Trip to Argentina/Chile--September or January?

Old Jun 16th, 2007, 04:03 PM
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Trip to Argentina/Chile--September or January?

Would appreciate any advice about planning a trip to Argentina and/or Chile. We are in the very preliminary planning phase.

The only months that we can go are September (flying from U.S.) or January (flying from Guadalajara, Mexico.) I understand the wide variations in climate in both countries and (within reason) we are willing to consider planning the trip around the weather. We are quite adaptable.

We can spend about 3-4 weeks traveling in September, but somewhat less in January (2-3 weeks.) Would like to include some time in Buenos Aires and, if feasible, in Santiago.

Other than these cities, what would be the best areas to consider for travel in September or March? I do speak passable Spanish and, having lived off and on in Mexico, we are accustomed to Latin driving habits and are willing to rent cars and drive there. (We do not, however, want to spend all of our time on the road!) For most of the time, we prefer more rural areas to large cities. We like hiking (but not real strenuous) and nature. We love staying in small towns and on farms and ranches.

Any guidelines or suggestions on areas where the weather would be reasonable will be most appreciated.
jackiem95 is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2007, 06:59 PM
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well the NW is perfect for what you want. I suggest two days for the northern circuit( Tilcara- Humahuaca- Purmamarca- the SAlt Flats) and three night for the Calchaquies Valleys ( Cafayate - Cachi). Our wine country is really interesting and the scenery is great, sunny most of the year, dry and pleasant...
See the reviews about the NW, you eill never regret.
flintstones is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2007, 08:50 PM
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Chile and Argentina have a wide variety of scenery and weather because of its length.

If you are planning to visit Chile on September I would recommend you to go to Atacama Desert (but also can be visited year-round), if you are lucky you can also get to see the desert in blossom, very pretty. You can take a plane from Santiago to Calama (check Once you get there you have to head to San Pedro de Atacama- a little town towards the mountains- and visit the "Atacama Salt Lake", Tatio Geysers, Flamecos National Reserve, Moon Valley and much more.

Please check out the place and tell me if you like it! If not I'll suggest you some other place.

One additional tip: On September 18th - 19th we celebrate our National Day, and there are special food and dances. Perhaps will be interesting to you to visit Chile on that date!
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 04:17 PM
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My wife and I went to Chile/Argentina for two months a couple of years ago and it was great.

We started at Punta Arenas in the far south of Chile as I wanted to see the Penguin and it was cooler there at that time.

We had numerous stops on our way north traveling by tour, ferry, air and bus. We spent about 3 weeks in Chile, a week and a half in Mendoza and San Juan and 4 weeks in Buenos Aires.

As we did not want to go back to any strating point, I did not rent a vehicle. In Buenos Aires as in many other large cities, I prefer to NOT drive. Taxis are cheap [remis rather than taxi] and we walked a lot.

We had an agent in Argentina who arranged all of our internal travel, tours, hotels and guides. Argentina Escapes is the agency and Mercedes there did a great job for us.

I was a bit uncomfortable at first since the arrangements were may by e-mail from Canada and we were required to pre pay it all in advance. After checking out their credit we took the plunge and am not sorry.

In January you can expect cooler weather in the south and warmer in the north, closer to the equater.

Argentina alone is a very large country with lots to see and do. You would do well to write to Mercedes and tell her what you like and what you do not like and get her suggestions.

Have a great trip.

woodie is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2007, 10:22 AM
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Booked for January Santiago down E.coast to Antartica back up to Rio. (yes, aren't we lucky?) Looks like weather mostly hot/humid (ok for us) any other weather info or any suggestions for Puerto Mont&Punto Arenas;Buenos Aires,Rio. Any input great-still deciding on tours-music(tango)bbq,rodeos,penquins-
appreciate ANY replies re any kind of input on this trip
old georgia peach
howmyr is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2007, 06:37 PM
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If you want to go to Patagonia, then I strongly recommend January. Not only will the weather be better, but you'll also get to a see a ton of babies - penguins, guanaco, etc.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2007, 06:38 PM
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If you like hiking and rural areas, I highly recommend Torres del Paine.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2007, 12:58 PM
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hi old gorgia peach!
Although you'll have many opportunities to view penguins on your planned trip further south, if you have the time and inclination to visit Chiloé Island, we enjoyed tremendously our excursion to the penguin colonies at Bahía Puñihuil (ca. 28 km from Ancud), a beautiful & serene bay on the Pacific. Three local families of farmers and fishermen built the "Restaurant Bahía Puñihuil", where we enjoyed a hearty lunch. They provide gum boots and Wellington pants for the ride on their boats to the penguin islands.
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The penguin colonies on 3 small islands in front of the beach have been declared Natural Monument by the Chilean Government. Two species of penguins, the Humboldt and the Magellanic Penguins, nest there during reproduction. You're in luck, the reproduction period begins in Sept. and ends in March. We saw also pelicans, gulls, ducks, geese and cormorans.

In the Puerto Montt area, we visited an ECOfarm near the archaeological site of "Monte Verde", which supposedly pre-dates the earliest known Clovis culture site of Clovis, New Mexico. (The scientific community has some issues with the determination of the older date). We enjoyed their talk, lovely lunch of fresh veggies and grilled meats. There, we were also introduced to "mate", an acquired taste as far as I'm concerned..

I particularly enjoyed these two activities as they were totally off the beaten path and far from the crowds we encountered while crossing the Andes, our stays at Iguazú and Buenos Aires.
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