Figure out the best way to get from Central to South America, when you should book your accommodations for Carnaval and local language school recommendations. If it's on South America, it's in this forum.

South America Warnings

urbanblitz

User avatar
Armchair Traveler
 
Posts: 42
Joined: August 5th, 2006

Share on Orkut

This thread doesn't have any tags.

You can still check out the tag index though.

What are tags?
  • Added on: November 23rd, 2007
Hotel Rivera Sucre
I stayed at the Hotel Riveria Sucre back in October. It was recommended in a few guidebooks. Let me tell you it is by far the worse experience I've had with a hotel. The hot water wasn't really hot. Then I found that I was bitten by bed bugs. And the senora of the hotel was in cahoots with this driver Santos. They would quote you one amount from one place to another. But when you got of the car, he raised the price. I would never stay here ever again. The place seems charming but that's about it. Find somewhere else to stay. I would post negative reviews about them elsewhere but they're not on tripadvisor.

kcweimer

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 105
Joined: March 14th, 2005
Location: Key West/Chicago

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: November 29th, 2007
What is the latest news on the safety of Cartagena? We planned on going but than started hearing about tourists being crime victims. Any insight would be appreciated.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give."

static

User avatar
Mod Squad
 
Posts: 16188
Joined: January 1st, 2001

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: November 29th, 2007
There is a feral Canadian living there who looks deranged, but is actually quite harmless.
Perhaps he will pop in here soon with useful advice (unlike mine).

kcweimer

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 105
Joined: March 14th, 2005
Location: Key West/Chicago

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: November 29th, 2007
Useful or not, you made me laugh.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give."

Latin Traveler

Armchair Traveler
 
Posts: 27
Joined: June 14th, 2004

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: November 30th, 2007
KC,

I was in Cartagena in September. I felt very safe in the old city – even walking alone at night. Tourists are welcomed and people go out of their way to give directions, point out where not to go and are generally very friendly. There are lots of police/security guards on the streets in old the old town who are glad to answer questions.

Cartagena is beautiful, clean and friendly. I’d go back this afternoon with no hesitation. Like everywhere, leave the bling at home and use common sense and you’ll be fine.

There are a number of boutique hotels in the old town. I stayed at Casa La Fe (http://www.casalafe.com/) and looked at several others as I was there on a press trip. I’d recommend staying somewhere in the walled city whatever type of accommodation you choose.

Hope this helps,
Jane

kcweimer

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 105
Joined: March 14th, 2005
Location: Key West/Chicago

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: November 30th, 2007
Thanks!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give."

kcweimer

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 105
Joined: March 14th, 2005
Location: Key West/Chicago

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: November 30th, 2007
I checked out the web site for Casa La Fe, and that is actually the hotel we decided we liked. Thanks for the advice.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give."

Latin Traveler

Armchair Traveler
 
Posts: 27
Joined: June 14th, 2004

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: December 2nd, 2007
KC,

If you stay at Casa La Fe, please tell Geoff hello from the lady who stayed there before TravelMart and reluctantly checked out to move to a hotel where she was comped.

The one who brought the whole press trip’s boutique hotel inspection walking tour in because everyone wanted to see the place she raved about.

Thanks!

kcweimer

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 105
Joined: March 14th, 2005
Location: Key West/Chicago

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: December 4th, 2007
Thanks. Will do.
Kent
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give."

djperry

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 279
Joined: January 3rd, 2005

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 8th, 2008
If you go to Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, don't do any trips with Total Adventura. They had the cheapest price for Angel Falls and even offered me 2 free nights in their hostel when I got back, so I booked with them. I left a bunch of stuff at the office when I went on my trip, and they broke into my padlocked, wire mesh daypack and stole cash totalling $40. They could have taken much more but, but they probably figured I wouldn't notice if they just took a few notes.

I knew right away that they had opened my backpack because I always reset the combination to 0-0-0-0, but they forgot to do that. Being the paranoid person I am, I had written down the exact amount of money I left behind, so I'm positive about the amount that was stolen.

The money isn't a huge deal, but it's very upsetting that a tour company that I had already paid hundreds of dollars to would systematically go through a padlock with 10,000 possible combinations to steal from their client. I guess you can't trust anybody. Although I should point out that it was the first time my backpack was broken into in over 2 years of travel in South America.
..............
Two and a half years in South and Central America.
My Website (10,000 photos)
My Couchsurfing profile (only 657 photos)

djperry

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 279
Joined: January 3rd, 2005

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 8th, 2008
This annoyance is changing constantly, so be sure to get updated advise before going...

If you go to Venezuela now (Jan 2008), bring as much cash (dollars are preferrable, but euros are ok) as you think you will need for your entire stay there. If you withdraw money from an ATM in Venezuela, you will get about 2150 bs per dollar. But if you change your money on the black market, you can get 5000 (this is where you have to get updated info, it has fluxuated between 4000 and 6000 for the last few months).

