Chile and Argentina in 2 weeks?

Old Aug 19th, 2018, 12:47 PM
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Chile and Argentina in 2 weeks?


Is it possible to see both Chile and Argentia in a 14 day visit? If you only had 14 days what would be the highlights that you would recommend? We are going in Jan 2019 and flying into Santiago.

Thanks for any advice. Obviously I am very early in the planning process and have very little idea how to get around and even how much time I need. I appreciate any advice to get me started.
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Old Aug 19th, 2018, 01:21 PM
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What are your interests? Hiking or museums? Art or wildlife? Have you browsed the trip reports here - they can give you some ideas. We had 15 days on the ground and visited Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, El Calafate, El Chalten - all in Argentina - and Torres del Paine - in Chile. So yes, you can definitely see places in both countries, but your time is fairly limited. It's a very large area and a bit more complicated to arrange logistics than, say, Europe. Do you have any "must-sees" on your list - for example, Iguazu Falls? Tell us more about you like to do.
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Old Aug 19th, 2018, 03:24 PM
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Yes, obviously some more information will help!
So, here goes....
We are seniors, aged 63 and 62 that enjoy nature, scenery, art, music and local culture. We are not hikers, but we do enjoy easy walks of say an hour or two - nothing too strenuous, but not sedentary either. Absolutely LOVE art galleries and museums. WE are also definitely interested in Iguazu Falls, but other than that I am not really sure about what sights there are to see. Easter Island looks cool, but it is too far away to be practical.

I don't mind flights or trains, but we do not have international driving licenses - just local ones. SO, i guess car rental is out.

I haven't looked at trip reports here, but it is a good idea. Going to have a look at some now.

Thank you!
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Old Aug 19th, 2018, 11:26 PM
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14 days is not a lot of time to explore two massive countries. Distances are vast and travel, whether by air or bus can take a lot longer than expected. Many flights will be routed through either Buenos Aires or Santiago so connection can add time and moveing from one area to another can take a whole day. In Argentina at leastyou can mitigate this by using overnight buses which can save both time and money. In first/ejecutivo Class the service and comfort are excellent.

It is possible to get a flavour of both by limiting yourself to say the north or the south of both countries. In the north of both countries I would consider maybe flying into Buenos Aires and out of Santiago. In between you could visit Iguazu, then fly to Salta for a road trip around the Northwest of Argentina before getting a bus to San Pedro de Atacama and then to Santiago with maybe a few days in Valparaiso and/or the wine regions. A tour NW Argentina is best done by rental car. You would need an international permit but these are easily obtained. Some detail of our time in Argentina can be found on our blog @
There is also a piece about Valparaiso, just click on the destination tab for Chile.

Alternatively, you could head south to Patagonia. We only really made it as far as San Martin de Los Andes and te Seven Lakes/ Bariloche and Peninsula Valdez in Argentina and Pucon in Chile. Further south is even more dramatic in terms of scenery.

Time year and weather is critical for many of these places so you do need to consider when you might be travelling.
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 09:20 AM
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I'm not sure Chile or Argentina even require an international driver's permit, but if they do, it's really easy to get - it's just a document that translates your home driver's license into various other languages and has your picture on it for matching up. It's not a driver's license per se; rather, it's used in conjunction with your home license.
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 12:28 PM
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I hope I don't have a double post here, as the first didn't seem to go through.

With two weeks I would focus on Chile. I might not even include Iguassu and Buenos Aires if you think you will be returning you can do that as a separate trip.

If you like museums and want to add another location, Lima is excellent for that. If you fly LATAM or Oneworld code share you may be able to get a layover there. I'd recommend Valparaiso which is easy to reach from Santiago and has a better climate in the austral summer (too hot in Santiago). Lots of great graffiti art, and two more Neruda houses (plus there is the one in Santiago)>

January is a good month for Torres del Paine although very popular. You can fly from Santiago (Sky Chile is their low cost airline) to Punta Arenas which also has few things worth checking into..such as Magdalena Island pengun colony, and/or a ferry across the Beagle Channel.
In Torres del Paine you can find several lodges which have all inclusive packages. Some sightseeing is done from the road on the south, or via catamaran or zodiac. I stayed a few nights at Las Torres, which has some AI programs if you don't rent a car. But, I'd look more closely at that possibility.

Since you don't hike much, I probably would not include the Argentina side of Patagonia on this trip to be honest, unless you want to substitute Perito Moreno for Glacier Grey. I wasn't overly impressed with a visit to the lake district, partly because there was a drought and in mid summer not much snow on the volcanoes. But definitely look at some of the trip reports tagged Chile.

Last edited by mlgb; Aug 20th, 2018 at 12:37 PM.
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