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Thread: South America

  1. #1

    Default South America

    Hello!

    Has anyone travelled to South America independently, i.e. not with a tour group? I am planning to do so next year, and am wondering if anyone out here has any tips and pointers to share.

    Thanks!
    Nikon D90|Tokina 11-16|Nikkor 18-105|Nikon 70-300 VR|Nikon 50 f/1.8D|Nikon 35 f/1.8|

  2. #2

    Default Re: South America

    Quote Originally Posted by euterpe View Post
    Hello!

    Has anyone travelled to South America independently, i.e. not with a tour group? I am planning to do so next year, and am wondering if anyone out here has any tips and pointers to share.

    Thanks!
    Independently means alone?
    I heard some experienced traveler told me before, it is not safe to travel alone there (Peru, Brazil,...). A group of 4-6, travel free and easy should be fine.

  3. #3

    Default Re: South America

    Hmm... still working on that - because I am looking at a three to four months trip, so there is a chance that I will be alone for part of the trip though of course I can probably manage that by joining the tours locally.

    Looking at (very preliminarily) - Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil.
    Nikon D90|Tokina 11-16|Nikkor 18-105|Nikon 70-300 VR|Nikon 50 f/1.8D|Nikon 35 f/1.8|

  4. #4
    Member hetfieldpaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: South America

    Have been to Buenos Aires, Santiago , Sao paolo before with my family, we booked a local tour when we were there , the Iguazu Falls is a must see btw! Well since i was 15 when i was there, cant really remeber much except for there are many pickpockets around so please keep ur belongings safely, the situation of pickpocketing is as bad or probably worse than eastern european cities

  5. #5

    Default Re: South America

    Some info here though it may be outdated:

    http://web.singnet.com.sg/~weekh/

  6. #6

    Default Re: South America

    (1) Yes there are a lot of pickpockets in Buenos Aires and probably other places, too.
    (2) If going to Brazil, you may need or want to get a yellow fever shot.
    (3) Consider flying to South America with a One World partner. This allows you the opportunity to purchase a Visit South America pass. LAN is a decent carrier in South America.
    (4) You can consider taking buses, but the distances are far. Thus, see (3).
    (5) If you go an see Iguazu Falls, try to see both sides. We actually liked the Brazil side.
    (6) If you are in Buenos Aires you can take a ferry to Uruguay. Booking the ferry online is a little difficult (it is in Spanish), but is doable. There is a small town called Colonia del Sacramento. Very charming place.
    (7) Dinner in Buenos Aires starts around 10pm. They continue until the early hours in the morning.

    Best of luck and enjoy your trip.

  7. #7

    Default Re: South America

    Thanks so much everyone for their replies!

    Understand that crime there is a concern - not just from everyone here, but also many of my friends. How do you carry your cameras with you then? Other valuables like passport, money etc I have experience in dealing with. But big fat DSLRs and their lens are kinda difficult to hold discreetly.

    How did you all do it?

    Many thanks!
    Nikon D90|Tokina 11-16|Nikkor 18-105|Nikon 70-300 VR|Nikon 50 f/1.8D|Nikon 35 f/1.8|

  8. #8

    Default Re: South America

    Quote Originally Posted by weekh View Post
    Some info here though it may be outdated:

    http://web.singnet.com.sg/~weekh/
    Beautiful pictures weekh! I hope I can take some good photos too! Thanks for sharing!
    Nikon D90|Tokina 11-16|Nikkor 18-105|Nikon 70-300 VR|Nikon 50 f/1.8D|Nikon 35 f/1.8|

  9. #9

    Default Re: South America

    if it is for long stays... you may wish to cut your cost by staying with locals who are willing to host you for some days... check out http://www.couchsurfing.com/

    if you are lucky, they might even bring you around too...

    disclaimer: i have just joined this but have not surfed with any host before... so do try at your own risk.

  10. #10

    Default Re: South America

    Here's a picture I took when I was in Iguazu in December 2004. Got to be there to appreciate the sheer scale of the place.



    Picture taken from Brazil side of the falls.

    Generally, in Brazil & Argentina, you got to be careful. Not to be so obvious with your gears but then, no choice also lah .. got to shoot means got to shoot!

    Enjoy your trip.

    Cheers
    GT

  11. #11

    Default Re: South America

    I think that you should ideally travel with at least one person (so in case you have to go to the washroom or something somebody can watch your gear).

    In the big cities, I think that you want to keep your gear covered. Take it out when you want to shoot a picture then put it away. I would suggest not to change lenses (pick a lens and keep it on all day).

    Read up on the internet for all the scams they use to steal from you. The drop a few pesos on the ground trick, the mustard trick, etc.

  12. #12
    Member hetfieldpaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: South America

    You could check out Contiki tours, the have pretty good south america iteneries for good value

  13. #13

    Default Re: South America

    gtsoh - hi i can't seem to see your pix.. can u send me the link please?

    hetfieldpaul - don't seem to have any south american tours on contiki..... ?!
    Last edited by Look-Fast; 27th August 2009 at 11:25 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: South America

    Apologies : Links :

    1) Buenos Aires

    http://www.worldisround.com/articles/145181/index.html

    2) Iguazu Falls

    http://www.worldisround.com/articles/315655/index.html

    3) Rio de Janeiro

    http://www.worldisround.com/articles/155553/index.html

    Hope you enjoy the pix

    GT

    PS. I have a whole bunch of travel pix; you can see from here:

    http://www.worldisround.com/home/gtsoh/index.html

  15. #15

    Default Re: South America

    Quote Originally Posted by gtsoh View Post
    Apologies : Links :

    1) Buenos Aires

    http://www.worldisround.com/articles/145181/index.html

    2) Iguazu Falls

    http://www.worldisround.com/articles/315655/index.html

    3) Rio de Janeiro

    http://www.worldisround.com/articles/155553/index.html

    Hope you enjoy the pix

    GT

    PS. I have a whole bunch of travel pix; you can see from here:

    http://www.worldisround.com/home/gtsoh/index.html
    thanks! really looks awesome!

