This TRIP was designed by us (your local Trip Leaders) and the Regional office in Argentina-Chile for you to have the most intense and unique TRAVEL EXPERIENCE in this remote part of the world. As your Trip Leader I will be coordinating all your activities in Chile -if you are on the pre trip, Argentina as well as in Brazil - if you are doing the post-trip - so get ready for an adventure of a lifetime! . At Overseas Adventure Travel we seek out unusual experiences in out-of-the-way places where ordinary tours do not dare to go. So be prepared to leave your comfort zone to get a real feel of the local nature and culture.We will most probably encounter a bit of everything - from airline delays to unpredictable weather - as we head in to the southernmost part of the Globe.There will be an abundance of natural and human challenges, but at Overseas Adventure Travel we believe that "the worst that can happen to us is that nothing happens to us at all. Flexibility and a positive attitude are crucial on this unique journey. In order to accomplish this goal let me tell you about the
OVERSEAS"/span>.You will be travelling to places where things are not going to be the same as they are back at home.You will first spend many hours flying south, half way across the globe to get to my corner of the world. We will then visit Santiago before flying across the Andes into Buenos Aires, Argentina. Our Patagonia Adventure starts at El Calafate where the mighty Perito Moreno Glacier will take our breath away. A B E A Utiful drive through Patagonian steppe will take us to Chile for exploring the renowned Torres del Paine National Park and we continue further south across "sheep country" to embark the M/V Mare Australis and set sail across the Strait of Magellan and around Cape Horn to Ushuaia in Argentina. Having completed our adventure our Grand Finale will be in Buenos Aires before heading back home or on to our post trip to Iguazu.We need you to be one hundred percent flexible and ready to turn each minus into a plus bearing in mind that our schedules and plans may change along the way.
- At Overseas Adventure Travel we believe that we travel in order to expand our horizons, to improve the world we share, to improve our lives and help others improve theirs, to become better people by opening our hearts and minds, by sharing our experiences, our cultures as well as supporting the people and the local economies of the countries we visit.We believe that through travel we get to understand the world we share with others and that this is a basic pre-condition to accepting our differences.
- Trust us that this trip will reward you with unique experiences as well as the opportunity to discover a whole new world of natural wonders.So be ready in body and mind for this once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.Should you need any additional information I may be reached via email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and cell phone: (56-9)8 2349242 .
See you in Buenos Aires where our real Travel Experience begins.
Wishing you a pleasant flight
All the best,Carlos Segura Ciuchi
Overseas Adventure Travel
- Preparing your trip
- Passport: US Passport should be valid for at least six months following your scheduled return to the United States. Make photocopies of your passport, travel protection plan and airlines tickets and keep separately from originals. On entry into each country you will receive a local immigration document that will be required when leaving.
- Entry/departure Fee: There is an entry fee (reciprocity tax) to pay upon arrival in Santiago (only pre trip) international airport of USD 160 for US citizens . As you head for immigrations you will go down the scalators and turn left to pay the tax mentioned above. You MUST pay before doing immigrations. If you are entering to Argentina through Buenos Aires there is also a Reciprocity tax to pay; As you head for Immigrations and stand in line go to the far right side of the hall where you will find a booth opened for this purpose. The amount is USD 160 which can be charged to the credit card or cash in dollars.
- Weather: As you may expect, you will experience vastly different climates from warmer weather in Santiago and Buenos Aires to cooler and unpredictable temperatures in Calafate, Torres del Paine, Punta Arenas and Ushuaia. During this trip the weather may range from 55º F in Patagonia to 100ºF at the Iguazu Falls.For the Brazil extension: It is very warm and humid so dress accordingly and please bring sun glasses, sun block and a hat. Be prepared to get wet while during the Iguazu Falls visit.
- Clothing: Comfortable and practical clothes are the rule. Jewellery and expensive fashionable clothes are of no practical use on this trip.It is recommended that you layer your clothing. We will be spending time out in the open in Patagonia exposed to wind and rain -We suggest you bring the following windy weather items: the waterproof parka, windstopper, fleece sweaters as well as comfortable warm clothes to wear on board.Casual attire is appropriate for official welcome and farewell dinner. No formal dress is needed. In all the cities we visit on this trip casual dress is OK for the excursions and for walking around.Additionally you may want to bring a small backpack to carry your camera, binoculars, reference books, spare clothing, gloves, water etc. when out in the open.If you are additionally going on to Iguazu Falls please remember that the temperature is hot and humid (around 70º F to 90º F at this time of the year) and you will need summer clothes such as shorts, T-shirts and sandals - for this segment of the trip.Layer Clothing!!!
