getting around in SA - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



Go Back   TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards! > Backpacker College Student Travel Message Boards > Where ya going? & Specific country info! > South America

South America Bossa Nova, the Amazon rain forest, Machu-Pichu, Incas, Grazie Jiu-Jitsu, salsa dancing, exotic women...

Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-23-2007, 09:55 AM   #1
TPunk Recognized
 
zmsmith5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 84
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default getting around in SA

I am in the very early planning stages of a RTW, year(ish)-long trip, and one of the last legs of my trip will be South America. I was wondering how difficult or how long it takes to travel around in SA by train, bus, etc. Im planning to fly in from the Europe leg of my trip into Buenos Aires or Rio and then make my way through the continent to Peru for the Incan ruins and then go as the wind takes me until Ill finish off in the Caribbean somewhere before heading home. Im wondering if I could get around easily by train or whatever throughout the continent of if I would save time, money, and grief by just flying. Any advice would be welcome, thanks.
__________________
ZACK
I'm the god damn Batman!
Been There: USA, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, China
In various stages of planning: Whistler, BC; Caribbean; NZ/OZ; R-T-W for a year!
zmsmith5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2007, 12:58 PM   #2
Rabidly Xenophilic
 
maracle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Austin Texas, but originally from Ann Arbor!
Posts: 1,233
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

There are just a few rail lines in Peru. Busses are frequent and really cheap, its very easy to get around by bus. They do vary a bit in terms of amenities though, so if your spanish is good enough to quiz the ticket agent thats ideal.

Also, I can only speak for peru but 1 way flights within the country can be quite cheap. I flew from Lima to Cusco for $60 USD. The flight was 45 mins, the bus is 24-30 hours and costs between $25 and $50 depending how nice the bus is. Most of the time the bus makes a lot more sense but that route the mountains are right in the way so its a long trip by ground and doesn't save much money.

I didn't travel in the rest of south america, but bus seems to be the main means of travel so I think you'll always be able to get a bus.
__________________
Flickr!
maracle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2007, 12:59 PM   #3
Rabidly Xenophilic
 
maracle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Austin Texas, but originally from Ann Arbor!
Posts: 1,233
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Oh, and I thought this was pretty funny...you can flag down passenger trains like you're hailing a taxi. Its great to see this huge passenger train screech to a stop to pick up some guy that wandered out of the bushes to wave at it.

I would never have thought to even try it, but maybe it'll come in handy!
__________________
Flickr!
maracle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2007, 01:49 PM   #4
To Smart For Mensa
 
TheJake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 5,818
Thanks: 3
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Send a message via AIM to TheJake Send a message via MSN to TheJake Send a message via Yahoo to TheJake Send a message via Skype™ to TheJake
Default

as far as getting from country to country goes, there are different bus lines in each country, the nicest ones being in Argentina. Rumor has it that one of them even serves champagne and steak in first class. Yes, the buses have a first class section and it is comfy. During my time in south america I spent over a week's worth of hours on buses. Overnight buses are a good way to get places much the same as overnight trains in europe. Unfortunately buses in south america are often pulled over and searched for hours by the federalis. I spent 4 hours getting manhandled at 2 in the morning in Argentina. Actually that's not totally true, when they saw my US passport I was treated pretty well, better than most of the passengers but still 4 hours getting searched.
For countries like Brazil, which is amazing and most american's don't realize it is as diverse as the US as far as the different regions go. Sao Paulo is nothing like Rio and the south with cities like Floripa are completely different from the cities in the Ceara state in the North. Different skin tones, different slang, different attitudes, all amazing.
The same is true with Argentina and I've been told a bit with Chile, though most of it's population is located in the Santiago/Vina Del Mar/Valparaiso region.

