Replies: 4 - Last Post: Sep 30, 2013 11:37 AM Last Post By: eager2travel
Aug 1, 2013 5:53 PM
PatagoniaI would like to take a trip from late December - late January because I have some time off and I decided that South America is the place that makes sense for me and I want to sort of concentrate in Patagonia. I am fine forgoing Buenos Aires and Santiago because I know it will not be my last time in South America. I would rather take advantage of traveling there in the prime weather and do more of the National Parks, and I prefer smaller towns to capitals anyway. After some research, here are the stops I'd like to make in Chile:
Parque Nacional Villarica
Parque Nacional Laguna San Rafael
And in Argentina:
Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego
Paque Nacional Torres del Paine
Petrified Forest National Monument
Valley of the Giants Paleontology Park
First question is: is one month enough to see these sites?
Secondly, is there public transportation for these sites? Will I have to rent a car? There is extremely limited information on this on the web.
Aug 1, 2013 8:40 PM
1Have a look here - we spent nearly 4 months in Patagonia a year ago and did a huge amount of trekking. Click through entries around November 2011 - February 2012 and you will see lots of potential destinations in Chile and Argentina.
Reality check: you will not be able to do all of this in a month. Not even close. Transport in Patagonia takes time, even in high season. Renting a car is a good option to get to more distant trailheads, although it does not come particularly cheap in Chile or Argentina. Some places you mention, such as Laguna San Rafael, are difficult to get to under your own steam and are usually accessed via (expensive) cruises from Puerto Montt, for example.
I think you should reassess the situation and pick a few places. If you are into hiking there are countless wonderful tracks for you to walk.
Using some of the entries linked above as a guide, my favourite places included:
-PN Nahuel Huapi around Bariloche
-the Camino de Siete Lagos between Bariloche and San Martín de los Andes, and PN Lanín near Junín de los Andes
-El Bolsón - a beautiful place to go on some 2-3 day hikes, such as the Hielo Azul track
-PN Los Glaciares - one of the most awe-inspiring in all Patagonia
-PN Torres del Paine
-RN Cerro Castillo (in a month you probably won't have time to get there, as it requires travel on Chile's Carretera Austral, which is not really suitable for a quick visit)
-PPNN Villarrica and Huerquehue, near Pucón
You mention Chiloé, which I also highly recommend. Argentine Patagonia's Atlantic Coast is also very scenic and full of wildlife (Punta Tombo, Ría Deseado etc). I think your best option is to have a good look at a map and restrict yourself to a specific region: Chiloé plus Lakes District (Argentina/Chile) could be a good option. In the time you have available, your list is unfeasibly long by a factor of 2, 3 or even more! But as you say, you'll be going back!!
Good luck and happy travels!
Aug 2, 2013 4:47 PM
2I'm guessing you have Santa Cruz and Talca in there for vineyards, but you really don't have the time. Just drink the wine as you go! Temuco is just a transport hub for other places you want to visit. Perhaps bus to Panguipulli, from Santiago visit Huilo Huilo (there isn't much cheap lodging there), cross to San Martin de los Andes by bus/ferry, down to Bariloche and back out at Osorno/Puerto Montt, which puts you in place for Chiloe. From PM fly to Punta Arenas, or even Puerto Natales if you can find a seat on SKY, for getting to Torres del Paine. From there you can cross to Argentine Patagonia. Torres del Paine needs booking now if you want to stay in even the most basic accommodation inside the park. A lot to fit in but it depends how long you want to spend in each place.
Sep 12, 2013 4:51 AM
Sep 30, 2013 11:37 AM
My Patagonian dream was put on hold for various reasons. Sorry - I have no recommendation for you!
(3 star Hotel)
From US$90.00 per night