Traveling in South America alone
For me, the best way to travel is backpacking, with little money in my pocket, sleeping in hostels and sharing with all the people we meet along the way. Here I leave you the experiences and learnings that you will live while backpacking the continent, to “warn you” and above all to encourage you to go out and meet Latin America.
You will be so excited about the trip that you will want to try all the new foods you find, even if they warn you that “it’s too spicy”, or that you should be careful with certain street food. And you’d better always get advice on whether or not you can drink the local water.
In time, you will become an expert bargainer for change. You will also know that the first thing you should do when crossing a border is to ask more than one person which is the best place to change your money.
Words that are “normal” in your country can be very badly taken in other regions you visit on your trip. An example? When asking to hold your luggage for a moment, don’t even think of referring to a suitcase as “bulto” to an Argentinian or “las bolsas” to a Dominican.
Travel through South America from Colombia
What budget do I need for backpacking in South America? Is transportation very expensive? Is it possible to camp? How do I travel so cheaply? These and many other questions are the most frequently asked when planning a trip for the first time.
There are as many answers as there are travelers. In this kind of guide I will try to share the keys that made Juan and me be able to travel for 18 months with U$D 7 per day between the two of us. The more gas-guzzling/scratchy/broken version of me (and not for that reason unhappy, much less dirty) is about to be revealed.
So if you’re thinking of taking a trip and don’t have a lot of money, put the water for tea (I don’t drink mate), bring your notebook, and stay put. Coming soon is a guide on how to put together a backpacking budget for traveling in South America.
Normally, and regardless of the type of trip, the budget is divided into three basic elements: transportation, food and lodging. The first part (except within the cities) is solved by hitchhiking. Even in countries like Bolivia, where buses are very cheap, we choose to extend the thumb: we do not do it only for economic reasons.
Best route to travel through South America
All international travel requires a passport. If you are traveling to another country, you will need a passport to board the international flight and enter the country. Passport cards will not be accepted as identification for international air travel.
To enter the U.S. through the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), each passenger must have a machine-readable passport. If your passport does not have a machine-readable zone, you will need to have a valid visa.
Permanent residents of Australia and all visa-exempt foreign travelers will need a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authorization (NZeTA). This requirement takes effect from October 1, 2019 for travelers traveling to or from New Zealand.
If you cannot present a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate you will be denied entry to Nicaragua and will have to return to where you came from on the next available flight.
Traveling South America by car
+ June 19, 2012: Videoconference with National Geographic Store Madrid in the middle of an event about Colombia + June 10, 2012: Mention in Viajablog in their new section “Travel blogs in the backpack”.
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