World Trip. Budget South America travel. please help!!
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Oct 4, 2012 5:23 AM Last Post By: wants2Cthewrld
Oct 3, 2012 9:24 AM
World Trip. Budget South America travel. please help!!Hi Everyone, Before I start thanks for reading this post. Next year 4 of us (all male, all aged 25-29) are planning a 6 month (possibly longer where funds allow us) trip. 2 years ago we travelled around Europe and it gave us the taste of freedom from our everyday lives, so we decided on planning a world trip. We have listed the places we want to travel to and now are on the verge of purchasing flights. Before I do however, (being the control freak I am, and the others not seeming to worry) I wanted to ask the advice of anyone who has been, is going etc etc. Any input is gratefully received. So, the plan.... Our original plan was to; Fly from London to Cancun , to travel overland to Belize (to spend a couple of weeks resting before we start our trek) We would then look to fly maybe from Cancun to South Amerca. In South America we wanted to experience the Inca Trail, possibly see the Igazu Falls, see the Amazon (possibly a boat trip), probably going to Brazil, Peru , Argentina and fly out of South America from Santiago Chile . We were then looking to fly to Asia (Thailand/Singapore) and spend some time in a less expensive place, soaking up the culture, the sights, the beaches, the partying. Our original plan included renting a camper van in New Zealand , but we're thinking of cutting that out due to expense. I'm looking for advice on travelling around South America for a brief yet busy 2/3 months. I need to keep costs down so the cheapest routes would be good. As we don't know what route to take. If you want any more info please do not hesitate to get in touch, but in the meantime any help in terms of budgets and cheapest route would be much appreciated. I know spending 2/3 months in South America is not enough, (I personally plan to go back) however a couple of my friends are on the verge of 'settling down' so see this as a trip to tick a lot of boxes in a relatively short space of time. Thanks in advance Dale
Oct 3, 2012 10:42 AM
1Cheapest route: Bolivia to Bolivia, via Bolivia...............
Oct 3, 2012 10:48 AM
2Thanks I know all about the cheapest countries in South America, unfortunately however we all want to go to Brazil, Peru and Northern Argentina and fly out of Chile as I stated. So was hoping for someone who has done a similar journey and how they did it. Thanks for your constructive feedback though.
Oct 3, 2012 11:46 AM
Oct 3, 2012 1:21 PM
4Lima to Buenos Aires would be a good route for 2 or 3 months and it can be done fairly cheap.
You can hit Cusco, Titicaca, La Paz, a trip to the jungle (Bolivia is a good place for this and by far the cheapest, salt flats of Uyuni, Sucre, Potosi, the amazing surroundings of Salta, Iguazu and Buenos Aires. Including Brazil will demand more time and much more money
Oct 3, 2012 1:28 PM
5If going to Brazil (other than Iguazu) can be sacrificed I agree 100% with beerfree.
If you are determined to go to say Rio look into return flights from Foz de Iguacu.
Oct 3, 2012 1:49 PM
Oct 3, 2012 9:11 PM
7Hi- sounds like an amazing adventure and fun that you have 4 travel-tested friends to share it with!
I am in the midst of planning a solo 6 month excursion, with emphasis in south america (and also maybe SEA).
I spent a month in Peru back in '07- can't speak to the Brazilian amazon, but Peruvian Amazon was incredible- early hikes to the clay face to wait in a blind to see hundreds of parrots descend to feed.....canoeing along the river and seeing the giant river otters (they are much bigger than ones I'm used to here in Canada...look like ogres) and catching piranhas with just a loose piece of fishing line. hikes in the jungle where the guide warns you "I'm not even kidding....do not brush up against any branch or step off the path or touch ANYTHING". gulp....I'm thinking "I'm not hiking in Canada anymore!". Also one terrifying spider experience....in my bed. Still, LOVED the amazon.
Do you watch the travel show called Departures? If not- and if you can access it online- watch their boat trip in the Brazilian Amazon.....awesome. Swimming with pink dolphins?!? I didn't even know such a creature existed....
