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Bolivia/Peru/Chile in 10/2002

Bolivia/Peru/Chile in 10/2002

Old Jul 16, 2002, 12:59 am
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Bolivia/Peru/Chile in 10/2002

Many questions; any comments are highly appreciated:

1.) Is English ok in these countries (I don't speak any Spanish/Portugese)?

2.) I'll go to Oscorno/lake district (via flight to Puerto Montt/PMC), Torres del Paine (via flight to Punta Arenas/PUQ), San Pedro de Atacama (via flight to Calama/CJC). My travel book mentions Explora hotels near Torres del Paine and near San Pedro de Atacama. The description sounds fantastic - but the price is very high. Did anybody stay in one of the hotels? How did you arrange your tours? The distances to/from the airport seam to be very long, too. (I won't rent a car because I want to see the landscape and not the street.)

3.) My schedule is quite short. I have only two days in Cuzco/Machu Picchu. I'm unsure which alternative to take (= is Cuzco worth a stay):
a) 1 day sightseeing in Cuzco and 1 daytrip to Macchu Picchu.
b) Train from Cuzco to Machu Picchu, stay one night in Macchu Picchu and train back to Cuzco. Then I may see (almost) nothing from Cuzco.

4.) Airport transfer: is there a shuttle bus available in Lima and/or La Paz? Or any alternatives.

My itinerary (- = flight; -> = train/bus)
FRA - La Paz -> Titicaca/Puno -> Cuzco/Machu Picchu - Lima - Puerto Montt - Punta Arenas - Santiago - Calama - FRA
LH738 is offline  
Old Jul 16, 2002, 7:23 am
Join Date: May 2000
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My experience has been in the tourist areas, English is fairly well used. Of course, local language adds more to the experience and basics (yes, no, please, thank you, ...) should be used.

If you can only have 2 days in Cusco, my choice would be to split 1 day at Macchu Picchu and 1 day at Cusco but you'll have the tourist crowds to deal with if you don't stay at MP. There certainly is much to see at both and worthy of extra days if you can manage. I'd skip a night in Lima for extra time there.

Seems like the taxi to Miraflores (Lima) from the airport was fairly cheap 2 years ago.

La Paz was many years ago so can't say.

Have a great trip!
drtravels is offline  
Old Jul 16, 2002, 10:33 am
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In Punta Arenas, you can "get by" without espaņol, but my trip wouldn't have been nearly as good if I didn't speak any. My hotel (Finis Terrae - I recommend) spoke english. Car rental (Hertz) almost no english. In Santiago you will find more people with some simple understanding of english (but the service providers will generally know plenty). The good news is that the Chilenos are very hospitable and will generally make every effort to communicate with you.

As far as prices that far south, remember just how far south you are. In comparison to the top of Alaska, the south of Chile is much more modern and developed...but just as windy.
Eastbay1K is online now  
Old Jul 17, 2002, 12:09 am
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 1,950
It is very helpful if not courteous to try to pick up a bit of the language before you go. And, Portugues is only spoken in Brazil, so that shouldn't be an issue with your itinerary.

j379pa is offline  

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