back packing south america Chile --> Ecuador--> Brazil
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Dec 10, 2012 7:44 PM Last Post By: fowler9
Dec 8, 2012 2:49 AM
So we are going on a round the world trip starting april 2013 for a year, and the last 3 months we will be in south america (jan-april 2014). We are flying into Chile, want to go to Ecuador and then to Brazil where we will fly back home from.
We are 2 girls back packing and just generally looking for any tips at all! Points of interest, the best way to get to all these places (buses, trains etc), hostels, and any information on visas would be a bonus! (we have British passports).
Want to keep the travelling and hostel stuff cheap but obviously safe.
Dec 8, 2012 8:29 AM
1You shouldn't really have much of an issue with Visas. I have a British passport as well and was free to turn up in Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina at the border, you just get a stamp for a certain number of days, off the top of my head it was 90 in Peru and 30 in Bolivia. You can find the figures for the other countries quite easily on the web, and we could have got longer in Bolivia if we needed them anyway. You have to fill in a small card before border crossings stating what you are doing, where you are staying and how you are leaving. We had no problem giving very basic info including just saying we were leaving by bus.
If you are flying in to Chile I guess it will be Santiago. From there Valparaiso is close and well worth a visit, I'd say a must see. Heading North to Peru you pass though La Serena which is worth as stop, nice enough and the Elqui Valley is nice. Heading further north you pass Antofagasta, Iquique and the area around San Pedro which are cool. Heading in to Arica you then cross the border to Tacna in Peru or perhaps in to Bolivia from San Pedro. Really depends here what exactly you want to see. If you are mainly focused on Chile Equador and Brasil I won't waste you time on places to see in Peru or Bolivia.
Travelling in Chile we only used Turbus who you can check out online and were really good. The other main company seems to be Pullman, can't comment on them as we didn't use them. Regarding hostels we found using hostelworld.com and hostelbookers.com more than adequate. Check out what the reviews say and take in to account what kind of places you fancy. In Bolivia we just winged it and stayed where was cheapest. Can tell you more if you are going there.
Good luck and have fun, I'm sure more people will be along with more advice.
Dec 8, 2012 9:33 AM
2If you fly into Chile in January you are hitting high season. Book something for your first night in Santiago and a place in Valparaíso. Things will be very full on the coast. La Serena is very popular as a summer destination. I am not saying don't go, just try to keep something booked a few days ahead as you move north. If you get stuck for lodging, the tourist office in each place usually has a list of rooms for rent.
Take good care of those passports. They are a bugger to replace in South America.
Dec 8, 2012 9:42 AM
3As #2 said there, that is great advice. We got stuck in La Serena from 2 to 6 of January last year because it was impossible to get a bus North. I can think of worse places to get stuck but still, if you are on a time budget it could be bad.
Dec 8, 2012 9:13 PM
Dec 10, 2012 12:28 PM
5thank you so much! very very helpful! and we will definitely make sure we have places booked in advanced in that case :)
Yes we are focused on brazil, ecuador and chile, but will have to go through Peru anyway to get to brazil at the end of our trip, so will definitely be useful :) And Ecuador is a bit of a maybe kinda thing for us as it's off the route a bit so definitely good to hear about other places.
This may be a bit of a silly question, but is internet access easy and everything to get access to hostel websites and things?
Dec 10, 2012 7:44 PM
6Well you'll have to get through Peru if you go from Chile to Equador, I guess it depends on if you plan on flying over it.
As in all walks of life there are no silly questions really, if you don't know you don't know. I found the internet in Chile a tiny bit slower. Argentina also if you go there. Peru a bit more so and Bolivia maybe a little bit more. Almost as much as you would expect from the general financial conditions of the countries. Sounds a bit cheesy but true.
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