Panama to South America
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Jul 23, 2012 8:56 AM Last Post By: ban_janti_return
Jul 15, 2012 11:36 AM
I’m currently enjoying Costa Rica at the moment and the next flight I have booked on my RTW ticket is out of Chile on 1st October.
I have a bus ticket to Panama on the 18th July(purchased to satisfy the visa entry requirements into C.R) but I’m trying to decide my next move. I would like to see Rio, Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aries and Monteviedo before making my way across to Santiago for my October flight.
I’ve looked at flights from Panama to Rio and the cheapest I have found is a gnats under £500, but i would really prefer not to spend that much to get to Brazil.
Does anyone have any ideas on the cheapest way to get into South America?
I have found a flight from Panama to Caracas for £248, but how easy/cheap is it to make it overland down to Rio from there?
Also, I found a flight from Panama to Lima for £244 but again, how easy/cheap is it to get to Rio from there? (bearing in mind I would have to get back across to Santiago). I’ve heard something about a new highway been built and finished? Also heard that maybe Bolivia to Brazil is a better option?
I read that it’s considerably more to get the buses that cross borders than it is to get a local bus TO the border, then cross it on foot…..sounds a bit risky, is the difference in price really that great?
I don’t mind if someone has a solution that provides a bit of adventure and the unknown, just as long as I don’t end up as a Crocs supper or roasting on a spit at some cannibalistic ritual feast! :D
The other option is not to bother with Brazil(although Id still like to see Iguazu Falls).
I’m aware that this has been a tad long-winded and I applaud you if you’re still reading, but I’m trying to read up on as much as I can and I would appreciate any advice from you lovely, lovely people :)
Jul 15, 2012 11:40 AM
Jul 15, 2012 3:04 PM
2Hi - OK, lots of questions here. First, there is no "cheap" way to get from Lima Peru to Rio de Janeiro. You could do it by bus, if you have about 5 weeks to spare. Getting from Panama to the Southern Cone has only limited options. Copa Airlines is your best bet. But instead of only looking for their flights to Rio, also check Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia. They fly to all those Brazilians cities and maybe from there you can bus to Rio...Just an idea. Also check Taca Airlines, they also have a flight to Sao Paulo from Lima/Bogota. Nothing is going to be super cheap, but it might provide some price variation.
Here are some out of the box ideas: Fly to Lima, take a bus to Rio Branco (Acre state) Brazil - this will take you about a week, I imagine. Once in Rio Branco, Acre (Brazil) take another bus to Porto Velho, Brazil (this will take a few days probably). Then in Porto Velho get a bus to Brasilia...? You get the picture. There are ways to do it, it's not impossible, but I figure all the money spend on the days of travel will probably be close to the cost of flight.
Bolivia....Fly to Santa Cruz. Take the train to the border of Brazil. Cross into Brazil, and then take a bus to Rio. I have done it before. Plan 7 days of travel from Santa Cruz to Rio de Janeiro. (rough estimate off the top of my head)
Jul 15, 2012 4:19 PM
3If you destination is Brazil then you have to swallow the cost and fly, there is no way it will be cheaper if you fly to other country for less and work your way there. Flying in South America is generally expensive.
If you want to see Roraima flying to Caras is not a bad idea, then you can transfer to Boa Vista, Brazil overland and fly from there. But it won't be cheaper, it only be more interesting.
If you decide to go to Venezuela remember to stock with dollars in Panama.
Jul 16, 2012 11:47 AM
4Seeing as you only have two months in South America I wouldn't bother with Brazil at all. It's on the other side of the continent, expensive to get too, expensive once you get there, really far out of your way. I would recommend looking for a flight to Quito, then travel south through Peru and northern Chile to finish in Santiago.
Edited by: hazzdawg
Jul 19, 2012 11:30 AM
5Thank you all for your replies, they are very much appreciated!
I think I'm going to take hazzdawgs advice; knock Brazil on the head and stick with travelling down the Pacific side to Santiago. I reached Panama by bus in the early hours of this morning and I now need to decide on my next move.
Ideally, I would love the idea of reaching South America by sea(either hitching a ride or working for my ride....I'm guessing the commercial ferry is quite expensive?), then making my way down to Chile by bus. Does anyone know if the sea route is a feasible option? The cheap flight to Lima(£245) is still available if I'm peeing into the wind with my hitch-a-boatride idea.
Once again, your invaluable advice is much appreciated.
Jul 20, 2012 9:50 AM
Jul 20, 2012 11:06 AM
7No offence taken Ban_janti, I really appreciate the advice. I'd heard a few stories about hitching a ride on a boat but I must admit, I was very sceptical about the whole idea and how feasible it was. I guess I will just get the flight to Lima(appx $400) before the price goes up!
Whilst I'm on the subject, it's probably worth mentioning Spirit Airlines(for the sake of travellers looking to get in to South America from the U.S/Central America). They are a budget airline that mostly fly around parts of the U.S and into Central America, but they also fly to Lima(I think this may be their only foray into South America but I may be wrong?).
The flight I'm looking at goes back up to Fort Lauderdale before flying to Lima. Obviously, it's not an ideal journey but with a saving of at least $300 I'm willing to stick it out in FLL for a few hours! If you're around the Florida area, it would only cost you around $250 for the flight....bargain!
Thanks again for the advice and I will probably be back looking for some more info on buses but that's another thread for another day! (sorry, not got rid of me yet!)
Ciao for now!
Jul 20, 2012 11:12 AM
8I assume that Hitch-a-boat is an option in some western country, not in Latin America where gringo is a walking ATM...
Flying backwards trough USA may be cheaper indeed, but Spirit has very bad reviews and consider that you'll have to pay for everything extra, including carry on luggage and water to drink
This can make savings marginal and not worth the hassle
You can also think about flying into Quito or Guayaquil if that's cheaper than Lima, it's easy to transfer from there to North Peru by bus, and then fly to Lima or continue by bus
North Peru has some very interesting places you can check out like Chan-Chan ruins and it's relatively cheap over there
Jul 20, 2012 5:14 PM
9Yeah, I guess you're probably right.
With regards to Spirit, I actually flew from FLL to San Jose with them a few weeks ago, I didn't have any problems with them and although you do have to pay for your luggage on top of the fare, it was only about $25 for my big rucksack. They allow you one free personal item to carry on board with you (the dimensions are on their website) so as long as you don't have another sizeable bag(something like a daypack or satchel would be ideal) then you're laughing.
Having had a search round, it's still the cheapest option by about $170, so if you're pretty flexible with your time it's definitely an option worth checking out.
Jul 20, 2012 7:41 PM
Jul 20, 2012 7:44 PM
11#9 I don't know how you managed not to pay, or you didn't notice but Spirit charge for both carry on and check-in luggage
Jul 21, 2012 12:32 PM
12Thanks Hazz, will do.
Hi ban, they class it as a "personal item" The dimensions are in the link above so as long as it fits, you're good to go. Something like a laptop bag or a small daypack is ideal.
Jul 23, 2012 8:56 AM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$223.20 per night
Las VegasBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$89.00 per night
Las VegasBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$83.00 per night