8 days in Chile

Old Nov 16, 16, 11:50 am
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8 days in Chile

I'm planning a trip in late January to Chile. Will likely fly into SCL, but would like to go to Patagonia to see the mountains/glaciers. Is it too much to visit both SCL and Patagonia in only 7-8 days? January being the height of tourist season, are the sights around Punta Arenas/Puerto Natales too crowded? If so, any recommendations for alternatives for some unique nature experiences in Chile during that time? Thanks!
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Old Nov 17, 16, 6:49 am
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I don't think there is a whole lot to see in SCL itself. Most people travel to Valparaiso or Vina del Mar, if staying in that "immediate" area. Yes January is the busy time but you can easily fly into Punta Arenas and rent a car to drive to Torres del Paine where you should spend at least 3 nights-depending on what you like to do. If you are merely driving and looking then that is enough but if you would like to do some hiking, then maybe four nights is better. The problem is finding accommodations this late in the game. There is no place else like Torres del Paine, but you could go to the Chilean Lakes region around Puerto Montt-though there will not be any glaciers.
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Old Nov 17, 16, 8:24 am
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It's a dog of a long way to Puerto Natales, I did it and regretted I did not do it a bit slower because of the amount of time I spent travelling. I went at New Year and Puerto Natales was not that crowded and I had no difficulty organising last minute accommodation and a day trip to Torres del Paine.

Santiago and Torres del Paine you can easily do in 7-8 days, I added in a few nights in Puerto Varas too. I had been to Puerto Varas before but if you are looking for an alternative that is less intensive then that is a great option too. You can drive up Volcán Osorno, visit Petrohue, drive around Lago Llanquihue and stop of in Frutillar.

I would not recommend you do both though as I did
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Old Dec 1, 16, 11:21 am
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Agree 8 days is doable for both places. I personally didn't care for Santiago and would rather spend more time in southern Patagonia (and it does take a while to get to Puerto Natales / TDP, as stated above). If you decide to go to TDP, I would recommend Grey Glacier and Mirador Cuernos. I enjoyed ice-hiking on the glacier and would recommend it.
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