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Big South America trip next year: looking for suggestions. - Page 2

post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
Looking forward to Globe's response. That dude has been everywhere. And my thanks to everyone that's responded so far.


sorry - south america is the continent that I have traveled least on. but let me try

Chile- the trains are supposed to be cool, going up to the atacama desert by train is supposed to be cool. patagonia, of course. that would be number one in my book. I would try to spend enough time on the beach to really enjoy the seals and sea lions and pengiuns.
Osorno is suposed to be vey cool, in the lake district
Santiago is worth a day or two - there is a museum of precolombian, and the municipal market is cool, go about 10 am, spend soem time choosing your sea food and then get it cooked up.


san Antonio, on the sea west of santiago, very good seafood. there I have been.


Brasil - I've just been to Sao Paolo. if you do go, the municipal market is very cool, the food is very good, espectially the pizza, the steak resteraunts and the fajuada on wed and sat. I am guessing that the food in Rio is substantially different, but the people of SP are considered foodies. very hot women. the one thing that is cool to see here is just the overwhelming size of the city - it may be the biggest city in the western hemisphere (that or mexico city)
my wife has taken a cruise on the amazon and loved it

Columbia - there really isn't that much to see in bogata, but the gold museum is pretty cool.
Cartegena - I'd spend a chunk of time here. very cool old city. I would read up a little on fortifications, the fortificatins of cartegena are probrably the best preserved early modern fortifications (pre-rifled cannon) in the world. also a great old city. ride a chiva (a party bus, really a great experience. the beaches are pretty good.
santa marta - there is a cool national park here, and very nice beaches.


panama - take a canal cruise, that is awsome. if you don't want to spend the money, just go hang out at the locks for a few hours. honestly, the rest of the country isn't that impressive, and is a little seedy.

if you are including mexico in your trip, go to mexico city, also an awsome city. I'd hang out at girabaldi square one night, hit the late night toco places in contessa neighborhood, and get to the anthropological museum. the latter is good enough reason to get to mexico. the pyramids just ouside of town are also worth seeing.


have fun. If you end up going to any of the specific towns I mention, let me know and I will get you resteraunt recomendations.
post #17 of 62
If you end up in Manaus (Brazil), I can recommend Gero Tours for an Amazon excursion. In Rio I heard that Lapa (spelling?) is decent.
post #18 of 62
Bolivia

1. Carasco National Park in the Chapare rain forest from either the Departmento del Beni side or the Departmento de Cochabamba side. Great hiking and camping. You might even get to see Cocaleros at work picking and drying coca leaves.

2. The city of Cochabamba, smaller than La Paz but much easier to breath at 8000 feet. Amazing open air market (La Cancha) plus great food everywhere you look.

3. The city of Santa Cruz

4. Potosi, where Bolivia's silver mining was established

Chile

1. Iqueque which is situated between the ocean and the Atacama desert
post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
Ya, I'm really looking forward to it. I've had very very little free time in the past year and a half so I need the extended vacation. In a way, it would be kinda cool if i don't get in to grad school so that I could spend more time down there! (ok not really)

How much time would you ideally spend in rio so as not to rush? Two weeks? I just read some more about rio and i'm more keen on it now. Apparently, just like colombia, the safety issue is over-stated. I'm starting to feel like I'm going to be rushed with only 4 months!

Well, it sounds like you have a lot of other spots to hit up and you're basically talking about 11.5% of your trip if you spend two weeks in Rio. I think that's too long. I would do a full week in Rio. I also wouldn't personally spend a whole month in BA. If you want to do the apt rental, you can still do it for a week or 2. I think 2 weeks will be more than enough time for you to spend there. If it were me, I would spend a week -- at most.

For a trip like yours, where you want to hit so many spots, I probably wouldn't spend more than a week in any one place. You might want to give yourself some flex time at the end of your trip to go back someplace you've previously been, in case you really like it and find you didn't get to do everything you wanted, maybe you makes some friends/hit up some chicks you want to see again before you peace back to North America.

