The 7 Commandments Of A South American Roadtrip
Published on August 22, 2011
Love the post. My friends and I are also looking to road trip s. america starting out of Buenos Aries. How much was it for a vehicle and how long was your trip? We are looking at about a month for ours and planning on purchasing a vehicle or renting doesn't matter really as long as we can find something reliable. Also, what time of year was your trip?
Hi Pete, glad you enjoyed the post!
We bought the Volks in Cusco for about $3000 if I remember correctly - it was a while ago! Keep in mind that Cusco is a little remote and not that big: if you purchase in a capital city you will probably find much more variety and better prices. I would suggest that for a month renting might be a very attractive option to avoid the paper-work and hassle of purchasing and then re-selling (and the very real possibility of getting ripped-off). If buying I would perhaps consider buying from fellow travellers unless you're really comfortable negotiating in Spanish with people seeing an opportunity to perhaps rip off a gringo - a Peruvian friend did the purchasing of ours.
Be prepared for petrol prices to vary wildly depending on state subsidies in the different countries. Venezuela for example was and I believe still is incredibly cheap, Ecuador slightly less so but still cheaper than Peru, Chile and Argentina getting a bit more expensive again.
We travelled for about 6 weeks, in May/June through Peru and Ecuador (I was living in Cusco at the time). Very good friends of mine did a loop of South America over the course of a year in a combi and had mostly good experiences. I think they would tell you to investigate insurance properly (you're required to have insurance for each country and you can buy on the border; there is a general regional insurance you can buy but Peru, for example, doesn't accept it). Also don't let your car out of your sight: they sent it off on a boat somewhere in the Amazon and it arrived ten days late to the next stop, where they were waiting with increasing anxiety! Be safe, and when in doubt ask the locals where a good spot to spend the night may be.
And have fun - I'm jealous!