Preparing for a long South America journey

I am two days away from my South American adventure and I feel a bit anxious.  Although I have packed and prepared for these types of trips numerous times, I always feel that my world is racing at 100 miles per hour.


After countless hours debating my future, I decided to travel to Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil.  For the first month, I will explore South America with a British couple I met in Southeast Asia.  Along the way, we will visit the windy streets of Valparaiso, vineyards in Mendoza, and glaciers in EL Calafate.  Then, I will join a small tour group traveling from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro.  One of the highlights will be living on a ranch in Uruguay.  Herding sheep and cows- here I come!

We have selected hostels ( in Chile and Argentina, but we do not have a set itinerary. Perfect. I love going to destinations with only a few sights in mind.  One of my favorite things to do in a new place is to walk around without a map.  I love to chat with the locals and immerse myself in the new surroundings.

Visas and Vaccinations

Currently, I am only required to obtain a visa for Brazil in advance.  If I am traveling abroad, I almost always consult the U.S. Department of State (  For more information about visas, please read my previous post on Passports and Visas.

Luckily, I received most of my vaccinations for my Southeast Asia trip.  This time around, the travel nurse recommended Yellow Fever vaccine as I would be visiting Iguazu Falls.  Since I am planning to go to Africa in October, I thought it would be a good time to receive the vaccination.  For more information about vaccinations, please read my previous post on Health Concerns.


How does one pack for these long journeys?  I like to pack light.  I am small and although I like to think I have super powers, I can only carry so much!  Since I am planing to see some glaciers in Argentina and beaches in Brazil, I will have to pack for two extremes.

Clothing/Shoes:  Thermals, fleece jacket, windbreaker, quick-dry shirts and pants, gloves, hat, warm socks, shorts, swimsuit, undergarments, hiking shoes, flip flops (can be used for outdoors and showers)

Items that are Hostel-Friendly:  Compact sheets, lock, flashlight, compact alarm clock/watch, quick-dry towel

Other items I am packing are found on my Packing List.

So my journey will soon begin.  In the far distance, I hear the theme song of Indiana Jones.  And a smile appears on my face as I am ready for my next exotic adventure.

What are some items you always pack on your travel adventures?


About Jan

In 2004 and 2010, I set aside time to travel the world in 3 parts. In 2004, I traveled to Thailand, Europe, and Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. In 2010, I traveled to 3 continents: Asia, South America, and Africa. I am not sure if I have a fascination with the number 3, but I seem to be constantly traveling by numbers.
This entry was posted in Destinations, Health Concerns, Packing List, Passport & Visas, Planning, Research, South America and Central America and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Preparing for a long South America journey

  1. Shu says:

    I always pack snacks hehe=)

  2. Paul says:

    It looks like you’ve got your itinerary pretty much planned but if you get a chance, you must see Boliva and Peru. Truly amazing countries and what I felt really embodied the wild and rugged side of South America.

    • JJ says:

      Thanks Paul. I really wanted to go to Bolivia this time around, but will have to save it for another trip. I have visited Peru before! Magical I say.

  3. atm says:

    HAVE FUN & STAY SAFE! also, you should do a post about doing laundry abroad.

  4. restaurante panama says:

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  5. Panama Internet says:

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