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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Messages 1 2 

info on South America by Blairhoyle on 15 January 2006 12:43am
Hi there, I have just registered.

Done a good bit of travelling in the past 7 years, but this year i am thinking about touring South Amercia start with

Peru (Lima, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Puno)

Bolivia (La Paz)

Argentina (Buenos Aires)

Brazil (Rio de Janerio)

I am looking on info on basically on the best places to visit in and around these countries and places i have stated. are these places safe to visit??
Re: info on South America by Lex on 16 January 2006 3:18pm
Hi, I travelled through all these places last year.

Peru was great, quite safe and did a lot of trips ( Jungle, Sacred Valley, Inca Trail ) based from Cusco, which is an excellent city.

Bolivia is not so safe, very different country. I got quite ill there and La Paz is not so great - many better places to see down south.

Buenos Aires is a modern city, lots to do and see and the usual precautions to take as if you were in any city

I went to Rio for Carnival and heard all sorts of horror stories but never encountered any problems at all, stick to good areas, dont carry more than you need, usual street wise stuff. Watch out for the beaches - trouble hotspots but still worth going.

I travelled through SA for 5 months and was great, had no real dramas, used bus most of the time, crossed 8 countries all of which were completely different. Most important is to watch your stuff - it will vanish quicker than you can believe if you don't !!

hope this helps - if you need more specifics let me know
Re: info on South America by Blairhoyle on 16 January 2006 5:02pm
thanks for that.

take its best to leave behind things like rings and watches.

whats the weather like in June and July??

watched Palin in Full Circle and South America was/is a place i have been threating to go to, but family is warning me off it. if i dont do it now i will never do it.

hows the food?? what type of illness did u have (hope u dont mind me asking), take it it was to do with the food??

quite a few questions here actually like hows the food, water, any injections required and the best medication to take to battle any illness's??
Re: info on South America by Lex on 16 January 2006 5:44pm
no problems, ask away !!

I went Dec - May and was hot everywhere except the Inca Trail ! but there seasons are reversed to ours so June might be cold..

Best to leave anything shiny & valuable behind, I used one of those pouches that go under your clothes and had no problems.

Food varied country by country - you have to realise the range varies from what you would class as standard 'european' style to awful ! I caught Typhus in Cochabamba in Bolivia and was sick as a dog for 3 days but other than that a few doses of the deli belly not much else.

Water is all bottled, even for brushing your teeth in most places.

I had the usual jabs, but didnt need malaria tablets unless you go deep into the jungle.

Was a great experience, my favouriet area was the N Chile / S Bolivia / N Argentina area...

Where are you writing from ?
Re: info on South America by Blairhoyle on 16 January 2006 6:14pm
i living in Stirling, Scotland
Re: info on South America by Lex on 16 January 2006 9:22pm
Should have guessed with the name Blair, sorry. Can't see a Jock having problems in getting to grips with SA, evryone has horror stories from all over the world but its a great experience well worth doing. If you have the money, I went to the Galapagos and Easter Island too, was definately a highlight. ) Allow £4-500 for each )
Re: info on South America by Blairhoyle on 16 January 2006 9:48pm
cheers for that Lex.

i get a bit paranoid sometimes - i have been reading the previous posts on here about South America and the FCO website about the countries i want to visit, and some of it makes it interesting reading by the FCO website has just made me slightly windy.

I'll need to do more research but i have to blame MP for me wanting to go to South America :-)

I know i have to remain on alert, just like any other place, but its the fact that I am leaving for countries that my mates would never think of going. they think I'm nuts for going off myself. Although i am going into the unknown, like other countries i have been to, this one though is a bit daunting.

How are the orgainsed trips with British companies?? where are you from?
Re: info on South America by Lex on 17 January 2006 11:01am
I am in London

I met with people last year on organised trips - they are Ok but you dont see the same level that you will doing it on your own, experiencing independent travel is a must unless it is really too dangerous to do so, and SA is not ( In my opinion). Plus they cost a lot more - I was spending all in about £600 a month, cheaper in some countries like Bolivia - more expensive in Chile & Argentina. Trips like to the Islands, Inca trail etc are much cheaper in SA once you get there.

The fact that most people you know wouldn't do this type of trip is all the more reason for you to go !!

Get yourself a Spanish phrasebook !!
Re: info on South America by Blairhoyle on 17 January 2006 6:08pm
thanks for that Lex - got a Spanish tape and book today so will need to get it learnt as soon as.

whats the best currency to take?? US Dollars?? I will take currency for each country but feel the US dollar would accepted and easily tranferable
Re: info on South America by Lex on 17 January 2006 7:44pm
I took some US and US travellers cheques - Ecuador's currency is US dollar anyway and most border crossings have money change booths. Big cities have ATMs also but you will need small denominations to change up in the more rural areas, if you go to these. Places like Cusco are not a problem and you can use Credit Crds for trips from cities. You will need cash for buses.
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