Trip Report – Introduction: Honeymoon – I go to Rio
Series: Honeymoon - South America
- Trip Report – Introduction: Honeymoon – I go to Rio
- Four Seasons – You did it again!
- Four Seasons Sydney – Presidential Suite (thank you very much!)
- Four Seasons Sydney – Club 32 and other amenities
- Review: Qantas Business Class 747-400 Sydney to Santiago
- Review: LATAM 787-9 Business Class, Santiago to Buenos Aires
- Review: Hotel Palo Santo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Food: Eating in Buenos Aires
- Review: LATAM A320 Economy, LA 7504 – Buenos Aires to Iguazú
- Review: Gran Melia Iguazú Falls Hotel
- Review: LATAM flight Iguazu to Rio
- Review: Sol Ipanema Hotel
With a wedding just around the corner, I have a honeymoon coming up. Six weeks in South America.
I’m a South American virgin – well as far as travelling there anyway. So this is all new to me.
It has taken me a while to come to terms with the idea that South America is a collection of cultures, languages and countries – like Europe, and not like the United States, or indeed my own country, Australia, which are collections of states forming a federation.
Through the planning of this trip, I have realised just how big a continent it is, and that in six weeks, we will just be skimming the surface.
Where are we going in South America ?
Originally, one of our chosen tour companies had us on the ‘Cook’s Tour’ of South America – trying to cover it all, but not spending enough time in any one place. We started to eliminate destinations, and concentrate on our wish list. So out went places like:
- Lake Titicaca
- Sao Paulo
. . . and we restricted ourselves to:
- Buenas Aires (because, Evita)
- Iguazu Falls (who can resist falling water)
- Rio de Janeiro (for Carnival – Ipanema Beach, and the Samba Drome here we come)
- Cusco (for Machu Picchu and the Lares Trek)
- Quito (for a trip to the Amazon)
- Galapagos Islands (blue footed Boobies!)
- Lima (the food capital of South America)
- Santiago (for a night on the way home to Sydney)
Tickets and Airlines
We took advantage of a Qantas Deal offered in August 2018 along with a double status credits promotion, buying tickets that get us from Sydney through to Buenos Aires, and from Lima to Sydney (both via Santiago on a combination of Qantas and LATAM metal) in Business Class for AU$5,104 plus $112 in credit card charges.
It’s worth noting that although this price was around for quite a while – it has disappeared now. I just checked today (7 Feb 2019) – and if you booked it now, you would be looking at AU$6,501, travelling on LATAM metal, with a couple extra stops, and internal South American flights in Economy. Our base fare return to Santiago was AU$5050, and we only paid additional airport taxes to go through to Buenas Aires and to leave from Lima.
Our internal flights are all in Economy. Our travel agent (Out and About Travel) tried ticketing these airfares several ways, and ended up finding the cheapest way was to spread it over two bookings:
- Buenas Aires – Iguazu (Argentina) AU$277.70
And the other booking covering the following flights:
- Iguassu Falls (Brazil) to Rio de Janeiro
- Rio De Janeiro to Lima (Peru)
- Lima to Cuzco
- Cuzco to Lima
- Lima to Quito (Ecuador)
- Quito to Lima
The cost of all those flights in Economy is AU$2,104.30 per person. All these flights are with LATAM. We could have gone with some slightly cheaper options with other airlines, but we stuck with LATAM – a member of One World for two reasons:
- I have Sapphire One World status – which gives us access to lounges – important with long layovers and late departing flights
- I’m trying to get Platinum Status with Qantas (Emerald with One World)
Call for Reader Tips
This is going to be quite a trip! Now we have the infrastructure in place, flights, hotels, airport transfers, we need to sort out the restaurants, the museums and the other must do events.
So – 2PAXfly community – you may be small, but I am sure you have powerful suggestions. Go to it in the comments section below.