February 19th - March 7th, 2011. Our tour covered Santiago Chile, Pucon, Puerto Varas, Bariloche Argentina, El Calafate, Torres Del Paine Chile, and Buenos Aires.
Throughout Chile and Argentina the people were very friendly. In Santiago, as is our usual practice, we took public transit. A young lady offered me her seat when we got onto the bus. I politely declined, but appreciated it.
We had used a local travel agent to make some of the bookings. Unfortunately he made several mistakes, the most severe being he booked our transit to Pucon for the wrong date. Fortunately, the bus company was able to accommodate us on a later bus the same day.
The hot springs in Pucon were a pleasant surprise; the white-water rafting was fantastic.
The trip to Bariloche from Puerto Varas was a hop-scotch journey involving buses to and between lakes and ferries across them. The full-day trip included a 3 or so hour stop half way for lunch. We were lucky to have good weather.
It felt like Patagonia when we arrived in El Calafate. The land is more barren; the temperature cooler. The glacier at Perito Moreno was better than expected and with wooden promenades the walking was easy. The boat tours of the glacier provides the opportunity to get up close.
We drove from El Calafate to Torres del Paine. Crossing the boarder either way between Chile and Argentina can take a long time, hours are not unheard of. We were lucky. The major event of this part of the trip was the 18km round-trip hike up to the Torres which included an elevation change of 800m. A feat I expect never to experience again. I hope.
Parts of Buenos Aires reminded me of New York. A beautiful city.
Santiago Chile (February 19 - 21)
With excursions to Valparaiso and Vina Concha y Toro
Pucon Chile (February 22 - 23)
With excursions to Termas Geometricas and River Rafting
Puerto Varas(February 24-25)
With excursions to Frutillar, Puerto Octay and Isla de Chiloe
Bariloche Argentina (February 26 - 27) With excursions through the city
El Calafate Argentina (February 28 - March 1) With excursions to Glaciar Perito Moreno
Torres Del Paine Chile (March 2 - 3) With a hike to the Torres
Buenos Aires (March 4 - 7) With excursions through the city