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Nole Man
Florida State Fan
Somewhere In Tennessee!
Member since May 2011
3397 posts
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Chile...
Anyone been? Thinking about going next year but have no clue on the best locations, times etc. Thoughts? Thanks!


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
9113 posts

re: Chile...
What are the airfare prices like? I’d love to go to South America but I’m seeing high airfare and just as long flights to Europe, so until I’ve knocked out other places I am finding no motivation to go South.

I guess the way to do it would be to go where the exchange rate is great.


Geaux Frogs
TCU Fan
North Richland Hills, TX
Member since May 2011
145 posts

re: Chile...
I went about 6 years ago, and I would move there tomorrow if I could convince my wife...

Santiago is like most other big cities in the World; there are good parts of town, and not so good parts of town. Keep your eyes open, but for the most part, I felt very comfortable walking around or riding the trains.

30 minutes East, and you are in the Andes Mountains. 45 minutes West, and you are at the beach in Vina del Mar; and you drive through the wine country to get to the beach. The water is COLD, but the scenery was very nice...both the areas around the beach and on the beach!! It is amazing...

We also flew down South to Villarrica, and stayed in a resort town called Pucon; think Lake Tahoe. It is at the foot of an active volcano and sits on a large lake. Casino, nightlife, rafting, hiking/climbing. lake sports...it was awesome.

In the areas around Pucon, it is very hilly, so there are some amazing scenery. There are quite a few thermal spas that are built up around natural hot springs. Some really nice places.

Everyone was extremely friendly to us, and everyone wanted to tell us about how amazing Chile was. There was a lot of pride in their country. English isn't spoken very much, so have an ability to communicate the basics in Spanish.

I can't wait to go back.


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Tigris
Clemson Fan
Fernando Poo
Member since Jul 2005
9628 posts

re: Chile...
I've never been but Torres Del Paine is a bucket list place for me. I've got it penciled in for 3-4 years from now, possibly as part of an Antarctica trip.



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100
Pettifogger
Atlanta Braves Fan
Member since Feb 2012
53799 posts

re: Chile...
We looked at Chile and Patagonia for our honeymoon a couple years ago but got a little overwhelmed with the logistics of doing a multiple stop trip. We like the planning stage of overseas trips (mostly Europe and usually multiple stops), but when we eventually do this one I think we may get some help.


bluestem75
LSU Fan
Dallas, TX
Member since Oct 2007
1109 posts
 Online 

re: Chile...
Don’t balk at the airfare. SA is dirt cheap once you get there.


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Nole Man
Florida State Fan
Somewhere In Tennessee!
Member since May 2011
3397 posts
 Online 

re: Chile...
Seeing around $1,300 economy. Flight time to Santiago is around 16 or 17 hours. I have heard once you're in Santiago then to get to other regions like Patagonia you would have to take another plane so there is additional cost and time.


GOP_Tiger
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2005
3107 posts
 Online 

re: Chile...
I was there last February for a week.

I spent a couple of days in Santiago, which is nice but not particularly impressive -- if you want a great South American capital city, go to Lima (or Buenos Aires, I'm told).

Valparaiso and Vina del Mar are more interesting, but I don't think they are worth a trip by themselves.

I flew south and spent two days in the Lake District (sometimes called Northern Patagonia), and those days were really fine. Volcan Osorno is majestic and the woods and waterfalls and Lake Llanquihue make that a place of great natural beauty.

Of course, I wish I'd had time to go further south to Torres del Paine and Punta Arenas, as I think that those areas are even more spectacular. Or that I'd been able to go to the salt flats and deserts in the north of the country.

The trip that I did was nice, but I don't think I'd do it over again. In Latin America, I've preferred my trips to Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, and Panama.

If thinking about a trip, remember that their seasons are opposite ours. February (summer) is the best time for Patagonia and hiking, while August is great if you want to ski in the Southern Hemisphere.


FlyingTiger69
Member since Dec 2018
47 posts

re: Chile...
Lima sucks. Santiago is much better. Surrounding areas mentioned above are nice, and there is some good vineyards within a few hours of the city


Nole Man
Florida State Fan
Somewhere In Tennessee!
Member since May 2011
3397 posts
 Online 

re: Chile...
Thanks all for the great input so far! Seems like travel distances would be an issue. Is there one single region you might target if you've been there?


