Torres del Paine-Chile or Argentina?

Jul 22nd, 2005, 04:39 PM
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Torres del Paine-Chile or Argentina?

Three friends and I are celebrating a big birthday with a trip to Torres del Paine in November 2006. I figure since I am making a once in a lifetime flight to the area, I really want to see Buenos Aires on the same trip. However, everyone seems to think that is crazy, I should go via Santiago. Frankly, Santiago doesn't interest me like BA does. I am wondering if I can fly into Buenos Aires and go to Torres del Paine from there and fly home from Santiago without bankrupting myself. I have been looking at staying at Explora, which seems to be fabulous. Is it worth the $$$$ or is there a more reasonably priced but still good (ie, great food and comfortable beds a must) alternative?
Thanks.
cmcfong is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 02:45 PM
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Visit: www.visit-chile.org for more options! check with the airline Aerolineas Argentinas, and you can do your trip as you are thinking, is not crazy or going bankrup just more planning.
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Jul 23rd, 2005, 04:52 PM
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Thanks, vivr.
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Jul 24th, 2005, 07:32 PM
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This is very do-able. A roundtrip flight between Buenos Aires and El Calafate can be fairly cheap - around $200 round trip. From El Calafate, you can catch a 4-5 hour bus to Puerto Natales, the gateway town to Torres del Paine. The bus trip is very cheap - no more than $20US or so.

The simplest itinerary would have you do a round trip between home and BA, and a roundtrip between BA and El Calafate, using a bus trip to get you to Puerto Natales. Alternatively, you can do a couple of one ways where you go: Home to BA to El Calafate bus to Puerto Natales bus to Punta Arenas fly home. (probably through Santiago.)

I'd probably go for the simpler itinerary. Punta Arenas has some interesting attractions - namely the penguin colonies, but then so does El Calafate - namely the Perito Moreno glaciar.

There are a few airlines that fly this route. I used Lan to get me from BA to El Calafate to Ushuaia then back to BA earlier this year, and everything went fine. I think I paid less than $300US for the three segments.
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Jul 25th, 2005, 03:43 AM
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Great info, lifelist. Thanks so much for posting. I am encouraged that I can do this dream trip the way I really want to without breaking the bank.
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Jul 25th, 2005, 12:21 PM
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Just to post a correction - I flew on Aerolineas Argentina, not Lan, for my internal domestic flights within Argentina.
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Jul 25th, 2005, 12:27 PM
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Thanks. Did you do a trip report, by any chance?
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Jul 26th, 2005, 11:32 PM
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I didn't do a report from my trip this year, but I did a similar trip the year before:

http://www.photo.net/travel/southamerica/patagonia/
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Jul 27th, 2005, 06:37 AM
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Wow. What a trip report. I started reading and just as I got to the part about Torres del Paine the photo net website went down. I will go back and finish it later. Thanks so much for posting the link. Makes me more certain than ever this is on my life list (as I approach sixty that list is getting much more carefully prioritized).
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