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Argentina with a dash of Chile.

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Argentina with a dash of Chile.

1. Posted by trentb (Budding Member 14 posts) 5y

So I'm heading across to Argentina - start of a big trip around America del Sur. I fly into BA on the 20th November. I've got about a month or so in the area before heading up into Brazil. I'm looking for advice on the following Itinerary (Kind of want to get it sorted - in case of a flight needing to be booked). I'm basically focusing on Southern Argentina - I figure I can hit the north of the country on my way back (as I have a return flight back home from BA).

My first thought was something like this:
Buenos Aires - About a week or so.
Mendoza
Santiago/Valpariso - more keen on Valparaiso but I am sure Santiago has its charms as well.
Pucon (kind of keen to hike the Volcano there)
Bariloche
El Calafate and El Chalten
Puerto Natales for a day or two before doing the "W" Circuit in Torres del Paine N.P.
Ushuaia
Head up to Rio Gallegos and get another bus to Puerto Madryn/Trelew and either go to Punta Tombo or Peninsula Valdes.
Back into BA for New Years with a few friends there.

Obviously have no real time restraints and have tried to keep it to a minimum - the distances however are huge. There seems to be one slight glitch in this - Bariloche to El Calafate/Chalten seems to be hard to do by normal bus. The only real information I have is that a company called Chalten Travel runs a 2 day tour that is rather expensive. And there seems to be no other bus company that does it. I don't exactly want to do a tour - And I'd rather not fly - most flights are fairly expensive or go back to BA and down. Perhaps going over into Chile and heading down that way to Los Antinguos? Is that even possible? The other option is a bus to Puerto Madryn and then down to El Calafate via Rio Gallegos. Which would mean I'd be back tracking to get to BA.

So another option would be to follow that same Itinerary above but instead of doing a 'loop' would be from Bariloche to go:
Puerto Madryn/Trelew
Rio Gallegos and onward to Calafate.
El Chalten
Puerto Natales and TDP
Ushuaia - and a flight back to BA.

Obviously I don't have a 'strict timeline' but would want to be back in BA by late December.

2. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1824 posts) 5y

Buenos Aires is interesting as a city though not a lot to see and do there. I took a short hop on a plane and had a day in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Santiago has museums, art galleries, street markets, a cable car and is a fairly interesting city. A subway ride, much of it above ground so you get to see the suburbs, takes you to an out of town mall.

From the bus station, near the train station, it's about an hour by bus to Valparaiso. The city seems to go on and on and I spent some hours walking around it. The only toilet I saw was in the bus station.

Rio Gallegos is the middle of nowhere. Desolate and barren.

You have done Peru? It strikes me as a good place for hiking, etc but no one ever does it there apart from the walk to MP.

3. Posted by trentb (Budding Member 14 posts) 5y

Rio Gallegos - its more of a forced pit stop than anything. So hopefully its not more than a few hours or so. Much of the information I've gathered has said that buses from Puerto Madryn go to Rio Gallegos and then you get another bus to El Calafate or Ushuaia. Its a bit of a pain i the butt.

I haven't yet done Peru. As I said this is the first month of a big trip (probably about 10-12 months) around South America. So I plan on doing a few hikes there like the Cordilleras and Colca Canyon. And the Inca Trail (or an alternative - though I'd like my first glimpse of M.P from the Sun Gate.

Thanks for the info but - good to hear a nice thing about Santiago - most of it seems to be 'you can miss it. its not a great city'.

Do you reckon thats an ok plan for Southern Argentina/Chile for the time frame I've got? A little over a month. Probably a Month and a week.