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South America From London for 6 Months, Help With Flights?

london
posts: 4
South America From London for 6 Months, Help With Flights?

Hi!

I am planning a trip to South America to go ahead in March 2013, to return in September 2013 which is about 6 months. I think that if I book the right flights here and back wisely I could save a lot of money.. I'm not worried about traveling once I'm in South America as it will generally be overground.

I will be departing from London and would like to start my adventure in Caracas, Venezuala. But then again I could start my travels in Colombia or Brazil since I'm just looping clockwise around the continent. I actually want to end up in California and go through Central America, perhaps returning from LA. How do you plan ahead for flights like this? I'm very flexible and open to tips; mainly I want to save money where possible and can change my plans to suit as nothing is set in stone as of yet. I'm happy to make stop-overs and happy with any advice since I don't know how to go about doing this.

Suggestions please?

Cheers ;-)

Liverpool, UK
posts: 9,332
reviews: 14
1. Re: South America From London for 6 Months, Help With Flights?

You are looking at an openjaw or multi city ticket i.e. UK to Airport A returning from Airport B to UK.

It sounds like you have a significant degree of flexibility and the only way to get a better price I'm afraid is by a lot of work - I'd try to narrow down your preferred arrival/departure airports to say 2 or 3 choices and simply search the different combinations to get the price/route options.

I use kayak for this although other search engines are available.

http://www.kayak.co.uk/flights?mc=y

UK
posts: 40,461
reviews: 84
2. Re: South America From London for 6 Months, Help With Flights?

Your other issue will be visas. Turn up in country A with a flight out of country Z but no flight out if country A and you may get bounced back or even not allowed on the plane.

I suggest you check out a specialist travel provider or similar resource or your cheap flights may turn out to be very expensive.

London
posts: 1,259
reviews: 73
3. Re: South America From London for 6 Months, Help With Flights?

We did a similar trip at the start of the year, and found that the best fares were into EZE via MAD, though things may be different now.

Note that you cannot travel from Colombia into Panama overland, you would need to fly or sail.

If you have a UK passport, you do not need visa (except perhaps Venezuela). We did a lot of border crossings, and were only asked for proof of onward travel once. If you are asked, a bus ticket is good enough. We just said that we intended to buy a bus ticket and were fine.

www.andesmar.com

www.plataforma10.com

are both good for buses.

london
posts: 4
4. Re: South America From London for 6 Months, Help With Flights?

Thanks a lot for the replies. I checked the Kayak website, very useful. I tried London to Buenos Aires, then 3 months later Rio to Miami, then 3 months later Bogota to London. I know it seems like a strange route and perhaps the times aren't spot on, but I'm going to try a lot more searches, however this all came to about £1200 which is pretty good I think. What do you think? Can you suggest anything that would be a good search on Kayak considering I want to see all of South America and go through Central America and California and then home. I have family in Miami and Bogota which is why I chose those routes I suppose. As for the visas I would like to book my return so I don't have a problem proving I'm not outstaying what I'm aloud.

Sorry if it seems I'm not being specific enough about my prefered journey, I just need ideas to work with atm. Also with the open jaw tickets, is it possible to choose to stay a while on connecting flights, like say I return to London via NY, is it ever possible to stay in a New York for a day or a week for free because it's part of your journey?

Thanks again,

Max

London
posts: 1,259
reviews: 73
5. Re: South America From London for 6 Months, Help With Flights?

6 months is quite a short time to cover all of South and Central America. It's possible, but you will be rushed.

Liverpool, UK
posts: 9,332
reviews: 14
6. Re: South America From London for 6 Months, Help With Flights?

"Also with the open jaw tickets, is it possible to choose to stay a while on connecting flights, like say I return to London via NY, is it ever possible to stay in a New York for a day or a week for free because it's part of your journey?"

The possibility of having a free stopover i.e. no change to the ticket cost compared to a straight connection exists but the ruleswill vary from airline to airline ans also possibly by the route being flown.

The only way to check is to price a straight connection through NY and compare it with a flight into NY and then taking a flight out say 7 days later.

Another point to bear in mind is that all your flights don't need to be on the same ticket - I'd recommend your outbound/inbound flights from the UK are an open jaw ticket but if you want other internal flights from say Rio to Miami this could be a stand alone flight as long as you're not connecting to another flight on the same day.

This should give you more options for any flights between your main flights to/from the UK.

Stanley, Falkland...
posts: 26,776
reviews: 53
7. Re: South America From London for 6 Months, Help With Flights?

Have a look at LAN's pass. It could cover a lot of flights in Sth America.

It's worth talking to specialists like Trailfinders.

