#1 3-21-2017 2:04 AM

jacobi
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Southern Fantasy

Hello all. I don't mean for this post to sound too vague, but being an Australian so far away from South America and having had a fantasy about traveling throughout that region for a long time, I'm wondering how to go about it and where to concentrate my plans. If I could do the Caribbean, Central America and South America in one trip, that would be a dream. As an avid photographer who loves to linger a bit to get great shots, roughly how long should I set aside to have a nice coverage of this vast area? Am I crazy to try it all in one go? Should I maybe break it up in more than one trip? Has anyone even done a trip like this that I could refer to for ideas? I'm 50 and still feel young although my body argues with me on that point, so whatever advice you learned people have would be great. I thank you all in advance. smile

 

#2 3-21-2017 3:58 AM

TravelingChris
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Re: Southern Fantasy

It'd definitely be expensive to do it in more than one trip due to the airfare cost. That being said, your major aerial ports from Melbourne are probably connecting in Auckland to Santiago or LAX. From those places you can hit anywhere in Central/South America. You could easily spend a month or more in each region. Depends what you want to see though. I can never get too much time off of work at once so I've done a lot of one week long trips.

 

#3 3-21-2017 4:08 AM

jacobi
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Re: Southern Fantasy

TravelingChris wrote:

It'd definitely be expensive to do it in more than one trip ...... your major aerial ports from Melbourne are probably connecting in Auckland to Santiago or LAX ..... You could easily spend a month or more in each region.......

Thanks for your reply Chris. Yeah, I was thinking Santiago myself. Do you think it's easy enough to book things like transport and accommodation as you go, or do I need to do this in advance?

 

#4 3-21-2017 6:51 AM

NickelP
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Re: Southern Fantasy

I'm heading to South America (Peru) for the first time in the fall so I can't speak from an experience point of view but a research one, but it seems easy enough to book as you go (with the exception of the Inca Trail trek).

As far as how much time to plan, using my trip as an example, I'll be there for almost 3 weeks and will only be able to cover the southern part of the country but 6-7 days of that will be trekking (Colca Canyon and either the Inca Trail or Lares Trek), so I think it all depends how much of each country you want to see and what you want to do there. I could give up the treks and do day trips to the Canyon and Machu Pichu to be able to see more of the country but I don't really want to. smile

 

#5 3-21-2017 7:20 AM

shavy
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Re: Southern Fantasy

If you plan to flying to Santiago de Chile just book your accommodation for the first day you arrive, there are dozens of hostel/ hotel available. From there you can go on long journey by bus to Argentina or Bolivia. You can also flying, each country has their own low cost airlines

Some travellers covered whole Latin America 3 to 5 months- if I have that time would love to do it, it save you the airfare cost.  South America is cheap, and easy to cross overland from one country to another

For long journey bus tickets can be book a day before or the day you leave, Chile has excelllent bus.

Central America is just the same. We combine Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama in one trip, crossing overland by bus

You need a lot of research if you want to do it. If you have the time to spend in that continent, just flying to a city which is cheaper for you and from there you can connect from one country to another

 

#6 3-21-2017 7:58 AM

stefmuts
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Re: Southern Fantasy

Peru alone cost me 4 weeks and Dominican republic 2 weeks so I wouldn't try to stuff too much in too little time but if time isn't an issue you could do the Caribbean, Central America and South America in one trip

 

#7 3-21-2017 5:01 PM

jacobi
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Re: Southern Fantasy

stefmuts wrote:

Peru alone cost me 4 weeks and Dominican republic 2 weeks so I wouldn't try to stuff too much in too little time but if time isn't an issue you could do the Caribbean, Central America and South America in one trip

Thanks - sounds like I might have to become a nomad for a while lol

shavy wrote:

..... just book your accommodation for the first day you arrive.......each country has their own low cost airlines. Some travellers covered whole Latin America 3 to 5 months.....For long journey bus tickets can be book a day before ......We combine Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama in one trip, crossing overland by bus. ......flying to a city which is cheaper for you and from there you can connect from one country to another

Thanks. I'm doing a lot of reading already. So much to read. smile

NickelP wrote:

I'm heading to South America (Peru) ...... it seems easy enough to book as you go.......I'll be there for almost 3 weeks and will only be able to cover the southern part of the country ...... I could give up the treks and do day trips to the Canyon and Machu Pichu to be able to see more of the country but I don't really want to. smile

Thank you. It will be interesting to read about your trip.

 

#8 3-21-2017 7:21 PM

TravelingChris
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Re: Southern Fantasy

jacobi wrote:

TravelingChris wrote:

It'd definitely be expensive to do it in more than one trip ...... your major aerial ports from Melbourne are probably connecting in Auckland to Santiago or LAX ..... You could easily spend a month or more in each region.......

