2 weeks in Chile

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Oct 20th, 2017, 04:38 AM
  #1
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2 weeks in Chile

Hi everyone, I'm flying to Chile next week for approx. 2 weeks . I have made some bookings and looking for your feedback on what to do in these places(must do , must see ) so I don’t miss anything important . I have 3 days after I land early morning in Punta arenas – should I stay there for a day before heading to P. Natales? And can you recommend day trip/ hiking trips in P.natales ?I have booked my flights except the last domestic flight from P Montt to Santiago . As for my interests – History , nature, hiking , landscape ( that’s why I chose Chile) Please critique and advise , thank you.

PS: I haven't booked the navimag ferry – would appreciate some feedback on that journey .

Day 1 Santiago
Day2 Santiago
Day 3 Valparaiso day trip
Day 4 Possibly another day trip-Suggestions?
Day 5 Fly to Calama -San pedro
Day 6 San Pedro
Day 7 San Pedro
Day 8 San pedro -Fly to PUQ at night
Day 9 PUQ
Day 10 Natales
Day 11 Natales
Day 12 Navimag Ferry
Day 13 Navimag Ferry
Day 14 Navimag Ferry
Day 15 Arrive in Puerto Montt(8 AM)
Day 16 Purto Monttt
Day 17 Santiago-fly back at night
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Oct 20th, 2017, 07:21 AM
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Re your itinerary, I responded to your other post but didn't realize your time was so short. I would head out to Puerto Natales immediately. There are a few tourist sights in PA but I think PN is more scenic and ideally you might be able to get to TdP the same day. Have you booked any hotels insid the park? How are you getting around? One of the better ways to get a taste of TdP without a car is to take a full day "seat in van" tours from PN to TdP, they will take you along the south side of one of the lakes and possibly a short walk out to the Glacier Gray Mirador if the weather is good. I didn't think the stop at the Milodon cave was worth the time, but they all seem to include it. You can try to wait and book when you arrive, or book ahead of time (I had to take a Spanish-language one).

Another day trip from PNatales is the cutter 21 de Mayo down the Fiords. You will want to contact them to see in advance if they run on your schedule, since you are not in season.

You haven't mentioned if you have booked any lodgings but even out of season I would try to do it now.

In PA I stayed at La Casa Escondida (they are on booking.com now) Highly recommended.

In PN I stayed at Lady Florence Dixie, which was all I could find and had to make a phone call. It's also on booking.com No English was spoken at the time but they were very helpful. Back when I went in 2009 booking.com was not widely used.

If you were going to try to DIY in TdP I would recommend doing the catamaran cruise to Paine Grande..you'll have an nice view of the Cuernos. Or if you have more cash to burn, stay at Las Torres and look at their excursions that you can book a la carte.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 10:45 AM
  #3
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@ mlgb thank you very much for the detailed reply .

So I'll keep 3 nights in PN then and take day trips from there , planning to book -'we are patagonia backpackers' there .
Any feed back on navimag? And other places like P montt -where the ferry trip ends , I will have full 2 days there if ferry reaches there on time , what would u do in P montt for 2 days?

thanks again!
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Oct 20th, 2017, 06:34 PM
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You don't want three nights in PN, it is very small and there is nothing to do aside from the day trip to TdP. I booked that through my hotel the day I arrived, and was fortunate to have excellent weather with great views.

I took the Navimag in 2012. If the weather is bad it may not sail. Get out of PM and go to Puerto Varas instead.

For that section of my SA trip start here (links at the top of the page):

https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...owers-of-blue/
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Oct 20th, 2017, 06:42 PM
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I haven't done the Navimag...I have read that you often don't see much from the ship.

I did a cruise last year that was cheaper than the Navimag..all the way from Valparaiso to Buenos Aires and including the Beagle Channel and Falklands.

We did stop in Puerto Montt and went on a bird watching excursion to the Alerce Andino National Park and also a stop in the town of LLanquihue.

