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Info on travelling South America & Mexico.

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As the title states, im planning a trip over to South America and Mexico within the next 12 months. Im hopefully going to be going for around 5-6weeks, im just having trouble narrowing down where the good spots are to hit and for around how long i would need in each city.

 

Because of how 'dangerous' it is apparently meant to be over there, its hard to get a good perspective on where to go. Ive heard various things like stay away from Colombia (spewing), the north of Mexico, Santiago in Chile etc as they can all get pretty rough for tourists.

 

Some of the countries i want to see are Mexico (in love with Mexico), Peru (Machu Picchu), Brazil (wouldnt mind being there for Carnival), Argentina, Chile (South) and Guatemala, to name a few. Those are pretty much the 'big' ones though, if you know what i mean. Has anyone been to the smaller (in terms of touristy shit) countries. Bolivia. Uruguay. Venezuela? Is there much to see and do there?

 

Also when is the best time to go? Ive heard just after winter is nice?

 

And lastly, ive noticed that Contiki do not do tours of South America. Are there any other reputable companies that do? If so, what was your experience with them? Where did you go, for how long and what did it set you back?

 

Thanks for any help, would appreciate any advice.

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Heads up incase you didnt know.. mexico is abit of a mess at the moment.. I'd try and leave it until the country is back under control and the military have handed general control back to the cops.

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Just make sure you bring back a few kgs for me ;)

 

I have a friend from Argentina, she just got back again recently. No worries about police/rebels n shit like that over there.

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south America and Mexico is next on my back packing list

 

some good stuff comes out of Bolivia if u know what im talking about

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Lol it's like the unspoken reason why everyone wants to go over.... Mum: "Why do you want to go to South America?" Me: "Erm. The.. Sights. Yeah. The sights."

Like I said I wouldn't be going over for a while yet so hopefully things in Mexico will have calmed down a bit by then.. I'm all for going out there to rock out with my cock out, but I don't want to end up on Banged Up Abroad if you get me.

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It's always been a dream of mine as well ever since I backpacked around Europe

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It's always been a dream of mine as well ever since I backpacked around Europe

 

Yeah dont get me wrong though, I have always wanted to see that part of the world too. And to me it's a lot cheaper than going to see Europe, our dollar is worth a great deal more than theirs. And the fact that my sister works for Virgin Blue and can get me return flights in Business for $1300 or Economy for $370 to LA (woot!) helps out a great deal more...

Getting stuck into the Columbian Marching Powder it's just a bonus I guess...

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Whereever you read that Santiago is dangerous... do not continue to read there. BS. Safest place in latin america. I live there/here.

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As the title states, im planning a trip over to South America and Mexico within the next 12 months. Im hopefully going to be going for around 5-6weeks, im just having trouble narrowing down where the good spots are to hit and for around how long i would need in each city.

 

Because of how 'dangerous' it is apparently meant to be over there, its hard to get a good perspective on where to go. Ive heard various things like stay away from Colombia (spewing), the north of Mexico, Santiago in Chile etc as they can all get pretty rough for tourists.

 

Some of the countries i want to see are Mexico (in love with Mexico), Peru (Machu Picchu), Brazil (wouldnt mind being there for Carnival), Argentina, Chile (South) and Guatemala, to name a few. Those are pretty much the 'big' ones though, if you know what i mean. Has anyone been to the smaller (in terms of touristy shit) countries. Bolivia. Uruguay. Venezuela? Is there much to see and do there?

 

Also when is the best time to go? Ive heard just after winter is nice?

 

And lastly, ive noticed that Contiki do not do tours of South America. Are there any other reputable companies that do? If so, what was your experience with them? Where did you go, for how long and what did it set you back?

 

Thanks for any help, would appreciate any advice.

 

South America is a wonderful place..... i plan on doing the east coast of SA with my Chilean fiance on our bikes after we get married.

 

Don't strike of Colombia just because someone who has never been is telling you its bad.... Head over to the Horizons Unlimited Bulletin Board (the HUBB). Check out the South America section there as there is an absolute goldmine of information there from travelers that have actually been through the areas (quite motorcycle centric, but it will still be an invaluable resource).

