Land/Air Travel (Costa Rica, Columbia, Argentina, Brazil)
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Jun 15, 2013 4:37 AM Last Post By: trent84
Jun 12, 2013 1:57 AM
Land/Air Travel (Costa Rica, Columbia, Argentina, Brazil)Hi All! This is my first post so please forgive me if I ask a question that should be obvious to most people lol. I'm planning a 2 year long WWOOFing adventure starting this fall in Central and South America. I was going to try to visit every country possible in South America, but quickly realized after doing a forum search that it would just not be wise, nor practical in the time frame. I'm going to be staying in Costa Rica, Columbia, Argentina, and Brazil, in that order starting in September. I will be in each location for probably a month or less and will be leaving Brazil at the end of February/beginning of March and heading for Europe. I have two questions:
1. Are there any entry/exit fees I will have to pay to any of the countries? I've already researched the visa requirements for all four but I did not find anything about fees to be paid upon entry or exit and I want to make sure I calculate them into my budget if so. I saw on another post that Mexico has a $25 departure fee or something so I wanted to check if that was the case with these countries as well.
2. Since I am planning on traveling for 2 years, I want to save conserve as much money as possible. Through WWOOFing, I'm expecting that I'll only need to pay for transportation costs to and from countries/continents plus personal items and incidentals. From your experience, what is the cheapest way to get from Costa Rica to Columbia, to Argentina, to Brazil? I would prefer not to fly, as I would rather save flight money for jumping continents (South America to Europe, Europe to Africa, Africa to Asia, Asia to Oceania).
Side question: Do you think it would be cheaper to fly from Atlanta/Miami to Costa Rica or from Los Angeles? I live in LA, but I was going to go back to the south to visit family before I left so I was wondering which would be a cheaper option.
Thank you for any help/advice you can offer. I'm 23 and this is my first time ever even leaving the country so any tips you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Also, just to throw it out there, I'm not one of those type of people who requires premium conditions. I am totally down with hitchhiking, walking, camping, etc.
Thank you again!
Jun 12, 2013 4:32 AM
11. Are there any entry/exit fees I will have to pay to any of the countries?
Argentina has a reciprocity fee with a few countries. Check to make sure you don't fall into that.
what is the cheapest way to get from Costa Rica to Columbia, to Argentina, to Brazil?
2 feet and a heartbeat is by far the cheapest way. However, that will probably take you two years to walk from Costa Rica to Colombia down to Brazil and then to Argentina. Hitchhiking is an option. I have no idea how convenient or easy it is in these countries.
If those aren't options - cheapest is usually bus in each country. Though buses are long sometimes. Especially in the bigger countries.
Flights are relatively expensive in South America. And so are international flights on the continent. Brazil does have a few bargains on some routes. But they generally need to be booked a few weeks in advanced.
Do you think it would be cheaper to fly from Atlanta/Miami to Costa Rica or from Los Angeles?
skyscanner search for yourself. Take into account you have to get to Atlanta and Miami from LA.
+ I'm 23 and this is my first time ever even leaving the country so any tips you can give me would be greatly appreciated.+
I don't know your budget. But I think your biting off more than you can chew. You can say "I'll save money from WwooFing all you like. But you will still need a sufficient wad of cash to do this. As I said, I don't know your budget or constraints so can't really judge.
Jun 12, 2013 11:40 AM
2Best advice: stay flexible and have an escape hatch available. Your plans are not realistic in their current form, and your questions suggest lots of learning experiences ahead. That's not a criticism: you're starting out where we all did at one time. But you might as well start the learning now--reading forums like this one, blogs, guidebooks and whatever else you can get your hands on.
Second important piece of advice: don't trust anyone who tells you you can walk, hitch, bus, taxi or monorail between Central and South America.
In specific terms, questions about getting from Costa Rica to Panama, and from Panama to Colombia, are asked almost daily on the Thorntree. Questions about getting from Colombia to Argentina or Brazil come up approximately once a week. The answers don't change much. There is a sticky at the top of the branch discussing Argentina's reciprocity fees, but the truth is if you're spending time in Argentina or Brazil you'll find everything so expensive that visa or reciprocity fees won't really matter much.
Hope that's helpful. If you're better prepared and informed than your post makes it seem, please feel free to ignore any or all of the above.
