3 months Santiago to Quito

Old Mar 29th, 2020, 06:26 AM
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3 months Santiago to Quito


Thanks for reading. My boyfriend and I are planning our first trip to South America for June/July/August 2021. We are planning on going for 11-12 weeks. Below is our rough itinerary, does this seem feasible in the time? Anything worth adding/removing?

Santiago - 3 days
La Serena - 2 days
San Pedro de Atacama - 3 days
Uyuni - 4 days
Potosi - 1/2 days
Sucre - 1/2 days
La Paz - 4 days
Copacabana, Lake Titicaca - 2 days
Puno, Lake Titicaca - 2 days
Arequipa - 2 days
Colca Canyon - 2 days
Cusco - 7 days (4 day Inca Trail trek + day trip to Rainbow mountain)
Nazca Lines - 1 day
Huacachina - 2 days
Lima - 3 days
Trujilo - 2 days
Manorca - 3 days
Cuenca - 2 days
Baņos - 3 days
Tena - 3 days
Quito - 2 days
Galapagos Islands - 7 days
Quito - 1 day (fly home)

This is roughly 68 days which would give us 9-16 spare, so hopefully we don't have to be rushing all the time. We are also planning on taking overnight buses where we can.

Thank you!
phoebeacb is offline  
Old Mar 29th, 2020, 08:11 AM
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Looks like a well thought out trip. Good that you are leaving time to spare. Firstly, travel rarely goes entirely to plan in South America and secondly, having taken several long trips throughout South America, we usually find that occasionally we suffer from short bouts of "travel fatigue" on those occasions we will just hole up for a few days and do nothing! There will also be places you will want to stay a little longer or maybe divert to along the way.

A few random thoughts/specific observations:
1. Remember that to spend say two days anywhere, you really need to stay 3 nights.
2. Overnight bus trips in Peru we have always found to be fine as long as we use reputable companies, Cruz Del Sur, Oltursa, Movil, Etc. It is worth paying extra for VIP class for overnight trips especially as you will be saving on overnight accomodation.
3. A tour of Salar de Uyuni and the altiplano usually takes 2-3 nights from SPDeA. I would move on from Uyuni town as soon as you can!
4. We enjoyed Sucre so much that whilst we planned a 3 night stop, we needed up staying 10. A good place to rest awhile!
5. Switch around Arequipa and Colca- you can get a tour bus from Puno to Colca and then on to Arequipa (itself another nice place to extend a stay)
6. From Trujillo, you have two options to cross into Ecuador, via the coast as you plan or via Chachapoyas and the highlands at the La Bolsa crossing. The latter is a bit of a rough road but arguably, more rewarding.
7. places in Ecuador I would also consider in addition to Cuenca would be Vilcabamba and Riobamba. Both places we much preferred to Banos.

Our time in these places is covered in our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com just click on the Destination tab for the appropriate country for posts on each location. Most are covered there but any if you have any questions do please ask.

Sounds like a fantastic trip!
crellston is offline  
Old Mar 29th, 2020, 09:33 AM
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If you time it right, you might be able to go Puno to Cusco, and then take 4M bus from Cusco to Colca (Chivay). You will be acclimated from your time in Bolivia. From there on to Arequipa. Don't forget to visit some of the other sights around the Sacred Valley, in addition to Cusco and MP (Ollantaytambo and Pisac).

I liked Baņos just fine. Enjoyed the public hot springs and was even able to glimpse the volcano from the other side of the river.

For Galapagos, you really need 8 days if you are going to do a small boat cruise (which you should). I used Cometa/Angelito and went early to Puerto Ayora.

But who knows how things will unfold next year?

Last edited by mlgb; Mar 29th, 2020 at 09:39 AM.
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