 

Just do your research before you go and you will be fine.

 

*Edit - I.e. This Thread on the HUBB though from mid last year has some decent advice regarding Colombia. As recommended in the thread try contacting people from the HU community in the countries you are travelling to for up-to-date info.

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Whereever you read that Santiago is dangerous... do not continue to read there. BS. Safest place in latin america. I live there/here.

 

Guy at work is Chilean and said is a bit risky with crime etc. But yeah I'm not writing anything off. Just trying to get more opinions, because honestly I have no idea. Been going off hearsay and what i read off the net. That's why I wanted some opinions from people who have actually been there.

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Your Chilean friend is probably just being modest then. Apart from non-violent theft, it's safe as here.

 

Those cheap flights to the US will open up your options in terms of where to start. Otherwise from aus you can really only head to BA or Santiago directish from Aus.

 

Some comments...

 

5/6 weeks is a relatively short amount of time. Most of latin america is fairly different to Aus so doesn´t really matter where you go unless you're after something specific like surfing/ snow/ whatever.

 

I'd suggest heading North along the east coast of SA. Start in Buenos Aires and then head north into uruguay then Brazil finishing in rio. This itinerary needs to include Ilha Grande for a few days. Or head north from santiago to Peru/ Bolivia. First route would be my preference.

 

Piece of advice... Most of the lonely planet guides I've read appear to be written by someone who hasn't actually been to whereever they are writing about. Sometimes way off. Much better off just reading on the net and asking other travellers for reccomendations...

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Your Chilean friend is probably just being modest then. Apart from non-violent theft, it's safe as here.

 

Those cheap flights to the US will open up your options in terms of where to start. Otherwise from aus you can really only head to BA or Santiago directish from Aus.

 

Some comments...

 

5/6 weeks is a relatively short amount of time. Most of latin america is fairly different to Aus so doesn´t really matter where you go unless you're after something specific like surfing/ snow/ whatever.

 

I'd suggest heading North along the east coast of SA. Start in Buenos Aires and then head north into uruguay then Brazil finishing in rio. This itinerary needs to include Ilha Grande for a few days. Or head north from santiago to Peru/ Bolivia. First route would be my preference.

 

Piece of advice... Most of the lonely planet guides I've read appear to be written by someone who hasn't actually been to whereever they are writing about. Sometimes way off. Much better off just reading on the net and asking other travellers for reccomendations...

otherwise known as a whales vagina

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Whales vagina's not that bad. Got rated NY Times #1 tourist destination of 2011... I wouldn't come here to travel though... Unless you like whale vagina like fillme suggests.

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quoted from a movie, inside joke.....

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Your Chilean friend is probably just being modest then. Apart from non-violent theft, it's safe as here.

 

Those cheap flights to the US will open up your options in terms of where to start. Otherwise from aus you can really only head to BA or Santiago directish from Aus.

 

Some comments...

 

5/6 weeks is a relatively short amount of time. Most of latin america is fairly different to Aus so doesn´t really matter where you go unless you're after something specific like surfing/ snow/ whatever.

 

I'd suggest heading North along the east coast of SA. Start in Buenos Aires and then head north into uruguay then Brazil finishing in rio. This itinerary needs to include Ilha Grande for a few days. Or head north from santiago to Peru/ Bolivia. First route would be my preference.

 

Piece of advice... Most of the lonely planet guides I've read appear to be written by someone who hasn't actually been to whereever they are writing about. Sometimes way off. Much better off just reading on the net and asking other travellers for reccomendations...

 

Yeah I will be definitely taking advantage of the cheap flights to LA and I will just get a connecting flight to BA or Santiago. Had sort of planned in my head to start inthe south and work my way up through the countries.

 

Thanks for the tips though. Lol I had sort of gathered that about Lonely Planet. When I was looking up info on Thailand for a previous holiday, what they said to expect and what I got were two totally different things. In a good way though. They seem to be over cautious. So yeah, that's why I threw this thread up, just to get a better idea if what to expect etc.

 

As far as the whales vagina... Yep. Over my head lol.