  16. #16

    Default Re: South America

    Hi gtsoh
    Will be going to Iguazu Falls later this year. Is it worthwhile the extra $ to stay in a hotel within the park as against in a hotel in town ? Thanks

  17. #17

    Default Re: South America

    Quote Originally Posted by joeleow View Post
    if it is for long stays... you may wish to cut your cost by staying with locals who are willing to host you for some days... check out http://www.couchsurfing.com/

    if you are lucky, they might even bring you around too...

    disclaimer: i have just joined this but have not surfed with any host before... so do try at your own risk.
    Thanks - I have joined this as well, but I have my reservations about it - safety issues etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by gtsoh View Post
    Here's a picture I took when I was in Iguazu in December 2004. Got to be there to appreciate the sheer scale of the place.

    Picture taken from Brazil side of the falls.

    Generally, in Brazil & Argentina, you got to be careful. Not to be so obvious with your gears but then, no choice also lah .. got to shoot means got to shoot!

    Enjoy your trip.

    Cheers
    GT
    Many thanks GT - the pictures were fabulous and inspired me even more! How long were you in SA?

    Quote Originally Posted by rnb65p View Post
    I think that you should ideally travel with at least one person (so in case you have to go to the washroom or something somebody can watch your gear).

    In the big cities, I think that you want to keep your gear covered. Take it out when you want to shoot a picture then put it away. I would suggest not to change lenses (pick a lens and keep it on all day).

    Read up on the internet for all the scams they use to steal from you. The drop a few pesos on the ground trick, the mustard trick, etc.
    Many thanks! I am looking for a travelling companion since it appears that it is really not a good idea to be there alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by hetfieldpaul View Post
    You could check out Contiki tours, the have pretty good south america iteneries for good value
    Tried it hetfieldpaul - but they don't do trips to SA. I was looking at GAP Adventures and Tuscan Tours as well. I went with Contiki to Europe many years ago, it was great fun!
    Nikon D90|Tokina 11-16|Nikkor 18-105|Nikon 70-300 VR|Nikon 50 f/1.8D|Nikon 35 f/1.8|

  18. #18
    Member Expat yorkshire's Avatar
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    Default Re: South America

    I did a trip to South America a few years ago . I think unless you have got a lot of time don't try to take in too much as distances are vast . I travelled on local buses or trains for the entire trip except for the last leg . I helps if you can speak at least some basic Spanish . Do the Micheal Collins course before you go . I stayed in small one star basic hotels for the whole trip . Met lots of great people and there are lots of fellow travllers to hook up with if you are on your own .

    I did the following in about 3 weeks

    Fly to Lima

    Lima - nazca to see the lines
    Nazca - Arequipa
    Arequipa - arica
    arica to san pedro
    San pedo - La paz
    Lap paz to Titicaca ( 2 day trip on the lake)
    Puno -Cusco ( walked the Inca Trail)
    Cusco to Lima

    all overland by Bus except the last leg by Plane



    Highlights

    Inca trail
    Monestry at Arequipa and the trip from there to Colca Canyon
    San Pedro de atacama ...beautiful sand dunes and nice palce
    San pedo to la paz across the salt lake
    Cusco itself

    No digital pictures all on film but I have scanned some prints into digital as i no longer have the negative so I apologise for the quality in advance











    Last edited by Expat yorkshire; 9th September 2009 at 10:54 PM. Reason: spelling

  19. #19

    Default Re: South America

    Thanks for the advice - I am looking at about 4 months, with 1 month at Buenos Aires to pick up Spanish - so hopefully that'll be enough to cover quite a bit of South America. I love your photos, especially the last one!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Expat yorkshire View Post
    I did a trip to South America a few years ago . I think unless you have got a lot of time don't try to take in too much as distances are vast . I travelled on local buses or trains for the entire trip except for the last leg . I helps if you can speak at least some basic Spanish . Do the Micheal Collins course before you go . I stayed in small one star basic hotels for the whole trip . Met lots of great people and there are lots of fellow travllers to hook up with if you are on your own .

    I did the following in about 3 weeks

    Fly to Lima

    Lima - nazca to see the lines
    Nazca - Arequipa
    Arequipa - arica
    arica to san pedro
    San pedo - La paz
    Lap paz to Titicaca ( 2 day trip on the lake)
    Puno -Cusco ( walked the Inca Trail)
    Cusco to Lima

    all overland by Bus except the last leg by Plane



    Highlights

    Inca trail
    Monestry at Arequipa and the trip from there to Colca Canyon
    San Pedro de atacama ...beautiful sand dunes and nice palce
    San pedo to la paz across the salt lake
    Cusco itself

    No digital pictures all on film but I have scanned some prints into digital as i no longer have the negative so I apologise for the quality in advance
    Nikon D90|Tokina 11-16|Nikkor 18-105|Nikon 70-300 VR|Nikon 50 f/1.8D|Nikon 35 f/1.8|

  20. #20
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    Default Re: South America

    Will be in SA(Chile and Argentina) for 7 weeks from Nov to Dec.

    After that, I should be back in SG on the 20th Dec so if you all want to meet up and chit chat as well as see the shots, I'm down for that.

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