There's an underground metro in Buenos Aires, and Santiago, but you are right - most travel is "overground". :-)

london
posts: 4
8. Re: South America From London for 6 Months, Help With Flights?

cool. Well I've tried lots more searches and the route I may take is London to Caracas end of march, then clockwise loop around South America spending most time in Peru, Bolivia and Colombia but going to try and organize whoofing in Brazil close to the start of the trip. I'm not planning to go far south in Argentina, that can be saved for another time when I'm more prepared for the weather. I'm happy with the long bus journeys even if they are extremely long, fortunately I have the time. Through Brazil I worked out you can take boats along the coast and stuff which would be cool. So anyway, eventually get boats and buses from Colombia through Central America to Mexico then fly from Mexico to San Francisco and go down through California and then to Arizona as it's close and I have family there. This seems like good place to fly home from as I have family there too. So the search I did was

late March LONDON > CARACAS,

early September MEXICO CITY > SAN FRAN ,

mid October ARIZONA > LONDON. What do you think of this route, do you think I could improve on the dates of the flights. It came to about £1000 in total which I think is pretty good.

Thanks again,

Max

Liverpool, UK
posts: 9,332
reviews: 14
9. Re: South America From London for 6 Months, Help With Flights?

"What do you think of this route, do you think I could improve on the dates of the flights. It came to about £1000 in total which I think is pretty good."

Looks a fairly good price but was this price for a series on one way tickets or a multi centre flight booking on a single ticket or some other permutation of tickets?

london
posts: 4
10. Re: South America From London for 6 Months, Help With Flights?

"Looks a fairly good price but was this price for a series on one way tickets or a multi centre flight booking on a single ticket or some other permutation of tickets?"

it is the results of a search on Kayak.com on the Multi-City tab, three seperate single journeys all on Delta. I hope that answers your question...

"6 months is quite a short time to cover all of South and Central America. It's possible, but you will be rushed."

I see what you mean, but to be honest I want to spend a lot of my time in Peru, Bolivia and Colombia and as you said it is doable... I would like to travel for longer but as a tourist am I only aloud in South America for 3 months or does it depend on the countries rules. Otherwise I would spend 6 months in South America, then 3 months in Central America and the a couple of months in USA (California). I thought I would have to book return flights to London and flights out of South America as proof I'm not breaking any rules without a visa.

Now I know this is long winded to read but here is a rough itinerary I've put together and will be improving but mainly I'm trying to work out the route and transport I'll take. Towards the end plans get looser as I haven't researched much.

FLY FROM LONDON

START IN VENEZUALA, CARACAS

Overland Caracas > BRAZIL, Salvador

From Ciudad Bolivar (do Angel Falls tour), go to Santa Elena de Uairen, then to Boa Vista, then to Manaus, then to Belem (by boat) then down the Brazilian coast you go by bus (Fortaleza, etc) until you get to Salvador. This includes Venezuelan Gran Sabana part (the tepuys, Roraima trek, etc) and the boating through the Amazon.

Buses from Salvador > Brasilia > Rio > Sao Paulo > Florianapolis

Buses from Florianapolis > URAGUAY, Punte Del Este > Montevideo > Colonia Del Sacaramento

Boat from Colonia Del Sacramento > ARGENTINA, Buenos Aires.

ARGENTINA AND CHILE (needs more planning)

Overland from Buenos Aires > Iguaza Falls (see Brazil side too) > CHILE, Valparaiso > Santiago > ARGENTINA, Mendoza, Cafayate, Salta , San Pedro de Atacama > THE DEATH TRAIN???? BOLIVIA, La Paz

Overland from La Paz > Uyuni THE VILLAZON TRAIN??? > Potosi > Sucre > Copacabana (Isla Del Sol) > Puno (Urus Islands) >

From Puno, by tourist bus to PERU, Cuzco (Lake Titicaca)

Train to Aguas Calientes and trek to Machu Picchu along Inka Trail or do a different trail as there are others (return on train)> Colca Canyon > Arequipa > Nazca > Lima

Overland from Lima > EQUADOR, Cuenca

Overland from Cuenca > Amazon > Galapaagos Islands > Quito

Overland from Quito to COLOMBIA, Popayan > Cali (Take a "chicken" bus from Quito to Tulcan, take a taxi to the border (la frontera). Take a taxi to the Ipialas Bus station. Take the Ipialas bus to Cali (To break up the long trip, stop in Popoyan.)

Overland from Cali > Bogota (Plan it with a stop in Armenia, cross the Quindio Pass (La Linea) in the day > Medellin (day trips from here to lots of places) - > Cartegena

PANAMA-Panama City > Bocas Del Torro >

COSTA RICA-Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio

GUATAMALA-Guatemala City (Stay in Antigua) > Mexico City.

Fly from Mexico City to California-San Francisco-Los Angeles-San Diego-Arizona. FLY FROM ARIZONA to LONDON

Please tell me what you think of this so far and how long in total you think I would need, and how I'd go about doing it in a year without visas considering I am a tourist and don't plan on working for money.

Thanks again for all the help so far and sorry for the longest reply ever,

Max