Bolivia to Patagonial
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Jan 22, 2013 10:25 AM Last Post By: analoggirl
Jan 19, 2013 8:55 AM
Bolivia to PatagonialHi TT,
So I've finally made it to Bolivia and am very interested in going to Argentina - mostly for Patagonia (and to get out of the rainy season in Bolivia, which makes traveling and touring less than ideal). Does anyone have any good advice for going to both Bariloche AND El Calefate?
- Go to Oruro and take the train to the border
- Take a bus to Salta
- Find a way to get to Bariloche from Salta (overnight buses?)
- Find a way to El Calefate (bus or plane. Is there a train option?)
- Take a plane from La Paz to Bariloche (which will be incredibly expensive) and skipping Salta
- Take a bus or (another expensive) plane to El Calefate for El Perito Moreno glacier and hiking
Any recommendations on --
1. Best methods for travel
2. Travel companies (bus companies, plane companies, etc.) that are safe, comfortable, and the less expensive the better
3, Things to do in each area (in Argentina) that are must do's
I'd be leaving end of Janaury and would hope to spend around 2 weeks or a bit more in Argentina. I know this is a very short timeline - and may need to cut some activities short.
Advice greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Jan 19, 2013 10:48 AM
-Fly: La Paz-Tarija, pretty cheap local flight. If you have no intention of touring souther Bolivia there is no point of loosing time here and very unconfortable ride. Ticket should be $80-100
From Tarija take trufi to Bermejo (good road, around 2 hours), cross the river and you are in Argentina with plenty connections to Salta. Continue with plan A.
BTW Make sure to get USD in Bolivia or change money on the border IN BOLIVIA, blue market rate is 7.5 ARS to USD at the moment . You should be able to get it still in Bolivia without the hassle. Take enough USD for backup.
I hope you know that Patagonia will be about 4-5 times more expensive than Bolivia.
Jan 19, 2013 1:17 PM
3Buses from La Quiaca (Argentine border) to Salta take 6 hours. Salta-Mendoza-Bariloche takes 40 hours. Bariloche-Calafate takes at least 24 hours.
One of the buses you can take is Flechabus (Click here)
Jan 19, 2013 1:53 PM
4What you might do is fly right down to southern Patagonia, using Santiago de Chile or Buenos Aires as your transfer point from La Paz. If you fly LaPaz to Santiago you could fly into Punta Arenas; if you fly to B.A. from La Paz you could fly to El Calafate or Ushuaia. then it would be a matter of working your way back up to Bariloche by bus and hopefully having great weather all the while. (There are really no guarantees when it comes to sunshine in southern Patagonia!)
You do realize that you are leaving one of the cheapest countries in S.A. and heading for two of the most expensive- i.e. Chile and Argentina. Add to that the fact that it is even more expensive the further south you go in Patagonia and you realize that this is not a prime destination for budget travellers.
If you're into hiking and either tenting or staying in refugios (not cheap!) then Southern Patagonia does have its attractions. January and February are arguably two of the best months to be visiting the area. I spent three weeks there last March and had a great time hiking both in Torres del Paine park and near Monte Fitz Roy by El Chalten. If you want to see what you'd be getting into check out these two links for pix and more info:
Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine- http://wp.me/p25mXk-QK
Monte Fitz Roy and El Chalten- http://wp.me/p25mXk-ML
I must admit that I have no idea why someone who is not into hiking and being outdoors would head down to southern Patagonia. But if you are an outdoors kind of person the natural beauty you will walk into every day in the two above areas will make your trip worthwhile.
Jan 19, 2013 2:03 PM
5OP- one more thing! It is quite the distance from La Paz to el Calafate. Click this link for the hard facts.
Yes, a plane ride will cost more money. It will also save you five days of travel time and discomfort! If it is sunshine you really want maybe you should go up to Cartagena in Colombia - it is not as far and much more likely to have great weather!
Jan 19, 2013 9:32 PM
6My plan to get to Patagonia is through Chile using the navimag to puerto natales from puerto montt. 3 day ferry through some beautiful wild areas. It's expensive ($300) I know but I think it's super worth it! All I hear are good things.
Hey true-north! How is it u know so much?
Cartagena is beautiful but I like Santa Marta better! : )
Jan 20, 2013 3:53 AM
7Suggetion on Chile route is also good, then it's actually much better and cheaper to get a bus from La Paz to Arica and domestic flight from there to Santiago or one ticket to Punta Arenas with a stop-over. For some reason international flights are always much more expensive in this continent (with small exemptions), and one-way tickets are same price or more than return. That's why flying domestic makes sense.
Jan 20, 2013 8:23 AM
Jan 20, 2013 8:35 AM
Jan 21, 2013 6:20 AM
10Thanks everyone for the travel advice! Much appreciated, very grateful.
To answer a few questions above: I know Argentina is much more expensive than Bolivia; however it's always been my dream to go to Patagonia - and since it's an ideal time of year to go, I figure why not now? I've been saving up for a while to travel, so I might be down to spend the money if it's that gorgeous and worth it.
Bolivia has been hard because many treks that i've been interested in (from the humid and mosquito-filled rivers of Las Pampas to the rains that make it difficult or impossible to go trekking, mountain biking or rafting) are much more dangerous and sometimes unpleasant. I go camping and backpacking every year, but California/US camping is much different than Patagonia camping and backpacking I realize (my blog: analoggirlworld.wordpress.com).
If anyone has any tour companies/treks that they'd recommend (for advanced beginner/intermediate backpackers like myself) I'd be very interested!
Jan 21, 2013 7:32 AM
11analoggirl- the hiking in southern Patagonia is totally do-able on your own. absolutely no need to hire a guide or join a group. You will be on groomed trails in national parks; the way is usually pretty obvious. Ahead of you and behind you will be other walkers. You can always team up with a sympatico hiker or two.
Given that you will be there in prime time you will meet lots of people at the camp sites and the refugios. Your previous camping trips will provide you with the experience to have a great time exploring the stunning scenery in TDP and the Monte Fitz Roy area. I haven't been down to Ushuaia but other posters here have spoken very positively about hiking possibilities down there. You have a lot of choices to make!
Jan 21, 2013 11:32 AM
Jan 22, 2013 10:25 AM
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