Adult family trip to South America

Old Nov 15th, 2020, 07:33 AM
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Adult family trip to South America

70 year old travelling to South America from Maryland with 3 mid 40's family members. Initially I was hoping for a "base" we could take day trips from, however after a preliminary search it seems many of the most recommended South American sites are widely spaced. We have about 8 or 9 days maximum for this initial trip and I would prefer not to be travelling every other day. Any thoughts on where to focus our research and planning. We are all interested in visiting areas that would be inspirational and unusual.
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Old Nov 15th, 2020, 07:41 AM
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That's not very long for a country, never mind a continent. You need to be more specific. For example, scenery or cities? I found that the scenery easily outshone the cities in the areas I visited, and I was totally wowed by Patagonia. Or you could combine Buenos Aires and the Iguazu falls, perhaps with Montevideo. Maybe you are more into wine? Or deserts? Can't help much with such a general question.
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Old Nov 15th, 2020, 09:33 AM
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Welcome to Fodors, With just 8 or 9 days you'll only be able to see a teensy bit of one country let alone several. Just for one example, with travel time to Peru eating up pretty much a full day each way, 8 days for Peru could net something like 2 nights Lima, 2 night Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu, and 2 nights Cusco - and that would be awfully rushed and you'd definitely be traveling every other day. And there might be altitude acclimation to deal with slowing you down even more.

I suggest you get a couple of guide books - maybe one general South America first to see if you can narrow things down to which country you want to visit and then a specific book about that country.
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Old Nov 15th, 2020, 09:50 AM
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Yes, I am finding it very hard to narrow it down. We are definitely interested more in scenery. My sons are athletic so it would be great if they had access to options they would enjoy. I am in good health but not able to handle extremely strenuous activities. We would be fine going our separate ways during some of the days. I understand we will need to limit our visit to a country or region given the time we have. (Maybe we can add a few days).

I was hoping there was a city or area to use as a base that would allow us day trips for various adventures. We have no pre-conceived preferences for a specific area.

Thank you for your previous response...I appreciate it!
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Old Nov 15th, 2020, 10:00 AM
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Thankyou janisj.
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Old Nov 15th, 2020, 10:38 AM
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Well, you might look at combining El Calafate and El Chalten with Bariloche. Or on the other side of the continent your sons might hike the Inca trail while you take transport.

For my trip, which took a couple of months, start here: Rio to Santiago via Patagonia

Or here with pix: https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...-taste-of-rio/
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Old Nov 17th, 2020, 11:06 AM
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First, absolutely stick to one country -- or a pair of countries that are close together (e.g., Peru-Bolivia, Argentina-Montevideo,UR). Peru or Argentina would be the best "starter" countries for a first time 8-9 days to give you the nature you're looking for and a wide variety of other things.

Are you really wanting to pick somewhere as a base and stay in one hotel for the entire time? That's not really realistic IMHO.
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Old Nov 17th, 2020, 06:52 PM
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Not much time for anything given the travel distances. Also, what time of year? Remember if you go to the south (Patagonia either Argentina or Chile, the seasons are reversed). With only a week, a direct or nonstop flight would be a priority.

What about a Galapagos cruise? From what I've heard., Ecuador is now open with a few flights per week to the Galapagos.

Everyone thinks of Peru first, eg Machu Picchu but the travel logistics are complicated for a one week trip. Two flights and a train.
There are other regions that are a possibility which could be reached with a driver from Lima (not a good idea to take a bus at this time, or DIY.). The coastal desert around Paracas and Nazca maybe, but season needs to be considered. The North Coast is too far by vehicle.

Colombia is another option if you can handle the heat and humidity, Cartagena. Depending on season, I also like Medellin, with the coffee country nearby. Be aware of the "bimodal" rainy season. I have no idea of the COVID/ flights situation there either.

Possibly by next summer you could visit the Coffee Triangle in Colombia.

Last edited by mlgb; Nov 17th, 2020 at 06:54 PM.
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