Author Topic: Help me plan July vacation - South America  (Read 866 times)

FiguringItOut

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Help me plan July vacation - South America
« on: October 25, 2018, 09:29:46 AM »
Help me plan my travel in July 2019 please.

Single mid-40's female traveling alone
I'm thinking South America, but not sure.  Convince me that this is a good idea please, and if so, where in South America.
I will have between 8 and 14 days available, depending on what I plan.
I am looking at very attractive award flights to/from Buenos Aires and Santiago for July 3 to 17 and trying to make some decisions now.

My concerns:
Not best time to visit - it's their winter. 
Not safe for single female - could be wrong here. 
Language barrier - not sure how widespread is English there, I'm taking beginner Spanish class right now, but don't expect to be able to hold a conversation.
Not sure how best to travel between large cities or to areas outside of large cities.  I'm open to joining groups/tours, but not open to renting a car and driving myself.  Also, not sure about safety of taking rural buses, etc alone.

Don't want:
No beaches - not my main reason for travel, but if it's beach weather and I'm there, that's fine.
No extreme  or very physically demanding experiences- think easy to moderate level (long 10 mi walking tours/excursions etc ok, 2-hr uphill hike not ok, climb a bunch of stairs to a vintage point is ok, climbing rocks not ok)
No any kind of camping - don't need luxury or anything, but real bed and bathroom are a must.
No biking.

Wants:
Cooler weather than I will be leaving here in North East.
A mix of cultural and nature experiences.
Friendly atmosphere open to visitors/tourists.
Lower overall cost.  Once my flights are covered by the rewards, I want to minimize my out of pocket costs, but without compromising the overall experience. 

What sights/areas/attractions you recommend?



 



« Last Edit: October 25, 2018, 09:35:16 AM by FiguringItOut »

Padonak

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Re: Help me plan July vacation - South America
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2018, 10:49:46 AM »
I would consider Europe, particularly Eastern Europe. Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland to get you started. Safe, low budget, a lot of culture.

MarciaB

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Re: Help me plan July vacation - South America
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2018, 10:52:37 AM »
Isn't there a solar eclipse in July that can be seen from Chile?

https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2019Jul02Tgoogle.html

FiguringItOut

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Re: Help me plan July vacation - South America
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2018, 10:53:25 AM »
I would consider Europe, particularly Eastern Europe. Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland to get you started. Safe, low budget, a lot of culture.

I've been to most of Europe already.  I'm not new to travel, just new to South America.

FiguringItOut

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Re: Help me plan July vacation - South America
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2018, 10:55:30 AM »
Isn't there a solar eclipse in July that can be seen from Chile?

https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2019Jul02Tgoogle.html

Interesting.  I didn't even know about it.  Thanks

honeybbq

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Re: Help me plan July vacation - South America
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2018, 01:27:18 PM »
If you have 8 days I'd just stay in Argentina. With 2 full weeks, maybe add Chile, but you honestly have plenty to do just in Argentina.

It IS their winter, as you noted, so just be aware of the temperatures if you go north/south.

BA is wonderful. Plenty of English speakers, safe, etc.  You could easily spend a week just wandering out there, going to the markets, catch a soccer game, visit the cemetery where Eva Peron is buried, etc. I'd work on some Duolingo so you have some very basic spanish down but you'll be fine in most restaurants and hotels, etc.

You can take the ferry (Burquebus) over to Uruguay for a day trip and see if you like the old colonial style over there, visit some old churches, etc.

Catch a quick flight to Iguazu Falls - you can see a lot from the Argentine side but it's better to see both Argentine and Brazilian.

Weather permitting you could head south and see some mountains, glaciers, Ushuia, El Chaltan, etc.

FiguringItOut

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Re: Help me plan July vacation - South America
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2018, 08:46:54 PM »
If you have 8 days I'd just stay in Argentina. With 2 full weeks, maybe add Chile, but you honestly have plenty to do just in Argentina.

It IS their winter, as you noted, so just be aware of the temperatures if you go north/south.

