Author Topic: Ideas for a Chili/Argentina trip?  (Read 1260 times)

Linda_Norway

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Ideas for a Chili/Argentina trip?
« on: February 01, 2018, 02:15:18 AM »
Hello,

I have started to think about an extended trip to Chile and maybe Argentina during one of the next solar eclipses:
- 2nd July 2019
- 4th December 2020

This is where the eclipses are:
https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2019Jul02Tgoogle.html
https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2020Dec14Tgoogle.html

I see now that the 2020 eclipse is better, in the sense of having the full obscuration above land.

I realize that it is a long time ahead, but as it is a place that we don't know much about, I would appreciate to get some good ideas about where to go, how things work over there and what to watch out for.

A bit about me and my DH:
- We enjoy (multiple day) hiking trips with a backpack and sleeping in a tent.
- We also like using a simple airBnB in a nice village (preferably not a major big city)
- We like fly fishing and Patagonia is high on our list to visit.
- I am interested in finding mushrooms.
- We like to see and photograph wildlife.
- DH likes to free dive, I like to snorkel.
- I am interested in skywatching.
- We are interested in visiting interesting historic and natural sites, but rather not with millions of tourists.
- We like to eat in non expensive restaurants that serve well-tasting food. I hate restaurants with persuaders outside.
- I want to avoid criminality.
- I don't tackle extreme heat well and need to be mostly in the shadow if we are at a place with strong sunlight.

The plan is to be FIRED by then, or at least be able to take a long sabbatical, so that we would have time to go there for 2-3 months, which means we can have a long trip for what the flight will cost. Travel hacking is not a very obvious thing here in Norway as we don't get lots of points for signing up on credit cards, so I rely on finding a flight at an unpopular date/time with lower fares.

mies

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Re: Ideas for a Chili/Argentina trip?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2018, 04:57:50 AM »
Iíve never been to Chile, but if I could visit, I would visit Alerce Costero National Park. It is a temperate rainforest with some rare trees, the alerce. They are kind of the South American equivalent of a coast redwood, but they grow more slowly. They were logged pretty heavily in the past, so what is left of the old growth is pretty special.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Ideas for a Chili/Argentina trip?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2018, 05:06:41 AM »
Iíve never been to Chile, but if I could visit, I would visit Alerce Costero National Park. It is a temperate rainforest with some rare trees, the alerce. They are kind of the South American equivalent of a coast redwood, but they grow more slowly. They were logged pretty heavily in the past, so what is left of the old growth is pretty special.

I just read the other day that a wealthy American couple has been being up a lot of land in Chile that was earlier logged. They restored it and now sold it to the government that has created new National Parks. Sounds great to visit those parks.

http://www.iflscience.com/environment/chile-creates-five-new-massive-national-parks-protecting-over-10-million-acres-of-land/

And I would like to see those giant redwood-like trees as well.

wenchsenior

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Re: Ideas for a Chili/Argentina trip?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2018, 07:04:30 AM »
Ooo, no suggestions, just massive envy LOL.  If you do this, I would love detailed reports because this is one of only two regions on earth that is still on my bucket list that I haven't been to.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Ideas for a Chili/Argentina trip?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2018, 09:23:32 AM »
I got sent to Bariloche, Argentina on a work trip a few years ago.  It is on my list of places to go back too as a normal person.  Food was pretty inexpensive.  I remember getting a fantastic 900g of Filet Minon with sides for about $20 USD.  It was a great place for fishing and hiking, the Chilean border was about 1 hour away.  Small city probably 100,000 people.  Interesting architecture for South America, it was one of the areas the Nazi's fled too so has kind of a Bavarian feel.  It is one of those places which doesn't have too many tourists even though still does a decent job catering to them.

Edited to correct city size, I was there in the Summer, March I think.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 09:28:59 AM by neverrun »

Linda_Norway

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Re: Ideas for a Chili/Argentina trip?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2018, 09:49:40 AM »
I got sent to Bariloche, Argentina on a work trip a few years ago.  It is on my list of places to go back too as a normal person.  Food was pretty inexpensive.  I remember getting a fantastic 900g of Filet Minon with sides for about $20 USD.  It was a great place for fishing and hiking, the Chilean border was about 1 hour away.  Small city probably 100,000 people.  Interesting architecture for South America, it was one of the areas the Nazi's fled too so has kind of a Bavarian feel.  It is one of those places which doesn't have too many tourists even though still does a decent job catering to them.

