Extra time in Chile

Old Nov 9th, 2009, 03:54 PM
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Extra time in Chile

I'm planning to take OAT's Wilderness Beyond tour of Buenos Aires & Chile, but would like to spend some extra time in Chile to see more of the country. The tour begins in BA, then on to Calafate, Torres del Paine, Punta Arenas, then cruise thru the fjords, Terra del Fuego, and Ushuaia. Back to BA at the end. If I could take 5 or 6 extra days, what would be your suggestions for a good itinerary? I'd like to spend at least a couple days in Santiago/Valparaiso. Then? Would you recommend the Atacama desert area? Thanks for your suggestions!
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Old Nov 10th, 2009, 06:56 AM
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The wine country isn't far from Sanitago. Also look at flying south to Puerto varas in the Lake district. However, Santiago, Valparaiso and the surrounding wine country could easily fill those extra days.The Casablanca VBlley is between Santiago and Valpariaso with many wineries.
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Old Nov 10th, 2009, 09:16 AM
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Thanks for the suggestion. The wine country would be interesting to me, but the woman I'm traveling with doesn't drink wine, so I don't know how interesting it would be for her. Would you recommend Puerto Veaas over San Pedro de Atacama if we wanted to see a different area?
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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 01:12 PM
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I didn't go to the Atacama as it didn't interest me, but others have told me they enjoyed it.
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Old Nov 21st, 2009, 09:08 AM
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I have a tentative itinerary for our extra time in Chile:
This will be in early March.

Day 1 Arrive in Santiago from U.S. Tour Santiago
Day 2 Santiago, Daytrip to Valparaiso
Day 3 Morning flight to Calama (Sky Airlines) overland to San Pedro de Atacama
Day 4 San Pedro de Atacama
Day 5 San Pedro de Atacama/Calama
Day 6 Morning flight to Santiago (Sky Airlines), early afternoon flight to Buenos Aires (Air Canada or cheapest).
Day 7 Join our OAT tour of southern Chile/Argentina.

Does this itinerary sound reasonable? A couple questions. On the Sky Airlines website, it says tickets have to be purchased in Chile. Would we have to do this in person, through an agency, through a friend or? Has anyone used this airline? I know they are a lot cheaper than LAN, which also flies to Calama. Also, what is the best way to get from Calama to San Pedro de Atacama?

Thanks for any help! Kami
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Old Nov 24th, 2009, 12:18 PM
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Hello, given you will be in windy, wild Patagonia areas most of your trip, the hot and dry Atacama might be a good change of pace for you. Puerto Varas would be interesting if you want to check out volcanoes, hot springs, tasty seafood, and still more beautiful nature.
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Old Nov 24th, 2009, 12:49 PM
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Did I answer you somewhere else about the air tickets? This agency says you can buy them through them:
http://www.visitchile.cl/tarifasaereas2.htm
Your new itinerary looks good.
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 09:32 PM
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Thanks for the link, Huentetu. Unfortunately, it says on the website that their fares require a 4 night stay. However, I might contact them for further information.

Someone suggested trying to book a package tour to the Atacama area. Can anyone recommend a tour company or agent?
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Old Dec 1st, 2009, 09:50 AM
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Kami, my friend and I are also taking the OAT trip to Patagonia, Tierra Fuiego and Chilean Fjords! Our tour begins March 13. Like you, we are planning to fly first into Santiago, spend a week seeing Valparaiso, Vena del Mar, and the Atacama Desert. We have similar questions as yours. Looks like the Visit Chile tour company will be how we purchase RTtickets from Santiago to Atacama. Do you have any recommendations on buses or tours to Atacama or Valparaiso? or Hotels? Perhaps we should pool our info.

Ida
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 03:01 PM
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Yes, Ida, let's definitely do that!
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