Also did the Inca Trail....an experience not to be missed (though for me it was more about the trek than the destination, which was certainly also spectacular). You have to book well in advance though, so be mindful of that so you don't miss out. I absolutely loved Cuzco and wished I had spent longer than 2-3 days there. You're best to acclimatize a bit whenever you get to altitude (especially before starting any of the treks), and Cuzco is a great place do to it :)
Belize- I just spent a few weeks there in March. Listen to everything you read and either avoid Belize City entirely or get in and out as quickly as possible. I am an animal lover (if you haven't gathered that - haha) and I booked a couple of nights at the Belize Zoo- there is an education centre attached to the zoo where you can rent out rooms ranging from dorms to private cabins for extremely reasonable prices. Breakfast and dinner is included and the food is awesome (rice and beans, roast meat, a salad (potato, coleslaw etc) dessert etc). They will shuttle to the zoo. Most people only pass by the zoo for an hour or so en route from Belize City to jungle interior....and a couple of hours in enough to breeze through the zoo....but It's way better (in my humble opinion) to have a full day to sit and observe the animals. And if you befriend a keeper (they are all friendly) you might get to tag along with one with his bucket of chicken feet and he'll call out to all the cat species and they'll come from their lazy sleeping spot and roll around for a snack. If you are looking for a great book to read, pick up "The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw" by Bruce Barcott.
Close to San Ignacio- check out Chaa Creek- great trails on site, and on a river with canoes you can take out for free to explore (can get all the way down to San Ignacio in an hour or two and hang out in town and for a small fee the hotel will pick you and the canoe up and transport you back to the grounds). Don't stay at the resort though (unless you are all independently wealthy)- check out the camp that is connected with the resort. bonus is you have full access to the resort's pool which, after a day of hiking, is very very refreshing. And the food is better than at the main resort. Might be a bit boring for a group of guys though- staying in town might be livelier.
I also spent a week out on Glover's Reef, which was awesome, but likely out of your price range for this trip if you are going on a 6-month excursion. Check out slickrock.com for another time though- amazing!!!
Oct 4, 2012 3:21 AM
8Hi everyone, thankyou so much for your input...
Tryfan - I've looked into Bolivia (which naively we all ruled out straight away), and I think that seems like the best option in terms of the rain forest including Peru, which means we don't have to travel our original plan of Manaus and getting internal flights (as they seem to be expensive)..
Brazil (well mainly Rio) was thrown into the mix because I've been obsessed with the Brazilian football team (circa Pele Jairzinho etc etc) since I was 5. Watching videos of Pele play beach football on the copacabana beach, the Maracana (which I think is currently under development), are places I've always wanted to see as well as other typical Rio-esque touristy things.
Beerfree - Thanks for your route, looks brilliant, I already showed the boys and mapped it out for them and got a positive response. Makes me feel better as I was really stressing about how we were going to travel around South America, as none of them really gave it a thought.
Paucar2015 - Thanks also for your route and places of interest, I will look into what you've said and will try and incorporate as much as possible.
Wants2cthewrld - Thankyou for the time you spent writing back...some real good food for thought! I think we are going to cut Belize from our trip due to it being too out the way and pretty much adds £800-£1000 onto the trip. Keep in touch over your plans, as I'd be interested to see how much better and more thought out your plans will be compared to me and my 3 tag alongs haha.
Really appreciated guys...any other advice is more than welcome!! Come on you experts who have read this and not replied, I would love to hear from you! Anything to make my life slightly less stressful haha...
Oct 4, 2012 5:11 AM
9I know it ain't Brazil but watching Boca Juniors (at La Bombonera) is one of the most incredible sporting experiences.
You can go on a quite expensive tour, but we just headed to the stadium on the morning of the match and got some touted tickets. Boca is a pretty (very!) dodgy area at night so stay with the crowds after the match and make sure you have change for a bus (a big mistake we made!).
Oct 4, 2012 5:23 AM
10there is time to see Belize on another trip :)
In my research so far, I'm coming across bus as the best way to travel the sometimes long distances between destinations (I'm planning to go from Iguazu to Ushuaia and all points in between). Argentina is especially written about as having a great bus system. For a bit extra you can be on a bus where the seats fully recline. You can buy snacks\drinks etc on the bus. Good for long or overnight bus rides as you sleep comfortably on the bus and save on accommodation. a friend of mine has traveled this way and thought it was brilliant.
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