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chile vs argentina

can't decide, chile or argentina? will go to patagonia regardless.
9 years ago, February 2nd 2010 No: 1 Msg: #102178  
B Posts: 6
if I don't make it chile but instead spend 14 days in argentina and patagoina would I be missing out?? ALSO guide or no guide? Reply to this

9 years ago, February 2nd 2010 No: 2 Msg: #102181  
No guide...and which ever it should be fantastic. Now, it's depend what you are after...for me Buenos Aires win easily over Santiago. But for country side, there is so much diversity. Going back to both this summer can't wait! Reply to this

9 years ago, February 2nd 2010 No: 3 Msg: #102229  
B Posts: 137
No guide necessary as the path is well beaten. With 14 days, stay where you fly in. Flying into BA, stick to Argentina. You can always cross over in Patagonia if you want to go to Chilean Patagonia. Reply to this

9 years ago, February 3rd 2010 No: 4 Msg: #102255  
B Posts: 6
FionaB, I read your blogs and you are so helpful. It's very nice of you to care. I have another question if you don't mind. Do you like the lake crossing by boat from Chile to AR? Do you think it's worth the cost?
We extended our trip to 19 days. Do you think now we can get both countries in? Chile and ARgentina? Your airpass info for Lan is very interesting. BUt I think I have to hire a travel agency. My husband doesn't want to have to plan last minute for anything. Can't blame him. He wants a first class vacation. Reply to this

9 years ago, February 8th 2010 No: 5 Msg: #102892  
We had the most amazing six weeks in Argentina, it really is a fantastic country! There is so much you can do in Argentina that it might be worth saving Chile for another time. Also, We found Argentina to be far cheaper and excellent value for money - the food! The wine! Ah, good times...!

Buenos Aires was our favourite city in South America and Patagonia was beautiful.

We flew a couple of times in Argentina - flights with Argentineos are pretty cheap and can really slash the time it takes to get around and avoid 40 hour bus journeys.

We have a blog and feel free to ask any questions! Reply to this

9 years ago, February 8th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #102912  
B Posts: 6
Ben and Clare, thanks for the reply. Did you use a Travel Agent? did you book your own domestic flights?
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9 years ago, February 8th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #102920  
B Posts: 171
you can cross from argentina into chile between calafate (home of perito moreno glacier) and puerto natales in a 5 hour bus, then at least your taking in torres del paine national park in chile which is certainly worth seeing.

another crossing point that i know of is from santiago chile to mendoza and on to Buenos aires (7 hours approx to mendoza, 21 hours the whole way to to BA)

also if you are in chile you can hop from place to place pretty cheap with sky airlines they have flights going to punta arenas, puerto mont, santiago, iquique (i think) and all the way up to arica. approx 4 hours flight from punta arenas to santiago. and can cost under 100 dollars i believe. you can book it by phone or internet no need for a middle man

perhaps this could help you maximize your time if you choose to cross over into both countries.
Reply to this

9 years ago, February 8th 2010 No: 8 Msg: #102935  
The airline was actually Aerolineas Argentinas - I couldn't remember earlier.

We took four flights in the end and booked 2 online (through Expedia) and 2 in the Aerolineas Argentinas shops that are in most towns and cities. They seemed to provide a good reliable service. Reply to this

9 years ago, February 9th 2010 No: 9 Msg: #103054  
B Posts: 137
If it is a once in a lifetime trip, then you could do a bit of both. But there are things to be aware of:

The time of year you come matters. Winter (here) will occasionally shut some passes between the two countries. Santiago/Mendoza is an amazing crossing through the Andes, but can close due to bad weather in winter. Lots of bus choices on this route.
The north of both countries is warmer in winter and there is lots to see.
A flight to see Iguazu is worth it.
Distances are huge. If you want to visit several areas, flights are sometimes a must. You can lose precious days on a bus.
Overnight bus can mean you get on in the evening and off for breakfast, but it can also mean you get on at night and arrive late the next day (or after!). Check how long bus trips take.
Buses in both countries vary from the good to the luxurious.
Buses between places often don't go every day: San Pedro de Atacama to Salta, Patagonian crossings.
Canadian, USA or Australian? Both countries now have reciprocity fees but only flying into the capital city. Land borders and other airports are free.
What you like to do matters. Buenos Aires is a superb urban destination. Santiago much smaller but has its charms. Both offer a lot of outdoor activities in various places. Fish and seafood in Chile, steak in BA.
Patagonia on both sides of the border is stunning. Not so easy to do in winter (June/July/August). Some transport and lodging closes down.
Build in some buffer time if going to Patagonia. Weather and breakdowns in transportation can delay you. Never plan to get from somewhere out of town to your point of departure for your return home on the same day.
Santiago has one airport which serves both international and national flights. BA has two. International at Ezeiza and national at Aeroparque (not their official names but what people call them). Aerolineas Argentinas is moving their BA to Santiago flights to Aeroparque (1 March 2010) although they are international flights. Check which airport you will arrive/depart from.
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9 years ago, February 9th 2010 No: 10 Msg: #103056  
B Posts: 6
we're planning March 16 thru 30. I'm real close to signing up with a travel agent. They'll have all the domestic flights booked. We do want to see both countries. I think I've decided to do the lake crossing from Chile to Bariloche. Bus and boat evidently. I've been trying my best to get a decent fare flying from Atlanta to Santiago then BA back to Atlanta. $1273 is the best so far with no layovers. Reading these blogs has made me feel so much more comfortable with my decisions. Your information is priceless. Thanks for your time and I'll welcome any more imput!
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9 years ago, February 10th 2010 No: 11 Msg: #103127  
B Posts: 137
Are you coming Delta? It is better than AA.
The lake crossing is about US$230 per person, I think. A long day but worth doing if the price doesn't scare you. If it does, the bus ride (several companies) from Puerto Montt/Puerto Varas to Bariloche is very scenic, passing through national parks on both sides. It costs about US$20. There are plenty of day trip lake excursions from Bariloche. You go through Villa la Angostura, which is a nice area, but San Martin de los Andes is nicer. Reply to this

9 years ago, February 10th 2010 No: 12 Msg: #103134  
B Posts: 6
Yes Delta is the only straight through. AA has layover in Miami which isn't so bad but not enough cost savings to warrant loosing precious time on a short 14 day trip.

Are you a hiker??? I'm a little afraid of the 4-6 hr hiking days the Travel Agent has scheduled through our 6 days in Patagonia. Reply to this

9 years ago, February 10th 2010 No: 13 Msg: #103192  
B Posts: 137
It depends where the hikes are. In Torres del Paine you more or less have to in order to see things. But a lot of people of varying ages and physical condition do them. Reply to this

9 years ago, March 22nd 2010 No: 14 Msg: #107048  
As for the cities, Buenos Aires offers a lot more to see and do than Santiago.

However, it's worth visiting both countries for the Lake District and Patagonia.
If you're travelling in the summer, you can go up or down Ruta 40 from El Calafate/El Chalten to Bariloche
As Fiona described, you can do the lake crossing from Chile to Argentina or vice versa. I did the lake crossing in 2008 and it was a great day despite the cost and the sudden change of weather on the Argentine leg of the journey.

Can't wait to return to both countries in December!

Happy travels
Dawn Reply to this

9 years ago, March 29th 2010 No: 15 Msg: #107464  
it depends where you are from; if you are from the NorthAmerican West coast, you may want to forego Chile for Argentina which is very different in culture and landscape. Chile - S of Santiago - mimics largely the landscape of the Pacific Northwest. NE Chile is easily accessible via Salta, AR and depicts a truly unique environment, nowhere else found in the world. Reply to this

9 years ago, March 31st 2010 No: 16 Msg: #107645  
I feel there is a lot more to do in Argentina. Chile is great too
but if you got to pick one over the other, I say go to Argentina.

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