|Subject: Re: Traveling to South America|
I hope you are planning a visit to Iguazu Falls on both the Argentine and Brazilian sides. I am not really a nature person, preferring big cities and ancient ruins, but the Falls are magnificent. It has been a number of years since I visited Peru, but found Lima not so interesting. Macchu Picchu is not to be missed. The best way to see it is by staying at or near the ruins so that you are not just part of the day crowd. In Cuzco, the usual place to start to Macchu Picchu, a member of the group was mugged in the very early morning hours when he went out alone to photograph carrying an expensive camera, his passport, and credit cards. Frankly, most of us thought he was foolish for having done that. Unless the Shining Path or a similar group is active in Peru again, treat your travels there, and in other big cities or tourist areas, the same as you would New York City or any other big city. Be aware, and don't do things that invite robbery or attack.
In Chile, I loved Santiago. From there we went to Patagonia and the lake district. With a month for four very large countries, it does not sound as though you will be able to do all of that.
Buenos Aires is very European. This month's National Geographic has an article about tango. From it you can get a feel for just a part of that magnificent city.
In terms of customs, and culture, most of South America seems to be a combination of Euro-Latin-Indo culture. Other than being somewhat more formal than North American culture and customs, it is not that different. As always, respect and smiles go a long way.
Have a great trip.
Lisa in Chicago