Santiago to Lake Region Trip Plan

Old Mar 12th, 2007, 01:24 PM
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Santiago to Lake Region Trip Plan

Our 15 day trip plan to Chile next April is: 2 days in Santiago, 1 day in Vina del Mar, 1 or 2 days in Central Valley, 1 day in Termas de Chillan, 3 days in Pucon, 3 days in Puerto Varas, Cruce de Lagos with 1 day in Peulla and 3 days in Bariloche. How does it look like? Any sugestions for the Central Valley (Santa Cruz?). We will be travelling in a rental car with 3 adults and a child and we plan to stay in cabañas with no reservations. Any problem with that in this time of the year? Any sugestions of Cabañas?
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Old Mar 12th, 2007, 02:40 PM
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Quite frankly, we thought Puerto Varas/Montt shabby and boring.
Might spend more time in Bariloche in warmer weather (we were there early Nov).
The Hacienda Los Lingues is a treasure.
Hot Sta. Cruz has a great restaurant, but didn't stay there.
I would spend more time in Santiago - loved Hot Orly in Providencia and all the local restaurants.
Don't miss El Mercado and the seafood restaurants inside.
Sorry, all my notes and recs are gone to BsAs with a friend.
Click my name for recs.
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Old Mar 13th, 2007, 05:04 AM
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If you are heading for the Termas de Chillan, I don't think you need stop for a night before that. However, if you think you might need a break earlier, the Casa Chueca near Talca is inexpensive and child friendly. You will see places advertised next to the highway as well. They are accessed by slip roads since the new highway was built. The highway is excellent but has tolls. The speed limit on it is 120kph.
For Pucon, there are several nice places with cabins. We stay in the Quiño-lafquen cabins as they have a large garden and pool (not much use in April) and the owners are very nice. It is out the far end of Pucon, about 6 blocks from town, on the road which runs to Argentina. They can arrange atrip to a hot springs in the area, which is great fun for adults and kids. The Termas de Huife is very nice and has different eating optionsand walks.
Are you opting for the overnight in Peulla because the trip is on winter schedule? Otherwise I would not spend the night. It is an expensive stop and you would be better off adding that night somewhere else in Chile or Argentina. Perhaps in the Termas de Chillan. Puerto Varas is a nice small town, unlike Puerto Montt, which is a large port. You will find accomodation in town or along the road to Ensenada. Town might be better if you have an early start on the lake crossing trip. Three days in Puerto Varas is probably too much unless you are doing excursions to Frutilar, Puerto Octay or the Reserva Nacional Llanquihue.
As for reservations, as long as you are travelling after Easter week, you should not have a major problem. If travelling at a weekend it might be slightly more difficult. I would book Termas de Chillan as it is off the highway, as is Santa Cruz, and it would be disappointing to drive up there and find no room because of a conference etc. You can always book Pucon and Puerto Varas and phone ahead if you change your mind.The Casa Chueca is very popular and might need booking, especially at a weekend.
Have a look at some maps to give you an idea of where things are. Go to www.turistel.cl, click on the tab marked Mapas Ruteras. From the list on the left, choose the segment you want to use.
http://sitios.cl/servicios/distancias.htm
www.quinolafquen.cl/indexenglish.htm
http://www.trekkingchile.com/Casachueca/indexEN.html
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Old Mar 13th, 2007, 07:41 AM
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Thank you very much for your sugestions. The reason we are going to stop in Peulla is because we will be travelling with our 1 yo daughter. Another question: we will rent a car in Santiago and leave it in Puerto Varas. To search a rental car when we arrive may be cheaper or not?
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Old Mar 13th, 2007, 08:01 AM
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I really don't know much about rental cars. In order to drop off in a place other than your starting point I would think you would have to go with a company which has several offices and a fairly large fleet of cars. I think drop off fees in Chile are expensive because of this. An alternative might be to do the first part of the trip by bus. Chilean buses are extremely comfortable.Renting a car in somewhere in the south with drop off in another place in the south might be more economical. All the big companies have booths at the airport in Santiago.
There are two places to stay at Peulla, the old hotel and a new one, the Natura. Both are on the Cruce de Lagos website.
In Bariloche, the options for cabins are out Av Bustillo along the lake shore. There is a local bus or you can get a remise, a radio taxi.In town there are many hotels and guesthouses.


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