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First trip to South Ameri: How many days in Santiago region?

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First trip to South Ameri: How many days in Santiago region?

Hello,

I will be making a solo trip to South America for the first time. Currently at early stage of research/planning.

I plan on flying into Buenos Aires, then go to El Calafate to join the Cascada Travel "Patagonia United 8 Days Tour", then depart from Puerto Natales or Punta Arenas to fly up into Santiago before concluding my trip.

And before and after my Patagonia trip with Cascada, I have a total of ~6-6.5 days to spend between Argentina + Chile. Have no clue about Buenos Aires and Santiago and which city warrant more days.... so am trying to prioritize

Question 1:

1) What would be the recommended # days to spend in Santiago area? And where should I go? At the moment, I am thinking Santiago city itself, Valparaiso, and maybe a 1-day hike to the Andes? Is this a feasible plan for 3-4 days?

Just as a FYI, in general, I like culture, eating good food, wildlife, nature sort of things (But I presume I will be getting lots of the last 2 at Torres del Paine NP). I am not interested in wineries.

I will be heading next to the Buenos Aires forum and ask what to do and how long to spend there...

Many thanks ahead!

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1. Re: First trip to South Ameri: How many days in Santiago region?

Forget to ask a second question

2) Is Chile generally safe for a 30-year old female traveller to walk around (by taking normal safety precaution)?

Thanks again

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2. Re: First trip to South Ameri: How many days in Santiago region?

Yes, Chile is generally safe. if it is your first visit to SA you should read up on particular scams, things to look out for, recommendations, especially for Buenos Aires..

Buenos Aires is a huge city compared to Santiago, so it is very difficult to compare them. Buenos Aires is great for restaurants, nightlife, architecture. Santiago is more modern (earthquakes renovate us every so often) with easier access to other areas: the coast and the Andes. I would almost say divide the days you have in half. A bit depends on the time of year, more important in Santiago for day excursions to the mountains or coast. Which month are you coming?

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3. Re: First trip to South Ameri: How many days in Santiago region?

thank you dancingmolly!

yes, i forget to mention.

my trip will happen around the period Nov 18 - Dec 4, 2012

is there still snow in the Andes at that time of the year (sorry for this stupid question...)? I know Andes is a long mountain range, but which part should i visit if i can only allocate 0.5 or 1 day?

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4. Re: First trip to South Ameri: How many days in Santiago region?

There will always be some snow visible on the high Andes but much less at that time of year. If you are flying from Santiago to Buenos Aires you will go right over them and the view is usually excellent. But if you want to see them from somewhere outside Santiago, a tour up to Valle Nevado might be the best. In winter it is a ski resort but there are activities at other times of the year.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294305-i2020-k545…

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5. Re: First trip to South Ameri: How many days in Santiago region?

Thanks dancingmolly.

so valle nevado is apparently a world-renowned ski resort. and the traffic up / down the mountain is only one-way at a time.

i dont think i need a tour guide while i am up at the mountain, but i probably need to ride a shuttle there. is there a shuttle running from santiago to the valle nevado area during summer season (Dec in Chile)? i dont need a tour package per se, but just want to know an economical way for a single person like to get there.

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6. Re: First trip to South Ameri: How many days in Santiago region?

There are no daily shuttles in summer but Skitotal may do some sort of tours. You could go up the Cajón del Maipo but it is more closed in I feel. The best views would be on the bus from Santiago to Mendoza but I don't know if you have time for that. It would save you one reciprocity fee if you bussed to Mendoza and flew to BA from there.

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7. Re: First trip to South Ameri: How many days in Santiago region?

oh, i dont hold american passport, merely living here, so i think i dont pay any reciprocity fee :)

i have been reading mixed reviews about visiting Cajon del Maipo. my understanding is that it's a canyon, right? I have seen about 5 canyons so far in my life, including grand canyon, so i maybe i can pass on this.

is it possible to combine valpariso + vina del mar in one day by bussing? enough time to see main sites in both places? thinking of doing Santiago->Valpo in the morning and VDM->Santiago in the evening.

i dont plan on renting car so will need to get around by public transportation

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8. Re: First trip to South Ameri: How many days in Santiago region?

Lucky break on the fee then! Valparaíso and Viña are connected by a commuter train called the Merval. They are immediately next to each other. Viña is more a modern resort and has less to see than Valpo but it is very easy to move from one to the other and leave/arrive at either. There should be a tourist information kiosk in both bus stations where you can get a map etc. at that time of year. There is a good walking tour of Valparaíso (for tips) but it may start too early for you to be there in time. Do a search and see if they do a second tour later in the day.

9. Re: First trip to South Ameri: How many days in Santiago region?

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