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Most Viewed Favorites in South America

  • gwened's Profile Photo

    A quick overview of Santiago de Chile

    by gwened Written Mar 23, 2012

    Favorite thing: do the cierro Santa Lucia, cerro San Cristobal, the mercado central for eating and history, great at night. the Cathedral, the plaza de armas, the fine arts museum, walk paseo Ahumada from plaza de armas.
    And do eat here Ocean Pacific the restaurant submarine, great. Used to go there every month for years as we had a branch in the city of my company.
    Enjoy Santiago

    http://www.oceanpacifics.cl/

    Fondest memory: walking from plaza de armas to paseo ahumada, and visiting cerro San Cristobal, then eating at Oceans pacific near my usual place b metro Los Leones.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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    When you come by CRUISE to Punta Arenas

    by globetrott Updated Sep 2, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Should I book a guided tour onboard?
    or can I do sightseeing on my own ?
    In case that you have around 4-5 hours in Punta Arenas, you can do all sights of interest IN the city of Punta Arenas easily on your own, by taking a walk from the port, and within about 10 minutes you will see the first sights.
    As soon as you plan to explore the wider area around Punta Arenas, it will make sense to take the guided tours organized by the cruise-ships, even though they are mostly quite expensive !
    ---
    I felt perfectely safe, when walking around in Punta Arenas !
    Everybody was friendly, no scams in the streets, no beggars, but of course it is still always best to be carefull, where-ever you go !

    Fondest memory: Be careful when booking a cruise to Punta Arenas : The pier of that port is too small for giant ships like M/S Infinity of Celebrity Cruises with 90.000 GRT.
    So they have to take you ashore by small tenderboats, a time-consuming procedure that will cost you a lot of extra-time. So you have to deduct at least 2 hours from your time ashore.
    Take a look at my pictures :That is the waiting-line for the people queuing up for the tenderboats to get back to the ship. A security-check with x-rays onboard added some extra inconvenience, but that seems to be standard nowadays, especially on US-ships.
    In order to leave the ship, you have to register for a tender, the first people allowed to leave the ship are the ones , who have booked a tour-ticket, the others have to wait.

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Disabilities
    • Cruise

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    When you come by CRUISE to Valparaiso

    by globetrott Written Sep 1, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Valparaiso is the 1st and / or last port of call for many cruises around South America and there are a lot of sights that you can do on your own easily by taking a walk.
    The ships will dock very close to the towncentre, BUT you still have to leave the port-area at the other side of the bay, about 2-3 km from your ship. That is for security reasons and only over there, the authorities are able to x-ray the passengers and their belongings.
    There is also NO way to WALK that distance in the port-area, you have to take one of the shuttle-buses, so make sure you get there in time and catch the last bus !
    Ascendores - thats the name of various funiculars taking you uphill to the upper parts of Valparaiso.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Architecture
    • Cruise

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    When you come by CRUISE to Puerto Montt

    by globetrott Updated Aug 31, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Should I book a guided tour onboard?
    or can I do sightseeing on my own ?
    In Puerto Montt the main tourist-sights are in quite some distance to the ship and Puerto Montt and so it eighter makes sense to book the tours onboard, OR, when you are daring enough, you could also take one of the many taxis waiting at the entrance to the port, and most of them have a perfect catalogue of tours they can offer you for a prefixed price !
    Share such a taxi with other passangers and you might save a lot of money, IF you are lucky to catch one of these taxis, because it might happen, that there are several cruiseships there at the same time with a total of 3000 or 4000 passangers and there might not be enough taxis there for everyone !

    Fondest memory: I came to Puerto Montt onboard the cruiseship "Celebrity Infinity", a ship of 90.000 GRT with 2000 passangers and 980 crewmembers onboard. The cruise was great in many ways, BUT such a giant ship is maybe not the right size for the small port of Puerto Montt, because tenders had to be used in order to go ashore and on the way back to the ship there was a waitingtime of more than 1 hour at the tender-service.
    Smaller ships of less than 1000 passangers might dock in the port and that way you will save a lot of time, when going ashore.
    I felt perfectely safe all the time in Puerto Montt, where I just took a little walk in the city, because I could not catch any of the rare seats for the tour to the Osorno-vulcany.
    Walkingtime from the port to the city is about 10 minutes !

