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Argentina El Calafate to Chilean border - Punta arenas

Argentina El Calafate to Chilean border - Punta arenas

Old Jun 18th, 2013, 12:43 AM
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Argentina El Calafate to Chilean border - Punta arenas

My boyfriend and myself are travelling in Argentina at the end of the year. We fly into El Calafate on 26th December and flying out of Punta Arenas, Chile, on the 30th December.
What would be the best way to get to Punta Arenas and should we set aside 2 days/1 day/half a day for the travel?
Any help would be appreciated!
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 12:52 AM
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What time is your flight out of PA? This journey should take about 7-8 hours depending on border formalities and must be done during the day when the crossings are staffed.

Where is your place of origin? I know you didn't ask but 3 full days doesn't seem like a lot down here if you are coming from very far away!
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 01:08 AM
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Flying out of Punta Arenas about 2pm.

Is there a bus service from El Calafate? I'v tried looking for timetables, pricing, book online etc. but can't find anything.

We are coming from Australia. Spending about 4 weeks in South America. This is the first time I've become stuck on our trip planning!
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 02:26 AM
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If you're flying at 2p.m. then you would almost certainly need to travel the day before.

It appears you will need to connect through either Rio Gallegos or Puerto Natales - some people have said that going via Puerto Natales is the better option.

Maybe if you do your Internet searches in two parts it will give you more results/options as there doesn't seem to be a direct bus from EC-PA.
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 02:57 AM
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Just had a look. Seems going thru PN is easier, then another bus to PA. about 8-9 hours all up including border crossing. Will try and book seats closer to our trip, otherwise just get our accommodation to book for us when we arrive there. Any good recommendations on places to stay in El Calafate? thanks for your help!
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 03:32 AM
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If you are travelling in late December, you are going to need to get your lodging to book that bus for you from El Calafate to Puerto Natales and, hopefully, the connection to Punta Arenas. You need to travel the day before your flight. That is a very busy time of year in Patagonia, the beginning of really high season. Booking buses online in the area seldom works well and you won't be able to book a Chilean bus online. Most people don't just travel through, they visit Torres del Paine as well, so have more flexibility with their itinerary.
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 04:55 AM
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I am pretty sure this is where I stayed in EC, and I thought it was very nice. Probably not the cheapest but very luxurious for a hostel.

Marcopolo Suites Calafate
Av. Jorge Newbery 439, El Calafate, Argentina
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 07:03 AM
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Ideally your hotel will book your bus tickets, but if they can do it at all they will need a copy of your passport. When I was in El Calafate last year my hotel booked several tours and my ticket to/from El Chalten, but sent me to the bus station to book the ticket to Puerto Natales myself, and the agent definitely wanted to see my passport.

I was there in early November, and the bus left full, do not count on getting a seat a day or two ahead in December, although you might be able to book on a tour and just get off in Puerto Natales.

For the bus see: http://www.turismozaahj.co.cl/turism.../new-page.html - click on my name for my TR for more.
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Old Jul 18th, 2013, 03:31 PM
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There are daily buses from El Calafate to Punta Arenas via Puerto Natales.
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Old Jul 18th, 2013, 04:16 PM
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I stayed at Hostel & Suites del Glaciar Pioneros in December 2011 - clean, well organised, and about 10 minutes walk from the centre of town. Things may have changed since then, but there were only 2 ATMS in town and machines apt to run out of cash at the weekend. The same was true in a number of other places we stayed in.
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