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SOUTH AMERICA Topics specific to South America only.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA

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Old 28 Mar 2023
HUBB regular
Join Date: Aug 2022
Posts: 31
my worst theft experiences were in London, thieves in South America are total amateurs compared to those there. If you use the same common sense that you would apply in a big city you will be fine.

Additional thoughts:
-don't you look like a model in a touratech brochure
- don't travel on a obscenely expensive bike, or if you do, make sure it doesn't look like one
-Don't travel with a shiny polished bike.
-only go out at night with the money you intend to spend
-if you travel with someone else split the money /cards etc
-hide some cash on the bike jacket hetmet boots luggage headlight empty oil can..
-don't argue fight insult humiliate the locals
- don't be lazy, if you have a lock use it, if you have to move the bike, do so, if you have to walk with your heavy luggage in the sweltering heat/cold


Last edited by Flashdog; 29 Mar 2023 at 04:09.
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Old 31 Mar 2023
Peter Bodtke's Avatar
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Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Maplewood NJ USA
Posts: 569
A few more thoughts on certainty in advance vs. getting a deal when you arrive.

On rare occasions, I would make a lodging reservation in advance for the first night in a large city. You may be paying more by making a reservation via the internet instead of getting a better rate with lite in-person negotiations. A bed & breakfast in San Salvador, El Salvador, had a lower price for a nice room if I paid cash instead of a credit card, and a still lower price if I didn't use the air conditioning. Would that be mentioned on hostels.com? Not a chance.

Speaking of hostels.com, the advanced reservation strategy backfired when I booked a room in advance in Cusco, Peru. When I got to the location in the early evening I found a hotel still under construction. Uggh.

Do you want to see the Nazca Lines in Peru by plane? Don't make a reservation with a travel agent. Just show up at the airport and book directly with one of the local airlines. This concept probably applies to hiring fishing boats and local tour guides too. Cut out the middleman if you can.

I rolled the dice and showed up at the ticket booth in Aguas Calientes to buy an entrance ticket for Machu Picchu. What was the gamble? The number of visitors per day is restricted and could have been sold out. I paid less when buying direct from the government, not through a travel agent. I also rode to Santa Teresa, stored the bike at the hydroelectric plant, and walked 11km along the train tracks instead of taking the bus and train. All part of the adventure. Research can be very useful when figuring out the steps (thanks HU/HUBB!)

Can you learn the prices and schedule for passage across the Amazon? I tried and failed in 2012. Turns out there are several boats that leave every day and the cost varies. Fast boat, higher rates. I took the slow barge and really enjoyed the ~36-hour voyage. Later I heard the fast boat is usually filled with crying babies and drunks. It is possible there is more info available online for booking passages now, but if I were to do it again, I would just show up and shop around.

A loose analogy, try to find the cost of a taxi in a large city. You might find it, or you might get approached at a bus station in Lima, Peru, by a driver who will give you a better rate than Uber. PS: If you don't have one, set up an Uber account. If you are sightseeing in a city or going out at night, it can be less hassle to leave your bike where you're staying and enjoy the low rates of Uber in Latin America. You will pay a touch more than a taxi, but you will be certain the driver knows where you want to go.

Final thoughts:
Some people like to wing it 100%. I won't argue or agree with this approach. In my opinion it doesn't hurt to spend time doing research. I like to have a fair idea of what is ahead of me, so I can get the most out of my next destination. I may lean toward overplanning but believe deeply in being flexible and open as unexpected opportunities appear. I missed a huge national celebration in Belize because I didn't read up. I would recommend not making a series of hotel reservations that force you to keep moving when you might want to hang out somewhere for an extra day or two.

I have been using an app called 'World Explorer' for years. I can't find it on Apple's App Store, but located their website. iPad and Android are also supported. What is good about this app? You can use it while on the road and it will return the interesting sights, with ratings, a map of the results, and links to a Wikipedia page about the sight if available. I was in Bolívar, Venezuela, opened the app, and found a very hip fine art museum, Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto (https://www.venezuelatuya.com/guayana/soto.htm)
I would have missed it without World Explorer. Paying a few dollars may also allow you to search for details about a city down the road. Years ago you could only get results for your current location for free. That may have changed. I paid for an augmented reality feature that seems to have fallen away.
Peter B
2008/09 - NJ to Costa Rica and back to NJ
2012/13 - NJ to Northern Argentina, Jamaica, Cuba and back to NJ
2023 - Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia...back to Peru.

Blogs: Peter's Ride

Last edited by Peter Bodtke; 31 Mar 2023 at 18:03. Reason: typos
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