Itinerary help for Patagonia

Old Dec 22nd, 2022, 03:41 PM
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Itinerary help for Patagonia

Hi there,

I am planning a trip to Patagonia and would like some advice on route planning. My husband and I are planning on going to puerto Natales to hike the O Trek in Torres del Paine. We would also like to go to Ushuaia and then to el calafate. Is there an certain way you would order these places? Which place first, etc.? We have three weeks. Would you fly and/or bus it?

Thanks for any ideas.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2022, 08:45 PM
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I took the bus from El Calafate to Puerto Natales but the trip wasn't especially scenic. Seems you can fly from El Calafate to Ushuaia but not from Puerto Natales, so maybe Puerto Natales, then El Calafate and then Ushuaia. Are you flying to Puerto Natales from Santiago? Start here for that part of my trip: https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...more-glaciers/
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Old Dec 22nd, 2022, 09:04 PM
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Thanks thursdaysd I have actually already read your trip report. I loved this passage “If you’re planning a trip to Argentina the glaciers really are a must-see – just like the Iguassu Falls at the other end of the country. It’s hard to think of a bigger contrast than that between the arid steppes and majestic glaciers around El Calafate, and the hot, humid forests and roaring falls at Iguassu. But the power of water, liquid or frozen, is on full display at both.” One force of nature in two powerful ways!

I was thinking I could fly from Santiago to PN, but wasn’t sure if that was the way to go or from Santiago to Ushuaia (although I am assuming there are flights there - I haven’t looked into that yet). From there, I could make my way up. I’ll be flying back to Santiago when I’m done in the Patagonia region.

Do you have a trip report for Chile?

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Old Dec 23rd, 2022, 05:32 AM
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Do you have a trip report for Chile?
Glad you enjoyed my report! Did you follow the links at the top of the page? Or the whole thing for that trip is also here, without pix: Rio to Santiago via Patagonia There was definitely some Chile, including Torres del Paine, although I did not hike...

Order seems immaterial except Puerto Natales apparently only has flights to Santiago and Puerto Montt. Didn't have those when I was there, I took a boat (not a cruise ship, lol) from PN to PM.

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Old Dec 23rd, 2022, 09:09 AM
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Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas are best reached by flying from Santiago for international travelers. Argentina and Chile really don't like each other much. The border crossings can be a PITA.

I don't believe you can fly from PUQ to USH. There is a ferry that crosses from Punta Arenas to Porvenir, if you just wanted to say you went to Tierra del Fuego. Australis also runs 4-day cruises from PUQ to USH, which would be a good way to go if you can afford it.

Bus Sur runs international bus services from Punta Arenas to El Calafate and on to Ushuaia, as well as between the Chilean entry points and Tierra del Fuego. Book well in advance.



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Old Dec 24th, 2022, 10:02 AM
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I meant to say "the entry points and Torres del Paine".

Also if you are hiking the O you will (hopefully) see Glacier Grey at some point. Maybe it won't be necessary to visit Argentina?

Last edited by mlgb; Dec 24th, 2022 at 11:00 AM.
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Old Jan 28th, 2023, 03:53 PM
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We did Patagonia about 4 years ago during early December. We loosely based our itinerary on a National Geographic tour with more time in Torres del Paine.
All arrangements by our travel agent in Buenos Aires, Isabel of Buenos Aires Tours. We have used Isabel before and she is excellent. Our trip started in Buenos Aires and we then flew to Bariloche for 3 nights. Took the boat/bus across the Andes to Puerto Varas where we spent one night. Car to Puerto Montt then flight to Puerto Arenas, where we spent one night. Picked up by bus from our hotel in Torres Del Paine for a 5 hour transfer. Spent 4 nights in Torres del Paine. Car to border of Argentina where we went through immigration and customs than another car to EL Calafate where we spent 3 nights. Flight to Ushuaia for 3 nights (Eat at El Viejo Marino if you like seafood) than flight back to BA.
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 10:26 AM
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Hi there,
thanks for your ideas. Just a question about Ushuaia - is it worth going to if you are not hiking in that area? What did you do while there?

c
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 12:26 PM
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We went to the Tierra del Fuego National Park. For most tourists Ushuaia is a cruise ship stop or point of embarkation for Antarctica expeditions/cruises.
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Old Jan 31st, 2023, 01:03 AM
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We went to the TDF National Park as well and took a long bus ride and a Zodiac to visit an island with penguins.
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Old Jan 31st, 2023, 09:07 AM
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For penuins one can also visit a large colony of Magellenic Penguins by ferry from Punta Arenas to Isla Magdalena. There is a small colony of King Penguins near Porvenir which can be visited by day tour from several places. Or you can drive yourself but it's a pretty long day.

https://www.pinguinorey.com/planifica-tu-visita/

Last edited by mlgb; Jan 31st, 2023 at 09:18 AM.
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Old Feb 1st, 2023, 06:04 AM
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How did you like Tierra del Fuego? Did you see Torres del Paine as well. How does it compare?
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Old Feb 1st, 2023, 09:11 AM
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Torres del Paine is a 10. Tierra del Fuego/Ushuaia is a 4. Cruising the Beagle Channel was good though, a 9.
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Old Feb 5th, 2023, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mlgb
For penuins one can also visit a large colony of Magellenic Penguins by ferry from Punta Arenas to Isla Magdalena. There is a small colony of King Penguins near Porvenir which can be visited by day tour from several places. Or you can drive yourself but it's a pretty long day.

https://www.pinguinorey.com/planifica-tu-visita/
We did both of these and really liked both of them at the time. We went to South Georgia a few years later, and, having been there, the King Penguin colony in Porvenir isn't so impressive.

I *definitely* would not go Ushuaia unless you're on your way to Antarctica. TdP and El Calafate were way more impressive.
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Old Feb 5th, 2023, 02:24 PM
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The King Penguin colony on the Falklands is also more impressive but it's a lot easier to get to the small colony near Porvenir. Possibly that's the one that mjs went to.

I went to the Punta Tombo Magellenic penguin colony in Argentina which is also impressive but not near the other places the OP is asking about.

Last edited by mlgb; Feb 5th, 2023 at 02:27 PM.
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Old Feb 7th, 2023, 11:06 AM
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This is great info. I know I'll save Tierra del Fuego for another time now. Thank you
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