COLD or WARM are entirely personal & very much depend on where you live in the USA! Remember that we "PREPARE FOR THE WORST & HOPE FOR THE BEST" & we can always leave 1 or 2 layers in the bus while hiking if weather conditions are excellent but if you feel cold & you do not have enough layers...not much you can do then!!! so this is my general recommendation:
LAYER1 insulated underwear
LAYER2 cotton shirt or t-shirt & waterproof pants
LAYER3 sweater or FLEECE
LAYER4 windbreaker or extra FLEECE
LAYER5 waterproof parka
- Currency: ATM machines are available in larger cities and generally have a maximum withdrawal of approximately USD 300 per day. Please be aware that ATM’s give you only local currency.In Chile, Argentina and Brazil Credit Cards are widely accepted and we recommend having at least some local currency for small items such as taxis, pay phones, public toilets, water, etc.We suggest that you contact your bank to inform them of your travel plans and for specific fees that may be associated.Be aware Argentine Pesos ($) and US dollars ($) have the same symbol.Chile: the Chilean peso is worth approximately four hundred and sixty pesos per one USD. Argentina: the Argentine peso is worth approximately four pesos and sixty cents per one USD.Brazil: the Brazilian Real is worth approximately two Real and per one USD.
- Water: Drinkable in most of the destinations, if it is not, you will be advised. We always recommend having bottled water with you.
- Electricity: Camera Gear Memory sticks (very expensive in BA) Protect your lenses with UV filters! Film ASA400 are mostly used due to overcasted skies most of the time! but bring some ASA100 or even 50 in case we're very lucky with the weather! NOTE: Electricity is 220V in Argentina & Chile so check if your electrical devices are for both 110v-220v! If only 110v you may consider bringing your own 110-220v transformer! DO NOT forget PLUG ADAPTORs ... In Argentina we use European Plugs ... 2round prongs & in Chile 3round prongs in In Chile, Argentina, Brazil electricity is 220Volts / 50 Hertz (cycles per second).Most hotels have at least one 110v socket. You may consider bringing a personal 110v - 220v electrical transformer and/or adapter.
- Luggage:NOTE: for FLIGHTS WITHIN ARGENTINA we have up to 50lbs total per person Free of Charge as checked luggage + 1 Carry-On bag up to 17lbs + 1 personal item such as a handbag or laptop on board the aircraft!!! LAN ARGENTINA will charge you u$12 for every extra kilo (2.2lbs) & check-in agents are very willing to collect excess baggage from you as they get a percentage so be aware of this when packing!!! I HIGHLY recommend you use 1 big bag + bring 1 smaller inside so once here we make 2 very different BAGS... 1- the BUENOS AIRES/IGUAZU(if on the POST) BAG with all the lighter (mostly cotton) t-shirts or shirts / shorts / hat / light walking shoes or teva-like shoes. We keep that at hotel storage when in Patagonia! 2- the PATAGONIA BAG with all the heavy stuff (parka /insulated socks & underwear / Polartec clothes are LIGHT & COMFORTABLE) . Inside the Via/Mare Australis temperature is aroud 70-75F!! DO NOT FORGET we go on an real EXPEDITION so all the Staff / Crew & most of travelers on-board will dress CASSUAL all the time but it's up to you if you want to bring one slighlty dressier outfit for city evenings and on board! Being Comfortable with functional clothes is the RULE! Jewelry & expensive fashionable clothes are not recommended!
- Miscellaneous: Upon entry into Chile, Argentina and Brazil you will receive an immigration document that will be required when leaving.It is recommended to leave your passport at the hotel, it is not necessary to carry it. You can always bring photocopies of your passport, airline tickets (if not electronic tickets) and of your Travel Protection Plan.Keep the boarding pass from the USA as it will be useful to confirm domestic flight information if needed.
- Do not carry expensive jewelry or valuables while walking around the cities we visit. A small amount of local currency is highly recommended.Traveler’s checks are welcome in major cities only.It saves valuable time and money to have all the information or a photocopy of your credit card and emergency phone numbers handy to report stolen or lost Credit Cards. If you are travelling with travellers cheques take photocopies and leave them with family members who are easy to reach!
- Binoculars are extremely useful to spot birds and wildlife in general as well as walking sticks if you have some trouble walking.Memory sticks for digital cameras are expensive in this part of the world. Protect your lenses with UV filters.Film ASA400 is mostly used due to overcast skies most of the time. We suggest you also bring some ASA100 or even ASA50 in case we get very lucky with the weather
- · Taxis are metered so they do not have fixed rates.
- · Restaurant “service charges” normally does not include the waiter’s tip, which is between 10 and 15 percent of the bill. It is not always possible to add the tip to the credit card.
· Mosquito repellent and a swim suit are recommended for the Brazil extension.· Check-in time at our Santiago hotel is 2:00 PM. Check out time in Santiago,Buenos Aires, and Iguazu hotels is 12:00 midday.For more information please consult your Overseas Adventure Travel itinerary.Website: http://www.oattravel.com/
Published by Carlos Segura Ciuchi