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Jero28 Jul 8th, 2010 06:37 PM

- five Months in South America
Hi All,
I will be travelling in South America and it will be my first time there, So now I was wondering if you guys can help me to plan this trip...i would like to know the best Itinerary to visit Buenos Aires, Iguazu falls, Bolivia, Peru(Machu Pucchu) and Ecuador.
Which cities do you recommend to visit (tourist attractions). well I am little lose trying to find out a nice itinenary, i don't want to spend time and money in places that dont worth it to go..i hope you can give some tips...I will apreciate!!!

Thank you in advance for any help,
Have a nice day everyone

LatAmForLess Jul 9th, 2010 07:45 AM

Hi Jero28! With a five month travel itinerary, you can definitely see a lot of South America. It sounds like you want to hit a lot of the main travel destinations. Do you also want to see some cool out-of-the-way places?

Here’s a suggested itinerary. You can adjust the time and order you visit these places, but all are worth checking out.

Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Lima, Peru, have major airports that would be good jumping points for you to start your vacation. If you start in Buenos Aires, you can easily spend a week just visitng the city, and another few days visiting the pampas surrounding the city. There are tons of museums, palaces, plazas, and churches to check out in Buenos Aires. Make sure to visit those around San Martin Square and Avenue 9 de Julio. You might even want to take a biking tour of the city, as it is flat and easy to navigate. Outside city limits is the town of Tigre on the Tigre river delta. The 19th century mansions of this elite town are only accessible by boat. Buenos Aires is also famous for its tango houses, so make sure to dine at a porteña, where you can enjoy a traditional Argentine steak or lamb dinner and a professional tango show.

Other places to see in Argentina include the Iguazu Falls (make sure to spend at least a day roaming the surrounding forest!), Puerto Madryn (whale-watching and scuba diving) Ushuaia (the most southern city in the world!), Mendoza (the valley famous for its wine), El Calafate and El Chalten (great for hiking and glacier treks), and Barlioche (the place for skiing).

In Lima, Peru, there is also enough to keep you busy for a week. The Larcomar shopping center is located right on the beachside cliffs, and you can watch (or do!) paragliding on sunny days. If you are into surfing, you can rent a board and wetsuit and get a lesson for about $20 a day. Peruvian food in Lima is to die for! There are tons of Chifa restaurants, which have Peruvian-influenced Chinese food. There are delicious carne and pollo empanadas sold everywhere. My favorite Peruvian food are alfajores, two soft shortbread cookies dusted in powdered sugar and sandwiched between a delicate caramel-like sauce called majar blanco. For fine dining, the AstridGaston restaurant is unbeatable, and the Huaca Pullcana restaurant right next to the pre-Inca Pullcana temple is pretty much amazing. Check out the Plaza de Armas, which looks much the same as it did when the conquistador Francisco Pizzaro was in power. Don’t forget to try a Pisco Sour, Peru’s national cocktail!

Peru has a ton of other fantastic travel destinations, and it’s easy to spend a month in this beautiful and varied country. From Lima, head north to the beaches of Trujillo, Chiclayo, and Mancora and then northeast to Peru’s Amazon. Or head south from Lima to Pisco, Paracas (one of the world’s largest marine bird preserves), and Nazca (the site of the mysterious Nazca lines). From there, travel south to Arequipa, nicknamed the white city because of the white sillar rock quarried from the nearby volcanoes. Near Arequipa is the Colca Canyon, a huge canyon where giant Andean condors rule the skies.

For your final Peru destination, head to Cusco. From there you can take the Inca Trail, a two or four day trek that allows you to walk in the footsteps of the Inca through the majestic Sacred Valley and to emerge at the Sun Gate, the spectacular entrance to Machu Picchu, the Inca citadel in the sky. Make sure to book an Inca Trail tour well in advance, as it fills up quickly. Alternatively, you can take a train from Cusco to Machu Picchu.

For Bolivia, La Paz, Potosi, and Sucre are popular, and for Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are pretty much amazing.

Another place you might want to check out is Chile. In southern Patagonia, you can trek Torres del Paine National Park in five days. Puerto Natales is picturesque. And Easter Island is beautiful and full of mystery.

Happy Traveling!

baldone Jul 9th, 2010 08:13 PM

I tend to agree with LAFL. Peru is #1 in South America. But Chavez be damned, Venezuela, (IMHO) is #2. Do some Googling, there's too much to type here.

crellston Jul 9th, 2010 11:12 PM

We spent a similar amount 0f time in SA in 2008. Highlights for me were (in no particular order):


Sacred Valley (especially Pisac, Ollantaytambo)
Lake Titicaca




Iguazu (rec. crossing into Brazil to see both sides of the falls)
The Seven Lakes area from San Martin de los Andes to Bariloche
Peninsular Valdez (for the Southern Right Whales
The Salta region - including Salta itself, Cachi, Cafayate, Chicoana, Hurmamarca etc. (This is my no.1)

Buy a good guide book and do some research.
Good accommodation can be found at:

As you are travelling for a long time join one of the hostelling orgs. the fee will more than justify the discounts you will get.

