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Need Help with Itinerary (2.5 Months) (Indian Passport)

Need Help with Itinerary (2.5 Months) (Indian Passport)

Old Oct 9th, 2013, 07:25 AM
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Need Help with Itinerary (2.5 Months) (Indian Passport)

Namaste || Hola !

I am planning for a 2 month South America Trip (Dec 9th,2013 - Feb 14/15/16/17, 2014)
The countries I am planning to travel to are Perú, Bolivia, Chile,Argentina, Brazil.

My budget is roughly about $4800USD ( around Rs. 3,00,000 INR)
I am planning to land in Lima,Peru and fly out either from Rio,Brazil or Sao Paulo, Brazil depending on my itinerary and ticket prices.

I will be doing the first leg of my journey with my Sister and Brother-in-law (Peru and Bolivia).

This is our itinerary for Peru and Bolivia

Reach Lima: Dec 10th night.
Lima - Dec 11 - Dec 12
Leave Lima Dec 13 - By Air (morning) (Flight tickets booked)
Cuzco - Dec 13
Machu Picchu - Dec 14-16
Cuzco - Dec 17
Travel to Puno/lake titicaca . night at lake titicaca - Dec 18
Copacabana/la paz .night in la paz Dec 19
La Paz - Dec 20
Leave La Paz Dec 20 night and reach Uyuni Dec 21 morning
Uyuni - Dec 21-22
Leave Uyuni Dec 22 and Reach potosi (Dec 22 late night). night in potosi
Potosi Dec 23
(From Potosi my sister and brother-in-law move on to Santa Cruz,bolivia for their flight to Boston)

From Potosi I intend to backpack solo through Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

I am yet to decide on how many days I will be spending in each country(I am looking at 12-15 days per country)

Places I intend to visit :

1) Santiago
2) Easter Islands( might have to leave out ..too expensive)
3) San Pedro de Atacama
4) Reserva Nacional Pan de Azúcar
5) Valparaiso
6) Bariloche
7) Cordoba
8) Buenos Aires
9) Perito Moreno Glacier
10) Iguazu falls (both the sides)
11) Ushuaia
12) Sao Paulo
13) Copacabana
14) Salvador
15) Patagonia

I am aware of the fact most of the places are not possible to do in this trip but I would love to cover as much as possible..
I would be travelling mostly by buses to save on money. Will also be looking for cheap flights tickets.

Need some help in elimination of places and suggestions on what else can be seen or done. How do i go about the buses (bookings, bus companies), the route to take.

Some info about me :

Nationality : Indian ( Need to apply for tourist visas for all the countries (Only Bolivia has VOA for Indian Passport Holders ) ..Was planning to touch Uruguay but the embassy website says it need around 20 days for processing my visa so had to drop it).

Interest : Won't mind doing a few treks, beaches, people watching, would definitely love to experience the nightlife, not too keen on visiting museums(1 or 2 here and there would do), the regular tourist attractions, wine tasting, dance to local music(may be even take a crash course on dancing ), cities, culture and enjoying the lifestyle of another country.
Happy to stay in hostels. I need to keep the costs as low as I can but splash out on the necessary things that make a difference(eg Machu Picchu).
Not bothered about eating in flash restaurants.

Money : My budget is around $4800 USD of which around $1900 usd will go for my air tickets ( Mumbai,India - Lima , Rio-Mumbai) and another $350- USD for visas which leaves me with around $2500 USD.

Is it doable in $2500 usd . If yes, then what is the best way (route and places) and if not what should I miss out or should I reduce the number of days ?

Also I need some info about Potosi . Its my sister's birthday on December 23rd.. (the whole idea behind this trip was to celebrate her birthday together). What are the options in Potosi for celebrating her birthday ? We would be doing the mining tour there and hopefully using dynamites ... What are the other options there? Clubs ?


Dhanyawad(Thank you in Hindi) . Looking forward to your replies.....
ujjwal_gandhi is offline  
Old Oct 10th, 2013, 05:51 AM
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"Is it doable in $2500 usd" in short no! By my calculations that works out at $33 per day which is totally unrealistic if you actually want to see anything of the countries you are visiting.

Costs vary dramatically depending on the country with Chile being the most expensive followed by Argentina. Bolivia and Peru are cheap by comparison. Bus travel is comparatively inexpensive but you still need to budget for around $20-25 for a long overnight trip from say Lima to Arequipa.

I haven't been to Brazil but I understand that it is expensive and on a par with Chile.

Some places you mention such as Easter Island and San Pedro are simply not possible within your budget.