Thanks for your reply Chris. Yeah, I was thinking Santiago myself. Do you think it's easy enough to book things like transport and accommodation as you go, or do I need to do this in advance?

I usually like to book the first day or two on booking.com or agoda.com or hostelworld.com so that I have guaranteed lodging upon arrival, but after that I book extra nights directly with the hotel or hostel because it saves money by cutting out the middle man. Aside from the airfare, any other transport is easy to book in country.

 

#9 3-22-2017 3:19 AM

jacobi
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Re: Southern Fantasy

TravelingChris wrote:

.... Aside from the airfare, any other transport is easy to book in country.

you mean it's tricky to get air transport within south america at reasonably short notice? what about outside peak tourism times?

 

#10 3-22-2017 4:43 AM

davejo
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Re: Southern Fantasy

i traveled all round S America in 4 months so to include Central America and Caribbean i suggest 6 months minimum. I  have no idea of costs as i did this in '82 when there were very few tourists and a lack of English speakers.

 

#11 3-22-2017 8:51 AM

shavy
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Re: Southern Fantasy

South America still lack of English . In my opinion when traveling to that part of the world - a basic Spanish is necessary. Things change a lot since from 1982 big_smile

Is just there are so much to see in South America........Chile alone we spend one month last December, we thought we might see the whole country on that trip, but there are still places we haven't seen.

 

#12 3-22-2017 3:47 PM

jacobi
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Re: Southern Fantasy

davejo wrote:

i traveled all round S America in 4 months so to include Central America and Caribbean i suggest 6 months minimum. I  have no idea of costs as i did this in '82 when there were very few tourists and a lack of English speakers.

Thanks Davejo. A six month trip would be awesome. After further research I've whittled down the Caribbean part to just Cuba.

shavy wrote:

.... when traveling to that part of the world - a basic Spanish is necessary ..... Chile alone we spend one month last December, we thought we might see the whole country on that trip, but there are still places we haven't seen.

So many decisions. What to see, what to leave out hahaha. I learned a little Spanish some years ago before I traveled the Yucatan in '99, so I will refresh my skill before I travel there for sure.

 

#13 3-23-2017 7:40 AM

grandmar
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Re: Southern Fantasy

Keeping in mind that I do not hike or trek or back-pack or stay in hostels, or in most cases, travel by bus.

I have done some places in the Caribbean and Central America that I did not visit by cruise ship but flew in and stayed for a week or two.  The places I have visited this way are Belize (one visit - two weeks), Costa Rica (twice for more than a week each time), BVI (twice for a week but we were renting a sailboat), St Croix (twice for a week), Barbados, Cozumel (which technically is North America) and Grenada.  Of those places, Costa Rica and Cozumel were primarily Spanish speaking and the rest were English speaking places

Belize was expensive to get to by air, but cheap to stay there.  I went primarily for the diving (ditto for Cozumel) but I also went to Tikal for a couple of days from there.  I went to Costa Rica primarily for the rain forests - Costa Rica wasn't too expensive.   We rented a car, but the buses were pretty cheap if you have the time. 

I loved Peru and wished I had more time there and also liked Ecuador.  I've never managed to get to Argentina or Chile.

 

#14 3-24-2017 4:24 AM

CMTinPHX
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Re: Southern Fantasy

Machu Picchu and Costa Rica. All else is garnish.

 

#15 3-24-2017 4:32 AM

jacobi
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Re: Southern Fantasy

CMTinPHX wrote:

Machu Picchu and Costa Rica. All else is garnish.

Wow, that's quite shallow of you to say, especially when you haven't even seen most of South & Central America by the looks of your map. Personally I see the beauty in many things, people and places. I guess that's why I love photography so much.

Last edited by jacobi (3-24-2017 4:37 AM)

 

#16 3-24-2017 8:16 AM

NickelP
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Re: Southern Fantasy

Jacobi wrote:

NickelP wrote:

I'm heading to South America (Peru) ...... it seems easy enough to book as you go.......I'll be there for almost 3 weeks and will only be able to cover the southern part of the country ...... I could give up the treks and do day trips to the Canyon and Machu Pichu to be able to see more of the country but I don't really want to. smile

Thank you. It will be interesting to read about your trip.

Well, with the trip being in the fall and another trip right after and of course the fact that I am a very slow writer, you might actually be back from your trip before I get my blog done. LOL. But if I pick up any good tidbits of advice I'll pass those on direct. Right now I'm waiting for the floods to finish and see what state the country is in as that may alter plans if I decide to volunteer to help with the clean up rather than tour.

