5 Scripts of Backpacking Through South America

How I got my first job, I spent dreaming about my first vacation. I, who had never traveled out of the country and knew very few places within the Brazil, dreamed of a backpacking through South America. That was in 2009. Along with Naty, planned a long roadmap for our continent, all to, months later, giving up the trip: my first backpacking ended up being in Brazil even.

After that, mochilei around South America on two occasions – the first in 2012, when I traveled by Chile and Peru, and the second in 2014, when I was in Uruguay and Argentina. To help those who want to do the same, I decided to put together this guide with five suggestions of scripts by the cooler continents.

1-Argentina and Uruguay

Perhaps the simplest backpacking in Latin lands. And involving two countries: the neighbors Argentina and Uruguay. Other advantages of this trip are the prices of airline tickets, which are usually well into account, and the short time required to complete the checklist – a week it is possible to make this trip, although the script fits better in 10 days.

To facilitate your life, buy a plane ticket to multiple destinations, arriving for Buenos Aires and returning by Montevideo (or otherwise). You can search for tickets so using the Kayak, most extended flights of the world and that is a partner of the 360. Is simple: click here, choose the tab “multiple cities” and enter all the flights you need (São Paulo-Montevideo/Buenos Aires-Sao Paulo). Ready! Press search and the options will appear for you.

As an example, I will show you how to work this script with the arrival in Buenos Aires, but it’s not much different if your return flight is for Uruguay.

Arrive in Buenos Aires, the city that will require more time in your script. If you have 10 days, stay at least four of them in the capital of Argentina. Timed out, cross the Río de la Plata and go for the Uruguay-in 1 hour you are in Colonia del Sacramento. Spend a day and a night there, following the next day trip to Montevideo. For this, take a bus from bus terminal to Colonia or hire a car.

Stay at least two days in Montevideo. From there, head to Punta del leste, the final destination of your trip. There is just go to Montevideo airport and catch the flight back to Brazil. Easy, huh?

2-Argentina and Chile

Another simple script involving two countries. As in the previous case, the ideal is to buy the ticket with multiple destinations: you arrive for Buenos Aires and leave for Santiago (or otherwise). The ideal time to make the trip is 15 days, although it is possible to face this script with less time.

If your arrival is by Buenos Aires, remains at least four days in the capital of Argentina. From there, go to Cordoba, who will be your stop for two days. Córdoba is the second largest city in the country, a place full of bars and restaurants and University climate. You can make the plane or bus, on a night journey which should last around 8 hours. I opted for the bus and have not regretted it.

Time in Córdoba? Take a bus (or plane) and head to Mendoza, where you will stay for at least three days. When you get tired of the capital of wine, run back to the bus station. The next destination is already in Chile: Santiago. The trip lasts 6 hours. If your trip is in winter, make sure that the road is open.

Spend the rest of your time in Santiago and surroundings. You can make a trip to and back to the cities of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. Alternatively, spend a night in these cities, returning to the Chilean capital to catch the flight back to Brazil.

3-Uruguay, Argentina and Chile

In this case, enough for Uruguay and leave for Chile (or otherwise). Spend three days in Montevideo, Uruguay/Punta del Leste. From there, proceed to Colonia del Sacramento, where you take the boat to Buenos Aires. After four days in the capital of Argentina, go to Cordoba. So far, so equal, right? Then watch the difference:

Cordoba follow to Salta, in northern Argentina. Stay at least a week in the region, exploring both the city and the surrounding attractions – Broken shells and Cafayate, Cachi and los Cardones National Park, Salinas Grandes and also the tourist cities of the neighboring state, Jujuy.

From Salta or Jujuy, take a night bus to San Pedro of Atacama, in Chile. The trip lasts around 8 hours and is performed by three different companies: Andesmar, Geminis and Pullman. In some cases you may have to go to Calama, also in Chile, and from there take another bus to San Pedro of Atacama, travel that lasts around 1 hour.

After exploring the Atacama desert, go to Santiago. In this case, the ideal is to make the plane, the airport of Calama. If you prefer to take the bus, get ready for a journey of 20 hours (at least). Stay four days in Santiago, Valparaiso and Viña del Mar also take the flight back to Brazil there.

4-Peru, Bolivia and Chile

As I’ve never been to Bolivia, asked for help for Fábio Freitas, a longtime friend who mochilou already there, to set up this script. In this case, start your journey through Cuzco, in Peru, and finish by Santiago, Chile (or otherwise).

Book between four and five days to know Cusco and surroundings, including the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu too.

In Cuzco, take a bus and go to Puno, which is located on the shores of Lake Titicaca. The trip lasts, on average, 8 hours. After a few days in Puno, it’s time to get into Bolivia. The trip by bus to La Paz usually pass through Copacabana and lasts around 8 hours. Demonstrations are very common in the region, which can interrupt the transit of vehicles, delay your trip or even force you to make a good stretch on foot, to go through the demonstration.

Arrived in La Paz? Great. Enjoy getting to know the attractions of the city, including the witches ‘ Market, where it can sell all: crafts, clothes and even products used in Andean religious ceremonies (and which ensure the market name).

From La Paz to Uyuni, follow the base to meet the Salar de Uyuni, largest salt plain in the world. This trip can be made by bus, train (with stopover in Oruro) or by plane. The bus ride lasts around 10 hours. The blog Re Living Travel gives details about the route.

Of Uyuni, head to San Pedro of Atacama, in Chile. Fábio, who helped me set up this script, came to the border with Chile by Jeep, during the three-day trip that he made at Salar de Uyuni. There he got a transfer to San Pedro of Atacama. In Travel on the trip you find a guide with several options to make this stretch. After spending a few days in the Atacama, head to Santiago, preferably by air (or make that trip up looonga). Enjoy the Chilean capital for a few days and take the flight back to Brazil from there.

5-Supermochilão: Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru

I bet you’ve noticed: you can join parts of all previous scripts into one, making a supermochilão through South America, which goes through Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru. To do this, go to Cuzco, in Peru, and come back for Montevideo, Uruguay (or otherwise).

Between Cuzco and San Pedro of Atacama, in Chile, follow the whole script number four. From there you have two options: the first is to go to Jump or Jujuy, in northern Argentina, bus ride which lasts about 8 hours, as reported in the route number three. From this point you can follow to Córdoba and then Buenos Aires, where you take the boat to Uruguay.

The second option is to go to San Pedro to Santiago, from there proceeding to Mendoza, in Argentina, as reported in the script. After the script is identical: Córdoba and Buenos Aires, where you take the boat to Uruguay.

Other scripts of backpacking through South America

There are hundreds of options for scripts of backpacking through South America. Is it possible to make the passages listed here differently; is it possible to go in other parts of the countries mentioned (for example, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego); is it possible to include countries that were left out of these examples, like Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and, of course, the Brazil, yielding a separate text, but can be combined with neighbouring countries.

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