BA is wonderful. Plenty of English speakers, safe, etc.  You could easily spend a week just wandering out there, going to the markets, catch a soccer game, visit the cemetery where Eva Peron is buried, etc. I'd work on some Duolingo so you have some very basic spanish down but you'll be fine in most restaurants and hotels, etc.

You can take the ferry (Burquebus) over to Uruguay for a day trip and see if you like the old colonial style over there, visit some old churches, etc.

Catch a quick flight to Iguazu Falls - you can see a lot from the Argentine side but it's better to see both Argentine and Brazilian.

Weather permitting you could head south and see some mountains, glaciers, Ushuia, El Chaltan, etc.

Thank you. This is very helpful.

I've been doing some more research.  I think I am leaning to doing 2 weeks and cover Buenos Aires (4 days), Iquazu Falls (2 days), Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay (1 day), and Santiago (4 days) or something similar to this.  I still need to research what other day trips I can do from BA and Santiago to round up the whole trip.
I found my from/to US award flights so I'll just need to get internal flights to the falls and between BA and Santiago later. 

I figured for my very first trip to SA I'll be more comfortable staying on large cities.  I can do more independent or harder to get to sights next time.



StetsTerhune

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Re: Help me plan July vacation - South America
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2018, 07:12:40 AM »
I haven't been to Argentina, but I spent a couple of months in Chile last year. Keep in mind that Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay are quite developed, much closer to southern Europe than the rest of South America. Also, I wouldn't hesitate to rent a car, we had one for a week in Chile and it was incredibly easy to drive around.

Tons of day trip options around Santiago, Valparaiso is doable, and is a very cool city, you could go skiing on a day trip if you're into that. We rented a car and did a week wine-tasting trip from Santiago, which is one of my favorite things I've done lately.

Dee18

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Re: Help me plan July vacation - South America
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2018, 08:32:54 AM »
Single female traveler here.  Over the years I have found that I feel safe traveling alone, but prefer walking around/exploring in daylight. So when I am going somewhere alone, I aim for a place that has > 12 hours of daylight at that time of year.  During summer evenings there tend to be lots of outdoor music, etc, but in the winter things are naturally indoors, and then require a trip back to the airbnb/hotel in the dark.  In short, Id travel in the northern hemisphere in July, or at least near the equator.  What about Asia?

cerat0n1a

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Re: Help me plan July vacation - South America
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2018, 10:46:09 AM »

Not best time to visit - it's their winter. 
Not safe for single female - could be wrong here. 
Language barrier - not sure how widespread is English there, I'm taking beginner Spanish class right now, but don't expect to be able to hold a conversation.
Not sure how best to travel between large cities or to areas outside of large cities.  I'm open to joining groups/tours, but not open to renting a car and driving myself.  Also, not sure about safety of taking rural buses, etc alone.


We went to Peru for a month last July. Their winter is a great time to go - dry and not horribly hot. Of course, being relatively close to the equator, day length was less of an issue than it might be in say Patagonia. It's the main tourist season there. Obviously, Peru is much poorer and less developed than Chile or Argentina.

We had enough Spanish to read menus etc. but rarely had to speak it, as pretty much everyone in a tourist role spoke excellent English - and even the places where that wasn't true (villages in the Andes, homestay on Lake Titicaca, we found a way.) We met plenty of single female travellers there, really wouldn't expect to be any more of an issue than anywhere else. In terms of transport, the inter-city bus trips aimed at foreigners were way more luxurious than anything you'd get in Europe, or Greyhounds in the US.

We met a number of Americans who were "doing" south america in a couple of weeks - couple of days in rio, couple of days at macchu pichu, couple of days at Iguazu etc etc.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Help me plan July vacation - South America
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2018, 11:08:43 AM »
I would consider Europe, particularly Eastern Europe. Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland to get you started. Safe, low budget, a lot of culture.
I've been to most of Europe already.  I'm not new to travel, just new to South America.
When I went to Buenos Aires about a decade ago I found it to be fairly similar to Europe. One place I did like was Colonia, and it is just a ferry ride away from BA.