Itinerary Check - 4 months in South America

Old Oct 22nd, 2015, 12:28 AM
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Itinerary Check - 4 months in South America

Hi All,

Me (27M) and my friend (19F) are planning to spend 4 months in South America early next year.

We'll be there from 02/01/16 to 29/04/16.

Starting in Cancun, Mexico and ending in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Below is an itinerary I've put together. I'd really appreciate any suggestions. The numbers represent how many nights.

MEXICO

Cancun – 2
Playa Del Carmen – 2
Tulum – 2

Flight: Cancun to Mexico City (booked)

Mexico City – 2

Flight: Mexico City to Bogota, Colombia (booked)

COLOMBIA

Bogota – 4
Salento – 3
Medellin – 4
San Gil – 3
Cartagena – 4
Santa Marta – 3
Tanganga – 3
Tayrona Park – 3
Barranquilla – 4 (Carnival)
Cartagena – 1

Flight: Cartagena to Cali (booked)

Cali – 2

Stop at Las Lajas on the way to…

ECUADOR

Quito – 3
Baños – 3
Guayaquil – 1

Flight: Guayaquil to Galapagos (not booked. Therefore can add or subtract from the total number of days spent since the last booked flight)

For the Galapagos Islands – probably going to do a self-guided tour where we sleep on the 3 main islands. We can afford a cruise, but is it worth the expense?

Santa Cruz – 4
Isabela – 3
San Cristobal – 3

Can add days to Galapagos if necessary, but would prefer to keep it to 10 days.

Flight: Galapagos to Guayaquil (not booked)

Guayaquil – 1

PERU

Mancora – 4

Take a bus to Talara then…

Flight: Talara to Lima (not booked)

Lima – 1 (only one night since I’ve heard bad things)
Ica / Huacachina – 3
Cusco – 2
Machu Picchu – 5 (probably going to do the Salkantay Trek rather than the Classic Inca Trail so that I can remain flexible with dates. Is it cheaper too?)
Cusco – 1
Arequipa – 2
Colca Canyon – 1 (2D/1N trek)
Arequipa – 1
Puno – 1
Lake Titicaca – 1 (homestay on Amantani Island)
Puno – 1

BOLIVIA

La Paz – 3

Flight: La Paz to Rurrenabaque (not booked)

Rurrenabaque – 1
Pampas Tour – 2
Rurrenabaque – 1
Rainforest Tour – 2
Rurrenabaque – 1 (I think I need to spend 3 nights in total in Rurrenabaque due to the timings of the tours and flights)

Flight: Rurrenabaque to La Paz (not booked)
Flight: La Paz to Sucre (not booked)

Sucre – 2
Potosi – 1
Uyuni – 1
Salt Flats – 2 (as part of a 3D/2N tour from Uyuni to San Pedro de Atacama)
San Pedro de Atacama – 3

ARGENTINA

Salta – 3

Flight: Salta to Iguazu Falls (not booked)

Iguazu Falls – 2

Flight: Iguazu to Buenos Aires (not booked)

Buenos Aires – 4

Extra days – 7 (to either be added to places already on the list, or used for other places that I might want to visit on the way)

Flight home (booked)

Thanks!
eterones is offline  
Old Oct 22nd, 2015, 09:18 AM
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Only one day in Lima is a mistake. One of my favorite cities in SA (or anywhere).
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Old Oct 23rd, 2015, 02:39 AM
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UPDATED ITINERARY

MEXICO

Cancun – 2

Playa Del Carmen – 2

Tulum – 2

Flight: Cancun to Mexico City (booked)

Mexico City – 2

Flight: Mexico City to Bogota, Colombia (booked)

COLOMBIA

Bogota – 3

Night Bus – 1 (Bogota to Armenia to Salento)

Salento – 2

Manizales – 2

Medellin – 3

San Gil – 3

Bus: San Gil to Bucaramanga + Flight: Bucaramanga to Cartagena

Cartagena – 3

Cartagena (Playa Blanca) – 1

Tanganga – 3

Tayrona Park (El Cabo) – 3

Extra Days – 3 (to be used anywhere between Bogota and Tayrona Park)

Barranquilla – 4 (Carnival)