Also, I think as others have mentioned. You'll be there during winter. The further south you go, the colder it will be. Keep that in mind as you plan your trip and consider when/where you visit beaches, time spent outside etc.
post #20 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsugsu View Post
Bolivia

1. Carasco National Park in the Chapare rain forest from either the Departmento del Beni side or the Departmento de Cochabamba side. Great hiking and camping. You might even get to see Cocaleros at work picking and drying coca leaves.

2. The city of Cochabamba, smaller than La Paz but much easier to breath at 8000 feet. Amazing open air market (La Cancha) plus great food everywhere you look.

3. The city of Santa Cruz

4. Potosi, where Bolivia's silver mining was established

Chile

1. Iqueque which is situated between the ocean and the Atacama desert

I'll probably skip the rainforest this time (went last year) to spare the expense. I'd love to go again, but I want to save money for things I haven't done yet.

And you had trouble breathing? Sissy! I was at 3700m last year with no problems. Of course, the gf needed oxygen after collapsing in a restaurant in Cusco. I took a picture. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look in to the places you mentionned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StockwellDay View Post
Well, it sounds like you have a lot of other spots to hit up and you're basically talking about 11.5% of your trip if you spend two weeks in Rio. I think that's too long. I would do a full week in Rio. I also wouldn't personally spend a whole month in BA. If you want to do the apt rental, you can still do it for a week or 2. I think 2 weeks will be more than enough time for you to spend there. If it were me, I would spend a week -- at most.

For a trip like yours, where you want to hit so many spots, I probably wouldn't spend more than a week in any one place. You might want to give yourself some flex time at the end of your trip to go back someplace you've previously been, in case you really like it and find you didn't get to do everything you wanted, maybe you makes some friends/hit up some chicks you want to see again before you peace back to North America.

Also, I think as others have mentioned. You'll be there during winter. The further south you go, the colder it will be. Keep that in mind as you plan your trip and consider when/where you visit beaches, time spent outside etc.

Ya, I did that calculation too. Once I identify everything I want to see I'll be able to allocate time a bit better. Everything is very very ballpark right now. Part of the rational for staying in argentina so long was for the language classes before I enter full tourist mode and hitting all the small places that probably don't have many english speakers.

As a side note that may have a big effect on my route and itinerary, one thing i've already just learned is that dives in the Galapagos Islands are not like a lot of dives in the Caribbean. Most of the dives are not for beginners. Many are drift dives and wall dives with strong currents (3-4 knots), and water that can be quite cold, so it may have to be towards the end of my trip after i've already done quite a bit of diving. So, I may end up starting in Costa Rica or Colombia or some place where I can put in a good number of dives before I hit the Galapagos. So, I'm thinking that I might end up spending like a quarter of my time diving. And I might do that wherever it's cheapest and best. I posted on a diving board for that info though (what did people do before the internet).
post #21 of 62
I don't know, Geek. I'd rather keep my own place and not taking any expensive trip than moving in with my folks.
post #22 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by von Rothbart View Post
I don't know, Geek. I'd rather keep my own place and not taking any expensive trip than moving in with my folks.

Bah. Killjoy. I have to endure it for 9 months (it probably won't be so bad), and in return I'll save more than enough money for this trip, camera upgrades, plus lots left over. And my father isn't a nag. If my parents were still together I would not even consider moving in, but my mother is a safe distance away. I'm rarely at home anyway.

Conversly, after next year I probably won't have a chance to take a long trip like this for many years, and I don't want to regret not doing enough cool stuff while I was still young. I already regret not doing enough outdoor climbing before getting bogged down in the city. My father took a similar trip (but through Europe all the way to Afghanistan) when he was my age and I still haven't heard all of his stories. This trip was the clincher.
post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by von Rothbart View Post
I don't know, Geek. I'd rather keep my own place and not taking any expensive trip than moving in with my folks.
i would agree with you if he were older. at his age, he should travel.
post #24 of 62
do you ski?

unfortunately i don't so when we went to osorno i kind of just sat on the mountain. haha.
post #25 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shellshock View Post
do you ski?

unfortunately i don't so when we went to osorno i kind of just sat on the mountain. haha.

