Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 20:10 | Thorn Tree

Hi all,

Just thought I'd see if anyone has any hotel recommendations for Quito's Old Town? We're likely only going to be in Quito 1 night, 2 days (maybe 2 nights) in mid-May. Preferably private room with private bathroom. Obviously we'd love a good deal but we'd be ok going up to about $150 USD/night (it seems there is quite a price range when I look on Trip Advisor).

Thanks very much!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 18:13 | Thorn Tree


I have an upcoming trip to Brazil for the first two weeks of August (the date is not flexible, as I am going there primarily for a conference in Foz do Iguacu). I will be traveling with my husband: we will have taken a short honeymoon before this trip, but in some ways, this will be a bonus honeymoon ;)

I will have six days free from 07 August to 12 August, before my return flight leaves São Paulo (GRU) at 10 PM on 13 August.

I'm tapping the collective wisdom...

Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 15:35 | Thorn Tree

We are going to Easter island in June and I have been trying to get information on the visa situation with Chile. My understanding is we/USA citizens must pay a fee of $160.00 in cash. While researching I did see where the USA is now wavering their Visa fee. Any idea if Chile is also wavering the fee?

Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 14:48 | Thorn Tree

Hello travelers!

I am a 31 year old traveler looking to hike Torres Del Paine next January 2015. In my research I have heard that taking the 3 night boat ride down from Puerto Montt is really worth it, so I was planning on doing that on the way down and then flying back up to Santiago after my trek.

I will have around 4-5 days down in Torres Del Paine. I'm curious if anyone has done both the W trail and the full hike, because I'd like to know if the full hike is...

Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 13:31 | Thorn Tree

My husband and I are planning a trip to Argentina from mid-July to mid-August, about 3-4 weeks, we are flexible. I was born and raised in Rosario, but left 40-some years ago and never went back. I'd like to visit family and reconnect with friends, but also see the sights. Our thoughts at this point are:
Bs. As. - 4-5 days
Rosario - 4-5 days
Iguazu - 2 days
Mendoza - 4-5 days
Tucuman - ?
Any thoughts, recommendations about itinerary, flying vs. bussing, car rental...

Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 00:26 | Thorn Tree

Best Brazilian beach for a charming, romantic honeymoon? We'll be there in September for about 5 days, and we're not considering Rio or Fortaleza. As for vibe, we're more Tulum than Cancun...we just want to be able to relax on a beautiful stretch of beach and maybe do some snorkeling and hiking. No all-inclusive concrete nightmares with 10 different swimming pools...a nice, quiet bungalow or a smaller boutique hotel (with all the modern amenities) is more preferable. :) Thank...

Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 21:43 | Thorn Tree

Hello all,

I have a month off starting late December (2014) to to late January (2015). I'll probably be at home for New Years, but after that I want to take a ~3 week trip somewhere in South America. However, I can't figure out a few things....

1) Which country to visit. I visited Cusco, Peru and Machu Picchu last month and loved it. Some travelers I talked to there recommended visiting Argentina. But is Argentina relatively expensive to some other South American...

Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 21:35 | Thorn Tree

Hi all,

I'll be travelling Peru with my mother in August. We're unsure about our itinerary, so we thought we could consult with those of you who are familiar with Peru.

By where we're sleeping:

Aug 14 & 15 - Lima
Aug 16, 17 & 18 - Cuzco (with a day trip to Machu Picchu)
Aug 19 - Iquitos
Aug 20, 21 & 22 - Amazon
Aug 23 - Iquitos
Aug 24 & 25 - Lima

Does this itinerary make sense? Are we spending too much time...

Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 20:00 | Thorn Tree

Naturally trying to cram too much into a 2 week trip … in tossing up the various options it's occurred to me that Lima might be the one to miss in favor of Arequipa. I can fly to Cusco with a short 2 hour pause in Lima.

Day 1 - arrive Cusco from US in the afternoon
Days 2-4 - Cusco & surrounds
Days 5-8 - Lares Trek/MP
Days 9 - Fly to Puerto Maldonado
Days 10-12 Amazon Basin/Manu
Days 13 Fly to Puerto Maldonado to Arequipa (via Lima or Cusco I'm sure)...

Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 19:52 | Thorn Tree

I studied Spanish at Centro Catalina in Cartagena from December 7th until the end of January, 8 weeks.
It is a well run school with good teachers. They can also set you up with a homestay. I did this and it worked
out well. During the time I was at the school, the # of students per week was a low of 18 to a high of 41. There are two other schools in Cartagena that I am aware of and they are both located in Getsamani. Mark (USA)

Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 17:53 | Thorn Tree

My original question was going to be, which are the most affordable beaches to visit in Uruguay, which still stands I guess, but then I realised it might actually be cold when we are there in June. Is this the case, will it be too cold to be hanging around on the beach in June? Will this also be the case for Southern Brazil?

We complete our loop of South America coming from the bottom of Bolivia, through the top of Aregntina and planned to maybe go to Uruguay to get some beach time...

Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 14:18 | Thorn Tree

Hey! We're two swedish girls on our way to Bolivia and we are looking for traveling company! We're currently in Argentina and heading up north next week, starting in uyuni to see the salt desert, then copacabana and Peru. So if you want to get to know two funny, active and easy going girls just let us know! Hope to hear from you!
Ha det så bra! :)

Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 03:15 | Thorn Tree

I'm spending a week in the north west in November - solo traveller. I've seen loads of packages but would like to organise it independently. Particularly want to see the Quebrada de Humahuaca, Purmamarca, Tilcara and Salinas Grandes. Any advice from anyone who's been there? Is it easy to find local drivers to take you around? Am I better off on a tour?

Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 02:30 | Thorn Tree


Has anyone traveled overland from Colombia to Central America? My husband and I are looking for a cheaper alternative to the $700 flight. Any tips welcome.


Friday, April 18, 2014 - 21:47 | Thorn Tree


I definitely want to hit up the Rosario Islands and check out the beach/ aquarium they got there. Plus I love boat rides. Viator has a tour for like 90 usd. Anyone know if I could get something a little cheaper? Looking to book it in advance.

Also, do you have any other recommendations for a day excursion from Cartagena? FYI Santa Marta seems like too much driving for a day trip and Totumo volcano appears to be too touristy and I don't fancy mud baths. I don't...

Friday, April 18, 2014 - 18:44 | Thorn Tree

The intercity bus station was adjacent to the Guayaquil airport (about a $3 taxi trip).
Bus to Playas cost about $2.50 and frequency was every 10-15 minutes during the day.
I stayed at the Hosteria Puerta Faro rather than the LP listed Hotel Ana and I believe it was a good choice (better pool, friendlier staff, and cozier generally). The Hosteria is located about a 15 minute walk along the beach or the main road from a mall with a hypermarket where food and drinks are relatively...

Friday, April 18, 2014 - 18:26 | Thorn Tree


We are a group of 5 traveling to Brazil for the World Cup and passing through Cuiaba to see the Pantanal after hearing about its wonderful wildlife. We are flying into Cuiaba and have 5 days to explore the area.

We wanted to tap the wisdom of the Thorn Tree to understand a little more about the best way to see the Pantanal. We are a pretty adventurous group and have a lot experience camping, hiking, canyoneering, and kayaking. We want the unique, less touristy, rustic,...

Friday, April 18, 2014 - 15:22 | Thorn Tree

....especially for Canadians, from April 16, 2014. Marginal changes for the others affected, Australians and USAers only.

Rather than repeat it here, go to page 15 of the Reciprocity fee sticky, here.....

Friday, April 18, 2014 - 15:18 | Thorn Tree

Hello! I will be traveling with my husband come June and have been reading all sorts of things regarding what can and cannot be brought into Machu Picchu, mainly concerning camera equipment. I'm by no means a professional, however I'm afraid my equipment may seem like it even though it's just a DSLR and I plan on having a couple of lens with me. I have also heard that backpacks are not allowed but day packs are. Does anyone know of a great daypack/camera bag that wouldn't...

Friday, April 18, 2014 - 14:59 | Thorn Tree

We're two guys with the idea to do the 6-7 days el Cocuy trek on our own around the 4-5 may but I heard it was closed. Is the park completly closed or there is still the possibility to do something nice? Or can we just go even if it is closed (just like here in Canada)? Otherwise is there any other trek in Colombia that looks like the pnn el Cocuy?

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