A large part of South America is travelling around it. Deciding what to see, how long you need, what can you do where and how to get there. Argentina and Brazil, being the richest, are the most expensive for travel, while Bolivia, Colombia and most northern nations are cheaper. The continent also has all the climactic extremes, thousands of things to do, a selection box of cultures, and so endless variations for a trip. Hit the big ‘must-sees’ and it’ll be a breeze. Machu Picchu, Torres del Paine, Iguazu falls, Rio carnival, Dia de Los Muertos….you’ll find you way in not time. For most of South America though, tourism is pretty low key, and locals shrug it off like it’s nothing . If you want something, you’ll have to find it, if you don’t ask, you won’t be told and if you can’t speak Spanish, start learning.
Buses are the way to get around. Be prepared for regular 15-30hour journeys, as you inch along these gargantuan countries. Yes, internal flights do exist, but you’ll pay a hefty price. £280 for a four hour flight, or £40 for a 27hour bus. Your choice. If you’re still on the fence then check out the buses; memory foam built in pillows, coffee, lunch, films, a clean working toilet and if you splash out your ‘semi-cama’ can be upgraded to a full ‘cama’. Comfy though they may be, the journeys are still epically long. What was a 3hour flight down to Patagonia, then took 77hours worth of buses back up. Bring fresh snacks, a film, a book, thick loungewear and you’ll be fine.
South America is beautiful. The landscape varies, and so do its people, foods, religions, cultures, music… It’s an exciting place to be.