So ive got 4 months to do my planned route, i know its not as much as i would like but i want to try and do as much as possible.
my proposed route is;
Rio - Sau Paulo - Igazu - Montevideo - BA (fly) Ushaiah - Punta Arenas (ferry) Puerta Montt - Pucon - Santiago - Mendoza - Salta - BOLIVIA - PERU - ECAUDOR.
My questions are;
1. How can i get from Ushiah to Punta Arenas while taking in Patagonia? Can anyone recommed places to go in Patagonia and tours there? (cheap)
2. How long is and how much is the ferry from Punta Arenas to Puerta Montt?
3. Can i cross from Chile to Mendoza and up to salta and still take in the salt flats?
Thanks for the help.
You might check this buscompany or check this website for more options.
Buses normally take around the whole day, leaving early in the morning, arriving late afternoon.
Check the Navimag Ferry article here on TP for more information, takes some days of course to travel all the way north.
Don't exactly if you mean timewise, but regarding the route: yes, you can cross into Argentina from Santiago to Mendoza, than travel north to Salta. From Salta, buses leave early in the morning to the border at La Quiaca, cross on foot and take an onward train/bus to Tupiza.
I can recommmend Tupiza Tours for great salflat tours. Good guides, cars, food and accommodation and still affordable.
Michael is right about Salta to Bolivia (just make sure you get a direct bus to the border!). Tupiza is definitely worth a visit I would advise spending a couple of days in Tupiza to break the journey doing the horse trekking around the canyons there then hop on the train to Uyuni. You will then be able to arrange a tour there, it's cheaper in Uyuni to do the tour as there are more agencies there and more tourists wanting to do it! Once the tour is done you will be taken back to Uyuni and you can head north through Bolivia and across to Peru.
There are regular buses from Santiago to Mendoza, a spectacular journey...we went with Andesmar in the opposite direction (they have a website I think!) with very regular departures. It's an 8 hour journey, once in Mendoza try and find some other travellers to do a bike tour of the bodegas for some wine tasting, a fantastic day out. The bus then from Mendoza to Salta is around 22 hours, but at least you save on accommodation! Again we went with Andesmar and got surprisingly good food and wine on the journey!