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Incredible photos, thanks for sharing…
I am currently planning my trip to Patagonia and wondered if you might have any tips regarding ‘how to get around’, are buses a sensible way to travel around Patagonia?
Getting around Patagonia depends on your budget and where you’re going. I’ve been twice, the first time was the cheap(er) option – travelling down from Buenos Aires in a rented car with four friends, by way of Bariloche. The second time was the expensive option – flying to El Calafate and renting a car from there.
If you are flying in to El Calafate then it is easy to get a bus from there to either Puerto Natales (for Torres del Paine in Chile), or to El Chalten (about 3 hours north). When I went the second time – with my parents – we rented a car so that we’d have more freedom and to save time (we could see Glacier Perito Moreno and then drive to El Chalten on the same day). It cost an extra $90 US to get the required insurance on the rental car to use it in Chile.
Note that it is more difficult to get a bus up to El Bolson or beyond to Bariloche. The reason for this is that while the road between El Calafate and El Chalten is tarmac and lovely, the road north of that – Ruta 40 – is gravel for large stretches (around 300km). Having said that, we did occasionally see a specialised bus with high suspension driving down it. Buses from Buenos Aires heading to El Calafate typically go down the east coast then cut across.
So, basically, buses are fine, as long as you are happy to stay in El Chalten, El Calafate, and the Torres del Paine. But if you are with a group of people who can drive, I would recommend renting a car because you can do things quicker, and you don’t have to go on a tour of the Perito Moreno glacier. It may also be cheaper.
I hope that’s somewhat useful.
Thanks so much for the detailed information – It has helped a lot and also made me realise how much planning I have left to do…
I will be in the Patagonia area for much of January and start of February – A lot of posts I have been reading recommend booking in advance as it can get very busy during these periods…What exactly should I be booking? Accommodation, Tours etc??
Sorry if it’s a silly question but I am just trying to get my head around this…
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