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Travel Where have you been? Where are you planning to go? Where would you like to go?

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  #11  
Old Oct 31st 2011, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Middle South America

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Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
Just to be clear, touristy and off the beaten path is available in all of the countries. Much like visiting, say, Detroit, there are safe parts and there are parts you probably shouldn't venture. I mean, take Colombia: it has some of THE BEST tourist locals on the continent, but it is also the only, and longest standing, warzone in the hemisphere.

I never rode the cross country buses in Argentina, but apparently they are very nice. I think it would be a piece of cake to do a couple of days in Buenos Aires, spend a couple days traveling through the pampas, do some hiking in the Andes, and then land in the middle of Santiago. You'd also see two very different South Americas. Chile is apparently pretty amazing to visit.
What you're describing in the last paragraph is pretty much my default plan, barring any kind of "you've got to check out X as long as you're reasonably close". From the research that I've done so far, the area that I'm targeting seems to be safe to the point where it's not a serious concern.

I was thinking that some years down the road, I'll probably look to do a trip to some spots in northern South America, where I could see Machu Picchu, maybe Angel Falls, and the Amazon. Since that'd be a more far ranging trip, I'll save it until I'm more of a fat cat with more time and money to burn on traveling around and airfare, respectively.
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Old Oct 31st 2011, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: Middle South America

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Oh well, in that case, I'd like to go to the Macchu Picchu. But I have heard that they might build a cable train up to it, so that lazy, fat, burger-eating ignoramuses will be able to go there and ruin it for people who genuinely want the experience.
The train is the only way to get to the base town for Machu Picchu, other than on foot. From there you can either hike up to the complex or take a bus.
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Old Oct 31st 2011, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Middle South America

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The train is the only way to get to the base town for Machu Picchu, other than on foot. From there you can either hike up to the complex or take a bus.
Do you have a good concept of how long it would take to get from Machu Picchu to Santiago? Mileage-wise, it looks like about 1400 miles, which I'd put at two days driving, domestically. But, I don't know if perhaps there's some high speed train that would link the destinations or if it'd be dusty, slow roads that would make it take more like 3 days.

I doubt I'll want to spend two days doing nothing but traveling, but I suppose it doesn't hurt to gather the info.
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Old Oct 31st 2011, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Middle South America

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The train is the only way to get to the base town for Machu Picchu, other than on foot. From there you can either hike up to the complex or take a bus.
Long may it remain that way - I hope they don't make that cable train which some people want to go all the way to the Macchu Picchu,
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Old Oct 31st 2011, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Middle South America

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Originally Posted by drgoodtrips View Post
What you're describing in the last paragraph is pretty much my default plan, barring any kind of "you've got to check out X as long as you're reasonably close". From the research that I've done so far, the area that I'm targeting seems to be safe to the point where it's not a serious concern.
Well I did have a friend held up with a kitchen knife by a gang of ten year olds in Buenos Aires... But yeah, it should be pretty safe provided there aren't farmers burning tires on the access roads.

The only don't-miss that I can think of is Iguazu falls. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iguazu_Falls

Of course, you'll survive if you don't visit them (I'm still here!) but apparently they are pretty spectacular. Like Niagra on steroids, and I imagine a lot more interesting than Angel.


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I was thinking that some years down the road, I'll probably look to do a trip to some spots in northern South America, where I could see Machu Picchu, maybe Angel Falls, and the Amazon. Since that'd be a more far ranging trip, I'll save it until I'm more of a fat cat with more time and money to burn on traveling around and airfare, respectively.
Good plan... though iirc in-continent airfares are usually relatively inexpensive.
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Old Oct 31st 2011, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: Middle South America

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Long may it remain that way - I hope they don't make that cable train which some people want to go all the way to the Macchu Picchu,
The only difference between a cable train, I assume you mean a funicular type thing, is that it would make infinitely more sense than a system of buses with switchbacks (you can see them on the picture I posted).

It would probably be a pretty cool investment.
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Old Oct 31st 2011, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: Middle South America

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The only difference between a cable train, I assume you mean a funicular type thing, is that it would make infinitely more sense than a system of buses with switchbacks (you can see them on the picture I posted).

It would probably be a pretty cool investment.
Yes, I mean a funicular.
Yes, it would have its advantages.
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Old Oct 31st 2011, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: Middle South America

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Originally Posted by drgoodtrips View Post
Do you have a good concept of how long it would take to get from Machu Picchu to Santiago? Mileage-wise, it looks like about 1400 miles, which I'd put at two days driving, domestically. But, I don't know if perhaps there's some high speed train that would link the destinations or if it'd be dusty, slow roads that would make it take more like 3 days.

I doubt I'll want to spend two days doing nothing but traveling, but I suppose it doesn't hurt to gather the info.
Forever.

I don't know about driving it, but buses would take a fucking long ass time. I think from Lima to Cuzco on the ground was supposed to be a day or two, or more. I can't quite remember. You really would need to fly into Cuzco, go by bus to this town, I think it's called Ollantaytambo or something, and then jump on the train to the base camp below MP. You'd want to then spend the night there, spend all of next day getting two, visiting, and from MP, and then spend the night again. Add another day for the return trip... yeah, trying to do it in under a week is a fool's errand. It's REALLY fucking remote.
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Old Oct 31st 2011, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Middle South America

Concur with Donkey on Buenos Aires. If you've been to any major European city, you've seen everything that BA has to offer, and much that it doesn't. However, I wouldn't say that Argentina is something to pass on. Mendoza and Bariloche are both beautiful - Bariloche is awe-inspiring but rugged, and Mendoza is fine, relaxing, and affordable wine country, with the Andes standing right over you. Both are well worth visiting, and Argentina's a great country.

I've done a long-distance bus in Argentina. It was OK. A couple of Ambien and I slept most of the night (or if I didn't, I don't remember it - nice thing about Ambien). Much of South America lacks good rail service, especially Argentina. It's air or bus. Bus isn't ideal, as it does eat up a lot of time, but it's not the worst thing I've ever done.
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  #20  
Old Oct 31st 2011, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: Middle South America

The biggest problem with Buenos Aires is that I got really sick of looking at Argentine boogers, do to all the residents walking around with their noses in the air.

I was there for Cristina Kirchner's inauguration though. That was cool. A lot of people came in from the country to celebrate.
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