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Wing it or Organise it

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21. Posted by berner256 (Travel Guru 526 posts) 29w

Lo.Avery, you might want to give the Valley of the Moon a pass near La Paz. I checked it out earlier this month and think you'd do better to visit the spectacular Valle de la Luna near San Pedro de Atacama, particularly the hike along a ridge overlooking the sand dunes. New housing has ruined the views of the La Paz Valley of the Moon (admission is 15 Bolivianos for foreigners). Try visiting the Valle de las Animas instead, also known as Canon de Palca or Palca Canyon. I am now in Buenos Aires, preparing to return to Patagonia on Tuesday for two weeks of hiking. I just finished a voyage through the Chilean fjords, Strait of Magellan, the Beagle Channel and Cape Horn.

Post 22 was removed by a moderator
23. Posted by lo.avery (Budding Member 5 posts) 28w

Thanks berner256.

I have changed my plans a little bit. I was thinking of doing San Pedro de Atacama and I think I can get to Patagonia and do a 1 or 2 days trip out to see some Fjords.
So my new itinerary would be arrive Peru and do Nazca lines 4th May then head to do a MP Trek (Salkantay) for 5 days then off to Bolivia for 4 days or so then to Chile to visit San Pedro de Atacama & Patagonia with 4 days in lieu to maybe visit Iguasu Falls before hitting Rio on the 24th June departing on the 29th June.
I have neglected to visit Argentina and Quito as I'd rather hang out more in Mexico and Chile.
I havent booked any accomm or any bus trips etc.

24. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2432 posts) 28w

If you need any "booking" or "winging it" advice for Cuba, let me know.

Have fun.


[ Edit: Edited on 05-Apr-2016, at 23:27 by CheersT ]

25. Posted by berner256 (Travel Guru 526 posts) 28w

I don't know your timetable, but the tourism season is now winding down in Patagonia as winter approaches. The buses are transiting to a winter schedule by the end of this month; and some establishments are closing Friday. I am now in Puerto Natales, preparing to go to Torres del Paine National Park. There still are some backpackers, but not as many as in the peak season. Four days in Patagonia is not enough. I spent three days hiking in El Chalten and could have spent more. If you go to El Chalten, suggest at least two hikes -- Laguna de los Tres and Laguna Torre. Also suggest hiking on the Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate.

Torres del Paine NP is open during winter; but some of the trails are closed. During winter, you'd be lucky if you get five hours of daylight.

As of now, the buses run from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine on a more-limited schedule, making day trips from Puerto Natales to the park not as feasible as during the peak season. So it's better to stay in the park if you plan to do any hiking.

FYI, Navimag Ferries currently is going once a week from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales via the Chilean fjords; and vice versa. The cheapest fare for the three-day trip is $310 for a three-bunk shared cabin (meals included). There are three other classes at higher rates with single supplements, if you're traveling solo. The cheapest cabin ($310) has no single supplement. These are low season rates. I got this information yesterday for future reference.

Norwegian Cruise Lines runs a ship during the peak season from Valparaiso to Buenos Aires, and vice versa, for as low as $66 per night (if purchased through a large online travel agent a few weeks before scheduled departure). I paid $1540, taxes and mandatory tip included, for an oceanview cabin. The 14-night cruise also visited the Falkland Islands after Cape Horn, the Beagle Channel, the Strait of Magellan, the Chilean fjords and Chile's Lake District. I then flew from Buenos Aires to El Calafate to begin two weeks of hiking in Patagonia. Hope this helps.

P.S. I plan to upload photos to travellerspoint shortly after I return home, so you'll see why Patagonia is so amazing.

[ Edit: Edited on 06-Apr-2016, at 03:35 by berner256 ]

26. Posted by lo.avery (Budding Member 5 posts) 28w

Wow thanks Berner - have you been to vinicunca peru? Its something I want to see but I doubt i'm experienced enough (never treked before) - I just want to see the rainbow mountains but dont want to trek the whole thing (as Ive heard its not recommended for beginners)
I saw on Trip Advisor that there are day trips to the Mountains of Patagonia - I dont think I'd be able to walk the W trek (although its on my bucket list)
I might have to do the ferries instead