Yes, but I doubt I'll want to carry gear everywhere for a few days of skiing. The more I think abot it the more I'm planning on diving. I'm adding Belize to the trip, even if I have to skip something else. I'm tentatively planning on doing a good month's worth of diving, which means I'll probably buy my own gear (renting would cost half as much but then i'll have it for the future, and it will be good new gear, not nasty stuff that hundreds of people have peed in ).
post #26 of 62
Panamá
Panamá city if you like a night life is actually pretty good. it is filled with bars and clubs. It maybe worth it worth it to pass a long weekend there. but reserve the hotel room at least 1.5 months ahead. the decnt hotels are fully booked and the ones that arre not booked are not in the best areas.
the Darien is cool place to see if not a little risky.
David decnt fishing horrible city
For beaches hitthe center of the country (i alway forget the name of th region, but it is where everyone goes for carnival).

Colombia
carta is great
But cali is worth visiting just for the nightlife.

costa rica
They have a very good nationnal beer. other than that if this was my trip i would stay out of there.

I have been to other countries but prefer to give info on countries i know reasonably well.
post #27 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scarphe View Post
Panamá
Panamá city if you like a night life is actually pretty good. it is filled with bars and clubs. It maybe worth it worth it to pass a long weekend there. but reserve the hotel room at least 1.5 months ahead. the decnt hotels are fully booked and the ones that arre not booked are not in the best areas.
the Darien is cool place to see if not a little risky.
David decnt fishing horrible city
For beaches hitthe center of the country (i alway forget the name of th region, but it is where everyone goes for carnival).

Colombia
carta is great
But cali is worth visiting just for the nightlife.

costa rica
They have a very good nationnal beer. other than that if this was my trip i would stay out of there.

I have been to other countries but prefer to give info on countries i know reasonably well.

Regarding panama, is the canal worth seeing? I don't really need to add another city with good night life to the list, especially if i'm gonna have to blow a couple hundred bucks per night on hotels that could better be spent elsewhere. I've already got tons of that.

I really want to get Belize on there for the exceptional diving, but also Mayan ruins, since I'm an archaeology guy. I looked in to CR, which also has ruins, but the diving isn't that great, apparently. So I might actually have to start my spanish courses in Colombia and then make my way down. Still haven't thought about routes yet. The big wrinkle in my original route is getting good enough at diving done before i hit the Galapagos Islands so that I can actually do the dives without putting myself at too much risk, and without having to pay for too many plane tickets. The other wrinkle is being at the dive spots at the right time of year. The diving aspect is adding a lot of complications to planning.

Anyway, i could spend more time in Colombia and less in Buenos Aires. That might end up being the best call since I can get in a good 20 dives or so and then head down to the galapagos, then down to chile and argentina and back up to bolivia, uruguay, and brazil. And maybe i could ship my dive gear back to Canada so i'm not burdened with it the whole trip.
post #28 of 62
I can just imagine... The Motorcycle Diaries Part II... by Che G33kvara.
post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
Regarding panama, is the canal worth seeing? I don't really need to add another city with good night life to the list, especially if i'm gonna have to blow a couple hundred bucks per night on hotels that could better be spent elsewhere. I've already got tons of that.

I really want to get Belize on there for the exceptional diving, but also Mayan ruins, since I'm an archaeology guy. I looked in to CR, which also has ruins, but the diving isn't that great, apparently. So I might actually have to start my spanish courses in Colombia and then make my way down. Still haven't thought about routes yet. The big wrinkle in my original route is getting good enough at diving done before i hit the Galapagos Islands so that I can actually do the dives without putting myself at too much risk, and without having to pay for too many plane tickets. The other wrinkle is being at the dive spots at the right time of year. The diving aspect is adding a lot of complications to planning.

the canal is a canal not a big deal. I know Panamá because my jobs takes me there. but in my opinion all the time you would put into seeing panama and costa rica use it in colombia.
also for got to mention the beer to drink in colombia is aquila
post #30 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJman View Post
I can just imagine... The Motorcycle Diaries Part II... by Che G33kvara.

My father made the same comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarphe View Post
the canal is a canal not a big deal. I know Panamá because my jobs takes me there. but in my opinion all the time you would put into seeing panama and costa rica use it in colombia.
also for got to mention the beer to drink in colombia is aquila

Cool. Thx for the info. Panama and CR are out.

Side-note: Damn are dive housings for cameras expensive
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