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GOP_Tiger
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2005
3107 posts
 Online 

re: Chile...
quote:

Lima sucks. Santiago is much better


If what you want is a more nondescript, safe, modern city, then yes, Santiago would be better.

If you want history, then Lima is much better -- compare the cathedrals, for crying out loud. Compare the cuisine -- the best meal that I ate in Santiago was at a Peruvian restaurant. You could justify a trip to Peru just to eat.

And I'm not saying that I didn't like Santiago, because I did. I just think that Santiago is too far away to justify spending much time there. Go to the Atacama Desert or Patagonia or Tierra del Fuego -- or to the Lake District, as I did -- but get out of the capital.


Nole Man
Florida State Fan
Somewhere In Tennessee!
Member since May 2011
3397 posts
 Online 

re: Chile...
Thank you for sharing this!

Seems like you have to get into Santiago, then fly all over the place to get to a "desired part of the country".

Do you have like one place you'd target and say "where going to..."?



Tshiz
LSU Fan
Oxford
Member since Jul 2013
2265 posts

re: Chile...
Best time is during December. You’ll pay 1500 a ticket to get down there. Worth every penny but does take time. Food is amazing. People are nice. If you like the outdoors, Patagonia is the holy grail.


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Shaun176
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2008
1244 posts

re: Chile...
From NoLa you can fly on Copa from msy to Panama to Santiago for 900-1100 dollars. It takes about 12 hours total travel time. Chile is safe, the food is good, and the people like us. Best time to go is December to February. Our summer is their winter it gets cold there. The climate and vegetation is like the west coast of North America.


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GOP_Tiger
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2005
3107 posts
 Online 

re: Chile...
If I get the chance to back to Chile, I'll simply fly to Punta Arenas and see hike in Torres del Paine National Park.

Or, I'll cross the Atacama Desert and see the Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia.

Or, I'd make the crossing of the Andes from Puerto Varas to Bariloche, Argentina and see incredible lakes and mountain scenery -- mostly from a boat.

Each of those, though, is a destination in and of itself. Personally, I think that Chile has spectacular natural wonders. Just don't go expecting to be wowed by Spanish colonial architecture or Native American ruins -- that's what Argentina and Peru are for.


Nole Man
Florida State Fan
Somewhere In Tennessee!
Member since May 2011
3397 posts
 Online 

re: Chile...
Thanks again! What about the "Lake District" as a "destination" location to go to for say one stop for the trip?


Geaux Frogs
TCU Fan
North Richland Hills, TX
Member since May 2011
145 posts

re: Chile...
Pucon, that I mentioned above, is in the Lake Region. There are amazing little towns all over the place down there.

If you are investing the money and time to get down there, I would look to see at least 2 different parts of the country. Villarrica was a an hour and a half flight, and around $100 RT.


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lagniappe14
LSU Fan
Member since May 2018
48 posts

re: Chile...
I liked Santiago. Very clean city, friendly people, tasty food, great museums, Andes, wineries, and the beach within a day's drive.

Tip: stay in a hip neighborhood. It is livelier and has more to do. Lastarria, Bellavista, and Provendicia were my favorites. I stayed at The Castillo Rojo in Bellavista (highly recommend). It is nearby La Chascona, the home of Pablo Neruda (now museum) and Sao Cristobal Hill. The neighborhood is artsy. Walking around, you'll see beautiful artwork randomly placed or murals on the walls.

Human Rights Museum is worth exploring. Get the free audio guide. The exhibits are only in Spanish, which can be tiring to read.

The Opera House is beautiful and seats are cheap. It was a lovely respite after a chilly day sightseeing.

Bocanariz has great food and wine with excellent staff. For something more local, Galindos in Bellavista serves Chilean food and drinks. Mix of locals and tourists.


Nole Man
Florida State Fan
Somewhere In Tennessee!
Member since May 2011
3397 posts
 Online 

re: Chile...
Excellent update! Thank you. Where outside of Santiago would you suggest going for another destination?


lagniappe14
LSU Fan
Member since May 2018
48 posts

re: Chile...
Easter Island. :) I made a friend on the flight over to Easter Island who loved Valparaiso. There are tours that will take you there and stop at a winery on the way back. You can also take the train and spend the day at your leisure.

From Mendoza, I traveled to see Aconcacua, highest mountain in western hemisphere. It can be reached from Santiago via tours or buses; however, you'll have to go through immigration.


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