Hi, My sister and I want to see various parts of Patagonia around November or December 2017. Starting in Santiago for Wine, visiting el calafare and el chitin, the Cave of Hand, Pto Tranquil, stopping in Ushuaia, and then heading upwards to Argentina for Hot Springs or Iguazu Falls. I really want to see historical sites, Ice bergs, penguins, etc. I planned a trip for about 18 days. Is it easier to book all my transportation and housing (flights, local hostels, taking local buses everywhere) myself, or should I organize most of the travel and hotel stuff through one of the tour companies in Patagonia ahead of time? I'm trying to determine if it's worth spending a little extra to ensure I have proper housing and can get to where I want to go or is Patagonia easy to just "wing it" and get around?
Also, are there any amazing sites that aren't too touristy, but allow me a glimpse into the Patagonia culture and history and easy to get to?
Thanks for any help. :)
Hi there, I travelled through Argentina for 5 weeks, so can only speak for that side, although I'm sure it's a similar situation in Chile. The buses are super comfortable and easy to book! However, the distances between some places are HUGE, so sometimes you can be stuck on buses for 20/30 hours + - which when you have limited time is not great. I would just get on a plane (LAN or Aerolinas Argentinas). Air fares are cheaper to book from outside of the country (this is a fact, not sure why), so if you decide to do this, I would book fights ahead of time. You are also traveling in high season so especially if you are heading to smaller places like El Chalten, book ahead as it can get full. I'm all for winging it and being free, but since Argentina and Chile are large countries you should definitely check the connections between the places you want to see before you leave, just so you can work out if there's a bus, how long it will take or if taking a plane is the smarter option. You'll have an amazing time. It's one of the best things I've ever seen. I wrote a blog about my highlights with some travel tips too: http://sandrashakespeare.com/the-best-of-argentina/
Have a great trip!
Sandra over 1 year agoAnswered by Sandra Shakespeare via WorldNomads.com
Hi, I recommend planning ahead as much as possible. The season is short down there and very popular. So an advance reservation on a bus can save you hours and hours. Transfers are long across huge expanses of territory. There are only a very few places to cross between chile and Argentina - the most spectacular may be between Puerto Montt and baraloche, Argentina .... In the north of Patagonia. If you want more info, I've done trips here for the last few years. Send an email and we can continue to swap info. Ramelle@newviewtours.com over 1 year ago
I would do a little bit of both. Book some stuff ahead but leave wiggle room for extending a stay here or leaving a place earlier. I was just there but it was the end of the season sondidnt have to worry about things being sold out- but some places were already closed for the season. The W trek is the BEST. Los Glaciers is great but you dont really need to do all 3 hikes- younsee the same thing from a different view point. The buses are comfortable and very efficient, but flying makes sense on the longer routes. over 1 year ago