South America | BigFooty

South America

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by kirky, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. kirky

    kirky Norm Smith Medallist

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    Booked flight there for August 2018 (first stop Santiago) for 5 weeks and still to work out an itinerary.

    Any tips?
     
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  2. rdhopkins2

    rdhopkins2 Carpe Diem

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    5 weeks in Sth America isn't that long.
    Internal flights aren't cheap either.
    What countries are on your must do list?
     
  3. Occidental

    Occidental All Australian

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    With only five weeks you'll see a great deal, but don't stress about not seeing certain places, as South America is just so vast and so wonderful that you'll near a lifetime to see it all.

    I spent five moths Jan-May there this year and had an amazing time, but I didn't get to everywhere I initially wanted to.

    If you are landing in Santiago, then hang about for a while, check out the city, Andean landscapes, maybe some skiing if there's any snow or if not some hiking if that's your thing. Check out Valparaiso on the coast, a great spot & very close to Santiago.

    I didn't head into southern Chile, but after I left Santiago I ventured North by bus. I really liked the area around San Pedro de Atacama. From there I did the 3 day four wheel drive into Bolivia (this was fantastic). Boiivia is really good - Uyuni, the Salar, Potosi, Sucre, La Paz, Death Road, Titicaca all well worth seeing and again you can get around by bus.

    From there I went into Peru by bus so you can end up in Cusco and maybe do the Inca trial hike to Macchu Pichu.
    Now that would be a great five week jaunt.

    Or perhaps not... Go completely in the opposite direction down to Patagonia or maybe do something else and cross the Andes to Argentina and make your way to Buenos Aires, Iguazu, Uruguay & southern Brazil.

    I haven't even mentioned the Amazon, or Colombia or Ecuador which again are all brilliant. So you can't lose!

    Buen viaje
     
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  4. sabre_ac

    sabre_ac Moderator

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    I'd definitely recommend Macchu Pichu, I know every year there is a rumour they are going to shut it down but the time is fast approaching where they will severely limit how many people they allow and jack up the price, it could very easily turn a Galapogas type situation where it's only for rich retired people.

    If trekking isn't your thing, I'd recommend Argentina and if partying is very important you can't beat Colombia.
     
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  5. Trotts

    Trotts Debutant

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  6. Trotts

    Trotts Debutant

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    I did 6 weeks with the wife last year. Rio, Iguazu (both sides - Argentina's side is definitely worth the hassle), Buenos Aires, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Quito and Banos. All up was a pretty amazing / crazy trip. Loved Rio, was there for the Olympics so would be interested to see how it is on a normal week.
     
  7. Occidental

    Occidental All Australian

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    Spent the best part of 3 weeks in Rio in Feb this year. Stayed and looked around, plus used it as a base for venturing up the coast and back.
    We had been travelling quite a bit up till then, so we were happy to loll about in Rio. Stayed a few blocks back from Copacabana and spent many great days just swimming, walking, hiring bicycles and just doing it easy.
    I've got mixed feelings about Rio - it is stunningly beautiful and has loads of 'must do' sights to see. Simply hanging out on one of the beaches all day or seeing the sunset from the rocks at Ipanema, hiring bikes and riding the length of Copacabana, Ipanema & Leblon beaches is magic.
    We also caught buses out - a few hours north to Buzios which is like a Brazilian Noosa, and back to Rio and then south a few hours to Ilha Grande which is just beach paradise.
    The downside is that you can never drop your guard. The subway is dodgy, city buses are dodgy, the main bus terminal is dodgy, you get approached in the street quite a bit, poverty is everywhere. Although nothing happened to us, it was edgy and you would be foolish to walk around flaunting your wealth or going into some districts. It was the most confronting place in South America in terms of in your face poverty and a sense of being on guard. Plus the food is nothing special!
    The locals are not impressed about the Olympics, it did bring an airport upgrade, new freeways etc, but even the main stadium the Maracana is now shut as they can't afford the upkeep, so you can't visit it. They used to play football there all the time, now they don't. The Olympic village accommodation etc has all been sold off to the highest bidders, so in terms of the general populace who are short of proper housing, water, electricity etc benefitting in any way - they got nothing.
    So my humble opinion is to go, and you'll see amazing sites. The beautiful parts of Rio are as beautiful as any city on Earth. But it is such a rich v poor rat race that it leaves you feeling, wow what a place....pity they have pretty much stuffed most of it up!
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  8. Trotts

    Trotts Debutant

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    Yep completely agree with all of the above. We had much better food everywhere else too actually! We loved Rio but never really felt relaxed. Our bank card got skimmed and they got $1000.00 which hurt (bank later reimbursed). We did Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain, and a few other touristy things while there. Because the Olympics was on they had a massive military presence in the city so that was a bit reassuring, but you had to wonder what made it necessary. Also did a guided hike (The two brothers) and on the way down she took us through some favelas.. I wish she hadn't...
    But all up would still definitely recommend for any South America trip.
     
