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Old 07-02-2015, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Toronto
6,754 posts, read 3,789,009 times
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Anyone have any suggestions as to the best South American Country to visit for first time travel to South America?

Factors:

- Don't speak much Spanish or any Portuguese
- Prefer major cities with lots to do (museums, music, art, markets, theatre, shopping, exploring local culture and historical sites)
- Would want to try to see more then 1 city with in the country
- Would be great to have nice beaches less then 1 hour drive away from the city or in between 2 major cities
- Would like to be able to rent a car and travel independently
- Not looking for a resort type visit
- Not really interested in eco-type tourism activites that last more then 3 hours (ex I have no interested in hiking through the jungle for a day to be one with nature or camping outside)
- Want to be able to stay out late (not really looking to visit places where things closed early)
- Safety

Any suggestions?
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:58 PM
 
163 posts, read 112,016 times
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I'd go to Buenos Aires. More shopping, culture, food, museums and nightlife than you could do in a year. Nothing you're likely to want to do closes early. Dinner starts around 9:00PM for the early-birds. From there you can take the ferry to Montevideo, Uruguay. Near Montevideo, there are several upscale beach communities.

Aerolineas Argentinas airline has cheap flights all over the country. My favored second city would be Mendoza, especially if you like wine. I don't, but I still like Mendoza for the more rural, in-the-mountains feel, with full city amenities.
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:13 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
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Peru -- I've never seen a place more ready for visitors. I'd recommend taking advantage of the tour service companies to set up the transfers and details needed. You might need advance tickets or reservations depending on the season.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:46 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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piggy back thread...

And which destination for a unique South American Christmas? (I prefer rural, not city)
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
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Buenos Aires/Argentina seems alright for all of that. I mean, there's not really any countries in South America that are very urban, but BA is enormous with lots to do, and you're also close enough to visit Montevideo across the bay in Uruguay. Argentina also has Cordoba, which is large enough I suppose.

It seems a bit strange that you want to go to South America to see cities but not much of ecotourism. Almost backwards. Are you aware of that?
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Toronto
6,754 posts, read 3,789,009 times
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Default Eco travel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse44 View Post
Buenos Aires/Argentina seems alright for all of that. I mean, there's not really any countries in South America that are very urban, but BA is enormous with lots to do, and you're also close enough to visit Montevideo across the bay in Uruguay. Argentina also has Cordoba, which is large enough I suppose.

It seems a bit strange that you want to go to South America to see cities but not much of ecotourism. Almost backwards. Are you aware of that?
I guess it may seem that way to some people, but I know I like to keep super busy. The idea of being in the middle of no where looking at trees for a long period of time seems like tourture. To me that stuff gets old really fast. I remember being in this really small, but pretty city in Morocco visiting people and after 24 hours I was like get me the hell out of here I have seen every olive tree, old building, rolling hill and donkey ... Time to move on. I will do stuff like that, but like for several hours.... then I am over it and want to do something more exciting. I really prefer people, cities, lights and noise. Argentina is sounding pretty interesting and being able to see possibly 2 countries sounds promising. I regret not going to Nicaragua when in Costa Rica.
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,559 posts, read 47,791,125 times
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One thing for sure about So. American countries and their cities they are all proud of their cemeteries. In every country on every tour they had to stop at their local cemetery. And in Argentina nearly every tourist scrambled to see Eva Peron's place of interment as if it was the most important sight on the tour. Had to laugh at some people.
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Old 07-03-2015, 05:49 AM
 
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If you 're looking for a concentrate of the whole of South America , choose Ecuador. To note, the famous Galapagos islands (archipielago de Colon in Spanish) are part of Ecuador.
Buenos Aires on the other hand looks incredibly like ...Paris . Hardly south american. If you want to go to Paris, better choose the real thing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2sepCUnENg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FrqR-hBgSs
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Old 07-03-2015, 07:27 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,276,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klmrocks View Post
Anyone have any suggestions as to the best South American Country to visit for first time travel to South America?

Factors:

- Don't speak much Spanish or any Portuguese
- Prefer major cities with lots to do (museums, music, art, markets, theatre, shopping, exploring local culture and historical sites)
- Would want to try to see more then 1 city with in the country
- Would be great to have nice beaches less then 1 hour drive away from the city or in between 2 major cities
- Would like to be able to rent a car and travel independently
- Not looking for a resort type visit
- Not really interested in eco-type tourism activites that last more then 3 hours (ex I have no interested in hiking through the jungle for a day to be one with nature or camping outside)
- Want to be able to stay out late (not really looking to visit places where things closed early)
- Safety

Any suggestions?
You seem to have exactly the same general preference as I do in each of the points you mentioned. So my recommendation would be Argentina.

Buenos Aires is a very sophisticated city with good architecture and culture. I was immensely impressed. We also ventured to Ushuaia in the very southern tip of the country and loved the natural surroundings and food (and the fact we were in the southern-most city in the world).

Alternatively, you can visit Quito, a UNESCO heritage city. I am going in a few months.
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,324 posts, read 4,172,231 times
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I'll also pop in to suggest checking out Chile. Santiago is a fun city, and you can also do trips to the shore, the Andes, and the Atacama desert to liven things up.
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