South America 2014

Osorno volcano and Lake Llanquique at sunset    


      For Iguassu Falls, look for Foz do Iguassu

What to pack

We encourage you to pack lightly.  We will probably have to haul our own bags through airports or at least through customs, though we will, of course, have help with bags at hotels and on and off buses.  You can get laundry done in all the hotels.  Here is a suggested list of what to take:

  1. 1 set of business casual dress for embassy and business visits
  2. 1 pair casual, very comfortable, shoes for sightseeing—closed toes are best
  3. sandals (something you can get wet) for Iguassu Falls (optional, but very wet walking along the Falls)
  4. 2 pairs hiking pants or similar
  5. 1 pair shorts
  6. 3-4 casual shirts or T-shirts, some short-sleeved
  7. 2 dressier shirts or sweaters for evenings
  8. 1 pair dressier pants or skirt for dinners
  9. 1 fleece jacket or pullover
  10. 1 pair fleece gloves, also for Andes crossing
  11. 1 warm hat for Andes crossing (fleece is good)
  12. 1 warm sweater for evenings
  13. bathing suit
  14. raincoat or rain jacket
  15. plastic poncho—nice, but not essential, the backpack variety that folds up into a small package (you’ll get wet at Iguassu Falls from the spray)
  16. umbrella
  17. underwear and socks
  18. travel alarm clock
  19. all your standard medications
  20. Imodium or similar in case you get a stomach bug
  21. standard toiletries (hotels will have hair dryers)
  22. hand wipes and hand sanitizer
  23. sunscreen
  24. mosquito repellant
  25. several zip lock plastic bags
  26. sun hat for sightseeing
  27. camera with extra disk and batteries and battery charger
  28. adaptor kit (Brazil, Argentina and Chile use the type C adaptor—see this website: )
  29. whatever you like to read
  30. nice but not essential, a travel pillow. You can find a variety of these at Amazon and others offer some as well.


Argentina's "Dirty War": An Intellectual Biography, Donald C. Hodges, 2014, Kindle and paperback
A study of  the underlying political events and intellectual foundations of the "dirty war" (1975–1978) and overlapping Military Process (1976–1982). It examines the ideologies and actions of the main protagonists—the armed forces, guerrillas, and organized labor—over time and traces them to their roots.

A Brief History of Argentina, Jonathan Brown, 2011
Short history of Argentina.

History of Argentina, A.G. Armstrong, 2011
Kindle book only.  Argentine history.

Culture Shock! Argentina, Fiona Adams, 2012
Part of the series that gives good information on customs, culture and etiquette.

Threats to Sustainability Cloud Argentina’s Booming Recovery, Kyle Younker and World Politics Review, 2011
Kindle book only.
Discussion of structural and policy challenges that could stall Argentina’s economic development.

Brazil, Michael Reid, 2014 (Kindle and hard cover)
Brazil, the world’s fifth largest country and its seventh largest economy, may become one of the most important global powers by the year 2030, but faces important challenges before it becomes a nation of substantial global significance.

The New Brazil:  Regional Imperialism and the New Democracy, Raul Zibechi, 2014 (Kindle and paperback)
Brazil’s remarkable economic turnaround and rise as a regional economic and political power still have not removed the huge social and economic inequities in the country.  This book looks at Brazil on the global stage and the political changes unfolding in the country.

Brazil – Culture Smart!:  The Essential Guide to Customs and Culture, Sandra Branco and Rob Williams, 2014 (kindle and paperback)
Just what it says—guide to Brazilian customs, culture and etiquette. 

Starting Over:  Brazil Since 1985, Albert Fishlow, 2011
Discusses Brazil’s startling political, economic, social, and foreign policy transformations since 1985 that have made it a growing world power.

The Chile Reader: History, Culture, Politics (The Latin America Readers) by Elizabeth Quay Hutchison, Thomas Miller Klubock, Nara B. Milanich and Peter Winn, 2013, Kindle and paperback

Collection of documents spanning more than five hundred years of Chilean history, mostly by Chileans from diverse perspectives, including interviews, travel diaries, letters, diplomatic cables, cartoons, photographs, and song lyrics.

The Southern Tiger: Chile's Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future,  Ricardo Lagos, Blake Hounshell, Elizabeth Dickinson and Bill Clinton, 2012, Kindle and hardcover
In The Southern Tiger, Lagos chronicles Chile's journey from terror and repression to a thriving open society, and from crushing poverty to one of the wealthiest nations in Latin America.

The History of Chile, John Lawrence Rector, 2005
Concise history of Chile.

A History of Chile, A.G. Armstrong
Kindle edition only.
Another short history of Chile.

The General’s Slow Retreat:  Chile After Pinochet, Mary Helen Spooner, 2011
Chile’s political change since the end of Pinochet’s regime.

Culture Shock! Chile, Susan Roraff, 2011
Part of the Culture Shock series providing information on culture, customs and etiquette.

The Gringo’s Culture Guide to Chile:  What You Should Know Before Arriving in Chile, Joe Rawlinson, 2011
Guide to people and culture in Chile.


Please read the following Centers for Disease Control webpages  regarding health in South America.


Culture Tips



Please read the instructions very carefully and follow them exactly as the consulates are extremely fussy and will not process an application they deem defective.
You can only apply online for a Brazilian visa.  Once you have done that, print out the application and include it with all the other required documents, including your valid passport, to send to the consulate that has jurisdiction for your state (see below) or a visa service in that jurisdiction. 

You MUST apply at the consulate that has jurisdiction for your home state.  For Colorado, that is Houston; for Arizona, it’s Los Angeles; for Washington, it’s San Francisco.

This is the website for the Brazilian consulate in Houston where most of us will apply for our visas:

We use Sam’s Passport Service in Houston to get our visas: 
If you live in another state from Colorado, please check your consulate to get the correct jurisdiction as Brazil will not process an application from the wrong consulate.  You will also need a passport service in your jurisdiction if you decide to use one.

A Brazilian visa is good for 10 years provided it is in a passport that has not expired.

Link for information about getting a tourist visa:
Or you can get the application online at the Brazilian Embassy website at this link:


Argentina does not require a visa for Americans.  However, U.S. citizens must pay a reciprocity fee in advance, print the receipt and bring the receipt with them.

Website for Argentina reciprocity fee, with instructions:
website to pay the fee in English:
The reciprocity fee is good for 10 years from the date of issue.  If you have paid a reciprocity fee in the last 10 years, you MUST bring your receipt


Mercifully, Chile no longer requires U.S. citizens to pay a reciprocity fee


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