Seeking some advice on southern Patagonia
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Dec 3, 2012 7:59 AM Last Post By: beerfree
Dec 1, 2012 6:24 PM
Seeking some advice on southern PatagoniaHi guys,
i am seeking some advice on southern Patagonia, as i have not been there.
My girlfriend and I are starting a year long trip around Sth America in Patagonia in March 2013. Below is rough schedule
7/3/2013 - Arrive Punta Arenas (from Santiago)
8/3/2013 - Bus to Ushuaia
8/3 -> 12/3 - Ushuaia (5 nights)
13/3/2013 - Fly to El Calafate
14/3/2013 - Perito Moreno glacier
15/3/2013 - Bus to El Chatlen
15/3 -> 19/3 - El Chatlen (5 nights)
20/3/2012 - Bus to Puerto Natales
21/3 -> 25/3 - TDP W Trek
26/3 - Navimag /Fly?
As we are traveling for a long period of time after Patagonia, we will not be taking a tent or cooker. Just adequate clothes and sleeping bags. Hence we are looking at staying at refugios.
We are of moderate fitness, (i have a bit of a dodgy back) and when we are in Ushuaia & El Chatlen, we will be looking to spend a lot of the time day trekking, trying to get somewhat acclimatised for the W trek in TDP.
The items that i would like some advice on are:
1) Have i allowed enough time in El Chatlen?
2) Tossing up whether to consider just doing day treks from refugios to parts of the W, instead of the whole trek. If we do single day trips, then i am thinking of maybe booking some extra days for flexibility with the weather.
- How strenuous is the whole trek, and if you only do day treks how much do you miss out on?
3) After TDP, we intend to head north towards the lakes district. Was thinking of either getting the Navimag to Peurto Montt, or flying from el-calafate to Bariloche.
- Is there anything between el-calafate to Bariloche that people would recommend seeing? We would be relying on Bus and plane for any travel.
4) I am open to any suggestions, recommendations, improvements
Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this post
Edited by: WillyMaze
Dec 1, 2012 10:10 PM
1I think it makes more sense to go in the opposite direction. Or at least fly into Ushuaia. Where are you going after Southern Patagonia?
1) El Chalten has 2 great day treks. And a few other ones. 5 days is PLENTY of time. I spent 4 days there, but only had one good day of hiking weather. 5 days gives you time to compensate for the weather.
2) Do the Circuit if you can, if not stick to the W. You can hire tents/sleepingbags etc in Puerto Natales at pretty decent prices. This will save the price of paying ridiculous amounts for the refugios. The trek isn't too bad, its pretty easy for the most part, though has some difficult/strenous bits (such as into the French Valley or should I say Up and the hour walk up to Mirador de las torres)
3) I went the opposite way Bariloche to El Calafate by bus. Bloody long, take a flight. Its probably just as expensive as the bus.
4) As I said, I think the order is all out of whack.
Dec 1, 2012 11:18 PM
2It makes more sense to do TDP from Punta Arenas/Puerto Natales at the beginning, then cross to El Calafate by bus and do what you want on the Argentine side, ending with a flight to Bariloche. From there you can cross by bus to the Chilean lakes or stay in Argentina. The weather for the W could be slightly better at the beginning of the month than at the end.
Dec 1, 2012 11:42 PM
thanks for the responses.
I know what you mean regarding the order not being right. Its been wrecking my head...
i originally wanted to fly into Ushuaia and start from there. But from what i can gather it would mean flying from santiago to B.A first, and then south. Which is not much good as we fly into Santiago from Australia, and more expensive.
After Southern Patagonia, no concrete plans, but would probably end up heading towards B.A and Igauzu after spending some time in the lakes area.
#1 thanks for the tip, we will fly rather then the long bus ride.
#2 I had considered doing TDP first up, but wanted to get some decent day hikes in first (to warm up, so to speak). Are you suggesting to remove Ushuaia from the itinerary? Or fly there from El Calafate?
