Patagonia Advice

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Patagonia Advice

Post by knb705 »

Rebooking a trip to Patagonia - we were originally going to stick to Argentina to avoid any potential border crossing issues into Chile if restrictions are tightened again. Looking at Buenos Aires, El Calafate, El Chalten, Ushuaia and then a few days at Iguazu before we fly back. TDP is tempting though: is it worth cutting Ushuaia and risking border issues to do it? If so, any advice? Fantastico Sur still has plenty of camping availability at the end of the year for the W, but refugios seem largely booked. We travel frequently so, a separate trip to Chile probably isn’t far away if we don’t do it now.
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Re: Patagonia Advice

Post by thebeave7 »

Pending pandemic issues the border crossings between the two countries isn't really a big deal. I spent 4 months down there, crossed the border half a dozen times and usually just waited about an hour in doing so. Another general issue is weather is a total crap shoot in that area, especially early in the year.

In regards to the more major tourist destinations I loved Torres del Paine, but the reservations process can be a horrible pain (though it's getting better).
El Calafate is a very uninspiring city (to me), Perito Moreno is lovely, but I didn't really think much of the city.
I LOVE El Chalten, though it definitely has it's issues as it goes through growing pains. You can hike/run directly from town to a new beautiful destination every single day. Just make sure to come prepared for your stay as the amenities are known for running out (groceries are expensive and shelves can be empty, ATMs run out of money, etc). I stayed in one of the smaller guest house (owner spoke no english) and it was much better than the big box hotels/hostels in town.
Ushuaia is an amazing place, especially if you can spend a little bit of time there. It's much more of a living city than the others (that are tourist cities), and I really enjoyed the vibe in town. There are some phenomenal hiking destinations around, and when I was there I was able to hitchhike to/from places really easily. Being able to speak some Spanish is key for this. The scenery isn't quite as dramatic as the other locations, but the greenery of the mountains and beautiful lakes are worth it.
Another place worth considering if you have the time and want to stay in Argentina is Bariloche. Lake side living with fantastic mountain and forest hiking/running surrounding you. It's got the ritzy side of town (and downtown), but the West side is more of the working class city with some good restaurants and bikeable areas.

Happy to continue talking in PMs, love that area, and really want to go back again.

Me fail English? That's unpossible.
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Re: Patagonia Advice

Post by Sbenfield »

I can’t speak to the border crossing issues that exist today, but I thought TDP was worthwhile when I went in 2019. I took a bus from TDP to Calafate and then later to El Chalten. At the border crossings we had to get out and present our passports, and it wasn’t a problem at the time

For Argentina, El Chalten was one of my favorites. There’s many hikes essentially straight from town. Hikes to the base areas of Cerro Torre & Mt Fitz Roy were 2 that I especially
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