You really need to do your homework on the costs of visiting these countries and come back with a more realistic plan ( sorry if that sounds brutal but you will get much more help here if you start by doing your own basic research).

If it were me, I would start by reducing the length of your trip, the number of countries you are visiting and concentrate on say Bolivia, Peru and Argentina where, if you are smart, you will get far better value for your $$ and get to see some of the most amazing sights in South America.
crellston is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2013, 11:58 PM
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Thank you for the reply..
reworked on my itinerary.read a lot of posts...

decided to drop chile for this trip and head on to salta,argentina from potosi

This is the revised itinerary:

December 24: to Salta,Argentina ..
December 25-26-27: Salta
December 28: to buenos aires
December 29-30-31: buenos aires
Jan 1: buenos aires
Jan 3 :to El Calafate
Jan 4-5-6 : El Calafate
Jan 7-8-9 :to Ushuaia
Jan 10: to BA
Jan 13: to Iguazu Falls
Jan 14-15 : iguazu falls
Jan 16-17 :Iguazu Falls(Brazilian side)
Jan 18 : to Sao Paulo
Jan 19-20-21 : Sao Paulo
Jan 22- to Rio
Jan 22-30:Rio
Jan 30: Leave from Rio

These dates are not fixed but tentative dates. I have left round 3 days as cooling days.. Wont be spending 8 days in Rio ..

1) How does this itinerary look ? Is this doable in around $2500 USD ?

2) Are there any must see places which i have missed or should I remove some of the places from the itinerary ?

3) Also is there any other better option(cheaper option) for travelling from Potosi to Salta ? I am getting an air ticket from Potosi to Salta for 120$ USD .. should i go for this ticket or should I go by bus ?can anyone help me with the bus ticket prices from Potosi to Salta ? I am aware of the fact that I will have to change buses at the border.

4) Also is there any other alternative route(cheapest) from El calafate to Ushuaia and Ushuaia to BA ?

Thank you help !
ujjwal_gandhi is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2013, 05:15 AM
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1. More doable but still tight
2. I would remove São Paulo unless you love rally big cities!
3. You will save quite a lot by getting a bus from Potosi to Tupiza, staying overnight ( lots to see around the town) get a collectivo to the border and then another bus into Salta. I would guess the bus fares would come to around $30
4. Bus - but it will take a long time. Air fare in Argentina are VERY expensive.

Have you missed anything? The Amazon rainforest is a major omission. But that largely depends upon what interests you. It can be expensive but the cheapest way to visit is in Bolivia.

Here is a link to the blog of our current trip which covers some of the places you are thinking of.
http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blo...ai/6/tpod.html
crellston is offline  
Old Oct 16th, 2013, 07:31 AM
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Thank you for the replies ..

I put São Paulo only to break the long journey from iguazu to rio... Is there any alternate place which I should/could do instead of São Paulo?

As for the rainforest I was planning to do it the next time whenever I plan for the remaining countries in SA..

Will not be visiting Ushuaia ... Might do it some other time..maybe during my trip to Antarctica .. ..

Yeah staying in tupiza and then crossing over to salta seems like a good option..

I was planning to spend the New Years in BA( for the only reason that I could tell my friends back home that I celebrated new year in BA .... I was wondering that instead of backtracking to ba( Ba-el calafate - Ba - iguazu ) .. I could visit some other place , spend the new year there ,then head on to el calafate and then to Ba ?is it possible ? What are my options? I know it's an open question..but would like some suggestions for places which would be in my route .. My typical new year celebrations include dancing-drinking-and more dancing...


Thank you for all the help guyz..

Cheers,
Ujjwal Gandhi
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Old Oct 17th, 2013, 07:29 AM
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For Brazil, you state:

Jan 13: to Iguazu Falls
Jan 14-15 : iguazu falls
Jan 16-17 :Iguazu Falls(Brazilian side)
Jan 18 : to Sao Paulo
Jan 19-20-21 : Sao Paulo
Jan 22- to Rio
Jan 22-30:Rio
Jan 30: Leave from Rio
----
That's 18 days. At U$100+ per day to be comfortable/unworried by the unexpected that's U$1800. U$2500 total for full trip including these days in Brazil? Forget it. Cut your number of days in Brazil to a couple at the falls and a few in Rio, flying from IGU.

Also, you don't need 5 days to see the falls, only a full day and two half days of which the other half would be travel in/out.
Look at flights from IGU to Rio. Often the fare is about the same as the bus. Today I see one way airfare (IGU-GIG) on GOL for Jan. 21 as cheap as R$220. Bus fare on Kiowa is R$245 and on Pluma is R$249 for a trip through pretty boring countryside of more than 12 hours.

