Chile itenerary finalized....

Old Aug 24th, 2002, 11:48 PM
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Chile itenerary finalized....

Although I didn't receive any feedback here, by flipping through an old Travel and Leisure magazine, I found the perfect place to stay in Patagonia and have finalized my planned trip to Chile in December. I'll be running the Costa Del Pacifico Marathon in Vina Del Mar, Chile, on December 01st.
November 28th - wanted to stick around for Thanksgiving for some carbo loading and time with family and friends.
November 29th - Depart LAX
November 30th - Arrive Santiago, Transfer to Vina Del Mar. Overnight two nights at the Cap Ducal.
December 01st - Vina Del Mar. Costa Del Pacifico Marathon. Just hoping to break 4:45:00, after having two lackluster 5 plus marathons.
December 02nd - Drag myself out of bed, Santiago - Punta Arenas. Transfer to Explora Lodge for four night stay at all-inclusive lodge in Torres Del Paine National Park. Includes all meals, drinks, activities (horseback riding, trekking, hiking, kayaking?, etc.) and 3.5 hour transfers to and from airport.
December 03rd - Explora Lodge
December 04th - Explora Lodge. Wife's 30th birthday.
December 05th - Explora Lodge
December 06th - Punta Arenas to Santiago. Three nights at Carrera Hotel.
December 07th - Carrera Hotel.
December 08th - Carrera Hotel.
December 09th - Santiago to LAX. HOME!
---Going to Santiago itself is not that expensive, but once you go on to Punta Arenas, it gets pretty expensive, especially at Explora lodge.
Explora is almost as expensive as the most expensive safari lodges in South Africa.
Anyway, a trip to Chile without Patagonia doesn't really seem like it would be a trip to Chile. Any suggestions on Santiago activities will be appreciated.
Old Aug 25th, 2002, 05:26 AM
M & J
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We are returning to Chile this fall and have reservations in Torres del Paine, but not at Explora. That's beyond our budget.
We enjoyed seeing these places in Santiago:
Musseo Chileno de Arte Precolombino
Mercado Central
Cerro Santa Lucia
Cerro San Cristobal (it smog is bad, forget going there)
You probably already know this--if you are a USA citizen, you must pay in cash money $61 or $62 per visa. Have the correct money, they do not give change.
Old Aug 25th, 2002, 06:46 AM
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My passport has the "visa" that I got the last time I was in Chile. It says it is good until the expiration date. We are going to Chile again. Will I have to pay the extra charge, or will my existing one still work? Trying to get an answer. Thanks.
Old Aug 25th, 2002, 09:33 AM
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M&J, Just curious...where are you staying in Torres Del Paine??? Explora is beyond MY budget too, but I have not found a comparable place. My feeling is that I have paid approximately $2,700 (USD) round trip for my wife and I just to get that far, to a place that I will likely not be able to revisit for a minimum of 5+ years, so I better find a very nice place for my wife for her 30th birthday. It does include a lot of activities and I find that one of the hardest things about being in a foreign land is completely filling my itenerary, you know, day to night, and finding quality places to eat and drink. I figure that once the meals, drinks, activities and especially airport transfers are thrown in, that it is not such a bad deal. Alone, that must be worth 1/3 the price of the daily rate.
I see Explora as similar to Singita private game reserve ( in South Africa, where I spent some time at in March. Outrageous prices but once you are there, you don't have a care in the world and are completely taken care of in every way by the lodge.
Still, I am open to other possibilities other than Explora and would appreciate any feedback on where you are staying in Torres Del Paine and any feedback on how you are handling your airport transfers and activities for the time you are there. I don't part easily with $700 per day, either! As my wife, will complain the first time that we have a second of down time and are not having a blast, "You just spent a mortgage payment for four nights here???!!!". Thanks.
Old Aug 25th, 2002, 10:54 AM
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You only live once, and you had better enjoy it. We are going back to Chile and I cannot wait!
Old Aug 25th, 2002, 01:15 PM
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I did a search and noticed that you have stayed at the Explora. Please give me some feedback on your stay. Was it worth every penny and do you intend to return to Explora on your next Patagonian holiday??? I want to book this NOW and not miss the opportunity of either a decent priced flight or the opportunity to stay at Explora. I read one post by somebody who had to settle for less because Explora was completely booked! Thanks for the feedback.
Old Aug 25th, 2002, 01:22 PM
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It must be someone else, as we have been to Patagonia, but not to that hotel. It is beautiful.
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