I am planning a trip to Patagonia as part of my SA adventure.
I reckon I will be in Santiago around mid January.
The only part of my adventure I am thinking on using an organised trip is Patagonia as it seems quite isolated in comparison to the rest.
The GAP itinerary is ..
Santiago to Puerto Montt fly
3 days there
3 day cruise to Puerto Natales
a brief day there
3/4 days in the Torres del Paine national park
travel on to Punta Arena and stay a day
fly back to Santiago
my question would be how easy would it be to organise such a trip myself and is that likely to be expensive. To give you an idea I think the trip costs $1,800 US approx.
I think that the 2 flights and the boat trip would be the harder parts to organise along with the 3-4 day TdP park tour.
If anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated.
I have used the search facility to check out what others had to say and the consensus seemed to be that the costs were getting higher all the time.
The ease of having the tour all in a package appeals to me although it is the only time I think I would use such a tour as I know the profits will no doubt be a high % of cost.
ok, I have been searching for a while now and I have found some information and hopefully it helps others and not just me.
to do the same trip that GAP offers at about $1,800 US you can do way cheaper yourself. phew.
Fly LAN Santiago - Puerto Montt is circa $130 US booking a week in advance in January.
From there you can get on ferry for circa $355 (food included for 3 days) to Puerto Natales.
I do not have expenses/costs for TdP as yet (still need help please)
Get to Punto Arenas by bus - no idea on cost but possibly cheap
Fly to Santiago $180 US booking around 2 weeks in advance.
So altogether the trip can become reasonable in price.
$670 US + TdP costs for a few days.
Altogether almost half the price of the excursion I think.
If anyone could get me an approx price for a bus journey instead of planes I would be very very grateful as I appreciate less flights = good for environment. After all, I am not the only one who wants to see the glaciers!
I was flying from Santiago to Punta Arenas.
booket there the trip to TdP
flew to Puerto Montt,had from there a 3 day pak Bariloche.one way by bus,retour the lake crossing back to Puerto Montt,was fantastic.
I'm not sure about the costs anymore.Trip,Hotel,bustours $300.00 ??
Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas has travel agents and offers.
I had nothing prebooked,also travelling alone,had no problem at all.
No,this is not true,had many problems with the ice cold wind
Marlis, which year and month did you do your trip.
It's great to hear you had no problems booking trips when you arrived.
What exactly did your trip in TdP include?
Trek, a tour guide, tent or hostel, food?
I would be interested to know what the tours included.
If anyone has info or links to tours in TdP it would be fantastic.
I guess depending what fits in with the rest of your plans I'm going with a group Ushuaia to Santiago starting 8th Feb. It's with Kumuka and they do the tour from Santiago to Ushuaia too. Not sure if that's of any help to you
Emma, I will check that out.
The main thing I am looking for here is an actual trek around TdP. Maybe a 3/4 day trek staying different places each night, or a place to stay with a few different day trips.
I found the torres del paine website and when I have time to look thorugh it I may find some more answers.
I will post my findings here as it seems to be one area that is not so easy to get details on.
You can indenpendently trek TDP. There's a couple different routes you can do, though if you just want to do 3-4 days you'll probably just hike in a couple days, turn around and hike out.
You'll need to find someone to trek with, or at least get into the park with, as you are not allowed to enter for treking alone. But that is very easy to do in Pto. Natales. There are lots of travellers there, and many of them are either going to or just have returned from trekking in TDP.
For accomodations, you can either try and book the refugios or camp. To camp, you'd need a tent. The refugios can get quite crowded. If you aren't bringing a tent with you, check with the local tour operators if you can rent one.
Check out this link on hiking in TDP: Best Hike: TDP.
Note - it will be COLD!
Getting flights shouldn't be an issue at all. You should be able to book the day before. I didn't fly in Chile, but in Argentina flights were plentiful and cheap. You could also consider a bus from Santiago to Pto. Montt, and then take the NAVIMAG ferry to Pto. Natales.
Make sure you go to Pucon and do the Villarica volcan it´s a great experience. Concerning Punta arenas there is nothing there to do.
Torres del Paines is great Thousands of walks to do around the park. Get the food and drinks from outside the park as it can get quite expensive inside.
Chile is a fabulous country and the people are excellent.
I was 2 years ago after Easter Island end of Feb.
In Punta Arenas I did also a half day trip to the Pinguin peninsula.
the weather was fantastic,people where talking about a heat waeve,but the wind was blowing and cold.
TdP was only one day by bus and the group was rushed because the day befor a hiker had started the fire who destroid about 15 000 ha
of the park.I was lucky,the next day the park was closed down.
From Puerto Montt I made a day tour around the lake to fruttilar,I was the only passanger,so I had the guide/driver alone for me and he stopped at the places I was interested in.
If you like seafood,go in Puerto Montt to the fishmarket,a lot of little
places where you get everything fresh cooked.try the locos con salsa verde.
really no problem to travel alone.
I will be travelling with my wife (Ali).
All these tips are very very useful and as I said before, it is a comfort to know it is easy to find/book tours etc when we arrive.
can't wait to try all the different foods, especially the seafood.