with my younger sister. Totally safe - no problems at all, and it was an amazing trip. I'm headed to Peru this spring, but was warned about the machismo attitude there towards women travellers, although mostly a safe country to travel through. Personally I wouldn't travel to Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador or Colombia.
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Old Feb 24th, 2006, 07:21 AM
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Venezuela may be a problem in the near future. Not the country and safety necessarly, but just getting there:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11540020/from/RS.1/
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Old Feb 24th, 2006, 06:28 PM
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Thanks for these responses!
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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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I'd like to clarify something about Venezuela. For some reason people think that because of the president we have, Venezuela is no longer convenient as a tourist destination. It's inconvenient for us who live in Venezuela and have to put up with him, but I don't see the reason why tourists can't come here anymore. I've seen many adds advising not to visit Venezuela just because of the so called political unrest (it's not like we have that problem every single day from Janaury 1st to December 31st). That would be like saying that we can't visit the United States just because of the war in Irak and because many US citizens don't agree with Bush, we can't visit Spain because of the ETA, we can't visit Ireland because of the IRA, etc.

I suggest to all of those claiming that Venezuela is no longer a tourist destination because of the moronic president we have, to do some reasearch on the internet about our country, since it's obvious that the last time you were here in Venezuela was... never.
 
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