· fly from Zurich (Switzerland) to Buenos Aires (Argentina) - transit in Sao Paulo (Brazil)

· discovering lively Buenos Aires

· arriving in Puerto Madryn (near Peninsula Valdez) by passing the huge 'Pampa' - 18h bus trip

· admire marvellous fauna in the area of Peninsula Valdez

· visiting the huge magellanic penguin colony in Punta Tomba and heading forward to Rio Gallegos and El Calafate - 22h bus trip (not including a 3 hour rest in Rio Gallegos when waiting for connecting bus)

· exploring the huge Perito Moreno glacier in the Los Glaciares N.P.

· heading to lovely El Chalten, surrounded by impressing Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitzroy

· landing in Ushuaia after short flight from El Calafate - 1.5h flight

· discovering Tierra del Fuego N.P. and boating along Beagle Channel

· taking the bus from Ushuaia up to Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales - 20h

· hiking the famous 'W' trail in Torres del Paine, surrounded by Paine Grande, Los Cuernos del Paine and the Torres itself

· entering the Navimag-ferry and passing by countless fjords and glaciers up to Puerto-Montt - 3 days

· seeking for "hidden" volcanos in the deep clouds (Osorno as the most beautiful)

· visiting lovely Chiloé with it's painted churches and quiet setting

· fast approaching Santiago de Chile - 2h flight

· hiking the Cerro San Cristobal in Santiago de Chile

· fly from Santiago de Chile (Chile) to Zurich (Switzerland) - transit in Sao Paulo (Brazil)

· don't travel the high-season (!!) between December and February (points of interest are crowded, hiking trails are as nice as motor-ways, booking in advance is normally needed, local people have less time for you, whales are not around Peninsula Valdez, ... everything is just less rewarding)

· be prepared to learn some spanish; some good will and intensive learning of a crash-course-book is enough (it helps you to communicate and makes you much more friendly in the eye of a local -> when you try, the have a lot of time; but they normally don't like the "arrogant" english-language-based tourist)

· (try) talk to the locals and get some special hints about activities, and so on

· take care about your belongings in (especially) Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile -> the other areas and cities are nice and secure

· use the fantastic bus system instead of renting a car or motorhome (rental cars are far too expensive) -> some streets are hazardous; especially during the nights, when vehicules without light appear in front of you or a long line of slow trucks blocks everything -> the bus drivers know very well how to handle these kind of situations)

· don't take the cheap / slow buses -> invest a little bit more to have a comfortable and fast journey (you also profit from reduced risk of thefts)

· if you don't want to camp, book the cottages along the 'W' in Torres del Paine N.P. in advance (Casa Cecilia in Puerto Natales is very helpful and friendly and can help you with these affairs)

· book flights and Navimag-ferry in general and accomodation in El Chalten and Ushuaia (far) in advance

· as you're not in high-season, profit of booking activities 2 or 3 days in advance only, when you know the detailled plan and probably some weather forecasts (which are not always very accurate down there... ;-) )

 

Patagonia

14th of October - 17th of November 2007 (5 weeks)

Personal highlights of this trip

· whale-watching at Peninsula Valdez

· exploring the massive Perito Moreno glacier

· discovering the freezy far south city of Ushuaia

· doing the 'W' in Torres del Paine N.P.

· finding the way through countless patagonian channels up to Puerto Montt

© 2008 by Stefan Salvisberg