Edited to correct city size, I was there in the Summer, March I think.

When we discussed Argentina at home, DH mentioned the fled nazies. I told him that most of them should have died out by now. I will look into that city.

Caroline PF

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Re: Ideas for a Chili/Argentina trip?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2018, 12:59:47 PM »
Yes, yes! Me too. I got to watch the 2017 eclipse in the US, and I'm hooked. I wanted to do international travel with my kids anyway, and chasing eclipses just helps choose areas to visit.

So I'm planning on going in 2019 and 2020. But I've never planned international travel before (with the exception of going to visit family, in which I just have to handle visas and flights, and they do the rest of the planning), and this is all out of my comfort zone.

So here are my tentative scheduling ideas. I'm planning on going for about 2 weeks each time. That could change if I am FIREd by then.

I plan on going to both Chile and Argentina on each trip, and hitting northern areas in 2019, and southern in 2020.

Northern areas that looked interesting to me:
  • La Serena, Chile for the 2019 eclipse. They have a stargazing center there. It's close to the ocean, as well.
  • Santiago, Chile: probably fly in here, and spend a couple of days exploring.
  • San Pedro de Atacama, Chile: amazing scenery with volcanoes and a salt mountain
  • Iguazu Falls, Argentina: there are supposed to be some jesuit ruins near the falls,
     which would be interesting in their own right
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina: fly out of here, after spending a couple of days exploring
  • Colonia Sacramento, Uruguay: apparently close to Buenos Aires, so we could do a day trip. Has some cool old architecture.
Southern areas: (my plans here are much less developed)
  • watch eclipse in Argentina, south of Buenos Aires
  • Patagonia lake region (Bariloche)
  • Tierra del fuego: see some penguins

As far as temperature, I'm with you: I don't handle heat well. The 2019 eclipse is in July, which is in the winter, so shouldn't be hot. 2020 eclipse in is December, which is in the summer, but I'm planning to head far south (tierra del fuego), nearly to Antarctica, so I don't think it would be very hot there, either.

As far as which eclipse will be better, the things I have been considering is likelihood of cloud cover, and length of eclipse.
  • Length: both will last between 2 and 2.5 minutes over land. If you want longer, you have to go out into the ocean in 2019
  • Cloud cover: I'm not finding a lot of information here. I'm leaning towards Chile 2019 being less likely to have clouds, but the eclipse will be closer to the horizon, which would amplify any cloud cover issues. If you're only going to one, you'll definitely want to do your research here.

Anyway, I'm so excited to see someone else planning a trip. I'll have to check out some of the other recommendations here, too.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Ideas for a Chili/Argentina trip?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2018, 01:15:34 AM »
@Caroline PF, how nice that you are planning a similar trip.

We think that a 100% coverage will give the best eclipse. A sun on the horizon is much more vague, as you are looking through more kilometers of atmosphere. So maybe it will be December 2020. We also reckoned that both Chile and Argentina are very long, vertical countries and that you should be able to find any climate varying from tropical to (sub)arctic. We had the impression that the inland of Argentina would have a more stable land climate than the chilean coast.

Edit: I think I looked wrongly on the map. Both Chili and Argentina seem to have 100% coverage. I found out that my local astronomy club has contacted a travel agency to organize an eclipse trip to Argentina in 2019 (for many hundreds of dollars per person). In the program they mentioned setting up a camp for the actual eclipse, instead of staying in a hotel. Maybe I can join them for a couple of days in that camp. And organize the rest of the trip myself, which I definitely hope will be a lot cheaper.

If we would go there, I might also want to visit one of the many telescopes they have there in Chile, if they are open for visitors. There is a reason many telescopes are placed exactly there.