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I went to Peru and Argentina.

 

Peru

Machu Piccu, I know its touristy but it is for a reason.

Cuzco - This is the money dude, this is what you think of when you think south america (or what I think of anyway)

I could take or leave Lima although the historical district is awesome. St Fransiscos catacombs are metal as if you dig dead people, skulls and shit.

 

Argentina

BA was meh for me but others love it. La Boca (home of flamenco is worth checking out as is heaps of shiz really)

Patagonia was sick. Went to El Calafante and El Chalten. Two of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

Pueto Moreno Glacier was amazing.

 

Drinks are cheap, food is cheap. me and the missus sat in a pub all day eating and drinking all we wanted (which turned out to be a lot) cost us 40 dollars for the whole day and we had fkn everything.

 

Lonely planet is good but dont be afraid to explore, everything is negotiable in Peru, not so much in Arg.

 

get a steak in Argentina.

 

No comment on drugs.

 

PS ayahuasca!

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I went to Peru and Argentina.

 

Peru

Machu Piccu, I know its touristy but it is for a reason.

Cuzco - This is the money dude, this is what you think of when you think south america (or what I think of anyway)

I could take or leave Lima although the historical district is awesome. St Fransiscos catacombs are metal as if you dig dead people, skulls and shit.

 

Argentina

BA was meh for me but others love it. La Boca (home of flamenco is worth checking out as is heaps of shiz really)

Patagonia was sick. Went to El Calafante and El Chalten. Two of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

Pueto Moreno Glacier was amazing.

 

Drinks are cheap, food is cheap. me and the missus sat in a pub all day eating and drinking all we wanted (which turned out to be a lot) cost us 40 dollars for the whole day and we had fkn everything.

 

Lonely planet is good but dont be afraid to explore, everything is negotiable in Peru, not so much in Arg.

 

get a steak in Argentina.

 

No comment on drugs.

 

PS ayahuasca!

 

Thanks for the info mate thumbsup.gif

 

Yeah i have heard that Cuzco is nice place to see.

 

Haha yeah part of the attraction is how cheap it is over there.

 

What do you think about organising a guided tour around a few of the countries a la Contiki? Im not afraid of doing it on my own though. Just thought if there was a good tour to do i might jump on it.

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I recently did a 10 month trip through central and south america.

 

I was worried to start with before going due to all the things you hear, and the aus government website said not to travel to places like venezuela and colombia. once you get there though it will change your mind. i spent 3 months in colombia, by far the best country i've ever been to. the people are amazing, the scenery is phenomenal, the food, the lifestyle, everything about it is awesome. you also have to do the touristy things mentioned above, like machu picchu. I did the inca trail to get there and highly recommend it. Other great places are Bolivia, equador and quito are rad, and Peru has so much to offer. Sure you do get some bad experiences, i was robbed once, hassled by military and police a few times, and there were places I couldn't travel through and night time because it's too dangerous. Overall all nothing much to worry about given the experiences and sights you will see!

 

There is so much to mention to go see in that continent, 10 months wasn't long enough for me, so I will be going back!

 

Oh, do it yourself, not a tour. it's easy, you will see so much more, and you will save a lot of coin.

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No comment on drugs.

 

PS ayahuasca!

A trip within a trip.

Geddit :P

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No comment on drugs.

 

PS ayahuasca!

A trip within a trip.

Geddit :P

 

Just looked up that ayahuasca.. Looks lethal. I like.

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Have you had it before? I only quickly looked it up on wiki, didn't go right into it..

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I haven't had the traditional ayahuasca brew no. Soon though. However, having the experience with a South American tribe would be second to none I would think :P

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Yeah it is. I didnt have it with a tribe but had a traditional ceremony. Pretty hard to put into words tbh. Amazing experience.

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I recently did a 10 month trip through central and south america.

