Help with itinerary and trekking

Nov 5th, 2019, 09:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 129
Help with itinerary and trekking

Hi there,
I will have 35 days in Argentina and Chile and am wondering if I have enough time to see the following:

Buenos Aires: with a trip to Iguazu and Montevideo
Trek and see the following: Torres Del Paine (the W trek), Perito Moreno, Los Glaciers National Park, Mt. Fitz Roy and Tierra del Fuego National Park.
Easter Island
Atacama Desert

How would you distribute your time in each place? Is there anything here that you would not include? Include? I am reading that Santiago is a little underwhelming so was thinking of just spending 2 days there. Thoughts? Has anyone trekked in Patagonia? Did you use a tour company or did you trek independently? What would you recommend? And of course, any suggestions with the itinerary would be appreciated.

Thanks, Cathy
lyntay is online now  
Nov 6th, 2019, 07:39 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,649
How much time in each place largely depends on your priorities. Based on my experiences, I would skip Santiago completely and probably Montevideo too. Maybe 4/5 nts in Buenos Aires. If you time your flights right, 2 nts in Iguazu would be sufficient to cover both the Argentine and Brazilian falls.

We stayed in Valparaiso for 4 nts but did do a side trip out for 1 day to do some horse trekking. 3 nts/ 2 full days is probably enough.

Most seem to spend 3/4 days in the Atacama (by which I presume you mean San Pedro de Atacama?)

An alternative you may wish to consider is the NW of Argentina around Salta, some great scenery and it makes a great road trip. Some info and photos on our blog @ easily reached from Iguazu and there are also direct buses through to San Pedro. There is also some stuff about our time in Valaparaiso in the Chile section.

I haven’t made it to those parts of Patagonia so can’t really comment on the trekking options, but have been looking at those places for a possible upcoming trip and I would be thinking of allowing 2- 3 weeks.
crellston is offline  
Nov 7th, 2019, 09:56 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,613
We spent 5 weeks in Chile and Argentina last winter, including some of the places you listed -Santiago, Valparaiso, Iguasu Falls, Buenos Aires and trekking in Patagonia. We also took a “cruise” around Cape Horn, from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas. Lastly, we were in Mendoza. This was only our second time in South America. It was a fairly upscale trip.

Santiago - nice city, not much there. Fine as a humping off spot, but I wouldn’t spend more than 2 days.

Valparaiso - small city know for its outdoor art (sort of graffiti, but much more than that). Built on hills so great views. Very good food. 1-1/2 days.

Mendoza - the trip over the Andes by luxury bus was good, the flight back was spectacukar, but Mendoza wasn’t all that interesting to someone who lived an hour from Napa and Sonoma. We did take a fun bike tour of some wineries.

Iguasu Falls - definitely worth the effort to get there and to travel between the Argentina and Brazil sides. We’ve since been to Niagara Falls and they are like a little trickle compared to Iguasu.

Buenos Aires - it May LOOK like Paris in parts, but that’s where the comparisons end. Nice city, great food, a few sights and museums worth visiting. We were there 4 days and 2 wound have been enough (we’ve since been in Paris, which confirmed my “take”)

Patagonia trek - we went with Mountain Travel Sobek, 14 days in all. The rest of our time in South America was built around the trek, which was the reason for the trip. It was everything we had hoped. We happened to have a terrific group of 10, with whom we just had an “all-hands” reunion. FWIW, we at first tried to plan the trek ourselves, but we never could figure out the logistics. It was worth what we paid to have someone else arrange transportation, food, accommodations and hiking/sightseeing. We stayed in a combination of hotels, inns and refugios (hostels).

Cruise around Cape Horn - not very exciting once you’ve trekked in Patagonia. At 68, we were on the young side. We met some nice people. I think this cruise is great for people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to glaciers, wildlife habitats etc.
sf7307 is online now  
Nov 11th, 2019, 04:37 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,339
Although it does up the cost, getting someone to handle the logistics of Patagonia is a good idea. It used to be fairly easy to do the booking for lodging and transport but the massive increase in the number of visitors has made it much more stressful. Visitors used to all be in Torres del Paine for the multi-day trekking but this has changed.. The rhythm and flow changed as many were no longer moving on every day thus freeing up space for those following. Agencies now block book a lot of the lodging - they always did that to an extent but nothing like now. Everything, including camping (free and paid) must now be booked in advance. I would look at reviews and gather suggestions for good agencies.It will save you hours on the computer and lots of stress.
Huentetu is offline  
Nov 12th, 2019, 10:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 129
Hi there,
Thank you for your feedback and suggestions. Like sf7307 we typically complete all our research and planning ourselves, but I am feeling overwhelmed at the idea that I may not be able to obtain lodging and such in the region. So, I think that I will take you up on your recommendation Huentetu and start looking at agencies. I've already looked at the one you used sf7307 but would like to look at more. So my next question will be if there are any recommendations.

Thank you,
lyntay is online now  
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