Patagonia- Which is the best spot for 5-7 days
Replies: 19 - Last Post: Feb 26, 2013 2:34 PM Last Post By: shanilynn
Jan 26, 2013 3:13 PM
Patagonia- Which is the best spot for 5-7 daysI've spent a lot of time reading through the posts and am still quite unsure of the best spot to visit. My husband and I will be flying from Sao Paulo to somewhere in Patagonia and have about 5-7 days at the end of March/early April.
Trying to decide between:
1. El Calafete/El Chaten
2. W Circuit
We love the outdoors, animals, and hiking, don't really see us carrying tents and camping though. Prefer to travel independent stay in mid-range places with private bathrooms, but if we could see more without the hassles/time wasting of trying to arrange public transportation we would consider a tour with tent camping/trekking.
Also will we have problems with accommodations since it is so close to Easter, will we need to book ahead?
Thanks for your help.
Jan 26, 2013 4:17 PM
giving your information & accomadation needs i would suggest el calayte & el chalten.....you could fly into el calafyte and spend 2 days there to see the PM glacier then after take the short bus trip to el chalten.....there are many great day hikes that can be started from the town meaning a warm bed and hot showers after a days hiking....2 great hikes i did were to Laguna Los Tres at the base of Mt Fitzroy and to Cerro Torres Glacier where you can do a ice trek
Jan 27, 2013 2:35 AM
Jan 27, 2013 5:58 AM
3personally i prefered the ice trek on Cerro Torres Glacier.....remote location with a sense of widerness about it and no other groups there when i did it. The ice trek on PM was good too but very crowded with tour groups.....worth doing i suppose to say you trekked on it but given a choice i would pick Cerro Torres Glacier
Jan 27, 2013 7:13 AM
4In El Chaltén, cannot recommend "Inlandsis" enough. Gorgeous little boutique hotel with homemade bread/cookies for breakfast and charming atmosphere. Lovely rooms too. Great for getting back to after a day fighting Patagonian winds in the park. If you're not really into camping then the W might not be for you. Sure, you can stay in refugios but in the time you have available PN Los Glaciares is best.
IF (big if!) you have a day of really nice weather, the walk up to Loma del Pliegue Tumbado in El Chaltén is a knockout, with sweeping views of Cerro Torre, Fitzroy, and lagoons and lakes aplenty. It's a vigorous full-day hike. I had my Christmas lunch up there in 2011 and it was unforgettable. As you can see here... http://www.travelblog.org/South-America/Argentina/Santa-Cruz/El-Chalten/blog-684335.html
Jan 27, 2013 9:26 AM
5I have been to Ushuaia and El Calafate/El Chalten. Ushuaia is very nice for boat tours and seafood, but El Calafate/El Chalten are definitely the best for being outdoors. There are plenty of well-reviewed mid-range accommodations in this area, just check a web site like Tripadvisor.
I was debating between Torres del Paine and El Chalten myself before I went, but the general recommendation I got on this forum and elsewhere was that El Chalten's scenery is even better. Our El Chalten day hikes were so spectacular that I'm returning again this year to camp.
The only issue with El Chalten is that the weather is notoriously unstable. It's advisable to stay there for at least 3 days/4 nights just in case.
Jan 27, 2013 9:31 AM
6"do you think it's better to do an ice trek on Cerro Torres rather than on Perito Moreno glacier?"
I only did the Perito Moreno ice trek. I totally agree with get_power that it was very touristy. We definitely did not feel isolated from the outside world. It was still a good experience, but I suspect Cerro Torre would be much better.
Jan 27, 2013 9:33 AM
Jan 27, 2013 5:06 PM
8With 5-7 days, I'd focus on Calafate and Chalten to maximize your time and money. Add a day trip tour to TDP from Calafate last minute if you can't spend it all on Chalten, where the trails are far more scenic than the W Circuit.
Jan 28, 2013 6:46 AM
9Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate the help! Look like El Calafate and El Chaten is the winner.
If I do a day trip to TDP, will I have to pay reciprocity fees just to cross the border for the day?
Jan 28, 2013 10:18 AM
10I didn't when I crossed the Chile border in 2008. Reciprocity fees typically only apply when you fly in on international flights.
Jan 28, 2013 10:32 AM
Jan 29, 2013 11:47 AM
12I preferred TDP to El Chalten (Although I think the view point of Fitz Roy is more impressive than the Torres), however I really really enjoyed hiking and camping, carrying my own gear etc.
Considering you don´t want to do that, I would recomend El Chalten. Food is awesome and inexpensive (considering you said mid range). Accomadation very reasonable. I loved El Chalten, it was beautiful town in itself even without the stunning hikes in the area. Was very unimpressed by El Calafate, and would try and spend only 1 night there, and 4 or 5 in El Chalten. Perito Moreno was amazing, we saw it from the boardwalks.
I wouldn´t recomend a day trip to TDP though. Just spend your time in El Calafate and El Chalten, see them properly.
Jan 29, 2013 12:02 PM
13Just to clarrify, contrary to most posts I found the overall scenery definately more impressive in Torres del Paine for the treks that I did (I did the W trek in TDP, Laguna de los Tres and Laguna Torres in El Chalten). BUT the view of Fitz Roy, was more impressive than the view of the Torres. I had near perfect weather in all places.
The reason I recomend El Chalten for you, is because you cannot cheaply enjoy Torres del Paine if you do not want to trek, carry your own gear and cook your own food. The refugios are overpriced for what you get and the food very very expensive. El Chalten on the otherhand is excelent value for the mid-range budget. Book early for the
Jan 30, 2013 5:18 AM
I have similar questions. I have 15 full days (starting/ending in B.A.) in the end of March. I plan to spend most time hiking, I don't mind carrying whole equipment for days with myself, will sleep in my own tent etc.
For sure I will do TDP W circuit. But - what else? First I thought about staying in El Chalten and doing some 1-2 day hikes there. But maybe TDP and El Chalten are too "similar"? Maybe to do something more different than TDP. Ushuaia? There seem to be daywalks and longer walks also, that sound quite cool, but as I am alone, I don't want to make too remote treks... Any other suggestions?
From this 15 days I hope to find ~2 days to visit Iguazu falls also, hopefully.
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