Where to go in Chile and Argentina between Bariloche and El Chaltén?
February 7, 2013 4:22 PM   Subscribe

I am in Bariloche and I´m going to do the Nahuel Huapi Traverse the day after tomorrow (taking either 3 or 5 days if I have the time.) I want to get to El Chaltén and spend 5 days trekking around Monte Fitz Roy and Laguna Torre. I would also like to spend a day at Parque Nacional Los Glaciares near El Calafate. Then I have to get to Punta Arenas to fly out March 1st. That leaves me with a little less than a week to work with.

I was planning on going to Coyhaique from Bariloche and doing the 4 day trek around Cerro Castillo but it sounds so remote, I don´t know if it´ll work. I was thinking about the Navimag ferry but at 480 dollars, I can´t afford it. I promised friends I´d do Torres del Paine with them next year so I think I´ll wait on that.

So what should I do? Hang out more in the Lakes Region? Just go straight to Southern Patagonia and spend any extra days around there? Take shorter buses and make my way south more slowly?

I have a tent, stove, etc and trekking is the main goal along with not spending too much money.
posted by saul wright to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
While I was in Argentina, I went to Ushuaia after El Calafate and loved it. The Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego is beautiful and I found Ushuaia itself really charming. YMMV. Of course, the lakes region is also beautiful, but I couldn't resist going to the Fin del Mundo.
posted by pitrified at 7:02 PM on February 7, 2013

FYI: try to avoid spending excess time in Punta Arenas because it's one of the dullest towns in the entire region. (I spent 3 days there waiting for a ferry a couple years ago.)
posted by monotreme at 9:20 PM on February 7, 2013

Best answer: There is not a lot between Bariloche and El Chaltén. Spend a day or two in El Bolson a couple of hours south, nice, relaxed place with some nice easy walks nearby. North of Bariloche you have Villa La Angostura which is a very nice little place too. You could easily kill a week between those two.

You don't say how you are going south. El Chalten Travel run a bus down Ruta 40 which takes 2 days and ranks as one of the highlights of my 18-month trip round South America. If you can afford it, do it.
posted by jontyjago at 5:27 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, and when I say "there is not a lot between Bariloche and El Chaltén", it's not that there is a not a lot of interest, I mean there is literally nothing. On the bus down Ruta 40, on day 2 we did 800km, all of it on gravel roads and passed through one village of 100 people. It's an amazing ride.
posted by jontyjago at 5:32 AM on February 8, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks, jontyjago. I went ahead and booked my bus down to El Chaltén. Still have 5 or 6 days I´m not sure what to do with. So I guess now the question is what to do around El Chaltén, El Calafate, Puerto Natales, and Punta Arenas.

There´s a lot I want to do in Tierra del Fuego so I figure it´s best to save that for next summer as well.
posted by saul wright at 8:39 AM on February 8, 2013

Response by poster: Well, I'm back home. I ended needing an extra day in El Chaltén because my food mysteriously disappeared while I was hiking so I needed to go back to town, adding a day to my hike. Other than that, I just chalked up bus rides as whole days, spending the rest of the day reading and going online, I went to Perito Moreno Glacier and Isla Magdalena and that was my trip. It ended up working out fine. Patagonia is beautiful and highly recommended, by the way.

Thanks, Metafilter!
posted by saul wright at 10:38 AM on March 2, 2013

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