Argentine Patagonia - Various Questions about Transport
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Nov 6, 2012 10:47 PM Last Post By: trent84
Oct 16, 2012 1:47 PM
- How easy and cheap is it to get to the Perito Moreno glacier from El Calafate at this time of year? I have read that 'in season' it is easy and inexpensive, but 'out of season' it is the opposite. I'm hoping for a more specific idea of when 'in season' is. Although I appreciate that South America can be unpredictable!
- What are long bus journeys like in terms of toilet stops? I really want to get a bus to Mendoza but it is a long ride and my husband has ulcerative colitis and needs the toilet quite alot. Do busses have toilets? If not, do they make stops for toilet visits often, and how feasible is this?
- Are there any reccommended travel companies for going to/from El Chalten and El Calafate, El Calafateand Mendoza, and El Calafate to surrounding attractions like Perito Moreno and Onelli Bay?
Thanks so much in advance, I hope I have made my questions clear!!!
Edited by: lisegriffiths86
Oct 16, 2012 1:59 PM
1No problem to get to the glaciar from El Calafate in abril, may or even in the middle of the winter. Taqsa and El Chalten travel have good services. All long distances buses have toilets. Buses in Argentina are very comfortable. El Calafate - Mendoza would be a very very long ride. be sure to break up the journey at some places. To get to El calafate, take a flight from Buenos Aires as there isn´t much difference in the costs with the bus.
Oct 16, 2012 3:19 PM
2Buses run all the time as Beer states. They cost about 100 pesos for a return trip. If traveling in a group then a taxi might be cheaper.
Long Distance buses in Argentina are quite comfortable. And always have a toilet and have breaks throughout the journey. However, down in the south (Patagonia) the buses aren't as good. The toilet on my 28 hour bus ride to El Calafate was not working for about 10-12 hours of the journey.
I would stop in Bariloche for a few days. And then head up. But take a flight to Bariloche. And go from there.
Oct 16, 2012 7:58 PM
3I forget the bus company we used to get from from El Calafate to the PM Glacier but it is an 80k distance and was covered fairly quickly.
As the others have said the buses have toilets on-board.
However has your husband tried salazopyrin (an anti-inflammatory) for the ulcerative colitis?
It worked for a friend of mine - he has one tablet with each meal and drinks plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Oct 18, 2012 4:52 AM
Oct 22, 2012 1:52 AM
5Thanks so much guys! This is so helpful, including the medication you menitoned for my husband. Chris is this by any chance avaiable in the UK do you know?
We have considered hiring a car for some of our Argentina trip, so any advice there too would be so useful, then we can weigh up our options. Thanks so much for the bus company website also!
I am very glad to hear there are toilets on busses! Does anyone know much about the roads and things like service stations and toilet availability on the road?
Oct 22, 2012 11:00 AM
Oct 22, 2012 7:22 PM
7Apparently Salazopyrine was a specific product name, with another name for the same product being Pyralin. It may well have different product names in the UK.
However, the technical term or active ingredient is sulfasalazine.
In Australia the medication is on the PBS (Pharmeceutical Benefits Schedule) and requires a doctor's prescription. It is commonly used as an anti-inflammatory drug for conditions such as colitis and it is unusual for it to have side-effects provided that you keep hydrated.
I'm sure your doctor could easily arrange a prescription.
Nov 6, 2012 10:04 AM
8My husband and I are going to Argentina in February/March. And planning to take 9 days to travel around Patagonia.
We are tempted to book through a group tour, for ease, but would strongly prefer being able to choose our own hotels and not rely on the transfers the company arranges (I've read lots of posts about various tour companies booking buses incorrectly, transfers not showing up, or not notifying you if things change). Of course most people only post online when bad things happen...but still...
Neither of us speak any Spanish, and have never been to South America.
In your experience, is it easy enough to travel by bus between El Calafate, El Chalten, and Torres del Paine? Or would you recommend entrusting everything to a travel agency?
Nov 6, 2012 12:06 PM
9You don´t need a tour to visit the usual touristic places in southern patagonia like Torres del paine, El Chalten, El Calafate and Ushuaia. Most people speak at least some english. At the airport or the busstation you simple catch a taxi to get to your hotel. You can book hotels ahead over the web quiete easily and with Tripadvisor and other reviews and info on the web, quite easy to choose and to book. In Torres del paine you can book the refugios ahead with Fantastico Sur and there is an expensive but direct service from El Calafate to Torres del Paine. The tourist informations in towns like El Calafate and Ushuaia are very helpful and El Chalten is just a creation for touristst anyway and you have a good information from the National Park and any accomodation will inform you about the trails and things to do. Most organized tours to southern patagonia are very expensive and in many cases of very poor value leaving very interesting things out. At each of these places it is very easy to take local excursions and guides for much cheaper and with better knowledge, but most of the time you don´t need any
Nov 6, 2012 5:45 PM
Nov 6, 2012 10:47 PM
11As beerfree says, its really easy to do yourself. Most tourist attractions/locals have a english speakers there (but learn a few phrases in spanish).
If you do go to Torres del Paine, then head to Erratic Rock at 3pm in Puerto Natales for a good overview and information session on the National Park.
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