Simran Karamchandani spent 161 Days in the Andean States in South America. This is how much she spent on 10 things!
Last year, I went on a five-month trip around the Andean States in South America as I completed an exchange programme for my University. I quickly became friends with an irreplaceable bunch of international students and we really enjoyed our experiences as we got to see a bunch of cool stuff.
There’s plenty to see when visiting South America, especially the Andean States. But here are some things that I can wholeheartedly recommend.
1. Machu Picchu ($S86)
A beautiful view, countless ruins, and befriending strangers, including local llamas and alpacas makes this Wonder of the World a shoo-in in anyone’s bucket list.
This ancient Incan city welcomes around 2,500 visitors daily, from all around the world. There are various approaches to travel and visit this site, ranging from a 3-day to a week long trek or you can opt to take a train ride (food and entertainment included) to Agua Calientes (nearest town to Machu Picchu) and purchase a bus ticket for the same day as your entry into Machu Picchu.
My friend and I chose to take the train to Agua Calientes and purchase an entry ticket to Machu Picchu, including the trek up the Mountain to fully take in the history and beauty that is embedded in the area. You can buy the entrance ticket from machupicchu.gob.pe (government website) at S$86!
2. Salt Flats at Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia (S$80-100)
A day tour to Salar De Uyuni costs around S$80-100 and includes a visit to a train cemetery and a full day hanging around the endless, vast area covered in salt.
Trust me when I say that without my friendly tour guide, I would have gone round and round in circles trying to locate exactly where I was. The tour also includes taking wacky perspective photos and videos that will get you to question if you are even on Earth anymore.
If you’re wondering if this place looks familiar, you may have seen it in Naughty Boy’s famous song, “La La La” that took over the charts back in 2013.
3. White Water Rafting (S$15-20)
Throughout the mountain range, there are a number of cities and towns that cater to adrenaline junkies that love the water! At just S$15-20, you’ll be able to take an hour-long rafting ride and enjoy the crazy views that come with it.
Try to avoid the rocks and you’ll be in for a great story to share with your folks back home. Don’t worry about falling in — the water is freezing but it looks hella cool #doitfortheinsta.
4. Horseback Riding (S$10-15)
Another fun activity throughout the mountain range is horse riding. A guide normally leads the way and your horse takes you up a bumpy mountain overlooking the Andes.
If the view doesn’t take your breath away, don’t worry; the adrenaline that comes with riding the horse might just do it for you. Jokes aside, it is truly worth the scare and is an incredible experience that will only cost you around S$10-15.
5. Skiing (S$120-160)
Skiing is a popular sport in Chile during the winter as you see a bunch of locals and tourists gather their skiing gears and head towards the mountains. There are plenty of resorts and towns in the country that offer a full-day ski pass (including attire, gears) ranging from S$120-160.
Most resorts have areas designed at beginner till advanced levels. As this was my first time on the slopes, my clumsy self looked as if I was catapulting my own body straight into the snow every 10 minutes. Don’t get discouraged if you’re also a beginner, the slopes are designed in a way to ensure safety and keep you from getting badly hurt.
6. Sand Boarding on the Sand Dunes (S$2-5)
Ever wanted to surf but on material that will reach places you never thought existed on your body? Try sand boarding. I guarantee the excitement and fun from boarding the sand dunes over and over again will have you questioning your self-control.
It only costs S$2-5 to rent a board and you can also spend the rest of the day watching the waves reach the shore while the sun sets.
7. Lake Titicaca (S$25-30)
Yes, it is a funny name. Yes, I still laugh every time I read it. Yes, I am secretly a 2-year-old. South America’s largest lake stretches through the Andes Mountains of both Bolivia and Peru, and is considered the birthplace of the Incas.
Meeting local indigenous people and learning about the Inca ruins and culture that still exists to this day is a visit like no other. Travelling and spending a day in Lake Titicaca cost me around S$25 per day. It is a thrilling adventure and one place I truly enjoyed, as I also got to meet the Uru people that live on floating islands made of reeds that grow along the shore!
8. Patagonia – Torres Del Paine (S$250-300)
Torres Del Paine is known for its trekking circuit and beautiful landscape as it covers ancient forests, lakes, rivers, and glaciers that are home to foxes, pumas, diverse list of birds, and much more.
My friends and I chose to set up our tents and gather our hiking gear to spend a week at this national park. Cold nights, encounters with “dangerous” animals, and packaged food were all great aspects of the trip, obviously.
The trek itself is long and tedious, but you will meet like-minded strangers with beautiful souls encouraging you to finish the trek as you do for them. This trip was definitely one of a kind!
9. Music Festival – Lollapalooza (S$200)
Santiago, the capital of Chile, hosts some of the greatest artists and musicians every year but one festival that stood out was Lollapalooza. This three-day festival welcomes everyone that loves to jam out to their own preferred genre, with many stages that play genres such as indie, hip-hop, rock, EDM, and so on.
A crazy weekend getting to make more friends and learn about different types of music while at it!
10. Beach days (S$0-20)
A lot of my time was regrettably spent on the beaches in Chile. You can grab an empanada from a food stall for less than S$1 and accompany it with a beer, wine, or even a pisco sour costing around S$2-10 (depending on the bar/restaurant/market).
If you are into aqua sports, you will love heading to a beach in Chile, especially for surfing. Plenty of locals and visitors come together every day and enjoy a fun beach day!
Will you be visiting South America soon? We hope you found these tips helpful!
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