Before the pandemic started, I was supposed to complete the South American continent. I had booked the most efficient flight using the old Aeroplan mini-RTW program. This flight would allow me to visit every single Central American and the remaining three South American countries that I need to complete this continent. Alas, it was too good to be true and my trip has been cancelled. I was very disappointed because the booking included a very lucrative redemption to Easter Island that is no longer possible with British Airways Avios. I guess it’s back to the drawing board as I plan my South America travel game plan to complete this continent.
Before continuing, make sure to read the Oceania article first to see my criteria for visiting every single country in the world.
VIDEO – South America Travel Game Plan
My game plan To visit all 193 UN recognized countries series:
Countries I have not visited in South America
As of now, there are only three countries left in South America I have yet to visit. They are:
My plan to visit Uruguay is by taking a ferry from Buenos Aires to a city called Colonia in Uruguay. I would do a day trip there to tick off this country. My plan for Paraguay would be similar as I would fly over to Foz do Iguaçu which is the town in Brazil where Iguazu Falls are located. From there, I would cross overland to Paraguay in the commercial city of Ciudad del Este.
Flying to Foz do Iguaçu using Aeroplan will cost 40,000 in Economy or 60,000 in Business. Then, flying from Foz do Iguaçu to Buenos Aires will cost 15,000 Aeroplan points in Economy or 30,000 in Business. A flight between Buenos Aires and Santiago, Chile will cost 13,900 Aeroplan points in Economy or 27,900 in Business.
South America travel game plan
The places in South America that I want to visit are:
- Lençóis Maranhenses
- Perito Moreno Glacier
- Argentina Patagonia
- Easter Island
- Atacama Desert
My problem is that to visit all these places, I was planning on using my British Airways Avios and redeem them on LATAM. But nowadays, you cannot redeem your Avios on LATAM anymore.
After doing a bit of research, there are some data points indicating that you might be able to transfer your British Airways Avios to Iberia and book it through that method. Another method is to get the USA Delta SkyMiles AMEX and use the points to redeem for LATAM flights to these destinations. The final method that may work is to use my Asia miles to book on LATAM to these places. It’s too early to check right now because of the pandemic so I won’t know for sure until much later.
If Iberia Avios does end up being able to book on LATAM, then I will need 96,500 Avios and 143,700 Aeroplan points to complete this trip.
Out of all the places I want to travel to, South America is definitely on the complex side because of the current inability to book with LATAM. After the pandemic ends, I will re-visit my strategy to travel to South America and make the appropriate adjustments based on which airline is available for points redemption.