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is this south america itinerary ideal?


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Thorn Tree Refugee
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  • Added on: June 22nd, 2014
Hi, I need help planning my South America itinerary. I plan to travel around the world Fall. I was initially planning on starting and flying into Ecuador in September then travel overland by bus south to >Peru>Bolivia>Chile>, and then u-turning, making my way up to Argentina before ending it off in Iguazu falls and maybe Brazil.

Well that plan is completely gone since I have to have elective surgery this August, and with a recovery time of 6 weeks to be at 100%, I'd rather not push my body to the limits. I want to be completely back to normal before I set off on my journey. I already booked and paid my deposit for the 4 day inca trail hike for october, but now I can't make it. it's a disappointment but my health is my priority.
My initial itinerary
November Bolivia
November/December Chile
January/February Argentia

I want to do the Inca trail definitely, but I will have to book it again at a later time perhaps in March when the trail reopens since it's close in February. However I definitely have to be in the patagonia region of Argentina and Chile and visit the torres del paine, do the w-trek when the weather is most ideal. That is in November to February.

So now, my plan is to fly into Brazil, then make my way south Buenos Aires Argentina in November/December, visit Iguazu Falls, then round back and work my way south down argentina by bus, then cross over to Chile, make my way north, go to Bolivia, then Peru, and end it all in Ecuador (all of this by bus) It's like the exact opposite of my initial itinerary. i plan to spend 3-4 weeks in each country, but i will definitely travel slow and spend 3 days in each city. the highlights for this trip is: iguazu falls, patagonia region for the hiking, salar de uyuni, inca trail, colca canyon, galapagos islands.

new itinerary, rough idea
November/December- Brazil (just for the highlights, maybe 2 weeks), then Argentina

I'm wondering, is this feasible, is it doable? any tips and advice is appreciated.


Holds PhD in Packing
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Joined: July 11th, 2004

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  • Added on: June 25th, 2014

It all looks ok, though two weeks in Brazil will be a tour of a few cities. I'm sure you'll have a good time.

The Inca trail comes in two flavors. The three day tour is most popular, and is often booked 3 months in advance. So be sure to book it as soon as possible, even set a goal date to arrive to make the tour.

The 7 day tours and other assorted options can be booked much earlier, but they must be booked earlier.

They are a harder slog, but it is fun waking the Inca trails, so hey... its still going to be fun.

I imagine there is nothing more exciting than taking a tour and ending up at Macchu Picchu!!!
Tortuga traveller


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Holds PhD in Packing
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Joined: March 28th, 2007
Location: St. Louis

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  • Added on: June 26th, 2014
I definitely think it's doable. My main concern would be with Bolivia during that time of year. It's on the tail end of the rainy season, and if it turns out to be a particularly wet season, overland travel around Bolivia can get tough as infrastructure is not great and roads can get washed away. On the flip side, you'll be able to see the Salt Flats when they have water and look amazing! Just something to keep in mind and plan for. You may want to budget some extra time in case any of your travels get delayed.

Otherwise, it looks amazing! We visited pretty much all the same places (except for Brazil and Ecuador), so let me know if you have any questions about Argentina, Patagonia, Bolivia, or Peru. Happy travels!
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Thorn Tree Refugee
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  • Added on: September 8th, 2014
Inca Trail!! Good choice. But adding on to the previous poster's rain concern - if you travel in Peru during March, you'll be arriving at the tail end of the rainy season. On the other hand, dealing with some wet weather means that the trail may not be as crowded.

This is some good info/advice on the Inca Trail: Remember you'll want to budget to spend some time in the Cusco region before you leave, to acclimatize to the altitude.


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Guidebook Dependent
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  • Added on: October 24th, 2014
Spend a lot of time in Peru, Chile and Brazil. My personal opinion, at least.

I'd do a through tour of the Sacred Valley besides visiting Cuzco and Machu Picchu, in Peru.
Arequipa, Nazca, Lima would also be on my Peru list.

Brazil: Rio, Ouro Preto, Fortaleza, Recife, perhaps Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte.

I'd spend a lot of time in Chile as well: Santiago, Vina del Mar, Valparaiso and, of course: Easter Island. There's also an archipelago called Juan Fernandez Islands. Beautiful scenery there, but not very good flight connections from Santiago, small airport on the islands.

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