 

#17 3-25-2017 8:23 AM

carryonwandering
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Re: Southern Fantasy

I basically did this back in 2014/2015 and covered central and south America in a bit over 6 months. It was basically 2-4 weeks in each country and I was cherry picking my highlights in order to do this as there was soo much to see.
I would book accommodation in a new city for my first night or two then leave the rest until I got there and decided whether to stay or move on again. Buses were an easy way to travel and I used to book them the day before or while I was at the station once I had arrived.
Day tours were easy to book only a day or two ahead of time but if you are planning on doing the Inca you will need to book at least 6 months in advance.
I'm living in Costa Rica now after falling in love with it while traveling so you never know where you might end up :-)

 

#18 3-25-2017 8:28 AM

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Re: Southern Fantasy

I have been to South America eight times and altogether the time I have spent there is around a year. That sounds to be a lot and if I had travelled continuously for a year I would probably have visited many more places than I have. Now, I have returned to the same countries, to see new places and to visit others again (I have been to Ecuador five times, Venezuela twice, Colombia twice and Brazil once – and that was only for three weeks). This year I will visit Peru for four weeks, and I feel that is too short (three months would have been great) .The more I read about a country, the more places I want to visit. Some people are happy with seeing one or two highlights in a country before moving to another country, but I am not. So, I always think it is difficult to advice other people how much time they need.
I have been to Central America too, but have not travelled in the Caribbean.

 

#19 3-25-2017 7:33 PM

jacobi
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Re: Southern Fantasy

MalenaN wrote:

I have been to South America eight times and altogether the time I have spent there is around a year.......I always think it is difficult to advice other people how much time they need.....

Wow, where do you live to be able to access South America so often you lucky person? Thanks for your input.


carryonwandering wrote:

I basically did this back in 2014/2015 ..... basically 2-4 weeks in each country......
Day tours were easy to book only a day or two ahead of time but if you are planning on doing the Inca you will need to book at least 6 months in advance. I'm living in Costa Rica now after falling in love with it .... :-)

Thanks so much for the info. So how do I get around the fact that I need to show a departure situation every time I come into a new country? I mean, if I don't exactly know how long I will be in each country and I have to have proof of departure, how does one do that?

 

#20 3-26-2017 2:11 AM

fransglobal
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Re: Southern Fantasy

I've spent about 18 months in total in Latin America.


I was never asked for proof of departure. Each time, I just flew to one of the big entry cities eg Sao Paulo and had a place to stay booked for a couple of nights and then just made it up as I went along. I got around mainly by bus, with an odd flight or train journey. Unfortunately though,  passenger rail  is not really  a viable way of getting around in most parts of the region.

I have written a blog with travel tips, some of which is based on my experiences in Latin America.

It is advisable, at times essential to speak Spanish (Portuguese in Brazil). One thing you might consider is enrolling in a language course when you arrive.

http://www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/23145/

 

#21 3-26-2017 2:16 AM

jacobi
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Re: Southern Fantasy

fransglobal wrote:

.....I was never asked for proof of departure.......I have written a blog with travel tips, some of which is based on my experiences in Latin America......It is advisable, at times essential to speak Spanish (Portuguese in Brazil). One thing you might consider is enrolling in a language course when you arrive.

Good to know. Since it will be a while before this trip will probably happen, I'll learn some Spanish before I get there. How well is Spanish understood in Brazil, if at all?

 

#22 3-26-2017 6:53 AM

grandmar
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Re: Southern Fantasy

Generally I found in Portugal (and would expect that the same would be true of Brazil) that they probably understood Spanish but did not want to admit it.  So when we had a tour in Portugal and they couldn't give it in English, they did it in French for us rather than in Spanish for the Spanish speakers.  I would expect that in Brazil they would rather speak English to you.

 

#23 3-26-2017 2:48 PM

jacobi
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Re: Southern Fantasy

grandmar wrote:

...... I would expect that in Brazil they would rather speak English to you.

smile thanks for that Grandmar

 

#24 3-27-2017 4:57 AM

fransglobal
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Re: Southern Fantasy

Yes, but in Portugal, a lot of people speak English. In Brazil, not necessarily the case. They may understand Spanish but will probably reply in Portuguese.

 

#25 3-27-2017 4:59 AM

jacobi
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Re: Southern Fantasy

fransglobal wrote:

Yes, but in Portugal, a lot of people speak English. In Brazil, not necessarily the case. They may understand Spanish but will probably reply in Portuguese.

Ok, good to know smile

 
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