Cartagena – 1

Flight: Cartagena to Cali (booked)

Night bus – 1 (Cali to Ipiales. Can’t stay in Cali. Have to get to Ecuador ASAP to fit the Galapagos Cruise in before the Full Moon Party in Montañita)

ECUADOR

Quito – 1

Flight: Quito to Galapagos

Galapagos – 7 (8D/7N cruise)

Flight: Galapagos to Guayaquil (not booked)

Guayaquil – 1

Montañita – 3 (full moon party)

Cuenca – 3

Night bus – 1 (Cuenca to Mancora)

PERU

Mancora – 3

Piura – 1

Flight: Piura to Lima (not booked)

Lima – 2

Huacachina – 2

Night bus – 1 (Ica to Cusco)

Cusco – 1

Machu Pichu – 5 (Salkantay Trek)

Cusco – 2

Chivay (Colca Canyon) – 1

Colca Canyon – 1 (2D/1N trek)

Arequipa – 3

Puno – 1

Lake Titicaca – 1 (homestay on Amantani Island)

Puno OR Copacabana – 1 (depends on tour/bus times)

BOLIVIA

La Paz – 3

Flight: La Paz to Rurrenabaque (not booked)

Rurrenabaque – 1

Pampas Tour – 2

Rurrenabaque – 1

Rainforest Tour – 2

Rurrenabaque – 1

Flight: Rurrenabaque to La Paz (not booked)

Flight: La Paz to Sucre (not booked)

Sucre – 3

Potosi – 1

Uyuni – 1

Salt Flats – 2 (as part of a 3D/2N tour from Uyuni to San Pedro de Atacama)

CHILE

San Pedro de Atacama – 2 (want to stay longer, but the buses to Salta don’t run every day)

ARGENTINA

Salta – 3

Flight: Salta to Iguazu Falls (not booked)

Iguazu Falls – 2

Flight: Iguazu to Buenos Aires (not booked)

Buenos Aires – 4

Extra days – 8 (to either be added to places already on the list, or used for other places that I might want to visit on the way)
eterones is offline  
Old Oct 25th, 2015, 07:18 PM
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I can't comment on Mexico or Cloumbia as I haven't been yet, but a few thoughts on the remainder of your trip, which seems very well planned out:

1. Coming from sea level, I would suggest allowing a couple of days to acclimatise in Ollantaytambo (rather than one night in Cusco). Otherwise you may really feel,the effects on your trek

2. Given the choice of Puno or Copacabana I would definitely go for the latter with a side trip to Isla del Sol. The bus ride between Copa and LP is spectacular - we used Panamericano who were very good.

3. You probably don't need all that time in Rurrenabaque. Most providers will provide a combined pampas and jungle trip. We did a 4 night jungle trip and had a fantastic time. Based on the experiences of other travellers we met, we decided against the pampas. Rurrenabaque is a nice town but only needs a day.

4. We only passed though San Pedro en route to Iquique. Be prepared, we found it to be the out expensive place we visited in six months in SA. Much of the scenery is v. Similar to what you would have seen in salar sped uyuni.

5. I would consider doing your Uyuni trip from Tupiza (an easy bus ride from Potosi or Sucre), return to Tupiza to get to the Argentine border at Villazon / El Quiaca, from where it is a six hour bus ride to Salta.

6. Salta is a great city but the main reason for going is out in the surrounding areas, Cachi, Cafayate, Purmamarca, Huamamaca, Tilcara etc. The best way is to rent a car you could do Cachi and Cafayate in 3 days, the whole lot in 6-7. The scenery is amongst the most spectacular I have seen anywhere in SA.

7. As an alternative to a flight to Iguazu, there is also the bus if budget is a consideration. A v. long trip but the buses are excellent and most of it is overnight.

8. When in Iguazu, it would be a shame not to see the Brazilian side of the falls as well as they provide a totally different perspective. Depending on your nationality, cost may be an issue though as many nationalities have to pay a visa fee of around 160 USD.

9. if you have the time at that point you could consider overland to BA via Uruguay, stopping off at Salto and getting to BA by ferry from Montevideo or Colonia del Sacramento.

Good luck with your planning and your trip and do come back with any more questions that may arise and let us know how the trip goes.
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