After days of reasearching flights to different parts of South America, scouring the internet, and trying to find the cheapest way to get to Rio, I found a flight to Lima for only $332! Awww shucks, looks like I'll have to go to Peru for a bit... :)
One thing that was pretty crazy was the difference in price between one-way and round-trip flights. For example, my ticket to Lima is $332, ROUNDTRIP! I fly from SFO-Miami on Feb 7th, have a 3 hour layover in Miami, and have a red-eye out of Miami on Feb 7th that arrives in Lima at 5:30 in the morning on February 8th. I have a return flight to SFO on Feb 23rd, which I won't be using. Maybe I can sell it to some unsuspecting Peruvian, like a scalped cubs ticket....jk..Looking up one way flights to Lima and other South American cities though, some of them were even in the $1000 range! To go directly to Sao Paulo or Rio was going to be at least $700. Guess I'll take a 3 day stay in Lima! Whoohoo! I'm flying this one american too, so I'll rack up some more mileage.
I then booked yet another roundtrip from Lima-Rio, only $300!. I leave Lima at the buttcrack of dawn, 1245AM, on Feb 11th, so I guess maybe I'll end up heading to the airport in early evening. The best part of this gig is that there is a plane change in Sao Paulo on both the departing and returning flight. Well, I was planning on going to Sao Paulo for awhile anyways before or after Rio to visit my buddy Thiago, who I met through Rotaract last year. So, I'll end up using the first leg of the return flight Feb 18th and just hop off in Sao Paulo for a weekend or so! Sweet! The flight from Lima-Rio also flys into the smaller Rio airport (SDU), which is right downtown. I've read this is the best way to get into the city quickly as opposed to the main Rio airport, I'll be able to access public transport on my way to my homestay.
Next up, I need to decide when to leave Sao Paulo & find a flight to Montevideo. After that, ground & water transport only to Santiago! Oh yeah, and get a Visa to Brazil, it might come in handy. Looks like its going to be a pain the the arse to get one. Guess theyre sticking it to us for sticking it to them. Equality for the win.
Hooray for the first post! Hopefully improvents to layout will ensue!