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Patagonia Rafting
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CycleB0b wrote a review Nov 2013
Perth16 contributions6 helpful votes
My wife and I did a 1 day rafting excursion with Patagonia Rafting. I have done only 2 other rafting excursions: our first in Colorado and the other in Indonesia--our experience in Patagonia stacked up well.   The total time on the water was probably 1.30 hrs. There were on the order of 10 rapids that we had to negotiate that were very fun and challenging enough for a few people to pop out of the raft for a swim. Our guide siena was excellent as were the other customers that came from a number of countries including Argentina of course. We divided up into an English and  Spanish speaking raft based on the language strengths of the guides.  We were very impressed with the safety aspects of the excursion. There was a fairly comprehensive briefing from the guide. More impressively, there was an experienced kayaker accompanying the 2 rafts specifically to assist any rafters that end up in the water. Overall the safety bar here was considerably higher than Colorado (which surprised me as i thought the US would be highly regulated in this area) and miles higher than Indonesia (which did not surprise me--although the "rapids" were much less intimidating).  The equipment was in reasonable condition (wet suits w/ boots and splash jackets, helmets and paddles). The largest boots were too small for me and my toes hurt after a while, but this has been the case with almost every rental piece of equipment I've hired since the age of 14 or so, and i do not blame small companies too much for not catering to the abnormally tall. The base camp where we put the rafts in was a very nice area on the river bank with a restaurant and bathroom facilities. It's about a 1.30 hr drive from Bariloche. The restaurant prices seem a bit high for what you get particularly as there's no alternative for lunch except packing your own. The worst injury I received was bashing my head on the doorframe of the bathroom, but again, reasonably sized people should not anticipate an issue with this.  There was also a photographer that took some excellent photos from various locations on the bank. We chose to purchase the photos as it is hard to come by really good photos of yourself rafting. The photographer set up a very entertaining slide show that we watched after lunch.  Overall this was a very good activity that'd I'd enthusiastically recommend. I just wish there had been a bit more time on the river.
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Date of experience: September 2013
airamSydney wrote a review Jan 2012
Sydney176 contributions145 helpful votes
This was our second trip around the world, From Sydney Australia. We highly recommend LAN which brought us to Santiago, Frutillar and then Puna Arenas.My wife and I traveled by bus, Technic, from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia in October 2011.We arrived in Punta Arenas by plane from Santiago. The plane was buffeted by severe turbulence shortly before it landed in Punata Arenas. We found accommodation at a hostel which we chose via the internet, because the owners were willing to purchase the bus tickets on our behalf before we arrived. Since we had decided to stay only one day in Punta Arenas, this offer was accepted eagerly. Sure, we had to pay extra to the owners of the Hostel for the favour and we did it willingly. Punta Arenas is not a pretty city. Its importance to us was the straits of Majellan. The city is old and needs an uplift. We left Punta Arenas at about 8.30 a.m. on 7 October. The reason we decided to travel by bus was because we wished to cross the straits of Majellan. We did not imagine that the 12 hours of travel would keep us enthralled by the beauty of the pampas of Patagonia. The land was marshy which provided an ideal ground for birds, for ostriches, for llamas, for foxes. It was an absolute delight spotting them as we drove past. An interesting point about the bus was that the front section was curtained off. This prevented us from seeing the road ahead. Breakfast was served on the bus (included in the ticket). We checked out at the Chilean frontier and shortly after, we presented our passports at the Argentinian frontier. Reciprocity did not exist at this point and we were able to keep the $200 it would have cost us. The straits of Majellan is crossed in a ferry. Cars, buses and trucks are parked in the middle and the passengers are on either side on a raised platform which enabled us to observe the departure and the arrival on the other side. The sea was calm but the waters of the Atlantic entered the straits with force. The crossing takes about 45 minutes. From Rio Grande, the trip to Ushuaia along mountains which were covered with snow. This was a very enjoyable trip and we recommend it to others, if you are fortunate as we were, to make this trip.
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Date of experience: October 2011