    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • Photography
    • Historical Travel

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    When you come by CRUISE to Montevideo

    by globetrott Updated Aug 31, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: What to see ? Should I book a guided tour ?
    Well, it depends on your expectations, BUT in Montevideo you will dock directely in the centre of town and an easy walk of just a few minutes will take you to the first tourist-sight .
    When walking to town dont miss to take a look at the anchor of the german WW II - battleship "Admiral Graf Spee" and when you are interested in a traditional tall ship, walk a little further behind the admiralty-building in order to see the sailing-school-ship of the army of Urugua.
    -------------------------------------------
    I felt perfectely safe, when walking around Montevideo !
    Everybody was friendly, no scams in the streets, almost no beggars, but of course it is still always best to be carefull, where-ever you go !

    Fondest memory: I came to Montevideo on a cruise onboard the Celebrity Infinity and I had made just a little walk of 3-4 hours because I still felt a bit of "Montezuma's revenge" that had caught me 2 days before my arrival in Montevideo.
    So, all you can see on my page about Montevideo can easily be done in just a few hours.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Photography
    • Cruise

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  • sheherezad's Profile Photo

    International roaming or local SIM?

    by sheherezad Updated Jan 4, 2011

    Favorite thing: I suppose it depends on how much you'll use your mobile phone in S America? I have international roaming but my MY service provider's roaming doesn't cover the countries I visited i.e. Argentina, Chile! So, you've gotta decide how much you'll use your mobile phone to decide which to go for - international roaming on your country's SIM or a local SIM card i.e. which would be more economical. Plus you need to find out if your home country service provider covers S America if you decide on international roaming.. Mind you, you should still be able to call/sms home on your country's SIM card even if it doesn't allow roaming within S America! Good luck! :-)

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  • rkearns's Profile Photo

    sao paulo safety

    by rkearns Written Dec 20, 2010

    Favorite thing: do you speak portuguese? it's good to learn some basic phrases.
    there are a lot of car hold-ups and car theft. there is a lot of crime, like in any large city.
    don't be flashy or carry a lot of cash. separate it out in case you are robbed. you will have it in different places.

    hopefully you are staying in a place that has security.

    sao paulo is a wonderfully huge, hard-working city with lovely people. but there is a lot of crime, especially at night.

    just be careful what you say to strangers. don't elude to having money.

    take the usual precausions; no stumbling drunk down unlit streets....

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  • rkearns's Profile Photo

    sao paulo safety

    by rkearns Written Dec 20, 2010

    Favorite thing: do you speak portuguese? it's good to learn some basic phrases.
    there are a lot of car hold-ups and car theft. there is a lot of crime, like in any large city.
    don't be flashy or carry a lot of cash. separate it out in case you are robbed. you will have it in different places.

    hopefully you are staying in a place that has security.

    sao paulo is a wonderfully huge, hard-working city with lovely people. but there is a lot of crime, especially at night.

    just be careful what you say to strangers. don't elude to having money.

    take the usual precausions; no stumbling drunk down unlit streets....

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  • rkearns's Profile Photo

    money in south america

    by rkearns Written Dec 18, 2010

    Favorite thing: i would just bring a bit of cash, maybe $300 then use your debit card to take out cash. i don't know what bank you use, but the charge is usually cheaper than an exchange booth from my experience in south america. i went for about 5 weeks and i think all my withdraws were a total of $40 (i made a lot since i didn't want to carry around too much cash at once).

    wifi is available at most mcdonald's. they just give you a passcode and you can stay on something like 15 mins. your hotel or hostel prob. has it too. i bought the netbook for the exact same reason. so light and small! i don't know anything about how the iphone works. someone else can help with that.

    but another idea is to put money into your paypal account (or get one if you don't already have one). this saved my a** in brazil when i needed cash.

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  • rkearns's Profile Photo

    money in south america

    by rkearns Written Dec 18, 2010

    Favorite thing: i would just bring a bit of cash, maybe $300 then use your debit card to take out cash. i don't know what bank you use, but the charge is usually cheaper than an exchange booth from my experience in south america. i went for about 5 weeks and i think all my withdraws were a total of $40 (i made a lot since i didn't want to carry around too much cash at once).

    wifi is available at most mcdonald's. they just give you a passcode and you can stay on something like 15 mins. your hotel or hostel prob. has it too. i bought the netbook for the exact same reason. so light and small! i don't know anything about how the iphone works. someone else can help with that.

    but another idea is to put money into your paypal account (or get one if you don't already have one). this saved my a** in brazil when i needed cash.

