Some Questions about my South America Trip this summer
Replies: 6 - Last Post: May 16, 2013 2:20 PM Last Post By: trent84
May 16, 2013 3:30 AM
Some Questions about my South America Trip this summerHey guys!
So I will do my trip with 2 more people very soon and got some questions:
See http://chrisontour84.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/south-america-in-2013/#more-1944 for a map as well.
1.) What's a good price for climbing [b]Illiniza Norte and Cotopaxi[/b] in Ecuador? I'm in contact with a Couchsurfer who is also offering Tours up there as he is a Mountain guide. How do these prices compete? He is charging $180 for Cotopaxi and $90 for Illiniza Norte if we are 3 or more. He also offered to get down to the bottom of the Cotopaxi crater for $40 in 3 hours. Anyone did that?
2.) We did not book anything besides the Flights for the [b]Galapagos Islands[/b] yet and I was reading on some pages that you can actually save a lot of money by not booking in advance. I'm just not sure if there would really be any free spots for the three of us if we go there in the middle of July?
3.) Has anyone climbed Cotopaxi AND one of the following Peaks in [b]Peru[/b]? Climb El Misti 5,822m or Chachani 6,057m. I would like to climb a second mountain but El Misti looks veeeeeery similar to Cotopaxi so maybe it would not really be worth doing it after Cotopaxi? How about Chachani, anyone had any experiences there and can compare it to Cotopaxi? Or should we skip those and rather do something else in the two days?
4.) How would you suggest what the best way would be to explore [b]Lake Titicaca[/b] after arriving in Puno after a 6 hour bus ride from Arequipa ? I was thinking of skipping the Floating Islands and spending more time on the Bolivia Side at Isla del Sol for example. Any thoughts?
5.) [b]Yungas Road[/b]: I planned to book with gravitybolivia dot com. Should be a good choice I guess?
6.) I also planned 5 days to see the [b]Madidi National Park[/b] close to Rurrenabaque and do some Wildlife Spotting in the Beni Wetlands. Is this something we have to book in advance or should it be ok to book something on spot? We can either take a 50minute flight from La Paz or 20 hour bus ride. Has anyone done the busride yet and can tell me if it has some nice scenery at least or if we should rather get the flight?
7.) Then we're on to [b]Salar de Uyuni[/b]. Same question here: Anyone has some recommendations for a tour operator to do a 5 day trip which will in the end drop us off at San Pedro de Atacama? And whats the best way to get there from Rurrenabaque? I assume we would need to take a 15 hour bus ride from La Paz?
I think those are the most important questions that I have! Thanks a lot for anyone who can help answering them already :)
Edited by: Chris_1984
May 16, 2013 4:20 AM
11. Don't know, didn't climb Cotopaxi
2. You can still save money by not booking the tour in advance, however having booked the flight, you will be less flexible in terms of departure date and length of the tour. People tend to book last minute tours from Quito or even when already on the Galapagos
3. don't know
4. Good idea. The floating islands are very touristy and Copacabana (Bolivian side) is much nicer than Puno. Go to Isla del Sol, walk the length of the island, and spend the night there. Beautiful.
5. Don't know, didn't do the Death Road, but I imagine a search on this forum should return some recommendations
6. You can book in Rurre, or from La Paz. Not sure that matters a lot in price. Definitely fly, don't take the bus. That 20 hours is not counting road blocks, torrential downpours that wash away the road, and the generally appalling condition of the roads. Even Bolivians we asked recommended us to fly instead of taking the bus for that route. Fly Amaszonas or TAM (Transporte Aereo Militar, not to be confused with the big Brazilian airline). Do keep in mind flights do get cancelled due to bad weather, and TAM seems to be slightly more reliable in keeping its flights going.
7. All tour operators can drop you off in San Pedro. We went with Quechua Connection and were very pleased. You can fly from La Paz to Uyuni as well, Amaszonas to that route. The bus would be a cheaper but slower option taht would allow you to see a bit of the country as well. Depending on how much time you have, Sucre and Potosi are worth a visit as well and could serve as stopping points along the way.
Hope that helps.
May 16, 2013 4:32 AM
2Just saw on your blog you have your whole itinerary planned to the day. I can only recommend to book as little as possible in advance; this gives you the flexbility to stay longer in places you like, leave early in places that don't appeal as muchas expected, or go off on a unplanned adventure if the opportunity arises!
Also, you mention you are planning to book the Salkantay trek in advance; no need to do that. The Classic Inca Trail needs to be booked months in advance, but the Salkantay Trek can often be booked the day before departure.
May 16, 2013 5:16 AM
3I can only recommend to book as little as possible in advanc
3 days for Colombia? Why bother going if your gonna be getting on a bus every day....it seems crazy. Not trying to say 'dont go' but it just seems a little bit rushed. You'd be better off flying straight to Ecuador in my opinion. I think its very packed and although do-able, not really enjoyable. I know this doesnt answer your questions but.
In terms of Puno/Lake Titicaca....go straight to Bolivia and to isla del sol (from reports - i've only done the peru side - the bolivian side is better).
May 16, 2013 5:17 AM
May 16, 2013 6:26 AM
5I had to skip the north of peru because I had too much on my list already, as you can see.. :)
Im flying into bogota and out of santiago just because I got a really, really good flight for those so I decided to spend a few days in each. I will do 3 more 2-3 month trips to south america so everything else in there will be covered in other trips :)
May 16, 2013 2:20 PM
6I had too much on my list already And you still have too much on your list.
A cheap flight is always good. But when you factor in you have to get from Colombia to Quito and then Bolivia to Santiago - you probably would of saved money by booking a flight into Quito and out of La Paz....
Its all good saying I'll come back....but your itinerary is already too packed. I would look at dropping things to make it more enjoyable.
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