I am waiting for a time when people can travel freely across borders. Until such a time, we have to put up with absurd visa rules and regulations. Most backpackers from Western and developed countries probably will never realize what a luxury it is to have a passport that enables access to so many countries in the world. Especially with our Indian passports, we had that one extra level of hurdle when it came to planning ‘spontaneous’ long-term travel. My advice is to not let that put you off. The irony of it is Indian citizens need a bit more ‘planning’ to go on an ‘unplanned’ backpacking sojourn.
Here’s how we got visas for the five countries we visited. Argentina and Brazil, very popular countries are not in this list because I found the Argentina visa very cumbersome to obtain from San Francisco. Not only that, they claimed that visa could only be obtained from country of residence. I did not have the time to get a Brazilian visa and we had plenty to see in 4 months as it were.
Bolivia Visa for Indians from the Santiago Consulate (Chile) — obtained while traveling
Ecuador Visa on Arrival for Indian citizens – we did not get a visa in advance. We walked up to the immigration office at the Colombia – Ecuador border patiently waited for a visa. The immigration office did not know Indians could get VOA, but we persisted and they eventually stamped us in. Read our story!