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Colombia-Brazil-Chile-Bolivia-Peru (Dec'17-Jan'18)

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Hey there, my husband and I will be traveling to South America from Singapore for the first time in December this year (Dec'17 - Jan'18). We have a super packed itinerary - not ideal but it’s not like we will get to visit South America again anytime soon. We are being super ambitious with the goal of touching the highlights of 5 countries in a little over 5 weeks. I got some really helpful direction for our itinerary from a luxury travel agency we were looking to work with but couldn’t because of pricing/budget. So I have drafted a rough itinerary for us based on the best possible international flights we can get in and out of the continent. We may just be able to extend by 1 day on either side but I am sharing a less optimistic view for now. The itinerary is a bit odd and not organised in the most logical order but this is because we are limited by dates and we absolutely want to spend NYE in Rio (despite the ridiculous costs)!

We are looking for a mix of nature, colorful cities, pristine beaches, nightlife and culture. We love being by the water, local markets, handicrafts, good wines, good chocolate, hanging at the beach, etc. Would like to experience the local dance scene (not through commercial shows but local bars/streets/etc.) Not super sporty; light walking and some basic treks are fine but definitely not keen to do any hardcore hiking. If there are any spots/destinations famous for pottery or ceramics, I'd love to add those too. Even higher on the list would be chocolate tours/cocoa farms/chocolate and wine pairing kind of experiences. Nothing makes me happier than good dark chocolate! :P

Would love to get some help and expert opinion from this forum on our itinerary -
1. By and large, given the tight timeline, are we allocating the bare minimum time to each place? Any places where we should cut down days and add to others? Where will we be too rushed?
2. Would you reorder any cities/destinations within a country? We don’t have much flexibility on changing the order of the countries itself (except that we can go from Brazil—>Peru—> Bolivia—>Chile instead of Brazil—> Chile—>Bolivia—>Peru if that’s recommended.
3. How should we make our way from Santiago/Valparaiso to Torres del Paine? Best transfer options?
4. Is there a way to go from Patagonia (Torres del Paine) in Chile to Uyuni in Bolivia without crossing the Atacama desert? We want to be price and time conscious so we’d love to get suggestions on the best transfer option. Do not need to include Atacama on its own if it’s not necessary for the transfer.
5. 2 days too little in Uyuni? Is the 3 day tour highly suggested? And should we be booking a tour - any recommendations? - or going free and easy here? What should be our base while exploring the salt flats?
6. What is the best way to go from La Paz to Lake Titicaca? And what’s the best way to cross over from there to Cusco while seeing the Rainbow Mountain somewhere along the way? Is that even possible?
7. I get altitude sick very easily. Are we giving ourselves enough time to acclimatise in Cusco? Would a different order of destinations be better for us?
8. If we had to omit one place to giving ourselves more breathing room, would it be La Paz or Lake Titicaca? Should we be omitting anything?

That’s a lot for now! Thanks a ton in advance. We are excited for what will be a trip of a lifetime for us coming from Asia!!

~~
16-Dec - Colombia, Bogota
17-Dec - Colombia, Bogota
18-Dec - Colombia, Cartagena (Flight from Bogota to Cartagena)
19-Dec - Colombia, Cartagena
20-Dec - Colombia, Cartagena
21-Dec - Colombia, Cartagena/Santa Marta Day Trip
22-Dec - Colombia, Medllin (Flight from Cartagena to Medellin)
23-Dec - Colombia, Medllin
24-Dec - Colombia, Medellin/Guatapé
25-Dec - Colombia, Bogota (Flight from Medellin to Salvador via Bogota)
26-Dec - Brazil, Salvador
27-Dec - Brazil, Salvador da Bahia
28-Dec - Brazil, Salvador da Bahia
29-Dec - Brazil, Rio (Flight from Salvador to Rio)
30-Dec - Brazil, Rio
31-Dec - Brazil, Rio
1-Jan - Brazil, Rio (Flight from Rio to Iguazu at 9pm)
2-Jan - Brazil, Iguacu Falls (can only visit the Brazilian side due to visa constraints)
3-Jan - Brazil, Iguacu Falls (Flight from Iguazu to Santiago via Sao Paulo)
4-Jan - Chile, Santiago
5-Jan - Chile, Valpariaso (Bus/land transfer from Santiago to Valpariaso)
6-Jan - Chile, Valpariaso
7-Jan - Chile, Valpariaso/Casablanca Wine Valley
8-Jan - Chile, Patagonia/Torres del Paine (Flight to Patagonia)
9-Jan - Chile, Patagonia/Torres del Paine
10-Jan - Chile, Patagonia/Torres del Paine
11-Jan - Chile, Atacama
12-Jan - Bolivia, Salar de Uyuni
13-Jan - Bolivia, Salar de Uyuni
14-Jan - Bolivia, La Paz (Flight fom Uyuni to La Paz)
15-Jan - Bolivia, La Paz/Moon Valley
16-Jan - Bolivia, Lake Titicaca/ Isla del Sol
17-Jan - Bolivia, Lake Titicaca/Uros Floating Islands
18-Jan - Peru, Cusco/Rainbow Mountain
19-Jan - Peru, Cusco
20-Jan - Peru, Cusco
21-Jan - Peru, Machu Picchu (By train)
22-Jan - Peru, Sacred Valley Flight from Cusco to Lima
23-Jan - Peru, Lima (Fly back from Lima to Singapore)

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