I guess how you want to travel really depends on how much time you want to spend. Here's a bit of my travels before I stopped recording...
this was in ONE month of travel...fuckin ridiculous in retrospect....
5 hrs plane AZ-NY
10 hrs plane NY-SAO PAULO
16hrs bus SAO-FOZ DO IGUAÇU
23hrs bus FOZ-BUENOS AIRES ARGENTINA
26hrs bus BUENOS AIRES-FLORIANOPOLIS
5hrs plane FLO-SALVADOR
17hrs bus SALVADOR-NATAL/PONTA NEGRA
8hrs buggy PONTA NEGRA-PRAIA DE PIPA (and back)
8hrs bus NATAL-FORTALEZA
7hrs bus FORTALEZA-JERI
7hrs bus JERI-FORTALEZA
then later I had a 56 hour ride to Brasilia and at that point I was so sick of the bus I took a plane to Sao Paulo after hanging up my hammock in the Brasilia airport and catching some z's.
__________________
Adventure needs to be as much about discovering yourself as it is about discovering the world.
TheJake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2007, 05:06 PM   #5
TPunk Emeritus
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: From Aussie, but living in Canada for now
Posts: 1,794
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via MSN to LostFarmboy
Default

Buses are the way to go in South America. Trains are pretty much non existant. The buses in most countries are as good as any luxury coach in the developed world, as are the main roads. So, travelling by bus in South America takes as long as travelling by bus in any country. Unless of course you decide to go cheap and travel by chicken bus. They aren't particularly comfortable, but they do provide quite a unique experience.
__________________
My adventures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nickt0909/
LostFarmboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2007, 02:11 AM   #6
No one regrets traveling
 
joe7f's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 2,072
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to joe7f Send a message via Skype™ to joe7f
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJake View Post
I took a plane to Sao Paulo after hanging up my hammock in the Brasilia airport and catching some z's.
Jake, you travel with a hammock? That rules man!

--Joey
__________________


Countries visited: USA, Netherlands, Norway, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain (and Gibraltar), Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Austria, Ireland, UK, Japan, Canada , Portugal, Czech Republic, Poland, Andorra, Croatia, Montenegro

Next up: Mongolia, China

"I sought trains; I found passengers" - Paul Theroux

Help Travelpunk's continued existence with a small donation
joe7f is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2007, 03:28 AM   #7
To Smart For Mensa
 
TheJake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 5,818
Thanks: 3
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Send a message via AIM to TheJake Send a message via MSN to TheJake Send a message via Yahoo to TheJake Send a message via Skype™ to TheJake
Default

dude, when thejake wants to sleep, thejake sleeps.

the dude abides man....
__________________
Adventure needs to be as much about discovering yourself as it is about discovering the world.
TheJake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2007, 08:51 PM   #8
TPunk Emeritus
 
florencia9699's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Buenos Aires
Posts: 1,783
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Yes, deffinitely buses... our train system was killed when the government sold the lines to private companies.... sooooo buses it is. I have only been around Argentina... and I can tell you, even though it's a huge country, travelling by bus is great, and the rates are good, and if you splurge on 1st class they're really big (my grandma takes it all the time to travel 500km to the beach, and she's one of those pain-in-the-butt ladies... but she'd rather go by bus than have my dad take her by car... lol)

Anyways, in the rest of SA it's pretty much the same, as u head north to Noroeste Argentino (northwest Argentina) it get's rougher and you might find a few chicken buses, but I wouldnt recomend it. In Bolivia those buses are more than common... but heh, I'd take regular buses instead, Bolivia is dirty cheap. In Perú I know you can take a train to go up to the Inca Rouins, but what's the point of going there if you're not doing the Inca trail?? take the train to go back, though.

That's my 2cents of a peso

If you need any advise on Argentina, specially Buenos Aires or Patagonia, just fire away!!
__________________
Been to: Argentina, Chile, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt. Greece, Turkey, England, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium, USA, Mexico, Spain, Monaco, Czech Republic, Ireland and Uruguay.

