Chile 20 days some questions

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Feb 4th, 2018, 02:08 PM
  #1
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 66
Chile 20 days some questions

Planning a 20 day Dec 2018 Chile trip - decided to leave Patagonia for another time to be less rushed and avoid chance of inclement weather.
First draft:
Atacama-San Pedro - we arrive in am in Santiago and will head to the desert same day - will be there for Dec 8th holiday so should avoid any closures.
Atacama-San Pedro
Atacama-San Pedro fly to:
Temuco -rent a car - drive to Pucon -
Pucon
Pucon
Pto Varas -self drive through Lakes area
Pto Varas
Pto Varas
Castro
Castro
fly to Santiago Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Valparaiso or Vina del Mar
Valparaiso
Santiago

Questions: we plan to drive through the Lakes region north to south and to Chiloe (saw the 7 Lakes trip to Bariloche but I do not think we have time -2 days there and back)
Is Valdivia worth a stop - or an overnight?
2 days in Castro enough to get a good oversee of Chiloe's sights?
Plan is to fly back to Santiago (from PM) and pick up a car -
We would like to drive a route from there to the Central valley through the wine region and stay 4 nights before heading to the coast.
-4 nights(Santa Cruz) may be la bit long -is there another area in the wine region that would be interesting to stay.
-drive to the coast and spend 2 nights in Valapaiso or Vina --but it sounds like having a car in Valparaiso is not so convenient. Would staying in Vina be a better option (or another area nearby) and daytrip by transit to Valparaiso ? Is there any advantage to a clockwise vs counter clockwise trip : Santiago-coast-wine region-Santiago
Last night would be Santiago - we could do a 1/2 day tour there.
Suggestions welcomed - and any good hotel recommendation from your experiences.
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Feb 5th, 2018, 11:24 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Atacama-San Pedro - we arrive in am in Santiago and will head to the desert same day - will be there for Dec 8th holiday so should avoid any closures.
8 December is a religious holiday so much stays open. You need a flight to Calama for San Pedro. Latam, Sky and now Jetsmart fly there. With Jetsmart you pay for all extras (checked baggage)..
Atacama-San Pedro
One full day isn't much in San Pedro.
Atacama-San Pedro fly to:
Temuco -rent a car - drive to Pucon
You may have to look at this day carefully. There will be no flights from Calama to Temuco. You would change flight in Santiago. You need 1.5-2 hrs to drive Temuco to Pucon.-
Pucon
Pucon
Pto Varas -self drive through Lakes area
Price a one way drop off if you are renting in Temuco and dropping off in PV or PM. it can be very expensive.
Pto Varas
Pto Varas
Castro
Castro
fly to Santiago
You leave from the airport at Puerto Montt.
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
The countryside around Santa Cruz is lovely but 4 days may be too much. You can drive to the coast at Pichilemu from Santa Cruz and loop back to Santiago. You can get to Valparaiso from there but it is quite long and then you have the car to deal with in Valparaiso.
V
alparaiso or Vina del Mar
Valparaiso
Lodging with parking is easier to find in Viņa del Mar but Valparaiso is nicer to stay in. Consider putting Valparaiso at the beginning of your visit. You can get to it easily by bus. They leave every 15-20 mins during the day.
Santiago
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Feb 5th, 2018, 12:18 PM
  #3
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Thanks for the info. I discovered shortly after posting that there are no flights to Temuco so thought maybe flying (after 3 days in San Pedro Atacama) to PM and drive directly to Castro (2days) then 3 days in PV and 3 days in Pucon -and drop car. -So do the South of the Lakes area first. I am reconsidering Valparaiso timing -maybe this is better at the beginning or very end of the trip (this will be close to Christmas so may be very busy??). Thanks for the info on driving from wine region-it was a bit hard to determine the routing from there to Valparaiso but it seems that it is better to loop back to Santiago.-very helpful info.
In general, are all one way rental car drop off fees high in Chile? (I realize distance is a factor)
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Feb 6th, 2018, 03:07 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Your itinerary will work much better if you put Valparaiso at the beginning

You can fly Calama to Santiago and then Santiago to Temuco if you find flights which suit. There are no direct flights.

All one way drop offs are expensive in Chie because distances are large and many rental companies are regional. Between Temuco and Puerto Montt it is worth pricing as it isn't a huge difference (5-6 hour drive).

​​​​​​​If you do decide to cross to Argentina then the rental company needs to draw up some papers and it has a cost. I don't think it is the best use of your time as it will take most of a day to go each way.
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