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Travel in South America

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Student Travel Stories

From William...

While in Argentina I traveled to Iguazu Falls, Bariloche, Salta, Jujuy, and Pinamar. Argentina is such a geographically diverse country and each of the places I visited represented a different zone. In Iguazu I saw one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world in the middle of a rain forest. In Bariloche, which is the start of Patagonia, we hiked up mountains and climbed on glaciers. In Salta and Jujuy we visited the salt fields and one of the highest points of the country in the desert region. In Pinamar I enjoyed the beach and the coastal community.


Popular Locales

South America's smallest Spanish-speaking country is definitely worth discovering. It has a vibrant nightlife, a stunning coastline, charming colonial towns, and a cluster of internationally renowned beach resorts.

Uruguay is located directly north of Buenos Aires, and you can get there by taking a 45-minute boat ride through BuqueBus, a ferry and hydrofoil service that runs between Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Colonia. (Contact www.buquebus.com.ar)

The three most popular destinations to visit in Uruguay are Montevideo, the port city of Colonia, and the resort town of Punta del Este.

As the continent's longest and narrowest country, Chile is a region of contrasting landscapes: mountains, beaches, forests, and volcanoes are found side-by-side, with Chile's spectacular Pacific coastline only a short drive from its Andean highlands.

In Chile you'll enjoy adventure activities in a beautiful natural environment. If you're not in a hurry, you can take a three-day boat ride through the silent, forested isles of the Chilean archipelago, from Puerto Montt, a bustling port city, to Puerto Natales, a small town situated at the base of the enigmatic Torres del Paine. (Contact www.navimag.com)

Or visit Valpara’so, a South American San Francisco without the gentrification. It's a port city of wooden frame houses, stacked almost one atop the other; a city of tall, winding staircases, where even the old prison walls feature resplendent murals.

Spanish is the spoken language in Chile.

LanChile is the main Chilean airline and a member of the Oneworld alliance. They provide regular flights to other South American cities including Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Córdoba, Lima, Montevideo, Río de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Quito, Guayaquil, Bogotá and Caracas.

LanChile Phone: (56-2) 5652862 - 5652525
Web site: www.lanchile.cl Item: Airlines

For further information visit:

Brazil

Brazil is well known for its dazzling beaches, tropical islands, colonial towns, and the huge Amazon rainforest.

Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country and its booming economy, which has enjoyed record growth over the last five years, has made Brazil Latin America's economic powerhouse. Brazil is also known for its football prowess and rich musical traditions.

The most recommended places to visit in Brazil are Ilha Fernando de Noronha, Rio de Janeiro, Bello Horizonte, Ilha Grande, Sao Paulo, El Salvador, and the old colonial towns of Ouro Preto and Olinda.

Portuguese is the spoken language in Brazil.

You can get to Brazil only by plane.

For Further Information:

Located in the west central part of South America, Peru is a country of geographical and cultural contrasts as well as the center of the ancient Inca civilization.

A special place to go to is Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Inca. Located near Cuzco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known throughout the continent for its archeological importance and rich culture, Machu Picchu is one of Peru's most visited places.

Other important city in Peru are it's capital, Lima, and the cities of Arequipa, Trujillo, Chiclayo, Iquitos, Huancayo, Piura, Chimbote, Cusco, Pucallpa, Tacna, Ica, Juliaca, Sullana, Chincha Alta, Huanuco, Ayacuchu, Cajamarca, Tarapoto, Talara, and Tumbes.

Spanish is Peru's spoken language.

For further information visit:


Last Minute Tips

  • Inform someone (your parents, the school, a friend) of your travel plans in case of emergency.
  • Make sure you have more than one source of money (e.g. cash and a credit card, or two credit cards)
  • Make a copy of your passport and a credit card and pack these to bring along with you.
  • Bring email confirmations of all reservations and arrangements you have made.
  • Write down the address of your destination to show to a local if you need help. Also, print out directions of how to get to that location.
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Traveling by Bus

Travel by bus is the best way to go around Argentina and Brasil. It is very inexpensive for super cama (full-reclining bed-seat), which is the highest class offered on buses. For a 24-hour trip it costs about US $60.

Traveling by Plane

  • If you are planning weekend travel, then flying from city to city may be your cheapest option.
  • With flights, the earlier you book, the cheaper it will be.
  • Be aware that the taxes for the flight may be more money than the cost of the actual flight.
  • Many of the cheapest flights leave very early in the morning from airports outside of the city. In some places it can be difficult and expensive to travel to these airports at these very early times because public transportation may not run all night.

 Student recommendations from Fall 2009. Let us know if this list should change!


Accommodations

  • You will most likely need towels and make sure to bring shower shoes.
  • Some people even bring sheets with them.
  • Lock your stuff up if you share your room with other people.
  • In general, do not bring valuables with you and if you do have any, lock them up in the safe box that most hostels have behind the front desk.
  • Always check the ratings, and get other people’s advice/feedback. 
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