Are you looking to spend several months travelling in South America? This article is for you! In June 24, 2014 we left Europe for a trip of a lifetime, exploring South America. It took us 222 days to go “From the Caribbean to the end of the world“. It was magic.
Highlights of 6 months in South America
This is always a difficult question: what did you like the most in South America? Impossible to pic one thing but here is a list of few experiences that make it to the “top list”.
- Meeting the welcoming Colombians
- Climbing in the Andes
- Getting face to face with wildlife in Galapagos
- Exploring Inca ruins and indigenous culture
- Strolling through unreal landscapes: Salar de Uyuni, Atacama desert, Iguazu Falls
- Get caught by the rhythm of Brazil
- Trekking in Patagonia
- Tasting the meat in Uruguay and Argentina
I am sharing here the itinerary of the trip in details, I hope it will give you ideas to plan your own adventure! You can click on the destinations in blue to read more about them.
|Ciudad Perdida trek||Colombia||4||July|
|Tayrona National Park||Colombia||2||July|
|Laguna Limoncocha (Amazonas)||Ecuador||4||August|
|Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu||Peru||4||September|
|Isla del Sol||Bolivia||2||September|
|Huayna Potosi climb||Bolivia||3||October|
|Salar de Uyuni||Bolivia||3||October|
|San Pedro de Atacama||Chile||3||October|
|Road trip around Salta||Argentina||2||October|
|Ciudad del Este||Paraguay||1||October|
|Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||6||November|
|Punta del Diablo||Uruguay||2||November|
|Colonia del Sacramento||Uruguay||1||November|
|Santiago de Chile||Chile||3||December|
|Santiago de Chile||Chile||1||December|
|Torres del Paine||Chile||8||January|
If we would do it again… We would probably spend a few days less in Ecuador (41 days is a long time!), and stay a bit longer in Colombia and Uruguay. With more time and a bit more money we would have added a trip to the north of Brazil – a domestic flight is needed.
A few things to consider for your South America itinerary
Distances. Distances are huge in South America! Long distances buses will be your main way of transportation if you are backpacking on the continent. Be ready to get a journeys of more than 12h on a frequent basis.
Seasons. There are mainly two ways to explore South America: from North to South or from South to North! A choice mainly based on when you start your trip.
If you want to go trekking in Patagonia, plan to get there between December and March or be ready for the worst!. Note that the rest of the year you will be really limited in terms of transportation. The rainy season in the Andes is supposed to be around January and May, but many people we met said it would not do much difference.
Mountains vs Beaches. We love hiking more than relaxing on paradisiac beaches and you can see it on our itinerary: more than half of our trip was focussed around the Andes and just in Patagonia we spent 39 days. If you are not a huge fan of trekking, you won’t need so much time there. The beaches fans should research about little paradises on Colombian, Ecuador and Peruvian beaches on the Pacific Ocean as well as in the northern part of Brazil.
Budget. Some countries are more expensive than others. For example, you will probably spend 3 times more in Brazil than in Bolivia. You may also want to read How much does it costs to travel 6 months in South America
Now it’s your time to combine your South America itinerary and to get on the roads!