We have been asked about our plan and itinerary for our RTW trip and our stock answer has been, ‘There’s no plan’. But that’s not really true – we do have a very rough idea that after South America we’re heading off to Africa, then Europe, than Asia.
Nothing is set in stone, however. But for now, let’s just say that the the plan.
It looks really good on the map.
We don’t know how long we’re going to be in each continent. Case in point: just yesterday we found out that we’ll be volunteering for an organization in Ecuador for 3 weeks, thus extending our stay in Ecuador from however long it was going to be to…. well, 3 weeks longer
Unfortunately, beyond Colombia and Ecuador we haven’t had done much research.
So if you have some country-specific suggestions, or even better, have written about your favorite spots in any of these countries below, share them in the comment section below.
Anyway, so far here is our ‘plan’ for South America:
After what the first country is in our itinerary, the second most often asked question, usually accompanied by an expression of disbelief and concern is, ‘Why Colombia?’
We honestly don’t remember the reason why. It could be because Colombia doesn’t require visas for both of us (with one of us having neither a non-US nor a non-EU passport, visa can be a pain in the arse). It could be because Colombia is at the top of the continent and we like my routes to be laid out in an orderly fashion. We don’t know. But why not?
We’re flying into Cartagena and are planning to make our way south to the border with Ecuador. We’ll be checking out pueblos, the coffee region, and colonial cities and hopefully get to meet some tweeps on the road.
From the border, we’ll be making our way south through Otavalo, Quito, Guayaqil, to the Peruvian border.
To Galapagos or not to Galapagos
We’re still not sure if we’re going to splurge for a visit to the Galapagos even though everyone we’ve talked to and have been there can not recommend it highly enough. ‘Worth every single penny and more’ seems to be the consensus.
Jessica and Timothy of Hedgehog Without Borders have been so kind in sharing their Galapagos experience with us and I can say because of them we’re never this close to this side of ‘Yes. Screw the cost and let’s go to the Galapagos’.
We’re tempted, but haven’t made a decision either way just yet.
We’re also going to spend 3 weeks volunteering for Arte del Mundo in beautiful Banos. We’re really excited about this opportunity and we would never have discovered it without Pete and Dalene Heck’s help.
Ecuador has turned out to be the biggest wild card of South America so far. I remember reading that the easiest overland border crossing from Colombia to Peru is through Ecuador (before that time, Ecuador was not on our radar at all). Further reading showed that Ecuador does not require visas for any nationalities (always nice).
So why not? Let’s pass through Ecuador really quickly.
Now it seems that we might actually stay there for much, much longer than we had originally expected. Betsy and Warren from Married With Luggage write up about Ecuador’s Quilotoa loop, among many other glowing reviews of the country, definitely helped convince us that Ecuador is worth so much more than a passing glance.
We love little unexpected twists like this.
The home of Machu Picchu. We’re not organized enough to secure the permit to do the Inca Trail trek, but even if we were, the (cheaper) alternative treks sound just as exciting and scenic if not more.
Two of the treks we’re considering are Lares Trek and Salkantay Trek. Jason of 2backpackers has done the Salkantay Trek and has been more than kind in giving us the information we need if we decide to do the trek ourselves.
As Ayngelina has shown there’re more to Peru than the Machu Picchu, so I’m looking forward to discover what else this country has to offer.
Chile and Argentina
In all honesty, we haven’t had a chance to do much reading on these two countries.
Mountains, Argentine tango, and wine – that’s as much as we know about what’s waiting for us there (but that’s more than enough to convince us).
After Argentina, maybe Brazil? Or straight to Africa?
We don’t know yet, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
Help us build a South America itinerary
Do you have any tips and advices? Or a ‘definitely can’t-miss experience’ you’d like to suggest? Maybe you’re in the area within the same time frame and would like to meet up? Let us know too.