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12 days in Chile in July

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Jun 7th, 2014, 01:34 PM
  #1
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12 days in Chile in July

I am planning to be in Chile in July from about 18th to 31st. Not counting flight time this leaves about 12 days in Chile.

I still haven't booked my flight but plan to do so in a week, I will be departing from USA on 18th, and fly back to USA on 31st. I would like to get at least a rough plan of itinerary so that I can book hotels in cities that I plan to stay during my trip.

I guess about half of the time I will spend in central Chile. I been thinking of staying in Santiago (possibly 3 days), and later in Vina del Mar or Valparaiso (I am not sure how much should I stay in Valparaiso).... and after that I plan to go to La Serena and explore Elqui valley as one option, or go south - to Lake district and possibly Chiloe, as alternative option. Do you think I would have enough time to go to Lake district in 12 days time? Which would be better around that time?

I been also thinking of renting a car, instead of relaying on busses. How feasible is to drive around Santiago/Valparaiso area.. or to go to La Serena or south to Chiloe/Lake District? Are there pretty good roads around Santiago?

For day trips.. at least in Santiago/Valparaiso area.. I came up with a little list of places to see. One to Casa de Isla Negra (I would love to see all three houses of Pablo Neruda while in Chile). I also read recommendations to go by Pomaire. And I been also wanting to see Sewell (How does one go there? Is it only by a tour from Santiago?). I also plan to see few wineries. How are they in winter, which would be best to visit?

What other places can you recommend to see along the way? Especially if I will decide to drive.
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Jun 7th, 2014, 02:16 PM
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This is turning out to be a very wet year with flooding in the south and miserable weather in Santiago. I would definitely not go to the lake district unless you look at the weather report and see lots of sun, but it isn't likely. Go north. La Serena will probably be alright and the Elqui valley should be better.

Tours of Sewell have to be done through VTS and you can leave from Santiago. Weather may disrupt visits in winter.
http://www.vts.cl/tour/tour-sewell-p...e-la-humanidad

Traffic in Santiago is an expert's game and parking and a crazy one-way system in Valparaíso make it more than challenging. The metro or taxis is the way to go in Santiago. Valparaíso is mainly about walking.

There are tours which combine Pomaire and Isla Negra. In winter most places in Pomaire are open only on the weekends.

Vineyards can be visited all year. Many have very good restaurants attached.
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Jun 7th, 2014, 07:48 PM
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Thank you for the tour link. I will check this out.

How far north do you think I should go giving 12 days that I will have?
How many days could I spend in La Serena and Elqui valley?
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Jun 8th, 2014, 04:08 PM
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Maybe a day in La Serena and then head up to the Elqui valley for 3 days. You could go further north to San Pedro de Atacama but you really need to fly to Calama for that. The bus from Santiago to San Pedro takes 24 hours. If you can afford a flight, then I would maybe do those two places in the north.

If you are into skiing, it is going to be a great season with all the snow. There are resorts 1.5 hrs from Santiago. It might be worth going up for the day just to be right in the snowy Andes.
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Jun 10th, 2014, 10:46 AM
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"How many days could I spend in La Serena and Elqui valley?"

We saw both in one day with the help of Jeep Tours La Serena http://www.jeeptour-laserena.cl/eng_index.htm

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Jun 11th, 2014, 06:00 AM
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Why would you go to the Elqui valley for one day?! There is plenty to occupy 2-3 days and you get to enjoy some warmth and sun in winter.
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Jun 11th, 2014, 05:27 PM
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"Why would you go to the Elqui valley for one day?"

The cruise ship determined the schedule for us. Not my idea.

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Jun 11th, 2014, 06:33 PM
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Ah, right. Well, it is certainly better to stay longer, have some good pisco, gaze at the night sky through a telescope and just relax. There are nice places to stay.
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Jun 15th, 2014, 08:21 AM
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What about BioBio region? Is there anything worth while to see there?
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Jun 15th, 2014, 08:41 AM
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Not in the winter. Anything south of Santiago, from Rancagua south, is not going to be at its best. As I said, it is a very wet year. Winter has not even officially started and a lot of places have already had their full yearly quota of rain. There is good skiing in Chillan if you want to ski.
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