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  9. 00Stinger

    00Stinger Duel Group 1 winner

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    Book a visa to Brazil now. The visa process is ridiculously slow

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
     
  10. kirky

    kirky Norm Smith Medallist

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    The obvious - Machu Picchu/Cusco, Lake Titicaca, Iguazu Falls, Patagonia, Rio and would love to do the Amazon somehow. Basically I love natural landscapes etc.

    Would love to see Angel Falls however Venezula has its own issues.

    Know would be biting off more than necessary however always need a holiday after being on holiday.
     
  11. Howard Littlejohn

    Howard Littlejohn Brownlow Medallist

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    Five weeks, pick only one or two nations, for larger nations only one or two regions in a nation. I spent three weeks in Peru, only got around the southern half and was rushed at times. I never had time to get into the Amazon, etc.

    Chile, I can't help you. I want to head into the Atacama desert, and back down to Tierra del Fuego (though maybe not in August).

    As you would say to somebody wanting to see Australia in a short time, pick your spots and be prepared to fly between some of them.
     

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  12. Crows4Flag

    Crows4Flag Club Legend

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    These are the exact thoughts that we had while staying in Rio. The city offers spot and we were there for New Years Eve which was incredible. The flip side is it's hard not to feel on edge a lot of the time, we were told a couple times by locals we were being followed. We actually packed up and went and stayed at Ilha Grande for 3 nights which felt like paradise on earth.

    Just repeating what others have said, we were in Brazil only for three weeks and only ventured north to Iguazu Falls so we felt like we barely scratched the surface. We flew in and out of São Paulo and there wasn't too much to do there.

    We are also flying to chile on the 26th of December this year, spending New Years at Valparaiso then working our way for north for three weeks before doing Machu pichu and home. Happy to take on board any tips people have of this route.
     
  13. Occidental

    Occidental All Australian

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    I love Valparaiso. I stayed up on the hill in the Templeman district. The street art is amazing. It is literally everywhere and of outstanding quality. Whole blocks, lanes, streets, stairwells etc covered in such vibrant art. Cafes, bars & restaurants everywhere too. Amazing views from the cliff tops over the lower city, port and Pacific. Also riding up the cliffs on the ascensors is fun.
    I gave Valpo a big tick.
    My travels north were by bus and I did semi cama standard. Seats comfy, they do recline well and importantly the buses are reliable. Downsides are naturally the films are only in Spanish and the toilets on board either don't work or are pretty rough.
    Heading north I stopped off to break up the trip. Stayed briefly in La Serena & then bused again up to Antofagasta. Both coastal cities are ok, but also nothing amazing. Remember the water on the Pacific side is quite cold, so summer swimming is still only average fun.
    Bus from Antofagasta is via Calama & then on to San Pedro de Atacama. San Pedro is a small place full of hostels, hotels, bars, restaurants & tour agencies. The main street, Calle Caracoles is nothing but those things. Everyone just checks out tour agencies and does day trips - geysers, flamingo lakes, valley of the moon, ballooning, salt pans. All are really good. Also because you're in a desert, the skies are crystal clear and plenty of places offer stargazing at night, which was great.
    After about a week in San Pedro I booked a 3 day, 2 night four wheel drive tour up and over into Bolivia. This was simply magical. Saw high volcanoes, canyons, valleys, lakes, plenty of wildlife & of course the unbelievable Uyuni Salar. You really get off the beaten track but every part of that trip was brilliant. Our driver had an altimeter & we got up over 5000m, so altitude is high. I didn't suffer at all, but another guy on the trip from Germany got crook for a day. Just an amazing time.
    From Uyuni, I bused again to Potosi. Went down a silver mine, wandered about town, saw the mint museum. Potosi is kind of rough & ready and really high altitude. Interesting, but hard work.
    Bused again then to Sucre, which is lovely. Much lower altitude, great public buildings, parks, scenic views, great food, cool market. Even the city cemetery is worth a look. I really liked Sucre!
    Did a big bus ride then straight to LaPaz. This again is high altitude, but really crazy good. Catch the chair lifts for sensational views. I stayed up on Illampu hill area near the witches market. Up there are bars, cafes etc. Did the bike ride down the 'Death Road' which was a great experience too.
    I then bought a ticket on 'Bolivia Hop' buses. They have set itineraries that suited me. You can catch a leg....stay a few days.....book the next leg.....stay few more days .....etc. just move at your own pace knowing your eventual transport is just a click away. I used them to Titicaca, then into Peru for Puno, onwards to Cusco, then Arequipa, Nazca, Huacachina, Paracas & eventually Lima. When the buses enter Peru they are called 'Peru Hop'. They were always on time, safe, reliable & did drop off/pick up from hotels/hostels.
    Loved Titicaca, Cusco, Macchu Pichu, Arequipa, & Huacachina with its massive sand dunes (dune buggy rides & sand board fun) was a lesser known but unexpectedly great highlight too.
    I just booked accommodation a few days ahead with either HostelWorld or Expedia. Peru Hop will even book accommodation for you too. So I had no issues.
    So that's what I did for that part of my wanderings and I had a fantastic time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  14. Crows4Flag

    Crows4Flag Club Legend

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    This is basically the exact route we are taking so ill definitely take those tips on board. Cheers!
     
