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Chile tourism: What plans to make and when, given the quake?

Chile tourism: What plans to make and when, given the quake?

Old Mar 6th, 2010, 09:24 AM
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Chile tourism: What plans to make and when, given the quake?

Maybe it's because of Isabel Allende, or who knows why, but I have wanted to visit Chile for a while. Not that I have made any concrete plans or anything. Now that the quake has occurred, any thoughts about when is a good time to visit? Should we wait a year or two for rebuilding? I know Valparaiso is a recommended destination -- is that still a good place to visit? Any other likely spots affected?

Apologies if this is a vague question, but I don't really know that much in this case.
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Old Mar 6th, 2010, 10:03 AM
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Most of the more affected areas were in places foreign tourists never go, except some of the wine valleys. They are more the places we go, small beach towns and country villages.
The north is not affected. Anywhere between Santiago and Arica to the north is fine now.
Anywhere to the south of Temuco right down to the tip of Chile is fine now.
Between Santiago and Temuco it is going to take a long time to recuperate. The highway will take at least a year to repair. More buses run every day, but the many detours make the trip time nearly double. If you fly to destinations in the south rather than use the roads, you can go now. The only airport closed is Concepción.
The Santiago airport is working at reduced capacity but with more flights every day.
The road between Santiago and Valparaíso is fine and buses are running normally.
Valparaíso sustained damage in the older parts, but is quite feasible right now.

Isabel Allende has donated US$500,000 toward relief efforts. Go out and buy another one of her books!Buy a bottle of Chilean wine to drink while you read it.
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Old Mar 6th, 2010, 05:27 PM
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Thanks, Huentetu. It sounds like if one has a trip in the next 6-12 months, that the effects will be relatively minimal. I bought some Chilean blueberries today!
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Old Mar 6th, 2010, 06:17 PM
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Good for you! Fruit, wine it all helps rebuild.
I was reading someone's blog today and they said, "I have to salute the Chileans: these people eat earthquakes for breakfast." I liked that.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 05:14 AM
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Hi Huentetu,

As a Malaysian in which I consider my own country is not good in disaster management and recovery at all, I more than salute the Chilean. Your government, the strict regulation on building for quake, the responsiveness and the readiness - your country is par with the Japanese and I don't think anyone in this world could beat your guys.

Talk about the Katrina, which I remembered very well since I was in US then.

I am very intended to help the Chilean tourism which I am on my way. I was tentatively planned to cruise down from Bariloche to Puento Varas on Apr 24, then go north to Santiago from there.
Knowing from your message that the road from Temuco to Santiago is not passable, so I wonder whether the road around the Puento Varas to Villarrica/Pucon is ok?
I am still intended to visit Puento Varas/Villarrica/Pucon if the accessibility is ok.
I will head back to Puento Montt then fly to Santiago since the land road from Temuco to Santiago is not passable.

Appreciate your reply.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 06:26 AM
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The road from Temuco is passable but with detours which make it a lot slower. In the first days after the quake it took nearly double, then it dropped to a about 50% longer. At the speed which things are moving, I think it will be a lot quicker next month. They are putting in temporary bridges already. Buses Cruz del Sur is doing the Osorno/Puerto Varas route north to Santiago as is Turbus.
All the roads in the lake district are in perfect condition and were not affected at all. The boat/bus crossing from Bariloche to Puerto Varas is fine, check if they have started the winter schedule of 2 days for the trip. The road from Bariloche to Puerto Varas is fine. These areas did not receive any damage.
Thank you for your kind words.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 06:27 AM
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Highway 5 is open, but with detours where bridges have collapsed. The government has requested that use is kept to the essential, but buses are running although the trip takes longer than usual.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 11:14 AM
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It's so helpful to hear of the progress being made, and the strength of the Chileans! I'm still planning my trip for July into August--just waiting for the LAN Miami/Lima special fare (I'm stopping off for a few days in Iquitos first) to extend to that time: it's up to "travel must be completed by June 30th" now, from "March 10th" as the ending date when I first started looking at it.

I'm planning a northern-oriented trip anyway, of course, but would like to have a day in Valparaiso. (Actually, I'd like to have more than a day, but just don't have the time. Sigh.)
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Old Mar 9th, 2010, 12:06 PM
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I am in San Pedro right now, and we have been in Chile since last week coming from Argentina.

I agree that most tourists do not go to the affected areas.

Patagonia, the lakes and the north are unaffected.

We went through the Santiago airport, and although it is mostly in tents, it is working.

Those we have talked to in the tourist industry have been hurt by cacellations, and hope for a return to normal soon. Our hotel here is only half full or less, and I feel bad for the hard working and friendly people of the Atacama.
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Old Mar 9th, 2010, 12:17 PM
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Hi, traveler318! May I ask where you are staying in San Pedro? I keep kinda going around in circles looking, reading reviews...I'd love your on-site opinion if you could.
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Old Mar 13th, 2010, 11:11 AM
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Thanks, Huentetu. We plan to visit in March/April -- Santiago, Lake District and Torres del Paine. I just purchased a book by Isabelle Allende to read on the plane, so was happy to hear about her contribution. We're looking forward to empanadas, congor eel and completos, but 'earthquake breakfast', not so much!
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 10:41 PM
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This article is interesting:
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/1..._chile_tourism

RPerry10, are you back yet?
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Old Apr 7th, 2010, 08:40 AM
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OMG the congrio around Punta Arenas..and the centolla!!
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Old Apr 14th, 2010, 11:55 AM
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"I agree that most tourists do not go to the affected areas"

That's true. My family and I went from Santiago and drove from the South, Concepcion, to all the areas affected by the tsunami/earthquake 2 weeks after.

The highway to the South, Ruta 5, is in very good condition, we didn't have problems, just had to watch for the breaks.

Yes, we Chilean "eart earthquakes for breakfast", this is the first earthquake I miss and my family tells me that is nothing experienced before.
BTW is still trembling, we hit at least 2 a day while there, so anybody who travels to Santiago, Vina and South, must be aware that trembles are strong as 5.0 still.
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Old Apr 14th, 2010, 02:37 PM
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Chilean blueberries are pretty dang good. They're not quite Michigan or Maine level quality but they are far better than the locally grown stuff in Texas or from neighboring states (Mississippi grows a lot), even when the local berries are in season. That free trade agreement has plenty of up-side.
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Old Apr 14th, 2010, 06:02 PM
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BigRuss, I got some dried blueberries the other day and some concentrate for juice. I tried the dried blueberries in a salad and they were excellent. Blueberries seem to be coming in here in a big way.
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