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Santiago to Lima via ....

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London, England...
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Santiago to Lima via ....

Hi all,

I'm planning a trip early next year and will be spending at least a month traveling from Santiago to Lima. I'll be traveling with my girlfriend and I would describe us as budget to mid-range travellers. This will be our first time in South America and as we have the time I'd like to travel overland and see the sites including (but not limited to!);

La Serena Space Observatory

San Pedro de Atacama and the Puritama Hot Springs

Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flats)

Cuzco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu

Amazon Jungle

La Paz

Altiplano (Andean Plateau)

Lake Titicaca

My first question would be, is this realistically done in 4 weeks?

Secondly, I'd prefer not to take a pre organised tour, at least not for the whole trip, and put things together myself. But again, is this realistic especially given that I won't speak to the local language?

Third, will it be relatively easy to organise bus / transport if we chose to do it ourselves, or are we best trying to book it before we go?

Finally, is there anything else you'd recommend, given the time we have?

Many thanks!

Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: Santiago to Lima via ....

I haven't done it myself, but I would say the timing is fine.... a week in Chile, a week in Bolivia and 2 weeks in Peru, perhaps.

You can join a 3-day tour of the Salt Flats from San Pedro. Then bus/flight to La Paz, and from there to Titicaca, and across to Peru.

Whether you can do it all by yourself, as you go along, is up to you. You could easily spend the time beforehand learning some basic Spanish, and investigating where to buy bus tickets, so you don't waste time on the trip.

Santiago, Chile
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2. Re: Santiago to Lima via ....

Which observatory do you mean when you say La Serena Space Observatory?

You cannot pre-book Chilean buses online without a locally issued credit card but you can book and pay for any buses you need for your stay once in the country with any credit card.

London, England...
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3. Re: Santiago to Lima via ....

Hi,

Thanks for your advice. I think I'll pick up the Lonely Planet on South America and invest in some Spanish lessons!

Reading through the tours, there are a couple of public observatories near La Serena (Collowara Observatory) which we could visit.

What is a sensible per day / per person budget for Chile, Bolivia and Peru?

Stanley, Falkland...
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4. Re: Santiago to Lima via ....

Yes, do have a look at the guidebooks.

Your question is a bit like - "What's a good daily budget for France, Albania and Greece?"

It depends on your style of travel and spending habits.

Santiago, Chile
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5. Re: Santiago to Lima via ....

You have small observatories in Chile, usually owned by universities or municipalities, which are designed to give visitors an interesting experience observing the night sky and Collawara is one of these. Then there are the professional observatories like Tololo which do allow visits, usually one day a week. and reserved far in advance. Without your own transport I would recommend getting an agency in La Serena to arrange your visit to Collawara.

Budgets are difficult to predict because too many factors enter in, but if you spend US$40 pp per day in Bolivia you will easily spend double that in Chile. Perú will fall somewhere between the two.

Singapore, Singapore
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6. Re: Santiago to Lima via ....

general guide is USD50-100 per day for budget to mid-range to cover meals, sight-seeing and accomodation.. but if u plan to do Inca Trail and Amazon Jungle that could easily be several hundreds each as u have to follow specialised tours..

North Carolina
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7. Re: Santiago to Lima via ....

Are you renting a car in each country or using public transport? Buses in Chile are quite impressive. It sounds like a good trip, but a lot for four weeks, in my opinion. Chile isn't cheap.

8. Re: Santiago to Lima via ....

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