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  • rkearns's Profile Photo

    buses and buying tickets in brazil

    by rkearns Updated Sep 22, 2010

    Favorite thing: there are basically central bus stations in each city and town. you buy a ticket on the spot and wait maybe an hour, depending on your destination. i'm not sure what you mean by "backpacker" bus stations. i have traveled extensively and lived in brazil, and you just buy a ticket and go. at the larger bus stations, there will be several "booths" which have destinations listed. there are fixed prices. in the smaller towns, you will have to find the bus stop and purchase a ticket on the spot.

    the buses are very comfortable but tend to take a while due to stops along the way, including food/bathroom breaks. let me know if you need any more assistance.

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  • rkearns's Profile Photo

    what form of currency to bring?

    by rkearns Written May 13, 2010

    Favorite thing: i have been to south america 5 times (and lived in brazil for about a year). every time i traveled, i brought my debit card with the visa logo and had no problems just going to an atm to get currency. i wouldn't take more than around $150usd. i would carry about 20 (in small bills---for some reason, south america doesn't do "change" well) then i would pack the rest in different places in case something was stolen.

    travelers checks are pretty outdated and most places, besides mainstream hotels, won't accept them.

    there are currency exchange places, but what's the point? they charge you more than your bank in most cases.

    i can only advise about brazil, argentina, chile and urugay. be sure to make copies of your passport and birth certificate. if you bus through south america crossing borders, they are going to check the originals and although (i believe) they don't have the authority to hold your passport, it's south america and you need identification.

    i know a great guy with an apartment in copacabana for carnival. i've stayed there twice and it's a couple blocks from the beach--spectacular location.
    http://gringomanagement.com/
    his name is david.

    i agree that your flight to easter island will be expensive. just buy all the flights ahead of time, doing a lot of research to find the best deal (i love expedia, hotwire and priceline--i've found great deals there and they're upfront about their taxes).

    hope that helps!

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  • rkearns's Profile Photo

    which country in south america to visit?

    by rkearns Written Jan 20, 2010

    Favorite thing: I would go to Brazil. It's huge, so you can explore and never tire of things to do. They are the only Portuguese-speaking country in South America and their culture is very diverse from region to region (food, religion, traditions, etc.)

    You get the beaches, the jungle, the desert and the mountains all in one country.

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    Nibbling Around the Edges

    by grandmaR Updated Nov 29, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: I do not know South America at all well. I have only visited from a cruise ship.

    Columbia ( Santa Marta photo 4 and San Andres Island) - photo 3,

    Ecuador ( Manta photo 5, Monticristi, and Guayaquil) and

    Peru ( Salaverry, Trujillo, Callao and Lima photo 2)

    Fondest memory: We did not visit the primo site of Peru (Machu Picchu) because of the altitude and we also didn't get to visit the special wildlife of the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador.

    We did get to see the Temple of the Moon which is near Trujillo Peru, and we took a wildlife boat tour around the Isla San Lorenzo to see penguins and sea lions. Another memoriable place we visited was Monticristi Ecuador to see them making Panama hats,

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Cruise
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • Bank Of America ATM Fees

    by alohagunnar Updated Mar 31, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: I have a Bank of America ATM card and discovered there was no fee whatsoever(not from Bank of America and not from the local bank) at:

    - Scotia Bank branches in Peru(I withdrew US$ in Lima and Cusco)
    - Santandar Bank branches in Chile(I withdrew in Santiago)

    Bank of America states on their website that there are no fees for Scotia Bank in Canada and Santandar in Mexico but does not mention Peru or Chile.

    The Santandar Bank branches in Argentina did charge a fee(US$5 by Bank of America and US$1.95 by the local bank) and would only let me take out US$200 in local currency.

    Many ATMs will give you a choice of US$ or local currency and some let you withdraw more than others(some up to US$400 and others up to US$200)

    I did notice many HSCB Bank branches which seems to be the ideal ATM card to have since they are all over the world.

    Beware of ATMs telling you to select an amount in multiples of US$20 because what they really mean to say is they dispense US$20 bills and not the amount you entered times US$20.
    I mistakenly entered "20" thinking US$400(20 X US$20) and got a single measley US$20 bill
    which cost me a US$10 fee to withdraw(US$5 by my bank and US$5 by the local bank)

    Fondest memory: Summer in Winter

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