Next trip: Still pondering the possibilities for January 2009... * OH THE MYSTERY!! *

The travel bug is insatiable
florencia9699 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2007, 05:24 PM   #9
TPunk Recognized
 
zmsmith5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 84
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

so im still mapping out what id like to do for my time in SA, and "The Motorcycle Diaries" keeps popping it s head into my fantasies and I was wondering how much a motorcycle would cost me and any advice related to driving a motorcycle all over the continent, border-crossings. i just watch that movie and im thinking, "that's how i want to see South America!"
__________________
ZACK
I'm the god damn Batman!
Been There: USA, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, China
In various stages of planning: Whistler, BC; Caribbean; NZ/OZ; R-T-W for a year!
zmsmith5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2007, 05:56 PM   #10
Rabidly Xenophilic
 
maracle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Austin Texas, but originally from Ann Arbor!
Posts: 1,233
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

I dunno, the driving in south america is not nearly as orderly as in the US...I'd be nervous on a motorcycle there at all, much less if you don't already know how to ride.

But I guess thats just a matter of risk tolerance, I suppose you'd get used to the driving habits pretty fast.
__________________
Flickr!
maracle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2007, 06:13 PM   #11
TPunk Recognized
 
lost in texas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 464
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zmsmith5 View Post
so im still mapping out what id like to do for my time in SA, and "The Motorcycle Diaries" keeps popping it s head into my fantasies and I was wondering how much a motorcycle would cost me and any advice related to driving a motorcycle all over the continent, border-crossings. i just watch that movie and im thinking, "that's how i want to see South America!"
I'm with you man, I've been thinking the same thing since I saw that movie! There's a few places I wouldn't want to drive through (like Columbia), but I'm sure people still do it.
__________________
"Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds."
-- FDR
lost in texas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2007, 09:49 PM   #12
TPunk Emeritus
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: From Aussie, but living in Canada for now
Posts: 1,794
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via MSN to LostFarmboy
Default

Riding a motorbike around South America is something that I've been pondering for a while now. Hopefully I'll get to do it when I move to the states early next year.

Now, the perfect bike for such a venture is the BMW F650. They are the most reliable bikes on the market. You can get parts for them anywhere. They have a low seat height and the seat itself is quite comfortable. They have a good seating/instrument arrangement for long distance touring. Their engine is big enough the cruise comfortably at high speeds, but not so big that it weighs a tonne. These bikes are made for long distance touring in all conditions. In Australia you can pick one up that's a few years old for around $10k, but i don't know what they're worth in the states.

I'm not exactly sure how you would go crossing borders in South America. I know some countries can be quite difficult to enter/leave if you're using your own vehicle and you're not a resident. You'll need to look into the specifics of this for each country you plan on visiting.

There are most certainly some areas that you must avoid. I don't exactly know where they are, but there are some places that you really wouldn't want to be on your own on a bike.

How is your bike knowledge? Have you ridden a motorbike before? How are your mechanic skills? If you haven't ridden a bike before or don't have much experience with fixing bikes then I would seriously consider delaying the trip for a while. Buy a bike, do some touring around areas you're familiar with, and do a few bike mechanic and maintenance courses. There aint no road side assistance in South America, so if somthing goes wrong (which it more than likely will, bikes can be a real pain in the arse sometimes ) you're very much on your own.

How are your first aid skills? Motorbike riding can be quite dangerous, whether it be because of a crap rider, crap roads, crazy motorists, crap weather, bike playing up, etc etc. Depending on the type of riding you plan on doing, there's a good chance you'll come off a few times. If you're hurt in one of these falls there's a good chance you'll have to patch yourself up. (just ask IDDQD about motorbike accidents in foreign countries).

Motorbike touring around South America is not something I would undertake on my own for the above mentioned reasons. If the shit hits the fan it's always better to have another person around to help you figure it out or to go and get help.

These things aside, motorbike touring around South America is a bloody excellent idea and something I really hope I get to do in the not too distant future
__________________
My adventures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nickt0909/
LostFarmboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply






Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:53 PM.



 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.2.0

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121