I know for a fact that long-term travel is not for me, but I still like to spend a good amount of time out the country when I do travel so I feel like the long flights and money spent are truly worth it. With a few trips under my belt I think I’ve figured out how long is just right. I spent ten days in South America this last trip and by day eight I was starting to feel the drag. The drag for me is wanting to sleep in my bed, wanting to do some laundry, and taking a shower in hot (not lukewarm) water. Simple comforts that I sometimes take for granted. My friend and I begin to discuss the small tweaks we could’ve made to our itinerary comparing the time spent and what would’ve been just right.
Foz do Iguacu, Brazil
Time spent: 2 ½ days // Suggested time: 1 ½ days
The waterfalls are Foz do Iguacu’s main attraction, and once you’ve seen them, there’s not much left to do. I wrote about how I welcomed the lazy days Foz do Iguacu provided, and if you’re looking for that kind of relaxation, this is the place for it, but unless you intend to visit the Argentina side of the waterfalls, get in, get out and head to your next destination.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Time spent: 4 days // Suggested time: 3 days
I loved every minute of my time spent in Rio, and I have NO regrets about spending four days there. The only reason I’d recommend a day’s shorter stay is because there were some late starts to some days, hours spent in a tattoo shop, and a few wrong turns that led to us being a slightly lost a time or two. With a little more attention to detail, I have no doubt that everything we did over four days could have been done in three. But if you intend to take a day trip to Buzios, Ilha Grande or Paraty you may want to add a day or two.Lima, Peru
Time spent: 2 days // Suggested time: An extended layover or 1-2 days
Lima didn’t exactly bowl me over upon arrival, but I warmed up to it eventually. All the things I liked about Lima could have easily been seen in a day or over an extended layover, so that would be my recommendation. Lima is a lovely city full of color and character. To me, it’s the kind of place that fits well within a trip, but should not BE the trip, if that makes sense. Of course, if you’re heading to Machu Picchu it’s a stop worth making, but a stopover for a day or two should suffice.