The company we used for birdwatching is Birds Chile, I recommend them. They do some other types of tours also in Chiloe. Their store is in Puerto Varas. They will come get you at the port if you need that.

http://birdschile.com/about-birds-chile/nature-store/

I think you'll find a variety of tour offices in town when you disembark.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 06:51 PM
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I would try to do at least one night inside TdP if you can. It takes a while to get to TdP from PN so doing day trips will burn a lot of time. I am not sure you can do the catamaran as a day trip, for example.

In addition to the day trip (van tour) that I think thursday took, there is also the cutter that goes from Puerto Natales to Bernardo OHiggins (I used 21 de Mayo). So there are at least two things to do from PN.

BTW if you are fit (not sure your age etc) you can hike out and back to the Towers from the Las Torres hotel or the Las Torres Refugios. I did it in December I think. I was approximatley 55 then, I think. That time of year there was more daylight, and I fortunately had very good conditions. If you stay at Las Torres they have a shuttle that goes out to the main road where you could catch the park bus that takes you to the catamaran stop. If you can rent a car in Puerto Natales that might give you more flexibility.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 07:40 PM
  #7
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thank you both for replying .

If I don't take the navimag then I have 8 full days between P Natales and P montt area , I can do 4 days in each , I am not too keen on doing a full 4 day trek as they are too expensive and exhausting.

I found refugio laguna amarga in TdP on booking.com- its costing $100 /night for a dorm bed . This place seems to be near las torres . By catamaran you meant he boat ? would you do that as a day trip?
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 04:23 AM
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You do not need to do a full four day trek in TdP. Many of the hikes can be done as day trips, albeit long ones. The hike to the Torres, if you are able, is fantastic. We did it with our ten year old daughter a few years back. I too would try and stay in the park and not waste the time shuttling back and forth between PN.

I am confused by your itinerary here:
"Day 8 San pedro -Fly to PUQ at night
Day 9 PUQ
Day 10 Natales
Day 11 Natales
Day 12 Navimag Ferry"

This shows day 10 arrival in PN-do you mean into Arenas and then heading to PN? That only leaves you one day for TdP-day 11 as it is a full day excursion. Not too sure what time the Navimag leaves on Day 12 but it doesn't leave you much time down there. Nerving is great for those who are backpacking and have weeks or months to complete their journey around. I would take out the Navimag and have my itinerary look like this instead:
Before:
Day 9 PUQ
Day 10 Natales
Day 11 Natales
Day 12 Navimag Ferry
Day 13 Navimag Ferry
Day 14 Navimag Ferry
Day 15 Arrive in Puerto Montt(8 AM)
Day 16 Purto Monttt
Day 17 Santiago-fly back at night

After:
Day 9-PUQ-to Arenas to TdP
Day 10-TdP
Day 11-TdP
Day 12-TdP-PN
Day 13-PN to Arenas
Day 14-Arenas to PUQ to Montt
Day 15-Puerto Montt
Day 16-Puerto Montt
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 08:18 AM
  #9
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Hi @odie1 , thats what I am doing now , gosh I have so little time left .

Everyone I asked said Navimag is good but there are a lot of 'ifs' with weather , timing /arrival/departure etc . So I'm taking that out . As for my itinerary -it looks exactly like what you've suggested( not finalized what I'm doing in tdp ). for Day 8 I will fly out of Calama (late night ) and fly into PUQ (early morning ) - planning to rent an economy car from the airport -good idea?

Do you know anything about refugio laguna amarga? is it in the park ? will it be a good base point?
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 08:31 AM
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The catamaran leaves from Pudeto and goes to Paine Grande (Vertica Patagonia).

Will you be renting a car? If not how would you get from that Refugio laguna amarga to the main parts of the park? (I don't know anything about this lodging).

