Chile/Argentina trip just two weeks away
November 28, 2016 at 12:09 am #1408
In two weeks, I’ll be going to Chile for an exploratory trip. I’d considered a Chile and/or Argentina trip for a number of years. The trip is not a logistically easy one. First, it’s a longer flight than all of Central America, the Caribbean, some of South America and much of Western Europe. Second, the sheer size of both countries makes it difficult to see much of the country in a short (one week trip).
I finally committed to going, and once having booked the tickets it took me quite a while to come up with a manageable travel plan for just one week’s worth of travel. I toyed around with multiple itineraries, such as staying anchored in or near Santiago, and splitting my time between Santiago and northwestern Argentina. The itinerary I eventually picked was something quite different, and allows for a lot of travel options: we’re going to southern Chile, which is the upper Patagonia/lakes region. We’ll actually bypass Santiago other than a brief layover in the airport, and then take a two hour connecting flight to Puerto Montt, the northern edge of Patagonia. From Puerto Montt we’ll be able to take a two day excursion into Argentina (Bariloche and San Martin de los Andes), then looping back into Chile, traveling through, and staying at a number of villages that adjoin the numerous lakes in that district.December 3, 2016 at 1:03 pm #1418
Just an update, as we’re only a few days away from leaving now. We’re settling up our final bills. The main expense in this trip has not been the flight, but the transportation arrangements. You could pick up an economy class ticket for about $1,000 when we booked; I believe business class might have been about $3,000 or $3,500. My friend and I both used miles: I was fortunate enough to get business class the entire way, and my friend is flying business down, economy back. The transportation was logistically very tricky. We could have rented a car, but this trip involved a lot of driving, and we wanted to cross borders, which wouldn’t have been possible in a rental car. There wasn’t much train service, and relying on a separate taxi in each town we visited to take us on to the next town didn’t sound too reliable either. We found a tour service and planned the whole trip, but it wasn’t cheap: a couple thousand dollars plus. We tried to plan it other ways and frankly couldn’t find anything better. However, with that price we have an English speaking guide, all costs are covered (his hotel, and his meals), so we don’t always feel obligated to have him eat with us and cover his meals as we’re traveling. It’s a bit of a luxury splurge. however, we did the self-drive in Uruguay and covered some very long distances, and it was pretty tiring and stressful at times. I think we both realized that while sometimes it’s fun driving in a new country, sometimes it’s better to just be able to sit back and sightsee while someone else takes over the driving.December 15, 2016 at 6:30 pm #1436
Hold tight (if there’s anyone out there)–trip reports to come!
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