How I Prepare For My (First) South American Trip

Maf goes to South America!Some unpleasant circumstances are perhaps taking place to give way to a more favorable and better experience that we are ought to have, do and go. I got lost trying to figure out what’s going on lately with my life on a professional and personal level. I kind of forget that there is some kind of image that I have to maintain and project? Rubbish. Right now, I am kind of mixed up to be honest. My brain is pretty scattered. I think this is what you get when you continue to work non-stop, no days off on weekends and after toiling hard you get a shit in return. I really don’t understand why some people can be a pain in the ass. I was reminded of Warren Buffet – Look for three things in a person: 1) intelligence, 2) energy and 3) integrity. If that person lacks number 3, forget about the rest.

Hey, hey, hey this is about my very much awaited, very much needed break, very much looking forward for my first South American trip! Finally, it comes :). I am waiting for this trip to come as soon as I begun to think about it!

I had one month to prepare. Initially, South America was not in the picture yet, at least to visit earlier this year. It’s Iran and a few Middle Eastern countries supposedly but as I have mentioned when things go wrong and looks unfavorable there are better things that we ought to experience I guess. Otherwise, South America would not come into picture this earlier 🙂

Here are a few tips that you may find useful when you embark for South American trip.

1)        Check Visa Requirement, Airfare and Accommodation

One of the advantages for Filipino citizen intending to visit South America is that majority of the countries in Latin America are visa-free for Filipinos. To mention: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Suriname, Ecuador and Colombia. The only disadvantage I guess is that up until now there is neither direct flight nor low cost carrier that flies through and forth from Southeast Asia to South America. I’m still dreaming that one day our innovative folks in the aviation industry would come up to have a low cost carrier that would fly directly from SEA to SA. Speaking of no direct flight, the cost of round trip ticket is REALLY expensive! You can have a 2 set of 2-way ticket for a European trip. As my itinerary is in progress, I would probably walk-in or book a hostel or guesthouse once I am in South America. I am meeting few kind hosts from Couch Surfing whom I am truly grateful to accommodate me!

2)       Know the Weather and Temperature for appropriate clothing

This trip is by far the most challenging for me to prepare what to pack and what not to. I have to have all kinds of clothes for all season: Winter for Bolivia, Autumn in Brazil and Argentina. As I am going to have a few days layover in the UAE, where temperature can get higher up to 45 degrees, so I have to prepare light to warmer clothes.

3)       Learn and pick up basic language skills (Portuguese and Spanish)

I am very fond of learning a new language. I was just thinking, is there any language express in Portuguese or Spanish that I can enrolled in to pick up the basics and carry on a local conversation? Three weeks ago, when I open my CS, at the homepage appeared about the weekly meet up of aspiring Spanish speakers, when I saw it, I immediately signed in. I think going beyond speaking thank you and good day in a local language will go along way.

4)       The Currencies and the Time Difference

1 SGD = 1.79 Brazilan Real (BRL)/ 1 USD =  2.24 BRL;

1SGD = 5.53 Bolivian Boliviano (BOB)/ 1 USD = 6.93 BOB

1 SGD = 6.40 Argentine Peso (ARS)/ 1 USD = 8.02 ARS

1 SGD = 2.93 AED/ 1 AED = 0.27 USD (I include UAE as this is my first stop)

For time difference, Singapore is 11 hours ahead of Sao Paolo/ Rio de Janerio, Brazil.

Brazil and Argentina has the same time zone, therefore Argentina is 11 hours behind Singapore.

For Bolivia, the center of Bolivia is 12 hours behind Singapore.

5)       Travel Essentials

I will have a separate post for it to serve as my personal checklist too

Thanks to the foster parent of my books - Outonvacation! Excited opening the black luggage! :)
Thanks to the foster parent of my books – Outonvacation! Excited opening the black luggage! 🙂

6)       My Route


>Sao Paulo

>Rio de Janeiro

>Puerto Iguazo


*Argentina* (as of this writing, I didn’t receive any reply from Argentina Embassy in Manila. In Singapore, there is no Embassy of Argentina. I guess, I will try my luck if I can get visa from the border)

>Province de Misiones



Sta Cruz





*United Arab Emirates* (My flight to Brazil will commence from Dubai. So I decided to have a few days layover to have a first-hand experience of the country and its people)


>Abu Dhabi

>Al Ain

Friends, this post is half way done! As my itinerary is in progress too! But I want to update this blog, to update you and at the same time to serve as my reference. Until next!


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