It sounds like you are on a budget? Have you tried Refugio Torre Central? It is in the east sector of the park and there is a shuttle van out to out to the main road (where you can catch the park bus to the Pudeto landing). The bed can be booked online via their website. They used to allow you to use their own bus shuttle from the park entry to the lodge..check with them about this first.

You do not have to do the full W circuit. Are you unable to do any long hikes? As I said from Las Torres it is possible to do a full day hike up to see the Towers. There are a numer of shorter walks but for those the main issue is getting to the trail heads if you don't have your own ransportation.When I stayed at the Las Torres Refugio,they allowed me to book on their excursion to Glacier Grey on a space available basis (think they call it Full Paine).

If you are going to have more time around Punta Arenas, it's possible to take a crossing of the Beagle Channel to Tierra Del Fuego.

One of the tour companies is Far South Expeditions (they are connected with Fantastico Sur). You can contact them directly but they tend to be expensive if you are not a group.
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 08:36 AM
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BTW here is my trip report (it was a while ago, so I know much has changed). As you can see I spent quite a bit of time IN the park, not just taking the day trip from Puerto Natales. I think odie did also.. maybe they had a car rental? I think I would do that if you can swing it.

http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...-del-paine.cfm
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 08:43 AM
  #12
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I check google mapss , if I got this right , these places are 8 kms apart which isn't bad if I have a car .

https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/Fant%...50.9737911!3e0

I am on a budget , torre central is $200 USD per night and amarga is half of that . If I stay in P A for first day - u recommend I go to Tierra Del Fuego? I am able to do long hikes, 6-7 hours would be long for me , thats the max I've done but I think I can do more if I take rest in between .
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 08:47 AM
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Day 1 Santiago
Day 2 Day2 Santiago
Day 3 Day 3 Valparaiso day trip
Day 4 Day 4 Possibly another day trip-Suggestions?
Day 5 Fly to Calama -San pedro
Day 6 San Pedro
Day 7 San Pedro
Day 8 San pedro -Fly to PUQ at night
Day 9 PUQ-rent a car from the airport
Day 10 Natales/tdp
Day 11 Natales/tdp
Day 12 Natales/tdp
Day 13 Natales/tdp
Day 14 Morning flight to P Montt -
Day 15 P Montt
Day 16 P Montt- night flight to Santiago
Day 17 Santiago -- have to spend another day here because its expensive to fly in on this day
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 08:52 AM
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Forget P. Montt. Stay in P. Varas.
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 08:54 AM
  #15
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but I have to fly into PMC ? (booking my flight now) 3/2.5 days should be good?
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 09:41 AM
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Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas are not very far apart. Like half an hour by bus.

Torre Central depending on your date..I picked a random date for Torre Central (Nov 2) and it showed $120 a night for the bed only the $200/nt price is full board.
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 09:49 AM
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Re Punta Arenas you can check also re the excursion to see the Penguins at Magdalena Island. You will have to hope the weather doesn't cancel it. Might say the same for the ferry to Portovenir. If this is your only chance to see penguins I would pick that first.

Either one should give you a taste of what you are missing on the Navimag.

Do you have a tour book/travel guide?

I am not sure but I found this with google

http://www.tabsa.cl/portal/index.php...venir-crossing

I also really liked the excursion from Puerto Natales on Turismo 21 de Mayo.

If you do arrive into Punta Arenas with a few days I'd again recommend Casa Escondida which were very helpful with planning my trip.

http://lacasaescondida.cl/home.html
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 09:55 AM
  #18
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perfect thank you. Just booked my last 2 flights , I had booked a hostel in Natales on bookings.com and now I cant cancel it for free, its charging me full , disaster!! I might have to stay in natales , I have requested them to waive fee , lets see if they will help .
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 09:58 AM
  #19
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Since I'm getting a car , you recommend I stay first day in P Arenas ( penguin tour) then Natales for a day and then to T DP for 3 nights?
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 10:02 AM
  #20
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and you're right I was checking full board
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