The question on such yourneys where you want to do everything is always: do you bring your own stuff along, or are you going to hire it? I have a reasonably small telescope and have a photo tripod to set it up in a bit wobbly fashion. But am I going to bring that along? What about the tele lens for the photocamera, which has a much wider use and should be used for the eclipse? What about all the fly fishing gear and waders? What about the tent and backpacks? What about the free diving stuff and the 11 kg lead belt? When taking a plane you should really bring as little as possible. And there is also the issue of looking after you expensive stuff. When we go on normal summer vacation and bring along the tele lens, we need to bring it along if we go on a multiple day hike, which is 1,5 kg extra for camera + lens. I guess we will have to travel light and rent stuff locally. In practice we do that very little (because we are Mustachians and don't like to spend money).
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 05:32:31 AM by Linda_Norway »

Linda_Norway

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Re: Ideas for a Chili/Argentina trip?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2018, 01:52:18 PM »
We have checked the weather conditions in Argentina in July and December. There is less rain in July, but it is quite cold. We don't like to spend our summer to travel to a place with 8 degrees C in average. So we think December 2020 is a better bet. But it can be 30 degrees C at day time.

We noticed that Neuquen is close to the eclipse area. This is also close to winery Del Fin Del Mundo, a red wine that has been the best we ever tasted, many years ago in a Danish restaurant. We will visit there. It is also a possible fly fishing region.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 01:08:39 AM by Linda_Norway »

Caroline PF

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Re: Ideas for a Chili/Argentina trip?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2018, 05:42:11 PM »
We have checked the weather conditions in Argentina in July and December. There is less rain in July, but it is quite cold. We don't like to spend our summer to travel to a place with 8 degrees C in average. So we think December 2020 is a better bet. But it can be 30 degrees C at day time.

We noticed that Neuquen is close to the eclipse area. This is alao close to winery Del Fin Del Mundo, a red wine that has been the best we ever tasted, many years ago in a Danish restaurant. We will visit there. It is also a possible fly fishing region.

I looked up some info on Neuquen. It looks beautiful. I'll put it on my list of possible destinations in 2020. :)

smalljenny

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Re: Ideas for a Chili/Argentina trip?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2018, 06:25:30 AM »
well. Chili and Argentina are amazing countries! You shold visit both! I hop that you will have good time there! Just look this article https://travelblogportal.com/destinations/argentina/top-10-attractions-in-south-america/

Panfish

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Re: Ideas for a Chili/Argentina trip?
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2018, 02:07:30 PM »
Sounds like a great adventure!  I have not been to Chili but have heard great things.  I think I am in a good place to offer some advice here for a few reasons:  I live in Wyoming and saw the path of totality away from the crowds in 2017 and i spent a 2 weeks in and around San Carlos de Bariloche.

The path of totality that I witnessed was one of the coolest things I have ever done.  Between the giant temperature swing, sudden darkness, and the whole horizon looking like a sunset it is 2 minutes i will never forget.  My coworkers that stayed in Laramie (98% totality) said the eclipse wasn't interesting.

Bariloche has some pretty awesome food and is right on a very pretty lake on the foothills of the mountains.  You can rent bikes and head west out of town and check out some amazing mountain scenery and crystal blue swimming holes.  The locals would drink water right out of the lakes around there (they don't have beavers so no ghirardia I guess).  We stayed at a hostel in town for like 10 bucks a night, i can't remember which one and I'm guessing during an eclipse it will be tough to get or spendy.  The food in bariloche was the best in our whole 6 week South American trip.  I think DW and myself ate at El Boliche de Alberto 5 nights in our week long stay.  The extra thick Sirloin cooked rare is the best steak i have ever had and i grew up raising show cattle so I know my steaks.  We would go there, get a whole bottle of Malbec, 2 steaks, 2 Salads, and like 3 or 4 sides and the bill would be like $35.00.  A similar meal in a major US population center would run a minimum of $200.  Bariloche has awesome chocolate shops and a dude making sausage sandwiches in the park for about a buck a piece (expect long lines).

About an hour south of Bariloche is El Bolson which is a bit of a trip for my midwest upbringing, it is a cheap 1 or so hour bus ride from Bariloche.  El Bolson has a really cool market and is kind of known as a hippie enclave but it was really fun.  There are amazing lakes really close to El Bolson.

When you want to get settled in for the eclipse I would head east.  About 5 miles outside of Bariloche the landscape turns into desert and the chance of rain will go down greatly.  I'm guessing during the eclipse your best bet will be to rent a car so you can get inland without having to rely on what will be a swamped transportation system.

Anyway, sorry for spewing all of this and trying to get you to stay where I want you to go.