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  #1  
Old 12-15-2005, 09:37 PM
theBruiser500 theBruiser500 is offline
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Default Travelling to South America

I would appreciate some suggestions on this. Winter break for me is from tomorrow to Jan 29. The Pokerstars Atlantis is from Jan. 4 - 11. I'm thinking of getting spanish lessons between now and the 4th, and then after the Bahamas going to S. America or Central America with Daryn if he wants to or maybe a friend from high school. Then on Jan. 20th there is a piano camp from 20-29 I was looking forward too.

So my main question is where in S. America or Central America should I go? Not sure if there will be time to get a visa. Is 9 days (between the 11th and 20th) enough or should I forget about the piano camp?
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2005, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: Travelling to South America

Based on personal experience:

Goods (highest-lowest)
=================
Costa Rica*
Argentina (Long flight)
Brazil (No spanish of course)
Lima (Machu Pichu a must!)
Santiago (long flight)
Panama*
Mexico
Dominican Republic (assuming Caribean is ok)

*Spanish is easier to understand in Panama and Costa Rica (pronunciation).

Avoids
======
Venezuela
Colombia

If you're looking for a real sleeper of a place to kick back, scuba, snorkel or just chill - Bonaire (sm Island part of Neth Anitlles - no spanish but they speak papimiento - a combo of spanish/dutch/french - wild!)

Edit: Visas to all/most should be doable if you already have your passport - here is a link to visa requirements.
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  #3  
Old 12-15-2005, 10:15 PM
theBruiser500 theBruiser500 is offline
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Default Re: Travelling to South America

Thanks, what's wrong with Venezuela and Columbia? They sound like two of the most interesting with Hugo Chavez and all. Are they really dangerous? Even if I don't do anything stupid?
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  #4  
Old 12-15-2005, 10:16 PM
SomethingClever SomethingClever is offline
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Default Re: Travelling to South America

1) Dominican Republic is an island.
2) It is awesome and should not be on the bottom of your list.
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  #5  
Old 12-15-2005, 10:20 PM
theBruiser500 theBruiser500 is offline
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Default Re: Travelling to South America

What is special about the Dominican Republic? I am leaning towards Lima now because there is something specific and cool to do there (Machu Pichu). A couple other specific things that people have told me about are, some volcano that is still active but don't know what country that's in. A week long tour through the amazon which sounded great, but not sure which place is best to go for that. Not Brazil becuase I want to do SPnaish.
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2005, 10:20 PM
Mr_J Mr_J is offline
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Default Re: Travelling to South America

Cuba was also on my list. I just thought it'd be an interesting place, alot of culture etc.

Latinas > piano camp.
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2005, 10:34 PM
BreakEvenPlayer BreakEvenPlayer is offline
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Default Re: Travelling to South America

Rio de Janeiro is amazing whether you speak Portuguese or not. If you were in South America and didn't go to Brazil I think you would be missing out.
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  #8  
Old 12-15-2005, 10:36 PM
sam h sam h is offline
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Default Re: Travelling to South America

Bruiser,

It all just depends upon what you are looking for. Going to Peru would be cool because Macchu Picchu is amazing and Cuzco (the city from which you access MP) is a nice place to hang out for a little bit of time. Lima is not really that interesting.

If you just want to spend time in a Latin American city, a good bet is Buenos Aires. You also could combine BA with a trip down to Patagonia, which is supposed to be spectacular.

If you want to go somewhere that is the most interesting from a political and social perspective, then go to Venezuela. Caracas is kind of a dump, but there are plenty of other nice areas in the country. I spent a month there last summer and can give you some good info on beach towns as well as a couple other cool places if you want.

Finally, if you just want the best nature/beaches then go to Costa Rica. There are several really spectacular national parks and beach areas. It's just not a very interesting place from a social or political perspective.

A dark horse might also be Bolivia. There are some incredible hiking/other outdoor activities to do there and it is also very interesting politically right now with the likely victory this Sunday of Evo Morales in the presidential election, who is nominally a socialist, of indigenous descent, and wants to legalize coca plant production. Needless to say, the US is not too happy about him.
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2005, 10:40 PM
wacki wacki is offline
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Location: Bloomington, Indiana
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Default Re: Travelling to South America

[ QUOTE ]
Thanks, what's wrong with ....Columbia? Are they really dangerous?

[/ QUOTE ]

Depends if you like your bankroll. Kidnapping is a rather large industry there.
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  #10  
Old 12-15-2005, 10:40 PM
muzungu muzungu is offline
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Posts: 196
Default Re: Travelling to South America

bruiser-

Central/South America is such a wide range that I would think about what sort of stuff you want to be doing first and go from there.

Some suggestions:

1. I spent a month in Guatemala and loved it. Tikal (the most important mayan archaeological site) is probably the most awe-inspiring place i have ever been. Guatemala has a larger indigenous population/influence than surrounding countries, that is interesting.

2. Costa Rica has a huge variety of stuff to do, mostly ecotourism related. Rainforests/beaches/etc. This is probably your best bet if you want a good mix of stuff. If you go there you could also take a side trip into Panama and check out Panama City/the panama canal/Bocas del Toro (great diving location).

3. If you want to hike, I would do the Inca trail to Macchu Picchu in Peru. I have heard good things about Ecuador as well, and the Galapagos islands are in that area too. If I recall correctly, getting there (the galapagos) is expensive, but that is not a problem for you. [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Oh, and forget about the piano camp.
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