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seeing S. America

California
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16 posts
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seeing S. America

We'll be retiring soon, and have been thinking about spending a few months in South America. We are not rich by any means but we love to travel and have managed to do quite a bit on a tight budget. Some "musts" on our list would be Machu Pichu, the Galapagos, and Iguazu Falls. We have friends in Rosario, Argentina where we'll spend some time---maybe even go back and forth from their place to "rest up". Would appreciate ideas about best times of year, where to start, other "must sees" etc. from some of you seasoned travelers out there especially those of you who are thrift minded and appreciate "good value for money" as my Brit expat husband would say! We are in our late 50's but fit and relatively adventurous. Thanks for any help.

Beirut, Lebanon
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1. Re: seeing S. America

I believe peak season for Galapagos is Dec-April. My brother-in-law visited earlier this month and got his cruise for half of what it costs during peak season. This is the year of El Nino, so the weather is cooler than usual - in Nov. it can be blazing hot in Galapagos apparently. So look into off season for better Galapagos values. I'm a big fan of the Ecuadorian Sierra (mountain highlands) and would put that on the list of must-sees, to spend a couple of days in Quito and a couple of days more minimum elsewhere in the Sierra (Imbabura/Otavalo, Cuenca). The highlands can be pretty rainy in Feb-March.

I hope you'll spend time in Buenos Aires as well when you're in Argentina. It's one of my favorite cities.

Syracuse, New York
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2. Re: seeing S. America

"Ditto" on the Buenos Aires as a must.

I only spent 5--6 days there and wish I had been there longer!

California
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3. Re: seeing S. America

Thanks for the replys. Just starting to research a bit more. Maybe early next fall would be a good time to start a trip down there. Seems like the weather and prices might be best then. Yes, I'm sure we'll want to spend a little time in Buenos Aires and maybe a few other major cities, but we are mostly interested in the "natural wonders".

ISW
Vienna, Austria
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4. Re: seeing S. America

I've just returned from 5 weeks in South America, so I have a few more places to offer that made it onto my "must-see" list and that I really likes:

*) If the season is right, go to Peninsula Valdes (Argentina) for whale watching - this is truly an impressive experience.

*) During the South American summer, got to the Perito Moreno glacier (best base for that is El Calafate, Argentina) - we did the mini-trekking where you can walk on the unbelievably blue glacier with crampons (this activity is not as exhausting as it mights sound :-), and we loved it.

*)One of the most interesting experiences we had was staying at a lodge in the Amazon (in pristine rainforest, about 4-5 hours by boat from Iquitos/Peru). This activity is usually not really cheap - but neither are the Galapagos, and to experience the Amazon jungle by foot and by boat was definitly equally impressive (and one of the highlights of our trip). Just don't expect to get as close to the animals as you will on the Galapagos ;-)

As for your other "musts" and the suggestion of Buenos Aires: I've seen them all, and every single one is worth the trip. You will surly have a great time!

Washington DC...
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for St. Thomas
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5. Re: seeing S. America

Spend a day or two in Quito, Ecuador and a few days in one -- or more -- of the haciendas in the highlands. The Otavalo market is terrific and there are several haciendas close by -- Hacienda Cusin, Hacienda Pinsaqui, Hacienda Zuleta are all very nice and offer wonderful food, lovely gardens, rooms with adobe fireplaces, horseback riding, hiking...just gorgeous scenery. Ecudoreans make the most wonderful soups in the world!!

6. Re: seeing S. America

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