South America Itinerary

Old Jun 26th, 2014, 02:44 PM
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South America Itinerary

Hi,

I'm planning a trip to South America for later this year, sometime towards the end of August and was hoping to get some insight/comments on visiting the continent. I've only recently started doing research, but for now, what I'd like to do is spend 3-5 weeks travelling around, and my plan right now is to start with the north in Colombia (Cartagena), then Medellin. From there, down to Ecuador (Quito, and the Galapagos Islands). Then Peru (Lima), Chile (Santiago), and finally Argentina (Buenos Aires, and Calafate).

I realise that 3 weeks for all this is (probably?) next to impossible, but I was hoping to get some advice and thoughts from people who have experience travelling around South America. Could this actually be done in 3 weeks? Even if it were 4 weeks, is it still unrealistic, or is it doable?

It may end up being that I only have 3 weeks, so if it is, are there some places that can be cut out, or possibly more worth visiting than others?
Dav_Far13 is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2014, 06:34 AM
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You want to visit five countries in three weeks? I don't think so... The Galapagos alone could take a week.

You need to print off some blank calendar pages and lay this out day-by-day, INCLUDING TRAVEL TIME. Bear in mind that travel time includes checking out of hotel/hostel/etc, getting to airport/bus station, traveling, and getting to next hotel etc.

What is "worth" visiting depends on your interests.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2014, 08:53 AM
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A week per country would be the maximum. Or you could spend the entire 3 weeks in Peru.

My first trip I did two weeks in Chile (just Santiago and Patagonia) and 8 days in Peru. Subsequent four trips I combined Peru with Ecuador, or Peru with Bolivia. Or just Peru.

I would think about specific experiences or sites (such as Machu Picchu) and then lay out the plan. Traveling anywhere by plane will chew up most of that day, unless you take the first flight of the morning (and that usually means getting up at 3 am).
mlgb is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2014, 01:26 AM
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I agree with both the above posts. Of course it is possible to visit all five countries in 3 weeks, you just won't see much apart from the inside of airports, plains and buses! If you have 3 weeks then just choose which country has the places, events and culture that interest YOU the most.

Do check the weather of the places you plan on visiting as this can have a big impact

borrowing and reading a generic South America guidebook like Lonely Planet or Rough Guides from a library will help you to decide. When you decide on a specific country maybe, borrow or buy that guide I take with you.

If you can extend you trip to the 5 weeks mentioned, you could doubtless fit in one, maybe two additional countries.

Flying can be expensive in SA so pairing countries that are close together can make life easier etc.

Peru/Ecuador
Columbia/ Ecuador
Chile/Argentina
Argentina/Bolivia
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Old Jun 28th, 2014, 08:02 AM
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Fodor's also has quite a bit online in terms of what to see, which is the first thing to narrow down. For actual travel guidebooks, if going off the beaten path I like to carry a paper one, especially Footprint's individual country books.

http://www.fodors.com/world/south-america/
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