Dec 2, 2012 2:00 AM
4It just seems to make more sense to do it logically, than to backtrack. And considering you want to go via Bariloche, you should finish Southern Patagonia there to make it easily accessible. I would try to get down to Ushuaia first, and start from there (P. Arenas-TDP-El Calafate-Chalten-Bariloche). But if you decide to bus from P. Arenas, than your essentially backtracking. So is it worth going to?
Ushuaia is a fine place, and has plenty of day hikes etc, but you'll be doing some long bus rides as well (14 hours to Ushuaia from P.Arenas, another long one to El Calafate). And they aren't exactly cheap. The P.Arenas is about 30,000 CLP.
I guess in regards to 'skipping it'. You have to look at what you are going there for? Are you going to 'tick off a place' or actually have a reason to go there?
Dec 2, 2012 3:16 AM
5i would like to do some day walks in tierra del feugo and around Ushuaia, and see some of the wildlife (penguins etc...). One day i will be back there when i can justify the cost to go to Antarctica. But that might not happen for a number of years.
It is proving to be an expensive pain in the hole in trying to get there when coming in from the Chilean side of the continent.
I will see if can come up with an itinerary and respective cost, coming down to South Patagonia via Santiago -> Puerto Montt - Bariloche -> El Calafate. But i am worried that i will get down there a bit later then i would like and risk encountering some really cold weather
Dec 2, 2012 3:44 AM
6I wasn't suggesting removing anything in Argentina, just doing Chile first. It just seems a bad idea to have an itinerary where you have to cross the border twice, when tweaking the itinerary would make it go away.
Aside from the route starting with TdP I mentioned , you could overnight bus to Osorno, cross to Bariloche by bus (you can buy it as one ticket from Santiago), do Argentina first (whatever itinerary you decide) and go into Chile and back from El Calafate. You could go to Puerto Natales from El Calafate to buy/rent your supplies and arrange a pick up directly from the park for the return to EC with a company (more expensive but speedier).
I have done the bus from Santiago to Bariloche several times. You start about 9 pm in Santiago, Get to Osorno around 8 am, get on the connecting bus at about 10, get to Bariloche around 3 (depends on how busy the border is, but early afternoon). The price depends on the time of year but I once did it one way in early December (early season) in the top class and the whole thing came to the equivalent of US$100. I went Premium which I decided I didn't like. Salon Cama is cheaper and I prefer it.
Dec 2, 2012 3:54 PM
7That actually works out better - going south to Bariloche first, then down that way. There are numerous flights to BA from Ushuaia and they won''t cost you too much. It'll also allow you to build up a base fitness for trekking (there are a few around Bariloche). That seems like a more ideal route than flying down to Arenas. Its similar to what I did last year (except i bused from BA to Bariloche then went to El Calafate-El chalten-P. Natales-TdP-Punta Arenas-Ushuaia-Flight to BA).
Dec 2, 2012 3:57 PM
Dec 2, 2012 4:06 PM
9Check SKY for cheaper flights. There are buses from Puerto Montt or Osorno to Bariloche. At that time of year I doubt there will be anything much after midday but you can probably find out the times and buy the ticket from Turbus or Cruz del Sur in Santiago. They connect with Tas Choapa and Bus Norte respectively. Or you might be able to book it online with Andesmar or Via Bariloche. You can book Argentine buses online, not Chilean companies.
Dec 2, 2012 4:32 PM
Dec 2, 2012 5:04 PM
11It might pay to look into the LAN pass or similar (you'll probably have to take a few flights in South America (and this might be handy).
Have a look at your options and come back.
Dec 3, 2012 7:59 AM
12I think you ritinary is fine. You can manage El Chalten and Ushuaia very well with daytreks. There are many great dayhikes around Ushuaia and also very good oportunities to watch wildlife. You could cut off one day in El Chalten. The W trek in TDP is quite easy and it wouldn´t make much sense to do daytreks there. To go from El Calafate to Bariloche by plane is usually very expensive.
In between there is a great stretch to do but a bit time consuming. The carretera Aystral is well worth if you have enough time and you could inlude Cueva de las Manos on the argentinean side which is amazing. Also El Bolson is a good option
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