Just IMO, Sao Paulo is not worth spending time in when there are so many other worthwhile places that show the essence of traditional Brazilian culture, such as Salvador or the Colonial towns in the mountains of Minas Gerais or any of the beach villages or.............
IsabelaS is offline  
Old Oct 20th, 2013, 08:44 AM
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So my tickets have finally been booked...
Arriving in Lima on 10th December and departing from Rio on 6th Feb back to Mumbai.
Now begins the most difficult part part.. VISAS !!!

Just found out that I need to appear for an Interview for the Argentine Visa ..
and the visa processing time for Each country is around 10 days...No idea how i am gonna get all the visa before leaving. Need confirmed accommodation for all the days along with the financial documents and the other usual stuff

And with my exams in a few days ,I am finding it very difficult to plan my trip but thanks to you guys, I am getting all the information under one roof.. Really appreciate all the help guys...

I might be a little slow in replying, but I promise I'm gonna bombard you with a lot of questions once I am done with my exams..hehehe

Regarding Sao Paulo ..I planning not to visit Sao Paulo instead travel to Salvador instead.. Flight tickets from GOL are coming around $115 from Iguazu to Salvador and $60 from Salvador to Rio..

So how's this ?
2 days at the falls on the Brazilian side
fly to Salvador .. be there for around 4 days and then fly to Rio for the last few days (around 5 days ) ... thus limiting the time spent in Brazil and hopefully saving money ???

I have another question ..
Where can I find cheap winter wear in Brazil in Feb ?? (Winter wear in Brazil ??huh!!!) .. I have a stopover at Amsterdam while returning back to Mumbai ..Planning to stay for a week there ..It'll be winter there during that time and the Winter wear there will be expensive and considering that I won't be needing them after that trip ..(Bombay is always hot and humid)..So I thinking if I could buy some in Brazil .. it'll save a lot of money .. any idea guys ?

Thank you again guyz !!!

Cheers !!!
Ujjwal Gandhi
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Old Oct 21st, 2013, 06:35 AM
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The only part of the country where you may find any winter clothing, but which will probably not be heavy enough to be suitable for a European winter, is in the cooler southern part of the country, or maybe at some specialized camping/skiiing store in Sao Paulo. Prices in Brazil are, in general, not cheap, so there is no logical reason to assume you would "save a lot of money" by buying in Brazil.
IsabelaS is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2013, 11:42 AM
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I might have to buy them in Europe..bt will search for them in brazil...i would be lucky If I find them
..

I have a few more questions :

1) for the visa interview for argentina .. There will be questions regarding how I am going to enter into argentina...
I will be doing that from salta... Now here's my question : what are my options from potosi to salta.. How do i go about it.,. I sure am not gonna buy bus tickets online..plans can change ..bt i need to have something to show during the interview... What are the possible routes ? Where do I cross the border ..
As crellston suggested go to tupiza and from there to salta...I might be asking for a a little bit of spoon feeding but I am confused and tensed for the interview,,, damn the indian passport.. They will be looking for proper answers like from city a , xx bastion to city b, uh bus station and so on..and possibly confirmed bookings..

2) also they are asking for hotel confirmation directly from the hotels and they are not going to accept bookings from third party agencies like hostel world or expedia or booking,com , etc... ..I have mailed the hostels where I done bookings ..,but no replies from them as yet..
Has anyone faced a similar problem? If yes then how did you manage it and if no what do you suggest ?

3) now for the brazil visa interview they want tickets showing my entry in brazil and exit from brazil.
I have tickets leaving from rio but nothing to show my arrival...
I will be crossing the border from the falls .,, now where do I get tickets for that ?

4) and finally my itinerary for brazil:
26-27 jan : falls
28-31 : Salvador ( flights tickets 115$ usd)
31-6 February : rio ( flight from Salvador to rio 58$ usd ) .. ( it's not a direct flights .. It goes to rio via bel Horizonte (cnf) ..connection time 37 mins only .. Is this time enough ???)

Also what are the side trips which I can do ? Maybe paraty ?

Also regarding perito monero..it'll have to wait... Maybe for my trip to Antarctica ( someday)...
So salta- mendoza - Ba - falls - Salvador - rio ...how's it ??
Should I drop something or add something?.


