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2011 Chile and Argentina

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 

Blog Entries:

  • Santiago


    We arrived in Santiago Saturday and since then I think we’ve been walking.  I came across these walking feet in the fish market. The cool water was mentally refreshing, at least.  Leica M9, Voigtlander Nokton F1.0, ISO 160, f/1.1, 1/90 sec Next stop: Pucon.

  • Pucon


    We took what amounted to be about a two hour drive from Pucon to the hot springs, Termas Geometricas. With the steam rising from the hot water and the lush plantation the scene looked like one from the Jurassic age. The water temperatures ranged from 35 – 40C with the air around a modest 20C;…

  • By Gones

    By Gones

    There are things in Chile that once were in Toronto but over the years have quietly disappeared:  Shoe-shine men, gas station attendants and newsstands. It’s not that I’m nostalgic for those things gone or waning, it’s just when you see them in such abundance you’re reminded and then notice their disapparence. Leica M9, Voigtlander 50mm…

  • Morning fishing on Lake Llanquihue

    Morning fishing on Lake Llanquihue

    The sun rises around 7:00AM; not too early especially as it is summer here in Puerto Varas. <Leica M9, Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1, ISO 160, F/11, 1/3000 sec

  • Crossing to Bariloche #1

    Crossing to Bariloche #1

    The leg from Puerto Varas Chile to Bariloche Argentina took us through the Andes. The travel involves three bus rides separated by by three ferry rides. Below is the first boat ride across Lake Todos Los Santos on our way to Peulla.  In the background is the volcano Osorno. The trip may be taken in…

  • Crossing to Bariloche #2

    Crossing to Bariloche #2

    The boat ride to Peulla is followed by a bus ride to Puerto Frias. This bus ride took across the Argentina Boarder. Below is a picture of Lake Frias. Leica M9, Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH, ISO 160, f/8, 1/350 sec

  • Bariloche


    This was our first taste of Argentina, but Bariloche is not necessarily a definitive representation of the country. Bariloche is more a tourist town. In the summer it boasts the Patagonian out doors; in the winter is skiing.  It seems to cater to a more youthful crowd and thus there are a lot of discos,…

  • El Calafat

    El Calafat

    El Calafate is located in the Andean foothills on Lake Argentino.  From here we drove across the Patagonian step to the ice fields in Los Glacieares National Park. Leica M9, Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH, ISO 160, f/8.0, 1/1000 sec

  • Morens Glacier

    Morens Glacier

    About 80 kms from El Calafate is the Morens Glacier, located in Los Glaciares National Park.  Unlike the Columbia ice fields in Canada, these ones are at equilibrium; neither growing nor shrinking.  I didn’t know exactly what to expect, beyond a lot of ice.  The tour was very good and the site is well established.…

  • Climbing Torres del Payne

    Climbing Torres del Payne

    I’m not sure that the Towers look so great up close, especially in the mid-day light; they certainly look magnificent from a distance. However,  it was getting this shot the was the triumph.  To get to this place to take the shot required a 9km hike across the various terrains a mountain can offer with…

  • Buenos Aires

    Buenos Aires

    Puerto Madero; still a lot of walking, but less severe hills and conditions.   Leica M9, Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1, 160 ISO, f/11, 1/180 sec

  • White-water rafting in Chile

    White-water rafting in Chile

    While in Pucon we took a little trip down a local stream: Lot’s of fun

  • Air Show at Vina del Mar

    Air Show at Vina del Mar

    From Santiago we took a day-trip to Vina del Mar and Valparaiso.  I was more interested to see Valparaiso as it is a world heritage site; the rest of the group were more interested in Vina del Mar as it is a world shopping site. After a quick drive through Valparaiso we spent the remainder…

  • Wine and Beverages

    Wine and Beverages

    Both Argentina and Chile are well known for their wineries.   Prior to leaving for this trip we spent several months in training trying different Chilean and Argentinean wines each week.  I have not found one Chilean wine I do not like.   In Santiago we visited Concha y Toro winery. The tour we selected included…

  • World Heritage Sites

    World Heritage Sites

    I guess I’ve become a collector. A collector of World Heritage sites. I don’t really go out of my way to visit them, but if there is one near a destination I already have in plan then I’ll go.  On this trip there were three: Los Glaciares in Argentina, The Churches of Chiloe and The Historic…

  • Patagonia in Black and White

    Patagonia in Black and White

    The region of Patagonia covers both Chile and Argentina.  From Puerto Varas Chile we crossed the Andes to Bariloche Argentina. We then flew south to El Calafate and then drove to Torres del Paine, back in Chile. Puerto Varas, Chile: Leica M9, Leica Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.8, ISO 160, f/4.0, 1/125 sec Boat crossing to Bariloche:…

  • Patagonia in Colour

    Patagonia in Colour

    Please see my complementary post, Patagonia in Black and White. El Calafate Leica M9, Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH, ISO 500, f/11, 1/125 sec El Calafate Leica M9, Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH, ISO 160, f/11, 1/125 sec El Calafate Leica M9, Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH, ISO 160, f/11, 1/350 sec Torres del Paine…