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Travel in South America can be highly dangerous, even fatal. You could be attacked by some wild animals or starve to death. Therefore it is essential that you carry the original Swiss Army knife manufactured by Victorinox. Just look at my pictures when I had to utilise my knife in order to survive in my hotel room. It was a close call, but I survived after defeating my enemy.
Accept no substitutes!
Updated Feb 15, 2011
Miscellaneous: buses don't provide blankets, that i have experienced. usually hostels don't have heating. i wouldn't bring a sleeping bag. it will add weight to your bag and take up too much space. just bring a warm jacket or a really thin blanket if you're worried about getting chilly at night or on buses.
Written Feb 14, 2011
Luggage and bags: a guide book would be helpful for each area. i would tear out the pages that interest you and leave the book at home since it's extra weight. i think that is the key to being on the road. EVERYTHING COUNTS AS EXTRA WEIGHT.
the best advice i ever got is to have twice as much money and half as many clothes. a small camera, a couple of ziplock bags (good for keeping things dry in a pinch), a plastic bag for dirty or wet clothes, a small bar of soap (hotel style). i would definitely bring walking shoes and a pair of flip flops. you may need insect repellent, which is hard to find in a size you can check, and which is usually expensive in s. america. i would also bring a pen and small pad of paper for journaling or taking notes. on the logistic side, bring important phone numbers, copies of your id documents, let people know where you will be traveling and when. print out all accommodation confirmations and bring a padlock for when you stay in a hostel and need to store your backpack/luggage.
Updated Dec 22, 2010
Luggage and bags: a warm jacket
Miscellaneous: The weather is totally dependent on where you are, and I agree with the poster about elevation. I have lived in and traveled all around Brazil and it's significantly cooler in the south from May to November. Bring a heavy jacket!
Written Jan 28, 2010
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: waterproof boots and umbrella or raincoat
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: To abate duration and symptoms of a bad diarrhea, take Ciprofloxacin (unless you are allergic) which you can have prescribed for you before you leave your country.
If Visiting Cusco (Peru) or La Paz (Bolivia) which are at higher elevations, you might consider taking Diamox. The prophylactic dose for Diamox is 250mg every 8 to 12 hours before and during rapid ascent to altitude and its use has been reported to result in fewer and/or less severe symptoms (such as headache, nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness, drowsiness, and fatigue) of acute mountain sickness (AMS). Note that Diamox is also a diuretic and so you really have to drink fluids to maintain the water in your system, and "coca tea" (available in most Cuzco hotels) has also been advised which is also happens to be a diuretic. I also took the coca tea once I arrived in the hotel...so LOTS OF WATER needed. Diuresis also causes loss of potassium, so if you have a history of low potassium or kidney disease to begin with, be wary.
Photo Equipment: Of course, 2 memory discs might be nice to bring with you for your digital camera.
Miscellaneous: Spanish is spoken in all countries except Brazil (Portuguese) so, a little Spanish-English dictionary might be of help.
As for a good idea of what the weather is going to be, visit www.undergroundweather.com which shows the temperature and amout of rain for the past few years in the country/city you want to visit (Click on "trip planner").
I read somewhere that a guy always brings DUCT TAPE whenever he travels, because duct tape can fix anything!
Hepatitis A vaccination
Updated Oct 12, 2008
Luggage and bags: good strong Backpack, lookable or strong Suitcase, the choice is yours....I like to travel lite
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: depense where you travel, beaware, cold nites in the Andes, hot days in Brazil....little rainy in the south...plan well*
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: travel lite, most articles can be bought in Brazil, Argentina etc....Paraquay is counterbande terretory, know what ya buy
ask your GP for medical supplies,and get the nesseccary shots right from him or her before your travels
Photo Equipment: Humidity is high in the Rainforest, take care of your equipment, filmrolls and camera. I stuck it in sealable plasticbags*
Miscellaneous: what you have forgotten to bring, u did not need in the first place
Updated Jul 12, 2003
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Resort
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Be prepared. A good idea is to see your doctor prior to travel to arm yourself with an anti-biotic in case of 'traveler's diarrhea'.
Photo Equipment: Watch your gear....
Miscellaneous: As always when traveling...bring an open mind.
Written Sep 8, 2002
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: light clothing, it is very humd in Maracaibo, and long pants are recommended to ptotect against mosquitos. Also, hotels and malls as well as restaurants in tourist areas are overly air-conditioned, bring a warm sweater/jacket.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: mosquito repellant, strong sun protection, toilettries are easily accessible in tourist areas.
Written Aug 26, 2002
Luggage and bags: A backpack is handy for carrying camera, water, snacks, guide book, etc.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The weather was perfect, but you should use sunscreen and sunglasses. A sweater is good for the evenings and shaded areas.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: For contact lens wearers--take a plastic cup to use as a basin. The sink may not have a stopper, ro there may not be a counter area. Washcloths not always provided.
Photo Equipment: Polorizer AND flash. ALWAYS use your flash when taking pictures of people outside. The sun is extrememly bright and the contrast between the view and people is great.
Miscellaneous: Always carry water and take advantage of restrooms whenever you can. Even in La Paz, public restrooms are not common and you really don't want to have to use the natives' public toilet areas.
Written Aug 24, 2002
Miscellaneous: I would highly recommend that anyone from North America considering moving to Colombia invest in a reasonable laptop computer. The benefits far outweigh the costs to people accustomed to internet and other convenient applications.
Written Aug 24, 2002
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