Jun 13, 2013 7:23 PM
3Trent84 - Thank you for the information. I figured bus would be the best bet, I just did not know if buses run in and to all of these countries or any of the names of these bus lines. I did a Google search and was getting confused because I found several bus-lines in central America, but they did not go to or from certain countries, and I couldn't find anything concrete on the bus lines in south America so I thought maybe someone here who had experience going from south to central America by land would be able to name off a some bus lines/companies. I'd rather not get there and then find out the only way out of a country is to fly. As far as cash, I will have a good amount saved before the trip, and will make some while I'm traveling. 85% of the money I'm planning on spending directly on transportation costs. The rest will be on small excursions/activities, etc. Food and lodging will be taken care of by my WWOOF hosts which saves a ton!
Mark - Thanks for your response. I have researched my trip and plans for the past month, which is what lead me to this website. All the information I was receiving was from tourism websites and personal travel blogs, but I wanted to be able to ask specific questions to get specific answers. I'm not quite sure what part of my plans seemed unrealistic. Could you point that out for me? If it is unrealistic, it may because I have no first hand experience in traveling to different countries and I'm asking a lot of questions that may seem naive or amateurish. I have traveled the States by bus, train, car, and foot right after I graduated high school, so I'm not completely inexperienced to traveling, only to international travel. I'm trying to make this trip more realistic and achievable by having a solid budget plan, and transportation plan in place, well before I take off. I know that South America is not connected to Central America (ie Panama Canal), so I'm attempting to ascertain if other people figured out a way to get in, via a boat or something, or if the only way is flying, and if they flew, did they get a small charter flight, or fly in to a bigger city. If I HAVE to take flights to get to these different countries then I will. But if there is an cheaper option, that doesn't involve walking the entire way in a foreign country, I'm open to it because I know the bulk of my money will be spent on jumping continents via flights. I'm an extremely adaptable, low maintenance, go-with-the-flow type of person. I'm not in any hurry whatsoever to complete this trip, so time is not a factor. Money, however, is an important factor. So knowing which bus lines are viable options to transport me to this countries, is important so I can get fare prices before hand. Knowing reciprocity fees is important so I know to have this amount of cash on my person before entering. I've already gotten transportation and reciprocity fees factored in for Europe, I'm just having problems getting accurate information for South America for some reason.
Jun 13, 2013 9:22 PM
Jun 13, 2013 11:03 PM
5Food and lodging will be taken care of by my WWOOF hosts which saves a ton!
So for the whole two years your going to just work and stay at these places? Kind of defeats the purpose of travel if you don't go visit places in each country.... Enjoy working for 2 years....
As for the Darien Gap - obviously the hardest part of overland travel from Central to South America. There are ways around it - research is really needed.m
Jun 14, 2013 9:03 AM
6markharf - Thank you, I will do that. And I know you're not trying to be a jerk, I really do appreciate your input and experienced advice.
trent84 - Lol the whole point behind me WWOOFing the majority of my trip is to immerse myself into each of these country's cultures, learn their language, and "be" one of them; at the same time, I get to help out farmers who really need the extra set of hands, learn about agriculture, making cheese, wine, hats, perserves, and hunt with an amazonian tribe. And no I'm not going to be do that the entire two years, when you go WWOOFing, most hosts have you work for 5-6 hours a day, 4-5 days a week, or more depending on their needs, which will give me 45-54 hours each week and 104-156 days each year, when I won't be working at all and will have time to develop my languages, connect with my hosts, see other parts of the city and have a local who can tell me the places I can go see that most other tourists would not normally see.I live in Los Angeles and I'm tired of sitting at a desk all day and living the hollywood life at night. I want to slow the hell down, get back in touch with nature, explore it's beauty and connect to people who I would have never connected with. I have no interest whatsoever in taking tour guiding trips, and sightseeing as a tourist. I want to see the country through the eyes of it's inhabitants. This is why I said I'm not in any hurry to complete the trip because I plan on being in some countries for 3 months or more. Italy and France, for example, I will be there a total of 6 months in each country, in various cities.
Jun 15, 2013 4:37 AM
7Italy and France, for example, I will be there a total of 6 months in each country, in various cities.
You need to do more research. Search TT or google for Schegen Visas...as an American you are only allowed 3 months out of every 6 in the Schengen Zone. So no you won't be spending 6 months in each of those.
You also haven't really specified your budget....that would be handy.
And yes I know what Woofing is. I find it laughable that you want to get back in touch with nature yet do the complete opposite and farm it. And before you jump down my throat about woofing farms be sustainable etc, its still doing damage to the earth that you want to get in touch with.
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