Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > South America
Reload this Page >

Help needed with itinerary for Argentina and Chile

Help needed with itinerary for Argentina and Chile

May 3rd, 2017, 07:48 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 371
Help needed with itinerary for Argentina and Chile

My husband and I are traveling to Chile and Argentina in October. I now realize that with only 18 days, two countries was probably a mistake, but our international flights are booked so we have to make the best of it. We're in our sixties, usually travel to Europe, have been to Peru but this is our first trip to Chile and Argentina. We're interested in the culture, the art, the music, the scenery. Prefer fish to steak. I would appreciate comments and suggestions regarding our tentative plan, which is very sketchy at the moment:

Oct. 3 - arrive Buenos Aires,
Oct 3-6 -Hotel Madero (my husband is attending a conference here so no choice in this)
Oct 6-8 - fly to Iguazu, staying at the Sheraton - should we visit the Brazil side?
Oct 8-12 - back to BA, Sileo Hotel in Recoleta. Day trips to Tigre, Colonia, other suggestions?
Oct 12, fly to Santiago, take bus to Valparaiso
Oct 12-15 Hotel Ibis Valparaiso- is this too much time in Valparaiso?
Oct 15 - fly to Puerto Montt, travel to Puerto Varas (rent car or use local transport?)
Oct. 15-18 - Hotel Solace Puerto Varas, is day trip to Chiloe a good idea?
Oct 18 -fly back to Santiago
Oct 18-21 - Hotel Solace Santiago - walking tours, wine tours etc
Oct 21 -fly home to Toronto

All the hotels can be cancelled. The flight to Iguazu is booked, but I'm still debating the flights to Puerto Montt. An alternative would be to spend less time in Valparaiso and instead fly further south and visit Torres del Paine, but my feeling is that we don't have enough time and that time of year is probably not the best time for Patagonia. Or should we consider going north to La Serena, see the Atacama region? I have to be honest and say that I'm more comfortable in cities than in the great outdoors, although I do enjoy spending some time in beautiful natural environments.

Any thoughts from the experts before I pull the trigger on flights in Chile? Your opinions and recommendations (restaurants, tours, different hotels etc) would be most welcome.
baladeuse is offline  
May 3rd, 2017, 04:16 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,334
You should change the hotel in Valparaiso. It is on the "plan", the flat part of the city which serves the business community and cruisers overnighting before getting on a cruise. Look for somewhere up Cerro Alegre. There are lots of lodging choices and lots of restaurants. I think 2 nights is plenty. If you are planning to visit La Sebastiana, Pablo Neruda's Valparaiso home, then book lunch at the Oda Pacifico. Get them to call you a taxi to return to your lodging. It is confusing navigating the many hills and you don't want to wander into less safe areas.
http://www.odapacifico.cl

Puerto Montt is a possibility but Spring comes late around the lakes and weather might be wet and cold still. You don't have time for Torres del Paine. La Serena and the nearby Elqui valley are possibilities as is San Pedro de Atacama much further north. Read up about both and see what suits you.
Huentetu is offline  
May 4th, 2017, 07:16 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 358
We just returned two weeks ago from a similar trip. You may want to review my trip report -- see below.

http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...-and-chile.cfm

Consider Bariloche. Was the most beautiful. Don't know where you live but Brazil VISA, if required, is a hassle and expensive. I did get a VISA. We enjoyed Valparaiso but not overwhelmed. I would rather spend this time in Puerto Varas (not Puerto Montt) or, as I mentioned, Bariloche.

You will have a great trip.
Philip is offline  
May 4th, 2017, 07:26 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,435
Can't help with the Chile itinerary, but you should plan to visit the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls. You will need a separate Brazilian visa if you are from the US, but it is definitely worth it--also visit the Parque de Aves very close to the visitors center to the Brazilian Falls to see some marvelous birds.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
May 4th, 2017, 02:40 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 371
Thanks everyone for your helpful responses.

Huentetu, I selected the Ibis because it was on the flats and I thought the hilly part of the city would be more difficult to navigate. Do you have any recommendations for specific hotels in Cerro Alegre? We like to stay in areas where we feel comfortable wandering around and exploring on our own, but the area around the Ibis doesn't sound too attractive, I guess?

Philip, I read your report with great interest as your trip was very similar to what we're proposing. You provided lots of very useful info. Not sure we can make it to Bariloche though, as our flight from BA to Santiago is booked and we'd have to backtrack to include Bariloche.

Dwdvagamundo, I think we will get the Brazilian visa in Toronto, as I assume Canadians need them too. How much time should we allot to visiting the Brazilian side of the falls?
baladeuse is offline  
May 4th, 2017, 03:26 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,334
The Ibis is useful for catching a cruise but not the best place to stay. However, if you are worried about the hills you won't be able to explore as the best bits are up the hills. The excellent free walking tours will certainly include some hilly walking. Also, any lodging up on the hills will be formerly a home, so more B&B than hotel. No lifts/elevators due to that. I can only recommend one which I have personally used. It is a B&B and there are much fancier places, but it is good.
http://www.hostalmorgan.cl
Huentetu is offline  
May 5th, 2017, 06:16 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,435
Per Google, you Canadians will need visas. I would budget a full day because you will want to visit the Bird Park as well.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
May 6th, 2017, 06:23 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 371
Thanks, dwd, I'll definitely get the visa, I'd like to see the bird park too.

Taking Huentetu's comments about the weather into consideration, we're now thinking of flying to La Serena instead of Puerto Montt/Puerto Varas. We don't mind cold so much ( we're Canadian after all!) but if it's going to be wet and rainy in the south, going north is more appealing. I was really attracted to the Lake District, thinking it would be more interesting than the Atacama as we've experienced deserts in Morocco and Peru, but the north of Chile seems unique in its own way. Have to research that area more now. Any suggestions on accommodation, tours, day trips from La Serena?
baladeuse is offline  
May 6th, 2017, 07:17 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 371
Thanks dad, I'll get the visas, I'd like to see the bird park.

Taking into consideration Huentetu's comments on the weather, we're now leaning towards going north to La Serena instead of south to Puerto Varas. I don't mind cold so much (we're Canadian after all! ) but if it's going to be wet and rainy, going north seems more appealing. I was really attracted to the volcanic mountains and lakes around Puerto Varas as opposed to the desert landscape of the north, since we've experienced deserts in Morocco and Peru, but the north of Chile seems quite unique in its own way. I now have to do more research on the north. Any suggestions on accommodation, tours, day trips around La Serena?
baladeuse is offline  
May 6th, 2017, 07:19 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 371
Sorry for posting twice, my first post seemed to disappear!
baladeuse is offline  
May 6th, 2017, 07:51 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,334
If you consider going north, consider going further north than La Serena to San Pedro de Atacama. Nearest airport is Calama. I know the desert of Peru (not Morocco) and it is quite different. La Serena is on the coast and best in summer but the Elqui valley next to it is where you would want to be.
Huentetu is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
molocono
South America
10
Jul 23rd, 2015 10:37 AM
LOCS
South America
4
Jul 24th, 2014 09:15 AM
kostman
South America
8
May 26th, 2014 03:40 PM
anonforeverything
South America
10
Aug 28th, 2013 03:28 PM
ah0227
Mexico & Central America
7
Sep 7th, 2008 12:17 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:57 PM.