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Renting a car in Patagonia

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Jun 15th, 2017, 05:26 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Dec 2014
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Renting a car in Patagonia

Hi all,

I am planning a trip to Patagonia this November and will be doing the W Trek. We plan to leave our luggage in Puerto Natales so will return there once we are finished hiking. From there we plan to go to El Calafate to visit the Perito Moreno, then head on to El Chalten and then up to Bariloche.

It looks as though we need to get a bus from PN in Chile, to El Calafate, then another bus to El Chalten, a bus back to El Calafate and a flight to Bariloche. This seems fine except because we don't have a lot of time (16 or so days in Patagonia, including travel and hiking), it would be more desirable not to be governed by timetables. Hiring a car would mean we could drive from El Calafate to El Chalten and back to get the plane, and would mean we could stay just one night in El Calafate then head off in the car that evening to El Chalten and leave whenever we needed to in order to arrive at our flight. I think it might take too long to drive up to Bariloche.

My questions are how easy/safe is it to drive in Patagonia (we are coming from Australia)? And how good is the car rental system? Is it expensive and is there anything to be wary of? Also, I assume we couldn't get the car in Chile and leave it in Argentina without paying large fees?

Thanks for your advice,
RT
RT2015 is offline  
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Jun 17th, 2017, 09:38 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,276
You can't rent in Chile and drop off in Argentina full stop. All car rental companies will have both good and bad reviews so look at a variety of reviews to get a balanced picture. I don't know if it would be considered expensive coming from Australia but is more expensive than the USA according to visitors.

The roads are fine, other drivers can be the problem but it is certainly doable. Broken windscreens from flying stones and animals on the road are probably the biggest problems. Wind can be a big issue, especially on the Chilean side.
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Jun 18th, 2017, 10:26 PM
  #3
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Thanks Huentetu. It looks as though we may have to stick with the buses as there doesn't seem to be any available cars for our travel dates in November.

RT
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Jun 21st, 2017, 04:23 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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We have rented a car twice (2013 and 2016) from Servicar and have had a good experience both times. Driving was perfectly fine-no issues at all. The wind was the biggest challenge and making sure you could get gas.
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