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mcivan
Hi Guys,

My husband and I are travelling to South America on 25 Feb, we are going to be in Chile for 2 weeks, then we fly to Cusco (11 March) for a five days then we want to travel through Bolivia to Calama (we are thinking, 8 days to Calama and 2 days in Calama), we fly from Calama on 26 March to Iguazu and then on to BA.



My questions are:
1. What would be the best way to get from Cusco to La Paz and then from La Paz to Uyuni and from Uyuni to Calama.

2. Do you think 8 days is enough time to get from Cucsco to Calama?

3. Is Calama worth 2 days?

4. We haven't bought these internal flights yet (Chile to Cusco - Calama to Iguazu - Iguazu to Buenos Aires - BA to Santiago) they are coming out at about USD $1177 per person for all the flights with Expedia, is this reasonable?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Mary-Claire


starlagurl
Wow lots of questions, Mary-Claire.

1. I will try and help you, but I've never been to South America! So, I hope that some of our veteran travelers will have something to say about it.

This is a pretty interesting blog by a guy doing something like you are doing. He even takes a boat!

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entri...75993/tpod.html

This guy took a GAP tour:

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entri...89262/tpod.html

You can find more recent blogs about it here: http://www.travelpod.com/s/blogs/cuzco+la+paz?ob=time

2. I think you will be rushed with that 8 day schedule, but you'll be able to do it.

3. Calama looks boring, most people say there is not a lot to do: http://www.travelpod.com/blogs/0/Chile/Calama.html

Wow...http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/countyman/1/1257632055/tpod.html

4. I'm pretty sure those flight prices reasonable, that's four flights you're taking, so it sounds right to me.
mcivan
QUOTE(starlagurl @ Jan 5 2010, 10:28 AM) *

Wow lots of questions, Mary-Claire.

1. I will try and help you, but I've never been to South America! So, I hope that some of our veteran travelers will have something to say about it.

This is a pretty interesting blog by a guy doing something like you are doing. He even takes a boat!

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entri...75993/tpod.html

This guy took a GAP tour:

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entri...89262/tpod.html

You can find more recent blogs about it here: http://www.travelpod.com/s/blogs/cuzco+la+paz?ob=time

2. I think you will be rushed with that 8 day schedule, but you'll be able to do it.

3. Calama looks boring, most people say there is not a lot to do: http://www.travelpod.com/blogs/0/Chile/Calama.html

Wow...http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/countyman/1/1257632055/tpod.html

4. I'm pretty sure those flight prices reasonable, that's four flights you're taking, so it sounds right to me.


Thank you so much for coming back to me!

I really appreciate it, i guess if it is boring then we can stay there 1 day and use 9 days to get there...

Thanks for the blogs, I will check them out today!

Kind regard,

MC
kathryn77
Hi Mary-Claire

Hope this helps...
1. Overland from Cusco, you can go by bus to Puno which takes about 6 hours (perhaps see Lake Titicaca floating islands from Puno to break up the trip, you'd need a day there) then onto Copacabana...unique border crossing into Bolivia over a river (included in the bus ride wink.gif ) then onto La Paz from there. That stretch is about 8 hours by bus - option to stay in Copacabana though. La Paz to Uyuni by bus is about 14 hours in total - I stopped off in Sucre (was the capital, is pretty) and Potosi (silver mining town, where you can go in an actual working mine). Uyuni to Calama - I had to look in my guidebook as I wasn't sure where that was as I didn't go there, but now I see....you can go by jeep from Uyuni to San Pedro de Atacama, over the salt flats, and then onto Calama. I'm pretty sure that would be the only way to do it, due to the logistics of the salt flats. The jeep trip involves 3 days overland with 2 overnight stays in hostels along the way. It is really worth it (you can see in my "Big trip" link below if you like). I'm not sure on then getting to Calama how long that bit takes...

2. Yes, but you may need to pick and choose where you want to stop and what you want to see, based on the timings above. I'd recommend not missing the floating islands; La Paz capital deserves a stop (and the Death Road bike ride if you're adventurous, which takes a full day); the silver mines are an experience and the salt flat trip is fab!

3. Like I said, I haven't been to Calama, so I have just read about it in my guidebook just now, which describes it as a 'stopover' place - it doesn't sound like there's a lot to see/do there, so I would have skipped it, but I see you have your flight from there...perhaps if you find yourself in Chile with 2 days to spare, you should spend one in San Pedro de Atacama to relax after the salt flat trip, before moving on?

4. Is that the total cost for all flights in total, per person? If so, that sounds kinda right I think, although I bussed everywhere. You could perhaps compare the results with www.skyscanner.net and www.terminala.com
mcivan
Thanks everyone!!

I have changed my trip completely now, and have booked and paid for it! It seems sooo close now...

We are now going from Santiago- Calama, making our way from Calama to San Pedro, doing the Salf Flat trip to Uuyni, catching the train from Uuyni to La Paz, from La Paz going to Lake Titicata, from there to Sun Island, from Sun Island to Puno, from Puno to Cuzco, from Cuzco to Sacred Valley, from Sacred Valley to Lima, from Lima to Igussu Falls, from Igussu Falls to BA, from BA back to Santiago, then home!

A lot to do in 6 weeks!!

I have also bought some proper shoes to do all the walking in, finally!!

The only think I am left to book is the tour company to explore the Salt Flats with, from Calama to Uuyni. I will go through the forums to see what other companies people have used, as at the moment any I look into have nothing but poor feedback from people who have used them...

Any other advice?

mc
kathryn77
Cool! Not long now either, eh?!

I'm afraid I can't help you with a salt flat company, as I went the opposite way, so my company (which was excellent) was Uyuni based.

You know you can do Sacred Valley on a day trip from Cuzco?

Also, are you flying between Cuzco -Lima and Lima - Iguazzu?

If you had time in Lima, I'd recommend heading 5 hours south to the Huacachina lagoon - loved it!

At Iguazu, I'd also recommend seeing both sides of the falls if you have the time. You can get to the Brazilian side for 50 cents on a local bus and that side takes just a half day to see (Argentinian side needs a full day)

have fun, so jealous! smile.gif
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