South America itinerary - first time traveller!
Replies: 20 - Last Post: Feb 23, 2012 3:31 AM Last Post By: psytaco
Feb 13, 2012 5:28 PM
South America itinerary - first time traveller!hey guys, I'm planning on backpacking for 3 weeks and have a tentitive itinerary and would really appreciate some old hats offer some critique!
May 15- fly to Buinos Aires
18- B.A. /fly to salta
20- Bus to Tupiza, Bolivia
21- Bus to Potsi *I realize I'll probably need another day to make this trip between
23- bus to La Paz Salta and La Paz, I'm just not sure where to put it
24- La Paz
25- La Paz
26- Bus to Copacabana
28- Copa/ night bus to Cuzco
30- Macchu Picchu
31- Cuzco/ Chinchero
June 1- Cuzco
2- Cuzco/ Night bus to Lima
6- Fly home
Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions? Argentina is an option, but Peru is a must by the way since I have friends there. Thanks!
Feb 13, 2012 5:58 PM
1Not sure you can get a night bus from Copacabana to Cusco. Have heard stories about people being sold tickets for a through service of this sort but ending up being dumped out in Puno at weird times. I don't think the border crossing at Kasani is 24 hours either which would effect the time a bus service could operate. Apologies if I'm wrong on this but if you haven't double checked this it may be worth doing so.
Feb 13, 2012 7:14 PM
2You are definitely missing SE Cirucuit, if you are in the are find extra 4 days to do it (start in Tupiza and finish in Uyuni), you can cut off Lima for it, it's nothing special.
No problem getting Copa-Cuzco in one day, just keep in mind that you have to connect in Puno. Pretty painless, you cam book your Puno-Cuzo leg online on most better companies.
Feb 13, 2012 9:57 PM
Feb 14, 2012 1:55 AM
Feb 14, 2012 8:11 AM
5This is a lot to do in a short time. Why so much time in Lima? Is that because your friends are in Lima? I would spend more time around Cusco. Also I found Pisaq more interesting than Chinchero, but only if you are going to hike around the ruins of Pisaq. Chinchero ruins are right in the town and not as interesting, although there is a small textile industry in Chinchero, it that is more to your interests.
Feb 14, 2012 8:28 AM
Feb 14, 2012 9:22 AM
7#6 True, few days in Argentina are not worth the effort and money.
Feb 14, 2012 11:28 AM
Feb 14, 2012 11:36 AM
9You can`t see most of Peru AND Bolivia!
You can see either some of Peru and some of Bolivia or "most of" Peru if you skip Bolivia.
If you travel on the cheap you should focus on Bolivia as it is cheaper and perhaps see only the must-sees in Peru: Cuzco and surroundings, MP, Lake Titicaca since it`s on the way to Bolivia.
Lima - Cuzco - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes(for Machu Picchu) - Cuzco - Puno(2-3 days on Taquile or Amantani island) - Copacabana(Isla del Sol) - La Paz - Rurrenabaque - La Paz - Potosi - Uyuni - San Pedro de Atacama - Arica - Lima
Feb 14, 2012 11:49 AM
10#9 Has right, you don't have enough time to see "most", you have time to see the highlights of both.
I would go the famous tourist train Lima-Areuipa-Cuzco-Titica, do Rurrenabaque, move south to Sucre, Potosi then take the SE Circuit Tour, finish in San Pedro de Atacama, go north to Arica and then to Nazca and along the cost to Lima.
BTW Fly to Arequipa, look at TACA they had offers for $40 if booked in advance!
Feb 14, 2012 11:52 AM
11Can only really comment on what I did so will show you my itinerary which was done on a very tight budget. Will stick to Peru and Bolivia on the assumption that my travels in Chile and Argentina will be irrelevant.
Stayed in a cheap place in Tacna near the border with Chile then used the bus company Moquegua to get from Tacna to Arequipa. This was the cheapest company we could find doing the route. Travelled on normal seats (Not Semi Cama or anything). Bus was really nice and cost buttons. Stayed in a nice hostel which was amongst the cheapest we could find. Then we travelled from Arequipa to Cusco using Civa, again the cheapest we could find for the route. Bit of a tough journey as it was 12 hours and the bus wasn't the best. Stayed in a lovely place in Cusco, amongst the cheapest we could find. Got the bus from the terminal on Grau to Urubamba, swapped to the other side of the terminal there and got a combi to Ollantaytambo. This journey was really cheap. Spent the day in Ollantay and got the last train to Machu Picchu Pueblo after leaving our big bags at the Peru Rail office, was the cheapest train we could find. Stayed at a cheap place in MPP. Up early and got the bus up to Machu Picchu. Walked back down to MPP afterwards to save money. Last train of the day back to Ollantay, again the cheapest option. Stayed at a cheap place in Ollantay after picking up our big bags. Got the combi back to Urubamba and then the bus back to Cusco. Got a Julsa bus to Puno, again cheapest we could find, one night in a cheap place there. Went to Puno terminal and arranged transport to Copacabana, cost about 20 Soles, we were told that everyone charged the same and asking around seemed to back this up, travelled to Copacabana later that day. Few days somewhere cheap in Copacabana. Went to an agent to arrange a bus to La Paz as had heard it may be a bit safer this way, paid 25 Bolivianos. Caught our bus the next day and were put on one that I think we could have just turned up and paid 15 Bolivianos for without the agent. Few days somewhere cheap in La Paz then an El Dorado bus to Potosi, bus not the comfiest for the journey, have since been told by Standanista that El Dorado aren't the safest either. Bus from Potosi to Sucre, went with Trans Villa Imperial, bus was alright but looked more like a mini bus on steroids. Sucre to Santa Cruz on Trans Oruro, bus was a bit of a nightmare, probaly could have done with Semi Cama for this 15 hour journey, that said none of the buses on this route with any company looked that great and the road wasn't the best. As far as I'm aware all the bus companies in Bolivia charge the same (Except for the international one wee got to Buenos Aires).
Feb 14, 2012 11:57 AM
12I would advice against cheapest buses in Peru, not only they are not comfortable, but can be also prone to accidents and thieves, they are definitely not worth the savings. If you can't afford an extra 10-15$ for a 8 h journey I don't think you have a budget to travel at all.
Civa is actually not bad, but some of them are.
Feb 14, 2012 12:07 PM
13Was a bit surprised and gutted at the Civa one. Was the shabbiest bus we went on on the continent with the surliest crew, ha ha. I had read really good things about them as well. What do you think of Moquegua? I'd never heard of them before we left the UK and still struggle to find anything at all about them on the internet.
Feb 14, 2012 2:54 PM
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