Really appreciate all the help guys....
ujjwal_gandhi is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2013, 12:26 PM
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2) It is not likely that anyone on this forum has faced a similar problem. The government does not require such things from passport holders from countries from which they do not think there is reason to leave to settle elsewhere. I recall no instance of anyone with a U.S> passport ever being asked to do more than note the name of some hotel, which is never even checked for an actual reservation, let alone a confirmed booking.

3) You could try www.buscaonibus.com.br but most Brazilian bus sites won’t let you book online, especially if you have a non-Brazilian issued credit card. However, they will be more concerned with your LEAVING and proof of that. Often, backpackers (leaving by bus) buy a refundable RT air ticket they can cancel in order to get around those visa requirements.

“4) and finally my itinerary for brazil:
26-27 jan : falls
28-31 : Salvador (flights tickets 115$ usd)
31-6 February : rio ( flight from Salvador to rio 58$ usd ) .. ( it's not a direct flights .. It goes to rio via bel Horizonte (cnf) ..connection time 37 mins only .. Is this time enough ???)”
37 minutes? No way. They won’t even let you board with only 37 minutes before takeoff.
”falls 28-31 : Salvador (flights tickets 115$ usd)” Have you confirmed this flight? Price seems too good to be true, esp. for a Jan. date.

“Also what are the side trips which I can do ? Maybe paraty ?” From Rio, Paraty/Ilha Grande to the south, Buzios to the north.

“falls - Salvador - rio ...how's it ??” a bit round about
IsabelaS is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2013, 07:18 AM
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Hey guys
So done with my exams...and done with my visas(peru, argentina, Brazil and Netherlands)..will be posting my visa experience soon..
going crazy with planning and shopping.. leaving in 4 days for Lima... no idea what i am gonna do during my 28 hrs flight ...
have some more questions will be posting them as individual posts..

again thank you guyz for all the help..
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 06:57 AM
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Hey Ujjwal,

I recommend traveling in Brazil by bus - much cheaper than planes, however as Isabela noticed not many websites will allow you to book online because you need a Brazilian ID. I know that on http://queropassagem.com.br you do not need a Brazilian ID to book a ride. When booking online you just need to select the option "Tipo de documento" (type of document) -> outro (other) or eventually passport. The only problem is that the website is in portuguese but i guess you can email them at [email protected] and they can make the reservation for you. I suggest the "leito" seat which translates do "sleeper" and it is quite cozy

Have a good trip.
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 10:26 AM
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Hey EmilPol..
Thank you for the input .. but I have already booked flight tickets for travel within Brazil ..
I got promotional fares on Gol Airlines..which turned out to be very less both in terms of cost and travel time.. and even after considering travel time and cost to and fro from the airport...it still turns out be cheaper(hopefully)..

Thank you ... looking forward for more suggestions, ideas, things to do and not to do... ooh yes.. one more thing .. any ideas on good indian restaurants(will be missing it a lot ) or places I can get good vegetarian food.. although i am looking at happycow for options..but personal experiences are always the best.. and getting it from the Gurus is always the cherry on top of a cake ..

Cheers !!!
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Old Jan 7th, 2017, 06:31 AM
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Hi Ujjwal,

Its almost 3 years since the last post so not sure if I will get reply but will give it a try.
I am indian staying in mumbai. I love travelling and was deciding to make a trip either to South America or Europe. Though my trip cannot be more than 3/4 weeks long because of job so again that is a limiting factor in deciding the ideal trip. I heard to get european tourist visa one need to show that he is currently working. Is that the case with South American country visa as well. Otherwise I can plan that when i take break from job and travel at leisure.
For South America I see very limited information in terms of travel blogs so it appears that the planning time itself will be longer. Can you share your visa processing experience and travel plan so that it will be great help to start with. I am not big fan of travelling big cities and not that much night life love either. I prefer more of natural beauty and seeing cultural diversity of the country. So I feel visiting ecuador or amazon rainforest will be must do for me. Macchu Picchu definitely is a must do as well. I am not very much familiar with other places but i will do more research going further on that.
Hoping to get response soon as I am planing to take this vacation in April or May
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Old Jan 8th, 2017, 08:07 AM
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"traveling in Brazil by bus - much cheaper than planes"
Not usually true; if you book flights ahead of time, they can be almost equal to the bus, and save lots of time.
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Old Jan 8th, 2017, 08:38 AM
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@sbamel --
You might try posting on the Lonely Planet's thorn Tree forum for South America. There are more independent travelers with longer SA itineraries posting there who may have some good info for you.
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Old Jan 15th, 2017, 05:35 AM
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Thanks SambaChula . I will also try that.
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