Chile advice

Old Nov 14, 15, 8:41 pm
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Chile advice

I have to be in Santiago next week on business. I originally tacked on four days vacation (Thursday through Monday, flying home Monday night around 21:30). However, I haven't made any plans as to what to do those days because I can't seem to decide. Last time I did this I flew to Easter a Island but do not seem to have the same level of energy this trip. I would like to go to Patagonia but I need great internet access and it can be dicey there so I will save that for another time. It doesn't seem worthwhile to stay in Santiago so I need some suggestions.

I love wine but I have been to so many wineries around the world that it doesn't seem particularly exciting to do more. I've been to Valparaiso. I have thought about flying to Chiloe. I've also thought about taking a bus to Mendoza for a night or so. Finally, I've thought about flying to Montevideo, a city I'm unlikely to get to otherwise.

I love gardens, art, music, good food, and the sea. I should probably add that I chose next week for an international business trip because I wanted to skip Thanksgiving here at home so it's a little bit of escapism going on.

Any thoughts?
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Old Nov 14, 15, 10:27 pm
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I've also thought about taking a bus to Mendoza for a night or so.
That would entail paying Argentina's $160 reciprocity fee in advance online. Seems like a lot if you're only going to be in the country for a night.

I have thought about flying to Chiloe.
You would fly to Puerto Montt (PMC) and make your way by land and ferry to the island.
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Old Nov 16, 15, 6:17 am
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
That would entail paying Argentina's $160 reciprocity fee in advance online. Seems like a lot if you're only going to be in the country for a night.

I already have paid it for a prior trip to Argentina and it is good for several years.


You would fly to Puerto Montt (PMC) and make your way by land and ferry to the island.
LAN flies to Chiloe now via PUerto Montt.

My question was about suggestions for places to go that meet my interests, are relatively easy to get to, and offer great Internet access. Or maybe I'm selling Santiago short and should just stay there? I've been there a couple of times.
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Old Nov 16, 15, 9:39 am
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Viña might be your best bet. Easy to get to, plenty of food options, plenty of beachy options with a car, etc. There is also plenty to pass a few days' time in Santiago.

While I'd ordinarily suggest the La Serena area, you'll find yourself away from good connectivity when you go to do more interesting things. The same goes for Iquique. If you've never been north, a few days in Iquique would be interesting. Get a car and drive out to Pica for a day trip (you'll have to suffer with spotty connectivity on this day trip), which will give you a taste of the driest desert in the world. Lodging in IQQ should still be reasonable as peak season doesn't start until the year's end. I haven't been up there in several years but you'll expect so-so "resorts" near the sea, and a neat old (restored) city center. Last minute air might be a bundle, however.
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Old Nov 16, 15, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by dlffla View Post
LAN flies to Chiloe now via PUerto Montt.
I didn't know that. That's great to know. Thanks. I see the airport code is MHC.

Chiloe is a fascinating place, but very quiet. You're probably not going to have widespread Internet access.
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Old Nov 21, 15, 9:17 am
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What did you end up doing?

Originally Posted by dlffla View Post
I have to be in Santiago next week on business. I originally tacked on four days vacation (Thursday through Monday, flying home Monday night around 21:30). However, I haven't made any plans as to what to do those days because I can't seem to decide. Last time I did this I flew to Easter a Island but do not seem to have the same level of energy this trip. I would like to go to Patagonia but I need great internet access and it can be dicey there so I will save that for another time. It doesn't seem worthwhile to stay in Santiago so I need some suggestions.

I love wine but I have been to so many wineries around the world that it doesn't seem particularly exciting to do more. I've been to Valparaiso. I have thought about flying to Chiloe. I've also thought about taking a bus to Mendoza for a night or so. Finally, I've thought about flying to Montevideo, a city I'm unlikely to get to otherwise.



I love gardens, art, music, good food, and the sea. I should probably add that I chose next week for an international business trip because I wanted to skip Thanksgiving here at home so it's a little bit of escapism going on.

Any thoughts?
Curious to know what you planned in the end. I will be in SCL early December and curious to see what you had planned.. Thanks and safe travels
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Old Dec 1, 15, 5:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Flying Machine View Post
Curious to know what you planned in the end. I will be in SCL early December and curious to see what you had planned.. Thanks and safe travels
I ended up renting a car and headed south to Valdivia where I wanted to visit the botanical garden at the University. I also drove to Villarica on the way back to Santiago (lovely setting) and went to Concepcion. I also stopped at Miguel Torres winery and purchased a bottle of Chilean sparkling wine for a wine tasting group I'm part of. In other words, I sort of just roamed around. It was quite fun although I think Chile needs to work on their road signage. Having done all this, next time I have some days I will definitely go to the lake country and Patagonia.
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Old Dec 4, 15, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by dlffla View Post
I ended up renting a car and headed south to Valdivia where I wanted to visit the botanical garden at the University. I also drove to Villarica on the way back to Santiago (lovely setting) and went to Concepcion. I also stopped at Miguel Torres winery and purchased a bottle of Chilean sparkling wine for a wine tasting group I'm part of. In other words, I sort of just roamed around. It was quite fun although I think Chile needs to work on their road signage. Having done all this, next time I have some days I will definitely go to the lake country and Patagonia.
What was your car rental experience like? I've never rented outside of US/Canada, was it pricey? Random insurance/tax charges?

I remember seeing some stupid low prices in SJO which I was assured of here would come with fat taxes and ruining the price. I've got 5 days in SCL and while I love the big city, spending 1 day driving somewhere might be fun if it's not a huge hassle and expensive.
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Old Dec 4, 15, 2:13 pm
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Casablanca Valley is a Wonderful Day Trip from Santiago (Think Napa Vally) with excellent costal Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs. Bear in mind you should have a designated driver or driver/tour guide as there is ZERO TOLLERANCE with Alcohol and Driving..
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Old Dec 4, 15, 2:19 pm
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Originally Posted by drvannostren View Post
What was your car rental experience like? I've never rented outside of US/Canada, was it pricey? Random insurance/tax charges?

I remember seeing some stupid low prices in SJO which I was assured of here would come with fat taxes and ruining the price. I've got 5 days in SCL and while I love the big city, spending 1 day driving somewhere might be fun if it's not a huge hassle and expensive.
I've rented plenty of cars in Chile, and the experience isn't always lovely. The worst was arriving SCL with a confirmed Alamo reservation, and they didn't have a car for me, and every other agency was sold out - this, when I was supposed to be driving right out to Viña. Prices overall tend to be higher than you may be used to, and automatics are rare (but increasing in popularity). I've generally had good enough experiences with Econorent, and their pricing is usually better than the others - well, except the last time, when I went with Alamo. I ended up making a deal with a driver right at the airport to get us to Viña.
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