Changing on the black market doesn't make things cheap, either. It just serves to bring the prices back to normal. For example, a cheap hostel currently costs 40,000 bs, which is $8 on the black market, but $20 with the official rate. A trip to Angel falls costs 1.1 million bs, $200 black market, $550 official. So it makes a huge difference.

Don't get stuck in Venezuela without dollars or you will be broke before you know it. In fact, I can't recommend going there at all.
..............
Two and a half years in South and Central America.
My Website (10,000 photos)
My Couchsurfing profile (only 657 photos)

dustingduvet

User avatar
Armchair Traveler
 
Posts: 46
Joined: January 27th, 2006

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 10th, 2008
Guayaquil, Ecuador

Do not wander off the main streets at night. A few people distracted me and then I was choked from behind. I have also heard this happening to others in the same location.
Travels in South America at http://www.locationlessliving.com

Zander01

Armchair Traveler
 
Posts: 27
Joined: January 4th, 2008

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 27th, 2008
Today, I came across this video which documents the powers of Scopolmine, which is used in many crimes on unsuspecting victims, especially in Colombia.

I think it's one of the most disturbing videos I've ever seen. After watching the video, I knew I had to post it for all to see. It is very informative, a wake up call to the dangers that are out there, a warning to all!

I highly recommend you watch all 9 videos, it may save your life!

http://www.vbs.tv/player.php?bctid=1119242704&bccl=MTExOTE3NDYwNF9fTkV...

Marlon Bishop

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 3
Joined: October 30th, 2007

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: February 3rd, 2008
My own experience with the Paraguayan/Argentina border crossing was similar but not too bad - I crossed from Posadas into Encarnacion for the day, and stopping to me a good little traveler and deal with border formalities, I was told I needed a visa as an American, and had to pay around $15 for a "temporary visa", which was a blue scrap of paper with a stick figure drawn on it. Had a great time and exited the country without a problem that evening.

At the time I wass convinced that Americans didn't a visa and I had to pay a bribe - everywhere I had read said that Americans don't need a Visa? I'm curious why noone seems to know the official policy on this (I certaintly don't). I think most traveler's could just pass without being noticed, being that the vast majority of people crossing the border are Argentines and Brazilians looking for a day of discount (read: absurdly cheap) shopping, and because of Mercosur pass freely without checks (like the EU).

On another note, reading all these posts of warnings I can't help but get frustrated... I understand that people vent here when something shitty happens to them, but I really think that one should try to understand the conditions that lead to petty crimes and assaults in developing countries, and not condemn entire countries and peoples as no-good theives. I've lived for years in various countires in Latin America as a student and later an ehtnomusicologist, and 99.9999% of my interactions have been incredibly positive... I've fallen for a few dumb scams, and the one time I was assaulted, I can admit was my own fault being in a bad neighborhood at night with shiny recording equipment...

My point being that I can't expect every traveller in Latin America to be streetwise, but its true that if you're smart and careful, you avoid most problems. Appear you are comfortable and aware no matter how lost or distracted you are, learn to distinguish people trying to help and people trying to take advantage, speak the language if you can..

Then again I guess some people just have shitty luck. Smile

WanderWhy

Armchair Traveler
 
Posts: 44
Joined: July 2nd, 2007

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: April 21st, 2008
Quito, Ecuador is full of pickpockets and thieves. However, it is a great city and not to be missed if you just keep your wits about you.

My wife was almost pickpocketed and I nearly fell victim to this common scam I learned of after the fact:

Beware of a robbery scam currently popular on buses coming out of Quito. They target foreigners and enter the buses posing as official controllers… counting seats and indicating to passengers where to put their bags—under their seats or above in the racks—then they plant someone behind you to get the bag when you’re not looking. Watch your bags at all times!!!

My pacsafe bag saved my bacon though, you can read the whole story on my blog if interested:
http://www.wanderingwhy.com/archives/68

Have fun out there!
Keep in touch while we're
www.wanderingwhy.com


PreviousNext

Return to South America Travel

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

PLEASE NOTE: Your original BootsnAll Boards Member login still works by logging in below on the Boards.
We have a new BootsnAll Account that you will start seeing around the BootsnAll Travel Network. This new login is not yet linked to your current Boards Account. In the meantime, you will need to sign up (for a BootsnAll Account) to use Account features like Indie ™ , Traveler Profiles etc.

Quick Links

Community Activity

Statistics for the last 7 days

New posts:
0
Newest Member:
vodeus


Indie - Multi Country Flight Finder
Round the World Travelers


Join BootsnAll on Facebook

1 (503) 528-1005

© 2017 BootsnAll Travel Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.