Me and my boyfriend (both 21 yrs old) are planning on backpacking South America for 4 months between August and December this year. Our original plan was to do 6months next year but due to work commitments we have had to bring it forward. So now I have to plan the whole thing in only a couple of months!!! So any sample itineraries or route ideas would be much appreciated must sees for us are…Machu Pichu, amazon tour, angel falls, Patagonia, Nazca lines, salt flats and rio. Do you think we can squeeze all these in to 4 months on a budget of £50-60 a day (excluding Machu Pichu trek costs). Any routes, places to avoid and tips will be appreciated! THANKS!
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Hi kayclark123. There’s been a couple of similar questions on here in the last few months – take a look at the South America thread as there’s some useful advice there. I think you can manage to see a lot of the highlights in four months and one pretty cool way of travelling from Peru to Brazil (or vice versa) is via the Amazon on a boat between Iquitos and Tabatinga.
Bolivia and Peru are cheaper than Brazil and Argentina, and obviously the big cities (and Amazon tour) will set you back. Your budget sounds fairly OK though – as long as you eat and drink as the locals do! In Rio if you want to be by the sea, pick Leblon as it’s cheaper than Ipanema and nicer than Copacabana. Though if you’re happy to forego being by the beach, bohemian Santa Teresa is an absolutely gorgeous neighbourhood in the hills.
August to December is a great time to travel in South America… though unless you’re planning to ski, it’s probably best to avoid Patagonia until at least October. The Rough Guide to South America on a Budget has been recently published and has all the useful info on when to travel, public transport and suggested itineraries. Happy planning!