South America In 4 Weeks

South America In 4 Weeks – You have a few weeks left, or even better, you are quitting your job and looking to travel. You have come to the right place! This blog started as an email to one of my close friends. She took a vacation before starting her MBA and wanted to travel to South America by herself, but she was a bit overwhelmed.

I chose the best places to visit in South America in six months and planned a 4-6 week trip through South America for her. Designed especially for the budget backpacker who wants to meet new people with plenty of hiking trails and breathtaking scenery.

South America In 4 Weeks

The trip covers three countries: Peru, Bolivia and Chile. Use this as a guide for your journey.

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This itinerary is written in chronological order and follows a logical path. I recommend the amount of time to spend in each place to see all the main sights, but I also include a comment on how long we stayed at each place (since we usually have limited time).

Lima is beautiful and I wouldn’t spend more than a day or two. That said, it’s the smartest place to start your journey, with flights from the US starting at less than $300 from major US airports. My favorite things are the free tour and ice cream at Blu Gelateria in Barranco.

Stay: Alpes Lima in Miraflores is the only hotel in Lima I recommend (stay at the amazing hotels in Barranco!). This is a reasonable option for a night or two. Book Alpes Lima for $25 through our link.

We stayed in Huaraz for two weeks and loved it! Huaraz is a city in northern Peru, which serves as a base for exploring the Huascarán Forest. It has the best hikes in South America, glaciers, electric blue lakes, forested peaks and pastures full of cattle.

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Spend the first two days on a hike to build up against the high altitude. I recommend taking a trip to Laguna Vilcacocha and Laguna Churup. After these, you will be ready to embark on a longer journey like the Santa Cruz Trek (3 Nights/4 Days). Those looking for a longer hike should do the Huaihuac trek (12 days).

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Accommodation: Hotel Akilpo has three partners, professional brothers who will help you in planning your trip. For those looking for travel or tourism, they are one of the most popular operators in the market. Our order. Book Akilpo Hotel through our link and get $25 off!

Tip: Take the bus back to Lima and head south! I recommend purchasing the Peru Hop Pass for those with limited time or a fixed route, or for those who want to travel a little easier. Matt and I didn’t use the Peru Hop and instead opted for the local buses – which was fine for us, but I felt we had a bit more of a trip than the others.

I would like to say that I have never been to any of these places. Why? I don’t like paid tours, all activities in these places involve paying for the tour. That said, since many travelers enjoy the services offered when visiting these places, I have included it in this guide. You should be able to see gardens in the desert (Huachachina), a beach park with wildlife (Paracas) and some interesting lines in the desert.

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Arequipa is one of my favorite cities in South America. The city is a mixture of beautiful baroque architecture located between three volcanic rings. The city is well preserved and has a wall that will make you want to stay forever. Take a free walking tour, enjoy delicious food from Ratatouille and sample street food at Mercado San Camilo. I had an amazing chocolate making class for my birthday (Chocolate Chocolates). Chakchow offers delicious cakes and artisan chocolates, and they have a cozy rooftop where you can enjoy local beer.

You can go to Colca Canyon from Arequipa. I spent two days in the sewer and didn’t like it. He came from Huaraz, the Colca Canyon didn’t look amazing, only three days of change – hard on the knees!

Stay: I stayed at the Vallecito bag and loved it – free fries with dulce leche and banana for breakfast. Reserve the Vallecito bag for $25 through our link.

Tip: Go directly to Cusco from Arequipa. Don’t go to Pono or Lake Titicaca. Both are huge travel traps and waste of time in my opinion.

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Most people fly through Cusco, making it the only base to visit Machu Picchu. But this ancient city has a lot to offer and is worth a few days on its own! Make the most of your time in Cusco with my Ultimate Cusco City Guide, which includes the best places to eat, see and explore.

Make Cusco the base for your visit to Machu Picchu and the Amazon. After each tour, return to Cusco to recover before embarking on your next adventure.

I recommend visiting Machu Picchu by doing the Salkantay Trail, and I wrote a complete guide on how to do the Salkantay Trail without a guide for less than $100. For those who don’t want to travel, you can go on an excursion in Cusco.

You can also travel to the Amazon from Cusco. I didn’t do it because I was short on time, but I believe it would take six days. The reason this is such a long journey is that it takes a while to get to Amazon’s best. The deeper you go, the wilder and more amazing the Amazon gets.

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Stay: Magic Packers in Cusco is a great hotel, breakfast not included, with new rooms, and a helpful person who is always ready to share his knowledge. Magic Packers will receive $25 bookings through our link.

Fly to Peru and catch a bus to La Paz, Bolivia. At an altitude of 3,640 meters (11,900 feet), La Paz is one of the most interesting cities in the region that I have visited. The center of the city is set in a cleft in the Andean mountains, with buildings rising everywhere in confusion. People ride the cable cars that are mounted on the slopes to reach the first level.

As always, I recommend taking one of the free walking tours (guides not included), which highlight the local area and take you to the main sights such as San Pedro, Plaza Murillo, and the Market Witches. For one of the best views in the city, take the Red Line cable car to Jaipur (16 de Julio). Good dining options include High Ground (Australian coffee and chili) and Cafe del Mundo.

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Not-to-be-missed day trips from La Paz include biking Death Valley and hiking Huayna Potos. I didn’t do any of these trips because they were on the more expensive side and the weather wasn’t great when I went in January. If you are planning to go cycling/hiking, make sure you go between May and September when the weather is good.

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Important: If you are a US or Israeli passport holder, you need to prepare several documents for a Bolivian visa, which you will receive at the border crossing. You should start preparing for this before you leave the US, as it includes vaccinations and other optional documents. See Matt’s (my friend) personal post about his experience. Most countries are easy to enter without a visa – I’m Australian and it took me less than 30 seconds at the border!

From La Paz, take a bus to Uyuni for a tour of the amazing Salar de Uyuni. Experience pristine salt flats, hot mud pools, geysers, exotic red rock formations and some of the world’s best stargazing on a three-day 4WD cruise. Finally had a trip to San Pedro de Atacama (Chile). We used the tour operator Cordillera Tourist and we had a good experience (safety belt, clean car, professional driver).

Salar de Uyuni can be done without a tour operator, but requires a 4WD and expert driving. Be prepared to damage your car with salt (we have met many people who have been fined by car rental companies because they returned their car in bad condition).

Tip: Bring plenty of props for photo shoots in the salt rooms! My team came unprepared and we didn’t make full use of illusions and vision. The most common items are pot cans, prepared foods, and stuffed animals (like dinosaurs).

Day Temperature Outlook

Crossing into Chile is a bit of a culture shock: you go from Bolivia’s highways to more developed, smoother tarmac roads.

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