I am a female in my mid 20's and am planning a six month trip in South America, beginning in Santiago (early February 2013). I am planning to backpack through Argentina then North/Northwest toward Peru, doing some WWOOFing along the way. Other than this, I don't have any "plans."
My main questions are:
1. Safety, especially in traveling by bus
2. Any places in particular to steer clear of, or regional "warning signs" for scams or shady business
3. "Don't miss," budget friendly locations
4. Suggestions for mobile devices/technology (I was thinking about bringing a low-cost tablet for wi-fi accessibility but wondered if I should get some type of phone instead or in addition
I am comfortable traveling alone, but this is a bigger trip than I have taken on in the past. I generally think safety is about remaining aware and alert,but I thought it might be helpful to hear from women who have traveled solo in the region.
All suggestions and insights are welcome and appreciated!