South America Trip Help

Old Apr 20th, 2007, 11:43 AM
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South America Trip Help

Partner and I are in the process of planning our trip to South America for September 2007

Country we want to Visit.

Peru – Lima and Cusco (Machu Picchu) 5 days

Chile –Fly from Cusco to Puerto Natales, rent a car and drive around for a few days and then down to Punta Arenas. (Any recommendation on how many days we should spend at these 2 locations?)

Argentina – From Punta Arenas, we want to fly from there to Ushuaia (maybe spend 2 days there?)

From Ushuaia, fly up to Buenos Aires (3 days?)

From Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls (may be 2 days)

From Iguazu Falls fly to Rio (maybe 4 days there?)

From there back to LAX.

We are planning to Fly out on 8/31/2007 and Return on 9/23/2007.

Any help would be great!!!!
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Old Apr 21st, 2007, 04:47 PM
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Will you skip the NW of Argentina??? That`s a crime... why don`t you cross through Jujuy and SAlta province in the NW to Iguazu and then you go through Mendoza to Chile again...? Or even better I would come through Bolivia to Argentina by train from Oruro, if you need any of the train schedules just let me know.
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Old Apr 25th, 2007, 12:22 PM
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That seems like a awfully rushed trip. And if one flight goes wrong (not unlikely) it could screw it all up since it is such a tight schedule. I'd recommend picking fewer places and really seeing them. There's a lot more to Peru, for example, than Lima and Cusco. Also, do you plan to hike (in Cusco or Patagonia)? That will add to the time you need. Definitely skip Rio til your next trip - your Spanish will finally start coming together and you'll throw yourself into a new language. Since Patagonia is very cold in Sept, maybe just see Peru and Argentina, including northern Arg as the previous poster recommended?
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Old Apr 26th, 2007, 04:56 PM
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Misqui is right, you should skip Rio in that trip: Brazil deserves much more time than just 4 days in Rio.
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Old Apr 26th, 2007, 05:43 PM
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If you are going mid to late September, and are interested in a fascinating visit with Penguins, Whales, Sea Lions, suggest you spend at least 2 nights in Puerto Madryn/Trelew.
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Old Apr 27th, 2007, 05:38 AM
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If you are mid september in the NW, stay in Salta, there is a very important religion celebration and it is reallly interesting to see the mix of culture.
September 13th-14th-15th...
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Old Apr 28th, 2007, 08:53 PM
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Thank you guys. You are right, We have decided to take Rio out of this trip. New Itinerary:
Depart LAX on 8/31
Arrive in Arequipa on 9/1/2007 via Lima (2 days in Arequipa)

Arrive in Cusco on 9/3/2007 early morning (3 ˝ days in Cusco – Include 2 day Hike to Machu Picchu)

Arrive in Punta Arenas on 9/7/2007 (5 ˝ days in Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales and El Calafate)
We will be renting a car driving from Punta Arenas to El Calafate)

Depart El Calafate on 9/13/07 to Buenos Aires (3 ˝ days in Buenos Aires with a half day trip to Colonia)

Depart Buenos Aires for Iguazu on 9/17/07 early morning(2 days in Iguazu)

Depart Iguazu for Buenos Aires on 9/19/07 (early flight, back in BA at 10am. Catch the Hydrofoil over to Monteverdo and spend a day there)

On 9/20/07 take the bus/taxi down to Punta Del Este (2 days in Punta Del Este)

Depart for Monteverdo on 9/22/07 in the evening for LAX.

Question: should we spend more time in Patagonia and BA and not visit Monteverdo and Punta Del Este?
What is the weather like in Punta Del Este in late September?
Thanks again for all your help.
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Old Apr 29th, 2007, 06:27 AM
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Yes, skip Montevideo and Punta del Este and spend more time other places. I haven't been to Uruguay, and I'm sure it's great, but you're going to very distinct places that more time in each will help you to really experience them.

In Sept, as I'm sure you know, it's cold and the off-season in Patagonia. Many tourist activities and lodges will be closed. If you're planning to hike, I'd spend more time there. You could spend 2-3 days (or more) hiking in Torres del Paine park (a 2-3 hour drive from Puerto Natales), and stay in one of the lodges there that is open in September.
I would minimize time in Punta Arenas. The best thing there, from our trip last December, was the boat ride out to an island to see penguins, but I don't know if it operates in Sept. I really got the impression that tourism is very slow outside the warmer months of Nov - April. On the plus side, the winds should be less, and the crowds will be very reduced.
I'd recommend flying to Punta Arenas, driving to Torres del Paine for 2-3 days, then driving to El Calafate for 1-3 days, and then fly up to BA.

The place I'd recommend more time is Cusco/Macchu Picchu. There is SO much there that 3.5 days, including 2 for the hike, really doesn't do it justice. The Cusco area is amazing. One day can be spend seeing the neaby Incan ruins - you can take a bus to the highest one and walk back down to Cusco seeing all 4 ruins. There's a great market in nearby Pisac, and mountain biking in the Sacred Valley along the Ollaytaytambo (spelling?) River. Plus, spending a few days in Cusco will help acclimate you for your hike, which will make the hike more enjoyable and less of an endurance run.
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Old Apr 29th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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After MP, my favorite ruins were Pisac. It's easy to miss them unless you make special arrangements to visit as they are futher outside Cusco.
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