Trip Report

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Trip Report

Three wonderful weeks in Patagonia and Chile

An amazing country tour of Patagonia with two generations (including one serious foodie!)

by luannbAbout Me:I'm an active traveler! read more

Argentina, Chile20 days / January 2018

Highs & Lows

Alparaíso was a delightful discovery, great street art, amazing seafood and festive atmosphere.

Renting an all-electric car in Chile, but only 3 chargers in the country!

Itinerary Overview

  • 2 Nights: Buenos Aires
    Jet lag recovery time and exploring Palermo.
  • 1 Night: Misiones Province
    Iguazu Falls
  • 3 Nights: Buenos Aires
    Exploration of the city with a foodie.
  • 3 Nights: El Chaltén
    Hiking, fishing and exploring the area
  • 2 Nights: El Calafate
    Kayaking the Petite Moreno glacier
  • 3 Nights: Magallanes Province
    Hiking and kayaking Los Glaciares National Park
  • 2 Nights: Santiago
    City exploration
  • 1 Night: Casablanca
    Vineyard touring and wine tasting
  • 1 Night: Valparaíso
    Discover/explore Valparaiso
  • 2 Nights: Zapallar
    Exploration of the town.

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    Enjoyed the upscale hotels selected by our friends but would have preferred more mid-range options and more time for wandering and getting lost.

  • What tips would you give a friend?

    Argentina is economically stressed: 50% inflation last year. Translates to a more stressed culture: people working multiple jobs and still loosing economic ground. More caution needed for tourists to watch bags, pickpockets, fake money. Chile is markedly more relaxed with a very healthy economy; feeling on the streets reflects their good fortune.

  • Transportation Tips?

    We rented an all-electric car in Chile, but only 3 chargers in the country!!

  • Packing tips?

    In Patagonia, be prepared for any kind of weather as it continues to shift dramatically all day. Layer, layer, layer. Rain pants and jacket a must, hiking poles advised. Winds can be fierce. We packed hiking boots which took up a lot of space but only used them in Patagonia. Outdoor gear can be purchased in country.

  • How was the food?

    Meat in Argentina is as touted: excellent. Portions are huge. We are not huge meat-eaters, however, so usually ordered one main dish for the two of us. Preferred seafood on Chilean coast. Go to markets and load up on local spices. Merken is a traditional Chilean seasoning created by the indigenous Mapuche people. Learn to make Chimichurri, an uncooked sauce used for grilled meat; it comes in a green version (chimichurri verde) and a red version (chimichurri rojo).

  • Booking details?

    This was a custom itinerary planned by our friends. Normally we would travel a bit “lighter” and be a bit less structured. That said, it was terrific. Vaya Adventures Gabrielle Venturi gventuri@vayaadventures.com (510) 269-4292 South America Travel Specialists Berkeley, CA 94704

Lodging

  • Hotel Legado Mitico - Boutique hotel located in the center of the fashionable Palermo. Great lobby. Remodeled by architect owners in last 10 years. Classy. Breakfast buffet in lobby.

  • Hotel Melia - Newly-remodeled Sheraton now owned by Emerati billionaire, the only hotel in park with view of falls and misty gorge. Nice interior design of an old structure. Beautiful infinity pool, nice spa and workout area, oddly-antiseptic dining room, great decks and bar. Allows great access to park, evening/early morning views of misty falls from room balcony.

  • Alvear Hotel - Recoleta district. Pretty upscale for us mere mortals, but appreciate the lovely room, immense marble bathroom with 5 fixtures, in-house gym, pool and sunbathing rooftop deck.

  • Hosteria Los Sendaros - Smallish lodge with beamed ceilings and local weaving inspired by the Patagonian farms of the 1920’s within Los Glaciares National Park.

  • Xelena Hotel - Hotel was nice but without distinctive character and located across road from the expansive Lake Patagonia. Medium walk into town of El Califate with a real vacation-vibe. Best part was their outdoor restaurant on the lawn with chefs preparing lunch on outdoor grill.

  • Patagonia Camp-Hotel was nice but without distinctive character and located across road from the expansive Lake Patagonia. Medium walk into town of El Califate with a real vacation-vibe. Best part was their outdoor restaurant on the lawn with chefs preparing lunch on outdoor grill.