  15. fpcookie

    fpcookie Premiership Player

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    Most people already said the bigger ticket items...

    Iguazu Falls, Machu Pichu/Inca Trail, Atacama desert, Salar de Uyuni tour are all amazing.

    My favourite country was Colombia. Amazing people and beautiful scenery throughout the whole country. Safety wise, it's nowhere near as bad as it's (outdated) reputation would have you beleive. No more or less safe than the rest of SA. The whole area up on the Carribean Coast is amazing. if you head up that way, do the Ciudad Perdida hike (Lost City). Pretty challenging hike. It was as good as the Inca Trail for me, for different reasons. I also did the Amazon from Iquitos which is a large town in Peru with only air/sea access. Pretty interesting place.

    Time wise, you don't have too much really with only 5 weeks. There's some big distances to travel so I'd be hesitant to try to do too much. Flying into Santiago I would head north into Atacama (via ValParaiso and Elqui Valley maybe) then Bolivia (salt flats/La Paz) then Lake Titicaca and up to Arequipa (Colca Canyon is AMAZING! One of the best things in SthAm in my experiene) then Cuzco (Machu Pichu) and do a bit more of Peru then maybe up to Ecuador, time permitting. You probably don't have time to hit much else IMO but each travel style is different. I'm not that into spending more time on the road/in the air than actually spending time in places. If you're the type that hits each place for only a couple of days then you could add on Argentina or Colombia or Brazil maybe.
     
  16. fpcookie

    fpcookie Premiership Player

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    Oh yeah, star gazing in San Pedro de Atacama = :thumbsu:
     
  17. Rich

    Rich Club Legend

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    As others have said, 5 weeks isn't long in Sth America with the distances. Brazil is larger than Australia!

    I'd be heading north from Santiago and spending 5 weeks pretty much in Peru and Bolivia. Atacama, salar de uyuni, la Paz, Lake Titicaca, Cuzco, Macchu Picchu, a trip to the Amazon, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Huacachina, Lima would be a pretty good trip.

    Agree with the poster earlier who was raving about Colca Canyon. Amazing trip from Arequipa with incredible views of volcanoes and canyons. Mind blowing.
     
  18. fpcookie

    fpcookie Premiership Player

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    Did you do the hike down/across/up the canyon? So good.
     
  19. kirky

    kirky Norm Smith Medallist

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    Thanks for the input.

    Will now predominantly stay on west - Peru and Bolivia. But need to see Iguazu (waterfalls are so therapeutic), so will do flyin for a couple of days.
     
  20. Rich

    Rich Club Legend

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    Wandered off for a bit but didn't go on an organised hike or anything. That trip was the only time I really struggled with the altitude, but not enough to ruin the trip.

    Remember seeing the ubiquitous RRR sticker in a road cafe there, funny the stuff you remember.
    Yeah worth it IMO. We took a bus from Salta, Argentina to Iguazu (24 hrs), then from Iguazu to Córdoba (24 hrs) to fit in an unplanned visit to Iguazu. Just make sure you leave a full day for both the Brazilian and Argie sides to make it worth your while. I've been to Niagara, Victoria and Iguazu and for me Iguazu takes the cake for its sheer size. When in Argentina it would be derelict of you to miss out on the quality beef (assuming you are not a vego) and I can remember an insane place in the town there near the falls where we ended up with the actual BBQ on the table and you cooked the meat. Incredible.
     
  21. fpcookie

    fpcookie Premiership Player

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    Yeah, I did a 3day/2night hike of the Colca. Definitely gives a certain appreciation of the size of it when you have to walk down/up it!! Highly recommended kirky. You can do organised ones which I did (still very cheap and worthwhile to have everything organised and a guide) or you can do it on your own and just organise your accom on the fly.

    Iguazu is just amazing, definitely worth doing a quick stop over there by air. The amount of water is just mindblowing.

    What a great continent.
     
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  22. kirky

    kirky Norm Smith Medallist

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    So little time, so much to see.

    It is going to be like an appetizer!
     
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  23. kirky

    kirky Norm Smith Medallist

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    We have 6 internal flights which are all direct :- Santiago - Rio de Janerio - Iguazu Falls - Lima - Cusco - Lima - Santiago. Total cost A$1,078- ($181- per flight).

    Booked as a multi-city trip with the one airline - Latam Airlines.

    Will be doing a 4 day Inca Trail hike, Lake Titicaca tour, Colca Canyon hike as well and still try and fit in the Amazon.
     
  24. kaiserchief13

    kaiserchief13 Brownlow Medallist

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    How will you get to the Amazon? None of those places are close to the Amazon
     
  25. kirky

    kirky Norm Smith Medallist

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    Yeh, still working on that but can do from either Lima or Cusco. Amazon rainforest is only a 1 1/2 hour flight from Lima and an hours flight from Cusco.
     
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