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Santiago for five days...the five days left. Patagonia?

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Dec 30th, 2018, 02:35 PM
  #1
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Santiago for five days...the five days left. Patagonia?

We are traveling to Santiago, Chile in mid-March for a medical conference. We then have five days left to travel. We haven't decided what to do but would love to go to Patagonia but have heard getting there is a big hassle and very time-consuming. What do you think? If that is too complicated, time-consuming, what would be a great place to explore for five more days when traveling from Santiago?
Thanks!
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Dec 30th, 2018, 04:00 PM
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Moved to South America board
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Dec 30th, 2018, 04:20 PM
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Mid- March is late summer in Chile, Viņa del Mar might be a great option.
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Dec 31st, 2018, 09:08 AM
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You could do TDP. Fly to Puerto Natales and its a 2 hour trip to TDP.
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Dec 31st, 2018, 10:08 AM
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Mid March might be beautiful Torres del Paine. Might be a little early for the beech trees to have started to change color but still worthwhile.
Not sure if LATAM flights to PN will work for you into March. Check Google Flights..I see them on Tuesdays and Saturdays with the last one on March 16. If those dates don't work, you can fly either Sky or LATAM to Punta Arenas, which adds another 3 hours transfer time. So it will take altogether the good part of a day to get from Santiago to TdP (including time to go to the Santiago Airport and check in). In Punta Arenas, there is a great lodging not far from the airport called La Casa Escondida. I'd try to communicate with them if you decide to go and need to go via Punta Arenas. They're on booking.com but you might be able to find a direct contact link on tripadvisor, where they have nearly perfect 5-circle reviews.

There are some sights in Punta Arenas and again in Puerto Natales. It's about 3 hours from PN to TdP. There are day tours PN to TdP and return, or you can rent a car if you want to drive yourselves (which I would do if I went again). From Punta Arenas you can also drive for a ways along the Beagle Channel.

The coast west of Santiago is another option if you don't want to fly anywhere. I prefer Valparaiso to VdM but they are near each other.

Last edited by mlgb; Dec 31st, 2018 at 10:32 AM.
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Dec 31st, 2018, 01:55 PM
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The trouble with Patagonia is that you may have trouble booking anything now. You also need time and I think you might not have enough to do it justice. Alternatives would be San Pedro de Atacama in the north or Easter Island. Flights there can be expensive but if you look at the Chile based site for LATAM (only they fly there) you might find something. Another option would be 2-3 day stay around the Colchagua valley. Lots of wineries but also interesting small towns and very near Pichilemu with its beach. Its a big surfing spot. You could do that and then a day or overnight in Valparaiso. It depends a bit on your tolerance for squeezing things in. Wherever you go, be back in Santiago for your flight the day before.
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Jan 1st, 2019, 07:47 AM
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Thanks!
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Jan 1st, 2019, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mlgb View Post
Mid March might be beautiful Torres del Paine. Might be a little early for the beech trees to have started to change color but still worthwhile.
Not sure if LATAM flights to PN will work for you into March. Check Google Flights..I see them on Tuesdays and Saturdays with the last one on March 16. If those dates don't work, you can fly either Sky or LATAM to Punta Arenas, which adds another 3 hours transfer time. So it will take altogether the good part of a day to get from Santiago to TdP (including time to go to the Santiago Airport and check in). In Punta Arenas, there is a great lodging not far from the airport called La Casa Escondida. I'd try to communicate with them if you decide to go and need to go via Punta Arenas. They're on booking.com but you might be able to find a direct contact link on tripadvisor, where they have nearly perfect 5-circle reviews.

There are some sights in Punta Arenas and again in Puerto Natales. It's about 3 hours from PN to TdP. There are day tours PN to TdP and return, or you can rent a car if you want to drive yourselves (which I would do if I went again). From Punta Arenas you can also drive for a ways along the Beagle Channel.

The coast west of Santiago is another option if you don't want to fly anywhere. I prefer Valparaiso to VdM but they are near each other.
Thank you so much for this detailed and thoughtful response...incredibly helpful.
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Jan 1st, 2019, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Huentetu View Post
The trouble with Patagonia is that you may have trouble booking anything now. You also need time and I think you might not have enough to do it justice. Alternatives would be San Pedro de Atacama in the north or Easter Island. Flights there can be expensive but if you look at the Chile based site for LATAM (only they fly there) you might find something. Another option would be 2-3 day stay around the Colchagua valley. Lots of wineries but also interesting small towns and very near Pichilemu with its beach. Its a big surfing spot. You could do that and then a day or overnight in Valparaiso. It depends a bit on your tolerance for squeezing things in. Wherever you go, be back in Santiago for your flight the day before.
Thank you so much!
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