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wayne

How to get to Patagonia?

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What is the preferred city to fly to Buenos Aries or Santiago?How do you get to use you air miles to do it? What is the airline to get to punta areis? Any help is greatly appreciated. Is it worth booking in advance?

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If you fly into Chile on a US passport you owe $131 (currently) as a reciprocity fee to the Chilean government. To fly into Argentina you owe $0 and Buenos Aires is a much, much, much nicer city. Cheap wine, women and beef. From either city you can get flights to the south or, if you've a couple days extra time and less money, comfy long distance buses(think barcalounger with meals and movies!). Booking in advance depends what time of year you are going - holidays can be a pain to get things last minute, but the price advantage isn't much.

 

Punta Arenas = easy access to T del Paine. If you want Fitzroy region easier to fly into Rio Gallegos (3 or so hours from Buenos Aires) and take a busy to El Calafate, then a bus to El Chalten (should be better with the paved roads)

 

Airmiles? What airline - I've flown to Buenos Aires 2x on miles (northwest and alaska miles, not the metal of either) and in August Santiago (alaska miles again).

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Alaska miles. I have a feeling we are put at the back of the bus, They said there are few fights leaving Chile

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Another option for Chalten is to fly from B.A. to the newer aeropuerto in El Calafate. A bus or taxi is required to get into Calafate proper, where you can hop on a bus to Chalten.

 

There is one flight per day that leaves from the Ezeiza airport to Calafate, eliminating the transfer to the other airport, Jorge Newberry.

 

I agree, Buenos Aires is an interesting city with great (and inexpensive) wine, women and beef. I recommend hitting it up on the way back, post suffer-fest.

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if you're planning on entering chile, the customs agents will confiscate all meat, dairy, vegetable and fruit (including dried items). they are thorough.

 

no chilean reciprocity fee is charged if entering by bus.

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when in Punta Arenes....you gotta eat in Don Chicho's garage. good times, good stories and probably a good number of health code violations.

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Air fares have decreased greatly from Santiago to Punta Arenas if interested on Paine massif, food and accomodations are good also. Enjoy the trip to my country, JP.

 

 

 

 

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My wife and I went to Los Glaciers and TDP for our honeymoon in 05. Never been to Santiago but would definitely endorse going via BA - it's a great city. The Argentine economy and exchange rates are a little friendlier on your American dollar, the price jump when we entered Chile was a shock for us.

We flew from BA to Calafate which has a nice new airport with good access throughtout the region. Calafate is very rapidly growing and has a lot of necessities. There are many "outdoor" shops but I found at the time they were mostly geared toward tourists and people that wanted to "look outdoorsy" so don't count on getting any technical stuff here. From Calafate you can access the Andes via bus service to Chalten (about 4-5h ride) which is another rapidly growing outpost with a good assortment of hotels, hostels and campgrounds. Trailheads leave directly from the town toward Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre areas.

There is also bus service from Calafate to Puerto Natales, which is the main gateway to Torres Del Paine. When we were there at Christmas time we had a snafu with our bus reservation and ended up having to rent a car and drive there, which was actually kind of cool. The trip is again about 4-5 hours. PN has better gear stores and a variety of lodging as well and several bus and shuttle operators that will take you into the park. It's about an hour from PN to the park entrance. We didn't climb anything but did the south half of the Circuit (the "W") from Refugio Grey to the Torres.

If you have any questions I'd be happy to help...

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