Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Mexico & Central America
Reload this Page >

Seeking Feedback on 3 week trip to Chile/Argentina/Brazil

Seeking Feedback on 3 week trip to Chile/Argentina/Brazil

Old Apr 13th, 2007, 10:04 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 294
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Seeking Feedback on 3 week trip to Chile/Argentina/Brazil

I am planning this for next April. The weather seems to be fair in all of the places I want to go. I'm just trying to get an idea for how this sounds:

Saturday/Sunday: Fly to Punta Arenas, via Santiago, arrive at Explora Lodge in Torres Del Paine
Monday: TDP
Tuesday: TDP
Wednesday: TDP
Thursday: TDP
Friday: TDP
Saturday: TDP
Sunday: Fly to Santiago
Monday: Santiago
Tuesday: Fly to Buenos Aires
Wednesday: Buenos Aires
Thursday: Buenos Aires
Friday: Fly to Iguazu Falls
Saturday: Iguazu Falls
Sunday: Fly to Pantanal Area
Monday: Pantanal Area, Photo Safari on Transpantaneira Highway
Tuesday: Fly to Rio
Wednesday: Rio
Thursday: Rio
Friday: Rio
Saturday/Sunday: Fly back to LAX

Will it matter that I'll be at Iguazu Falls on a weekend (or does that just matter during the summer)? Anything else I should pay attention to on this? Anything you recommend? Travel agents you recommend that arrange these sort of trips?

Thanks in advance.

mistadobalina is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2007, 05:38 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am going on my first Brazil trip in August, which will concentrate on the Pantanal, so I don't have a lot of advice on itinerary construction. You seem to have a nice cross section in your plan.

I'll mention the agent I'm going with, which is heavily into nature, wildlife viewing and birdwatching--Focus Tours in New Mexico.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2007, 06:42 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 69
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It seems like a long time in Torres del Paine.
GMT2272 is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2007, 09:02 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 294
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think we're going to cut the days in Santiago for one more day in Buenos Aires, one more day in Iguazu, and one more day in the Pantanal. We've been to Santiago before - all these other places are new to us.

We are staying at the Explora in Torres Del Paine - that was the main impetus for the trip. We really enjoyed their program in Rapa Nui, which at the time was far more rudimentary than the Torres Del Paine setup. Explora either has 4 day or 8 day stays, and 8 days seemed best for all the hikes and excursions we want to do.

For Buenos Aires, I read some reviews saying the Sheraton is good - anything changed on that?

For Iguazu, I read the Sheraton there was good too, and definitely looks it. Anything better there?

For the Pantanal, it's tough to tell, but the Araras lodge looks good - anyone have experience with this one (or one they chose instead)?

And for Rio, we really don't know what part of the city to stay in. We'd like to keep cab rides to a minimum. Copacabana? Ipanema?
mistadobalina is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2007, 01:22 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,869
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Iguazu Grand Hot and Casino is wonderful: we got a 3 night package on www.luxurylink.com with a great 740 sq ft suite (seriously nice) for about $0.30 on the $1.00US - all transfers; a dinner with wine; internet; spa/massages, etc.
I would not stay at the Sheraton in Iguazu.
M
mikemo is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2007, 02:32 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,923
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've been to Explora in Torres del Paine and think you made the right decision on 8 days (which is really only six because of the travel to/from). We wished we had had more time. My advice is to take lots of Gortex. The weather can vary wildly and unpredictably from one minute to the next, especially in April.

Unfortunately, I think you might miss the penguins outside Punta Arenas if you go in April.
hills27 is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2007, 02:58 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 294
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
hills27,

We'll see the penguins 9 months later. We are going to book a Falklands/South Georgia/Antarctica cruise for January 2009.

Since we can't go for 3 weeks at a time, we decided to do Torres Del Paine as part of this trip I'm asking about.

Thanks for the input.
mistadobalina is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2007, 02:58 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, I'm trying to plan a trip for October 2007 to Explora Patagonia + Australis cruise. Are you working with a godd trael agent? I want one that does a lot of business with Explora Patagonia and Australis...see if I can score a free upgrade or something??. Thx
meghanc is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2007, 03:25 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,923
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mistadobalina, let me know if you want more details on what to pack.

