Hello, fellow travellers. I'm going to Argentina in December and I'm heading, almost as soon I arrive in Buenos Aires, to both Argentine and Chilean PAtagonia.
I've heard that it's pretty expensive, but exactly HOW expensive is it? I heard that the refugios in Torres del PAine charge about 20-25 USD/night and person. And that's the cheapest potion. Is this for real? I was planning on doing the W(about 5 days) in Torres del Paine. Am I getting totally bancrupt after two weeks in Torres and around Fitz Roy? I know it's going to be worth every single penny but I just want a preview of the budget.
Thanks in advance!
live and prosper
The following is based on my experience in January of 2003, and based mostly on Chile, as that was where I spent most of my time in Patagonia. Prices are in $US dollars, based on the exchange rate at the time.
Hotels run from $10 - $20 a night. Dorms can be had for $5 - $10 a night. I didn't find restaurants expensive - decent meals for $5 and up. Buses and transportation didn't seem any more expensive than other places in South America.
I didn't do any hiking in TDP - just a day trip, so I can't comment on those prices. I do know that people said buying equipment in Patagonia was more expensive than up in the north.
Prices in Argentina were about the same in those days, possibly a wee bit cheaper. However, that is hardly reliable anymore; Argentine economy (and, concomitantly, the exchange rate) has been on the rise ever since, so it must be more expensive now. For comparison; I found this summer that the north had gotten almost twice as expensive since 2003, in almost all respects (mainly busses and tourist activities; food is still incredibly cheap, and so is most accommodation. However, since the south attracts only tourists and no regular Argentinians that are not holidaymakers, hostels will probably have risen, too).
Patagonia is expensive. Refuges at Torres del Paine cost more than usd 30, there are only two that can be cheaper (not much, may be usd 25)called Grey and Dickson. If you join a 5 or 6 days tour, which I recommend for you and for nature's sake, you are talking of around usd 1000. They provide: accomodation, transport, breakfast, box lunch and fee to the park, also english speaking guides. Always make your reservations in advance, remember that the refuges are small, low capacity.
The other week, I don't know, you have El Calafate, Ushuaia, Punta Arenas...as expensive as Torres.
I agree with you, it'll be worth every penny, I'm just writing to you to warn you that it'll be many, many pennies.
I didnt find Patagonia massively expensive. I think most of the trekkers who do Torres del Paine in the high season find it pricey. However, if you camp it will cost you almost nothing...campsites are free, so you only have to pay your entry to the park and carry as much food as you can to save having to buy it there. Seeing as you will be there in the summer, I'd say do that!
Ushuaia is quite pricey for tours but I found accommodation and eating out to the roughly the same as other cities or towns in Argentina. I was there in the low season though...
El Calafate I found to be the most pricey of all.
Hope that helps!
Is it possible to trek TDP national park and most national parks in Chile without a guide? are there maps available?
It is possible to hike TDP without a guide, but you are not allowed to enter the park without a hiking partner. There are tons of people getting ready to do the hike in Pto. Natales, though, so it's easy enough to hook up with someone to enter the park with if you are travelling solo.
would the weather be okay to camp in patagonia in feb / march ?? our tent and sleeping bags are three season styles....
Lots of people do it. It'll be down in the low single digits celcius at nights, so assuming you are comfortable in your sleeping bag at those temperatures, you'll be okay. I found the wind was a lot bigger problem then the cold down there.
just curious... are you guys (hopefully) referring to high season prices?? i'm heading to chile on wednesday and will hopefully be in patagonia in the next week r so. i would like to do one hiking tour maybe 3/4 days in torres. would it really be $1,000???? i plan to stay in cheapest accom outside of camping unless i can hire a tent, sure as hell dont plan to take one :-) am battling with my lighter than light packing as it is!!
so apart from $$$ just HOW cold is it likely to get in november? again, is a ski jacket/gloves type really necesary or just to bring plenty layers and a good rain coat and hat etc?? i've read that the temp in patagonia is really changeable.
finally, when i am up in the warmer times, how bad are mosquitos, is a net necessary or does the accom usually provide? past experience had a redundant net throughout trip but, just checkin', could save me all of 5g :-)
tnx a lot