Conclusions South America: After 8 months traveling around South America.
Panama and Costa Rica
Conclusions South America: Panama and Costa Rica are still a part of Central America, and not South America. But close. I spent 3 weeks visiting these two countries, 10 days each approximately. I visited the capital of Panama and Costa Rica. You need to be careful when you visit places that are not usually considered as tourist parts. But with a common sense and intuition about people, there shouldn’t be a danger you need to worry about.
I stayed in paradise beaches, but these are too touristic, filled with many foreigners. There are some beaches where you can find more Americans and Canadians than local people. Many businesses were run for Americans and I much prefer local places. Prices are much more expensive than the other countries in Central America. I really loved people in Costa Rica though. People are so happy and fun, and they don’t stop smiling! PURA VIDA! About the food, the most of the dishes have rice, beans and banana added to them. My favorite ones, if talking about gastronomy, were milkshakes, fruits and fish. I ate lionfish and lobster which were so tasty. I love bananas, and they were so cheap. I met local people but most of the people that I met were foreigners.
Crossing from Central America to South America
Conclusions South America: This was the first country that I visited in South America. I spent two months there. I felt so at home, various beautiful seceneries, nice beaches and mountains. My favorite was in La Guajira! I spent a week traveling and hitchhiking until Cabo de la Vela, La Guajira, pitching the tent in beaches. I met wayuus (local people in Guajira), who let me pitch my tent at their home. People in La Guajira sleep in hammocks. I met some people who didn’t speak Spanish. Many beautiful mountains in Colombia, Tolima and Eje Cafetero – it is so amazing! Salento is a great place in Eje Cafetero. I liked the cities very much. Medellin was beautiful and Cali was great for partying. I spent 10 days in Bogota and I did many plans. I was lucky to spend two weeks in Cali, for the feria, one of the most famous in the world, crazy party, full of people. In Colombia, people are very friendly always smiling. For me, they were the friendliest people in South America. Prices are expensive, especially transportation. Hitchhiking is working, but it takes time to get a ride. Sometimes, I was able to hitchhiked for free in local buses. I owe it all to Colombian people that are very nice. About gastronomy, I didnt like so much, but better than in Central America. Fruits, juice and milkshakes were really good. I tried some tasty soups. I focused in street food, and my favorite are potatoes with meat filling. Street food and juices were cheap, but the food was very unhealthy. I think, in my whole South America experience, Colombia was my favorite country for visiting. Not only because of the people, but also for the beautiful landscapes, cities, and beaches.
Conclusions South America: I was coming from Peru to Bolivia. I was totally integrated in the culture, after a few months traveling around South America. I spent a month in Bolivia, I think it’s enough time for visiting. It reminded me of an Asian country and not too much like South America. People speak Quechua and Amaro in some places of Bolivia. Landscapes were amazing! The cheapest country in South America, food, accommodation and transportation. Isla del Sol and Titicaca Lake were amazing places! The highest lake in the world, it’s a perfect place for relaxing and enjoying walking around. Salar de Uyuni, was also amazing! A day trip in Uyuni Salar is touristic, but you can’t leave Bolivia without visiting it. On gastronomy, I liked empanadas saltenas and tucumanas and cheese bread. Street food was cheap but I got tired. The food was too heavy for me. Soda was cheaper than water, it was the first time that I saw this in a country. I think that its really bad for people. Bolivian people are very shy at the beginning but it gets better when you stay longer with them. Some places, they don’t even speak Spanish, especially old people. In my opinion, Bolivia is a great place for visiting. You are going to learn something new everyday .
Conclusions South America: It’s a huge country. I left Argentina, on the way to Chile and Uruguay and went back to Argentina a couple of times. When I was coming from Peru and Bolivia, it was so different. Argentina looks like more European culture. I spent two months, but sadly I didn’t visit Patagonia. If I need to choose a country for living in South America, it would be Argentina. In the North , people are very friendly and hospitable. Buenos Aires, I really liked it, I spent almost a month. I loved going out during weekends in Buenos Aires. Gastronomy is so good! Barbecue, dulce de leche, mate. You can´t find too many street food, if I compare it with the other countries that I was visiting before in South America. Prices were so cheap in the supermarket, thanks to blue USD. If you exchanged USD, they will give you double money at that time. Transportation in the city was cheap, but long distances were so expensive. Not an issue for me since I was hitchhiking the whole way. I had great experiences hitchhiking, especially with truck drivers for long distances. Salta and Corrientes are nice and quiet cities for visiting. Mendoza is a great city, European style, it’s very close to the mountains and landscape is great! Argentinian people love talking about soccer and politics! Iguazu Waterfalls was a great place, too. After Machu Pichu, this was my second favorite best place for visiting during my trip in South America. I saw them from Argentinan side, you can also visit them from Brazilian side.
Conclusions South America: I spent a week in Uruguay, which isn´t enough time for visiting the country. A week more should be fine for visiting the coast. I was coming from Argentina, Buenos Aires, and for me, these were very similar countries, at least Montevideo. Similar people, I can’t differentiate their accent from Argentinian people. Customs were very similar . They have mate (typical tea in Argentina and Uruguay) while they are walking, as personal thing. But in Paraguay and Argentina, they use more for sharing. Prices were three times more expensive, at that time, than Argentina. Montevideo was great, I spent a week there and I really loved the city next to the coast, but the weather wasn´t the best during my visit. Gastronomy was great, barbecue and goat were my favorites. People were very hospitable and talkative. I visited Paysandu, near the border with Argentina. It was a quiet and relaxing place coming to Montevideo.
Conclusions South America: I spent 10 days in Paraguay. It’s very similar to North Argentina. I was coming from Corrientes, and the accent and food was very similar. They have mate, but a cold one and it’s called terere. Also chipa, it’s a tasty cheese bread. For touristic trips, it’s not the best country, Paraguay in South America. That’s why many people, who are traveling around South America aren´t visiting Paraguay. The best in Paraguay was people, they were very hospitable. Prices are cheap, especially transportation. They speak Spanish and Guarani, some of them can talk both while some of them can’t communicate to each other properly. It’s a very interesting country for traveling! I visited Asuncion. The best thing is that you can see just a few tourists and you can walk around and meet local people everywhere. I visited Ciudad del Este which is a crazy town. Full of people, selling and buying things. I really liked their gastronomy. Cheese bread and barbecue were the best and I enjoyed fruits and juices too.
Conclusions South America: Brazil was the last country that I visited in South America. I was coming from North Argentina and Paraguay. I really liked Brazil, I spent two weeks there. I guess you need at least two months for visiting Brazil. It’s a huge country, two weeks was a short time. People are very friendly, especially in the North. They reminded me of Colombian people. I could manage with the language, it’s difficult to speak Portuguese, but it’s very close to Spanish language. You can communicate, but you can´t understand everything. Beaches were amazing in Salvador Bahia, kilometers and kilometers long. Brazilian gastronomy, I didn’t like so much, it was very unhealthy, but it was very cheap, especially street food. Chicken and cheese bread which were my favorites. I loved juice and fruits in Brazil. Buying in local markets were cheap and people were very friendy. Prices are expensive, especially transportation. I didn’t like that there are many rich people and many people who are very poor, so many social differences! Coming from the South to the North Brazil, you can tell many differences, especially about skin color. In the South there are more white people and in the North the most are black people. I liked more the North, I found people much friendlier. Brazilian people go crazy about soccer, beer and cachaza, national drink. They love staying outdoors! Conclusions South America done!!