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Argentina and Chile Excursions - In advance or shop local?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Argentina and Chile Excursions - In advance or shop local?

1. Posted by vvv (First Time Poster 1 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Hi Everyone!

I am lucky enough to have 2 trips with my work to South America, going in early December and then again in mid January. My partner has decided to join me and we are joining the two work trips to have a holiday in Uruguay, Argentina and Chile over December and January.

We have made a basic plan which is based around my work activities in Punta Del Este and Buenos Aires. Before and during Christmas we'll be in Mendoza then Santiago for a combined 15 days. We'd like to do it all, but are looking for good recommendations for day excursions from Santiago - is there a good value way to get to Atacama for a 2or3 day trip? Or getting to Pucon/Villarica for a 1or 2 day excursion?

For Adventure, we will be going to El Calafate in mid/late January where we hope to do Glacier walking, boat tours, and perhaps a two or three day trip into Torres Del Paine in Chile.

On both legs of our trip, what's the general opinion on booking tours in advance, now, or just picking them up when we are in the local area? I'm really referring to the El Calafate activities, getting to and from Torres Del Paine and trying to do Villarica and/or Atacama when in Chile.

Its an unusual itinerary because of the work commitments I have, but it's still going to be an amazing trip!

My thanks in advance for your replies!


2. Posted by Alain13 (Respected Member 110 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

you can easily find local companies both in San Pedro and in Pucon but it could take some time to select the good one. Better is to have at least an idea before going there.
Take care, the full trip from Santiago to San Pedro takes at least one full day:
Flight Santiago-Calama then a long bus trip from Calama to San Pedro. So I think you will need at least 5 days to go there and back.
For Pucon, same thing: Flight Santiago to Temuco then a bus and you will need at least 2 full days on place (3 is better). if you plan to climb the Villarica, be aware the ascension is linked to weather conditions.
Another possibility is to flight to Puerto Montt, take a ferry and visit the Chiloe island. I loved it.

3. Posted by FrancoisRichard (Budding Member 10 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I would also shop local. I guess the prices will be better.
And they'll know what they are talking about.