 

I was worried to start with before going due to all the things you hear, and the aus government website said not to travel to places like venezuela and colombia. once you get there though it will change your mind. i spent 3 months in colombia, by far the best country i've ever been to. the people are amazing, the scenery is phenomenal, the food, the lifestyle, everything about it is awesome. you also have to do the touristy things mentioned above, like machu picchu. I did the inca trail to get there and highly recommend it. Other great places are Bolivia, equador and quito are rad, and Peru has so much to offer. Sure you do get some bad experiences, i was robbed once, hassled by military and police a few times, and there were places I couldn't travel through and night time because it's too dangerous. Overall all nothing much to worry about given the experiences and sights you will see!

 

There is so much to mention to go see in that continent, 10 months wasn't long enough for me, so I will be going back!

 

Oh, do it yourself, not a tour. it's easy, you will see so much more, and you will save a lot of coin.

 

Man i wish i could go for that amount of time. I think i might be able to stretch it to 7 weeks, even so, im going to be flat out the whole time. It wont be much of a 'holiday' if you get me. No relaxing. Maybe i will stop by Thailand on the way home tongue.gif

 

Yeah i grabbed a few brochures on South America today and had a look, going off them and what everyone has been saying here, im not going to let a few 'horror' stories dictate where i go over there. Just play it smart and everything should be sweet. Im expecting to cop a bit of shit over there, but thats life. Part of the fun lol. Definately cant wait to hit the Inca Trails though.

 

Thanks for the tips though wink.gif Im going to do it myself and stay away from the tours. More of an adventure feel it.

 

 

Yeah it is. I didnt have it with a tribe but had a traditional ceremony. Pretty hard to put into words tbh. Amazing experience.

 

Siiiick! Cant wait now haha. What country did you try it in? Or is sort of like an all over South American thing?

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It's really an 'all over the world' thing to be honest. There are seclusive groups in Australia and Victoria that have ceremonies/gatherings involving Ayahuasca too.

However it's in the Amazon regions that you will find more of the plants that contain forms of DMT, and more groups of people within this region that will be using them more than others. But.. the amazon isn't too friendly haha

 

http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/ayahuasca/ayahuasca.shtml

I would suggest having a read of that. It's probably best to find as much information about any substance you want to try.

Yes it is difficult trying to find the right/un-biased information, but erowid is a very good source.

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It's really an 'all over the world' thing to be honest. There are seclusive groups in Australia and Victoria that have ceremonies/gatherings involving Ayahuasca too.

However it's in the Amazon regions that you will find more of the plants that contain forms of DMT, and more groups of people within this region that will be using them more than others. But.. the amazon isn't too friendly haha

 

http://www.erowid.or...ayahuasca.shtml

I would suggest having a read of that. It's probably best to find as much information about any substance you want to try.

Yes it is difficult trying to find the right/un-biased information, but erowid is a very good source.

 

Ohhhh so it contains DMT? Say no more. Ive heard many stories of this. Good times ahead lol

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Thought I would bump this up rather than starting a new thread

 

After any info people can provide. Not interested in any Contiki type advice.

 

I'll be with a mate for the first 5 weeks and solo the next 7 (Have travelled solo through South East Asia and Middle East before so not a total newbie.)

 

Here's roughly what we/I are doing

 

- Brasil - Doing Carnaval in Salvador,for the week then down to Rio for the Champions Parade, then overland between Rio and Buenos Aires (20 days to do this) to catch a flight to Peru

 

- Bus from Lima to Cusco via Arequipa to do the 4 day Inca Trail

 

My friend will leave me at this point at which point I am thinking of the following

 

- Bolivia over Lake Titicaca

- Colombia

- POSSIBLY the following but they all have issues

--Cuba - Need to have a pre-booked flight to get my visa while still in Aus. I dont like booking things in so far ahead in case I like somewhere I get to

--Mexico - Pretty sketchy atm. Only want to go here to see Chicen Itzo as I will have seen 5 other wonders of the world pluis this 1 in the space of a year.

--US (LA) - Just since Cali is close and Id like to do a track day at Laguna Seca

 

The above 3 are just thoughts

 

Return flight at this stage is from Santiago, Chile but would change it to LA if I go to America...

 

All feedback appreciated guys

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otherwise known as a whales vagina

 

You're thinking of San Diego mate, its german for whales vagina :P

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