Consider joining - lots of info online and there are numerous clubhouses around that are an excellent way of meeting other travellers and getting current, on the spot info (invaluabl IMO).

To see why we like these places more info on our blog:
entries 35 on

qwovadis Jul 10th, 2010 02:56 AM - 262k - Cached

Good guide it is all there there are basically 3 routes Climate Guides give you an idea

of best time to travel...

Dec-Feb best for route of the Cones

Then Andean Route to Colombia

Then Brazil route usually works out best for entry visa safety issues always wise cheap top reviewed hostel privates

will make your money go further...

Have fun,

Jero28 Jul 16th, 2010 01:12 PM

Hi All, I really apreciate your help, the advices were wonderfull!!, the links were very useful too. I almost have everything for my trip I just need to organize some details more and i wil be ready for my trip to SA.
thanks somuch! I will be in touch soon

GalapagosExpert Jul 23rd, 2010 11:30 AM

Hi Jero28,

Lots of great suggestions above, but I have to put in a huge vote for the Galapagos Islands, in Ecuador, too. Quito city, on the mainland of Ecuador, is a great starting point and has lots of amazing volcanos and day trips to do. If you are only going to come to South America once, then I´d say that both Macchu Picchu, Foz de Iguazu, and the Galapagos have to make it in the itinerary no matter what! I came to Ecuador in 2004 ¨for a few months¨...and have never left! Try there is lots of information there for Ecuador. Good luck and have a fntatic time!!

jonniej Jul 27th, 2010 12:17 PM

For Ecuador there are tons of options including the Quilotoa Loop, Cotopaxi, the galapagos, Banos, Otavalo, and the coast.. All pretty east to do and get to.. Let me know if you have any specific questions..

wanderingTradr Jul 28th, 2010 07:53 PM

You can stay in Buenos Aires which makes a good hub. I dont think you will need that much time there to be honest maybe only 3/4 days to get a real good feel for the place. Iguazu only takes one full day if your only going to the Argentina side. Bolivia you will need a lot of time for because everything is so spread out, one major attraction I would recommend is Salir Yuuni. I would spend a full week in buenos aires, a week in bolivia, a week in peru, and then maybe brazil if your into that as well

hope that helps

Jero28 Mar 6th, 2012 03:59 PM

Hello all,
I am back from 2 weeks in South America, our favorite destination was Machu Picchu – Peru……Why? Here I go.
We spend 5 Days In the Sacred valley, Cusco and Machu Picchu.
First of all I spend weeks researching and checking tours, hotels, transportation, etc. to make sure the trip is set up very specifically around our interests and with the best services I can find for the amount of money we spend.
I decided to contact Mythical trails Peru based on the reviews on Fodors and specially friends that met this local company in Cusco.
We took a private tour for just 2 of us, took a taxi to Pisaq, we spend the night in royal Inca Hotel. At the beginning I wasn’t agree with Pisaq because I wanted to stay in Cusco city and explore the city the main Cathedral but I realized that Pisaq is lower than Cusco and perfect to avoid the Altitude sickness ( MTP told me that).
The Sacred valley and Machu picchu was Amazing, we took a bus up to Machu Picchu from the town Aguas Calientes, the scenery is amazing, I was surprise about the location, in the middle of nowhere and so high! We got a guide just for us…I was happy with that, we asked so many questions and free to take our time in each place, I love to take pictures ( took 1000).
For Lunch we went a nice place that people advise me before…MTP don’t include meals (only breakfast at hotel)…….. I wasn’t agree with that.
Later on we took the train to Cusco, it was so slow,5 hours from MP to Cusco.
Cusco is a small place, We visited some inca sides on the mountain, my favorite places were The main Cathedral, Koricancha and Sacsayhuaman in the city. I loved them.
In Our Last night in the city, We got our last diner in a nice restaurant (close to our hotel). The food was fab (Andean food) and the dancing show something new for us but NICE. I can’t remember the name of this restaurant but it is close to royal Inca Hotel,same street.
We were very impressed with , they put together a tour for us and nothing was too much trouble for them. When we emailed them with any questions, we had a reply in no time. The price we paid was within our budget and I would definitely recommend the company.

glover Mar 6th, 2012 05:53 PM

What? Five months for SA and Colombia is not on the list?

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