I need some advice about travelling in South America
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Oct 7, 2012 11:44 PM Last Post By: DjalmaUlrich
Oct 6, 2012 1:27 PM
I need some advice about travelling in South AmericaHi there!
I'm a college student living in California, United States. Spring break is coming up in a few months, and I was thinking it would be really cool to do some travelling. Unfortunately, I'm totally strapped for cash, so an airline ticket is pretty much out of the question. $1500+? No thanks.
But I've always wanted to explore South America, and I thought, 'No need for a plane ticket! I could just take a bus, or walk, or hitch hike!'. I've done that before travelling the U.S., but I know South America can be dangerous. I'm young, female, and will probably be either alone or in a small group of about three or four people, at the most. Obviously, not a good set up for safe travel.
So in the interest of preserving life and limb, is there anyway I could make this work? Maybe I could take a boat somewhere, I've heard that there are exchange programs that will allow you to work on a ship in exchange for a free ride, but can't find any credible information on this idea.I think hitch hiking or walking south through Mexico is kind of like spanking a cougar, due to the country's current state of political unrest.
I'm adventurous, fit, and love to explore. I don't want to visit resort towns or fancy tourist places, but these do tend to be safer. However, I'd rather hike through the rain forests, climb mountains, and explore miles of lonely coastline. I only have from March 21-April 2nd. 12 days are hardly enough for the adventure of a lifetime, but something unique for this Spring Break would be amazing!
I'm currently horrible at Spanish, but I'm taking classes, and theoretically I'll be okay at it by the time I leave. Hopefully.
So, any advice from you travel gurus out there? Is there anyway I could safely do some kind of trip like this on a shoe string?
Thanks so much for your advice!
Oct 6, 2012 2:11 PM
1If you really mean South America (and not Central America), I can't really see how you could conciliate your diverging requirements: short time and short cash.
Edit: more precisely:
- Hitchhiking is uncommon, and it would be looking for troubles as a solo female
- Bus is very common and cheap but takes time: did you have a look at a map? It's 2600 miles from San Diego to Guatemala City. That's about half the way until South America, where you can't cross the Panamá-Colombia border as there is no road (it's called the Darien Gap and it is a rainforest)
- Don't know about volunteering on a boat, but you'd probably spend your 12 days just on the boat… And can you demonstrate evidence of sailing skills?
Edited by: kanka
Oct 6, 2012 3:22 PM
2I suspect she means Arkansas or Florida. Our North American couins tend to have a fairly loose grasp of geography.
@ the OP. Indulge me for a moment. Presuming you actually do mean South America, tell us how you intend to hitchhike from Panama to Colombia, given you actually get that far. Hint: Look at a map, a fairly detailed one. I believe the interwebby has some. Best not to use an Apple iPhone app for this.
Oct 6, 2012 3:46 PM
3$1500 a lot? And with what will you pay for food and accommodation on the spot? If you have a pretty face there are some options, but escort jobs are better paid back home.
12 days time frame looks totally realistic too....NOT! Your country is truly lost if you happen to be a university "student"
Hope that helps.
Oct 6, 2012 4:32 PM
4You want something sort of exotic and fairly accessible which won't cost a fortune to get to? Why not head north to Canada- in particular, to Vancouver, the world's most livable city. You'd get to use your passport and experience a society that is a lot like yours- but isn't! Then head back home slowly, visiting Seattle and Portland and San Francisco (I'm assuming you go to school in LA). You would have spent a good couple of weeks seeing something new and your batteries would be recharged for more schoolin'! Keep SA for some other time when you actually have some time- and money- to dedicate to it.
Oct 6, 2012 6:12 PM
Oct 6, 2012 9:03 PM
6#4 The only thing different thing between Vancouver and Seattle is notably bigger Asian population and outrages prices of alcohol and groceries. It was not the topic, but Canada exotic? Give me a break! It's socialist (nanny state, state support monopolies and lobbies (eg diary), red tape - whatever you want to call it) and expensive US, nothing more!
Maybe if you venture far far north to some First Nation lands it will feel a bit different, but not in Lower Mainland!
If you insist I've must lived in some different Vancouver in parallel universe...
Oct 7, 2012 1:17 PM
7To OP: if you don't want to publicly make yourself a fool at your next post, do your homework before asking: you could have answered your (pretty naive) questions yourself by browsing this forum.
You might not believe it, but the people of this forum is really helpful if you come with precise and sensible questions.
Oct 7, 2012 1:38 PM
8I only have from March 21-April 2nd. 12 days
12 days to reach South America overland (from the USA) and return to the USA. Doesn't it say all?
With only 12 days, if you can't afford a flight to South America, forget about South America.
I think you could consider to visit parts of Mexico (i.e.: the South of North America) so I would suggest you to ask in that branch for info about safety, budget...
Oct 7, 2012 1:42 PM
Sounds perfectly fine, taking a bullet train with average speed of 400km/h makes straight trough to Tierra de Fuego is an easy option.
Oh wait, there is no bullet train to Tierra de Fuego...I've confused it with parallel universe I've recently visited.
Teleportation is also a good option...hell, not this universe again?
Oct 7, 2012 5:10 PM
10Undoubtedly the questions were very naive but perhaps they didn't justify the harsh responses given by some?
I actually suspect the first time I got on a flight to Bogota with an open return, zero knowledge of Spanish and only the vaguest idea of an itinerary, I probably asked some pretty stupid questions also, though the Internet didn't exist back then.
Oct 7, 2012 5:13 PM
11If the OP is still lurking she should take No 9s advice, stay out of the gang-drug troubled areas and Mexico still has a lot to offer.
Oct 7, 2012 5:51 PM
12Harsh? Reality will be harsh on her if she will not use her head for anything more than eating...once again pretty face can fax some issues...
It's not about not knowing what countries actually are in the South (most yanks don't know that), but for hell sake, it's not having enough imagination to acknowledge distances and travel time? I think I'm being soft on her, really...
On the other hand it can be a standard troll that is just laughing now.
There is little point of taking such amount of stupidity seriously.
Oct 7, 2012 9:24 PM
13Haha, wow. 12 days to walk to South America and back. Apologies if I'm wrong but this post is so dumb I can only assume she is a troll.
Oct 7, 2012 11:44 PM
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