A buddy and myself are planning a guys trip to Santiago in late August. We were thinking of taking an overnight bus ride to Pucon, and to stay there for 3-4 days. Would this be a good time of year for two guy to visit the town who are looking for adventure activities and a good night life? Is white water rafting a possibility or is it too cold? What other types of activities could we do other than skiing?
My girlfriend and I are planning a ~2.5 week trip to Southern Patagonia in late December-early January and wanted to get some feedback and also see if we could get some questions answered. We are both very fit hikers and plan to split nights camping and then in two refugios or just simply camp. Proposed itinerary below.
Dec 26 - Fly to Santiago (vs. Buenos Aires)
Dec 27 - Fly to Punta Arenas (vs. Calafate) - take late afternoon bus to Puerto Natales (vs. spending night in Calafate)
Dec. 28 - Take bus to Torres del Paine (???private tour bus directly from Calafate)
Dec. 29-31 hike the W
Jan 1 - Take bus back to P. Natales (vs. ???getting back on a private tour bus to Calafate)
Jan 2 - Take bus from P. Natales to Calafate, then take late afternoon bus to El Chalten
Jan 3-4 (maybe 5) - Hike around the El Chalten/Fitz Roy area
Jan 5 - Bus BACK to Calafate for a flight to Bariloche
Jan 6-9 - Relax around Bariloche area
Jan 10 - Fly Bariloche to B.A. and then back to Boston
(1) Does anybody have first- or secondhand experience with these private tour operators that take DAYtrips from Calafate to Torres del Paine?
-It is my understanding that they are expensive tours, but if we are able to by round trip flights to Buenos Aires than it might be significantly cheaper than going one-way the entire time (Boston - Santiago - P. Arenas - Bariloche - Buenos Aires) and thus offset that cost
(2) Is this trip doable as I have described above?
-We appreciate how hectic the initial part of the trip is - lots of bus travel - but I am having a hard time reconciling going to Torres and then NOT going to El Chalten while we are down there...We thought jam-packing them in in the beginning of the trip and then having a few days at the end to relax and eat chocolate in Bariloche would be a reasonable way to shape the trip. The specific questions surround whether we would be able to:
-Take a bus from P. Natales to Calafate and then get to El Chalten that same day
-Take a bus from El Chalten to Calafate and catch a flight to Bariloche that same day
Again, the above describes two possible itineraries: one is the traditional way of getting to Torres and then wrapping around to Argentina; the other is whether we can directly get to Torres from Calafate.
Any help would be greatly appreciated as always. Thanks.
Do I need to rent a car or is it best to hire a taxi? Is it worth having a car in Vina del Mar for only one week? I'm travelling with a senior citizen who doesn't want to drive around; is public transportation good? Is my US driver's license good enough?
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