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BA, El Calafate, Torres del Paine, Punta Arenas

BA, El Calafate, Torres del Paine, Punta Arenas

Old Jan 29th, 2011, 06:51 AM
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BA, El Calafate, Torres del Paine, Punta Arenas

Hello, my wife and I are planning a trip to Patagonia. A big chunk of our time (and money) will be spent at Explora in Torres del Paine. We never got to take a honeymoon, so this is a late stand in.

We are trying to figure out the best way to spend to rest of our time in the area. Here is our tentative itinerary. Everything is flexible at this point, except the dates at Explora. Since explora is quite a splurge, we are trying to keep the rest of our accommodations reasonably priced and looking at hostels and guest houses primarily.

I'm really just curious about any suggestions or thoughts about our itinerary, but here are a few specific questions that have been coming up as we plan this.
1. Are we missing anything major?
2. Would we be just as happy flying into Santiago (it's a cheaper flight)? It seems more difficult and expensive to get to El Calafate from Santiago as well.
3. We will probably get to Punta Arenas from Torres Del Paine in the afternoon and only have that afternoon and night there. What would be the best use of our time for that time period?

*Friday March 11
Depart US

*Saturday 12
Arrive early morning in Buenas Aires enjoy the city, spend the night

*Sunday 13
Fly to El Calafate
?Check out El Galpon del Glaciar for tea and lamb dinner?

*Monday 14
El Calafate
Moreno Glacier

*Tuesday 15
?? El Chalten or another day in El Calafate area??

*Wednesday 16
Transfer in morning to Cerro Castillo (must be there by noon) for Explora Pickup

*Thursday 17 - Saturday 19
Explora

*Sunday 20
Check out of Explora
Drop off in Punta Arenas
See Penguins?

*Monday 21
Start trip home to US

*Tuesday 22
Arrive home around Noon

Any advice would be great! Thanks in advance.
json2001 is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2011, 10:28 AM
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To answer your questions.
1. Are we missing anything major, I don't know what you mean by major, Iguazu Falls is amazing, but you are not planning to go there.

2. You might want to look into flying in BA and home from Santiago, since you end up in Punta Arenas

3. Probably make arrangements to see the penguins.

Also, unless you are a huge hiker, El Chaltan is 3 hours each way from El Calafate, so I would just spend the extra night there.

We went around the same time of year, it's extremely windy, pack accordingly and have a great trip!
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Old Feb 8th, 2011, 12:50 PM
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owlwoman -- we'll be in the area around the same time too. Could u please expand on your pack accordingly. Thanks!
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Old Feb 14th, 2011, 09:57 AM
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Lots of layers and a good windproof outerjacket. Does that help?
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Old Feb 15th, 2011, 04:11 PM
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That's pretty much what I took...hopefully I will be warm enuff when we hit that part of our trio. In santago now and its perfect weather. Thanks for responding.
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 02:03 PM
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In Jan/Feb 2009 we flew into BA where we spent a couple days, flew to El Calafate, took the bus to Puerto Natales, then flew back to Santiago for a couple days before returning to US. We were surprised to enjoy Santiago MUCH more than Buenos Aires!

We rented a car for a day while in El Calafate and took a day trip to Mt. Fitzroy. It was an amazing drive - we saw very few other cars the entire trip. Loved the Esplendor Calafate Hotel and booked several day trips at a local travel agency in town. Saved considerable money by booking locally.

The glaciers and wide open spaces are amazing! We booked our flight from Puerto Natales to Santiago with Sky - significantly less expensive than anything we saw on the usual search engines.

I envy your time at Explora, I'm sure you will have a terrific time!

Clothes to layer, a fleece jacket and/or vest, and good hiking boots are a must. It was very windy when we were there as well.
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