If you ask me which place in the world I would choose to go on a trip I would say without hesitation: Latin America. It is an immense continent with a number of climates, peoples, and cultures that can enrich the spirit and make us enjoy much more.
However, the routes of this region are not as fixed as those of other countries, and although this is part of the fun, sometimes the day can become more difficult if we do not have some time to guide us. Thinking about it, these 10 tips to travel through Latin America backpacking will prevent you from stumbling along the way.
Choose which Route you will use
The first advice is to choose which route you will use before leaving. Most backpackers use one of the following two routes: either they go up from Argentina until they reach Central America or, otherwise, they leave Mexico until they reach Patagonia. There are others, but these are the most common. This will allow you to plan well the points where you will stop and the order of each site.
On the other hand, it will let you know in advance the buses that are in each area and their schedules. Remember that a calculation error can waste your time and/or money.
Search for Accommodation before Leaving
This is possibly the most important advice: look for accommodation before leaving. Fortunately for everyone, in these times, many online sites can help us. Among them, I recommend Airbnb, Tripadvisor, and Hostelworld, but options are not lacking according to the countries you visit and the budget you use.
Arriving exhausted from the trip and having secured a place to spend the night before leaving to travel incredible places for the day is vital and is achieved by just surfing the Internet for a while.
Take with you appropriate Clothes
The most striking thing that the American continent has is its diversity of climates. So, if you are going to make that great backpacking trip you will need to bring with you appropriate clothing, for varied temperatures. You will have to face the dry cold of the Bolivian highlands, the humidity of the Amazon jungles, the scorching heat of the Caribbean beaches, among other typical scenarios.
Travel with US dollars
In relation to the type of money you must take, I recommend that you travel with US dollars, because this currency has the best rate of change in Latin America. Specifically, when you go through Ecuador you will see that this is the currency that circulates there, so you will not even have to make the change.
On the other hand, in Brazil, although there are no exchange houses with the same ease as in Uruguay or Colombia, for example, international credit cards are widely accepted.
Be careful with the Environment
As in any part of the world, a traveler is always more vulnerable than in his own city, so that thefts or scams can occur in those cases in which people have not taken the necessary precautions. Be careful with the surroundings, do not walk alone at night, watch your belongings and avoid entering into negotiations with the locals.
Follow the Festivals
Latin America is famous for its festivals and carnivals since its towns are cheerful and passionate. Before leaving, locate the activities of each country and include them in your itinerary. Remember that normally those days are holidays for many places and businesses are probably closed and travel is difficult.
Take care of your Health
Find out about tropical diseases and their cure, but if you prepare well and take care of your health throughout the trip, you will surely have no problems. It may happen that your body does not fall well with a typical food with a stronger seasoning that you are not used to, so it is good to avoid excesses although it is an exquisite dish.
The biggest risks you will run are mosquito bites and sunstrokes. You can control both things with repellents and sunscreen. Of course, get vaccinated before leaving. Some countries even require international carnet vaccine against yellow fever to allow entry into their territories.
Do not miss visiting the Natural Places
Beyond the beautiful beaches, I strongly advise you: do not forget to visit other natural places. That includes the Amazon (Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela), the Brazilian Pantanal (the largest wetland in the world), the Galapagos Islands, in Ecuador, and the Tierra del Fuego in Argentina.
The biodiversity of Latin American ecosystems – home to thousands of animal species – is so great and beautiful that it would be a waste of time and life that you will not take advantage of this long journey to get to know them and enjoy the landscapes they harbor.
Just as the flora and fauna of Latin America are rich, so the culinary of this great region of the world is varied and tasty. There are exquisite dishes that have been forged over the centuries with the convergence of different cultures. In addition, they are much cheaper than “fast food” or luxury restaurants.
If you follow these 9 tips you can travel through Latin America backpacking without having difficulties and, at the same time, enjoying a wonderful day in one of the most beautiful lands in the world.