Meghan, I would not waste the chits with your TA on upgrading at Explora. You're not in the room enough for it to be worth it - showering and sleeping, that's about it. Not that I even remember them having different quality rooms, but I may be wrong.
hills27 is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2007, 10:56 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I concur with the other poster; too long a stay in TDP. It only makes sense if you are a big time hicker/outdoors person. Otherwise, I would spend more time in Buenos Aires.
siberia_ba is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2007, 05:41 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,923
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have you been to TDP?
hills27 is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2007, 06:05 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 294
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No, I have not. But I have heard nothing but good things, and if it is ANYTHING like the Explora Lodge in Rapa Nui, I will have no regrets about staying a week. In Rapa Nui we had only 3 days for excursions, and we easily could have done 2-3 more. Torres Del Paine has double the # of excursions as Rapa Nui.

So now, after a bit of tweaking, the current best guess is:

Torres Del Paine (Explora) - 7 nights
Buenos Aires (Sheraton) - 3 nights
Iguazu (Sheraton) - 3 nights
Pantanal (Caiman Lodge) - 3 nights
Rio (???) - 3 nights

Any recommendations for places to stay in Rio (I read up this afternoon on a bunch of places, but all seem to have significant detractors)? Any suggestions on how to get from Iguazu to the Pantanal - do I have to go via Sao Paulo?
mistadobalina is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2007, 07:15 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,923
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry, should have directed my question at Siberia. I think you'll be thrilled with 7 nights.
hills27 is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2007, 10:42 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 704
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tell us about your current choices in Rio, what detractors do they have?
Dondiega is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2007, 02:54 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 294
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dondiega,

I have garnered input from here, other travel sites, Ipanema.com, and people who have been to Rio and lived in Rio, and...I'm perplexed.

Overall, no one seems to think that there is a "legit" 5-star hotel. Overall, the quality of hotels seems to be highest in Copacabana, but that is relatively the least safe at night (understanding that no place is safe). Barra seems to be the safest, but also the farthest away from the action (which I guess makes sense). Some of the best hotels (e.g. Caesar Park) seem to be regarded as dated and overpriced. So I looked at places like the Marina All-suites and Marina Park in Ipanema, the Caesar Park (despite its detractors), the Copacabana Palace (despite price and neighborhood), the Sheraton Rio (which seems a little too far west), and finally the Porto Bay Rio Internacional.

The Porto Bay seems to get universally high marks, has ocean views and balconies in all its rooms (a big plus), and it looks as though I can get a suite there for less than a room at the Caesar Park, Sheraon, or Copacabana Palace.

But I'm still reading up. I noticed you usually have some strong opinions on lodging in Rio, so I'd be interested to get your take.

Thanks.
mistadobalina is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2007, 05:04 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dear Mistadobalina,

I agree with some previoues posts: I think you're staying for too long in TDP. I would rather have few more days in Buenos Aires...

I think you'll be fine visiting Iguazu Falls in April, even during the weekend.

Enjoy your trip!
Lakukaracha is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2007, 05:39 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,923
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm really curious if any of you that think 7 nights (really 5 days because of the travel) in TDP is too much have ever been.
hills27 is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2007, 01:33 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 704
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think your choice of the Rio Internacional is a good choice, good price and a newer hotel, I have passed it many times, it looks good.

Caesar Park is a good hotel and great location. When I go to the beach many times I go to the beach in front of this hotel plus it is in walking distance to many restaurants in Ipanema.

I have never stayed there but I think the Marriott is very nice and on the corner of Ave Atlantica and Rua Santa Clara which is a very nice street in Copacabana.
Dondiega is offline  
Old May 11th, 2007, 02:28 PM
  #19  
Sai
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
mistadobalina

looks like you are covering a lot. Only comment I have is depending when you are arriving in Rio, 4 days maybe too much in RiO. 2 Days in Rio should be enough. Extra day in Pantanal or Ouero Preto would be better.
Sai is offline  
Old May 11th, 2007, 02:34 PM
  #20  
Sai
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
mistadobalina

one more thing - Sheraton in Iguazu is on the Argentinian side . You should see the falls from Brazilian side as well and there is an airport there as well. To fly to Campo Grande you may need to fly from the Brazilian side-Foz du Igaucu - check on this.

We stayed at the Tropical Das Cataratas on the Brazilian side and it is within the national park and you can walk to the falls from the hotel at 6:30 a.m-7:00 a.m and see lots of wild animals / birds before the crowds/buses arrive.


Sai is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:27 AM.