We’re back from our 7-month trip to South America, and the trip exceeded our expectations. Even so, it’s always good to look back to assess what really went well and what we might have done differently. We’re guessing that honing in on the good and the bad should improve our future travel choices.
Our first change involves money and value. We try to travel on a modest budget, but we also understand there are some amazing places to see that require dipping into our carefully saved funds. When we decide to do that, we expect to get our money’s worth! Our biggest splurge in South America – by far! – was our visit to the Galapagos Islands. That trip was very good we thought, but then we realized that we had paid only slightly more for the best wildlife trip we’ve ever taken, a safari in Tanzania. The comparison of the two trips led us to conclude that we may well have skipped Galapagos.
Another change might surprise those who visit Machu Picchu. We spent 2 days at Machu Picchu (which was perfect) followed by 6 days total in the Sacred Valley at Ollantaytambo and Pisac. We could have easily spent another 2 or 3 days in the Sacred Valley. So many visitors short change or skip this area, but exploring the many Inca ruins scattered through the mountains enhanced what we’d seen at Mach Picchu and our understanding of the Inca empire.
Our 3 stays in Buenos Aires taught us these lessons: location is very important, steer clear of a noisy place to stay, and make sure the neighborhood has lots to see and do. Our first Buenos Aires AirBnB stay was located on a very noisy street in the Palermo neighborhood. Who knew we’d be sleeping in a room with an adjoining wall to a nightclub?
If we had it to do again, we would have spent those two weeks outside Buenos Aires, possibly in Salta, Argentina. However, later in our trip, we spent 26 lovely days in the Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires at another AirBnB. It had everything going for it that our previous location lacked. Location was everything!
We’ll use what we learned from our trip to South America to guide our future trip planning. We’re curious if you’ve done the same post-trip critique? What did you discover that you would do differently?