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Torres Del Paine - All inclusive or not?

Los Altos Hills, CA
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Torres Del Paine - All inclusive or not?

Hi all, I'm in the process of planning a trip to Chile and/or Argentina for March of next year. We know we definitely want to spend 3-4 days in TDP. We're very well traveled and like our independence. However, in TDP, it seems like most of the nice lodges are "all inclusive" meaning that it has a "program" that includes all excursions, and often quite expensive.

My question is whether it's possible to book these excursions once we get there. We would like to have the flexibility. Also, if we just wanted to go do some hiking, can we just go by ourselves without a guide (we're reasonably fit/active, but not huge hikers).

Thanks in advance!

Santiago, Chile
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1. Re: Torres Del Paine - All inclusive or not?

Hostería Torres does all inclusive but you can also stay there and just book the tours you want. If you want to just hike you don't need a guide. H. Torres has horses and you can book a ride with them if you want. I don't believe you have to be a guest there to do so.

Los Altos Hills, CA
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2. Re: Torres Del Paine - All inclusive or not?

Thanks!!

Another question: While we enjoy getting out doors, we're not hardcore hikers. We're in reasonable shape, but I have a bad knee so going for a long time on steep downhill doesn't feel so great. Do you think we would still enjoy TDP, given the expense and time/effort to get there?

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: Torres Del Paine - All inclusive or not?

Hi Judy,

Funny seeing you here! We're going to Torres del Paine in December of this year. Have everything pretty much booked. We're starting in Ushuaia with a 4 night cruise with Cruceros Australis to Punta Arenas. Then 3 nights in TDP, 3 nights in Santiago and 3 nights in Easter Island. We did decide on all inclusive in TDP. We opted for Lago Grey as it was what we viewed as the best location and cheapest. It was $2,130 for 3 nights in one of their new rooms. The reason I picked all inclusive is mostly for the transport and it was just easier to get meals included as we werent planning to rent a car and after I added the excursions (about $200 pp per day) and meals, it came out about the same. Also, for the excursions, they rank it by difficulty. We aren't going to do heavy trekking and I've picked some easy to moderate excursions already. Wherever you stay, you can pick these type of excursions.

I do have information and all inclusive pricing for the other highly rated properties (Patagonia Camp, Tierra Patagonia, Las Torres and Rio Serrano) as I emailed each individually. They were around $3,000 for 3 nights. We would have loved to stay at Tierra Patagonia but they didn't do transfer for the day we arrive. I have found that TDP is pretty expensive. Kind of like safari!

Let me know if you want more information.

Los Altos Hills, CA
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4. Re: Torres Del Paine - All inclusive or not?

Hi Panda, lol, too funny seeing you here :)

That's very helpful information. I'm now leaning towards El Calafate and El Chalten instead of TDP. Having a hard time getting over to sticker shock of these packages in TDP - like you say, safari price level if not more! I'm not sure how much we would enjoy group hiking in any case... seems like in El Chalten you can just walk out of the hotel and onto a trail. Any other opinions on how Argentinean vs. Chilean Patagonia?

We're probably not going until next Feb/Mar. Would love to hear how your trip goes.

Houston, Texas
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5. Re: Torres Del Paine - All inclusive or not?

I've read a little about perito moreno on the Argentina side but it still can't really beat TDP in my opinion. The other reason I picked Lago Grey is they have trails by the hotel so we could spend some time walking out on our own. El Calafate looks very picturesque.

Not sure if you've been to other parts of South America but this will be our 2nd trip. First time, we went to Lima, Cusco, Macchu Picchu, Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aires and Rio. If not, we REALLY loved Macchu Picchu and Iguazu Falls. For a big city, Rio is really pretty also. If you want to just stick to Argentina, I don't think you want to miss Iguazu.

Could definitely let you know how our trip goes. It will be our first time in Chile. Our 4 day cruise also seems very interesting with twice daily zodiac excursions. Also, have found this forum to be less helpful compared to the Serengeti Forum so it is more independent reading. The sticker shock doesn't stop with the hotels and tours, the airfare within South America is also expensive in my opinion.

Los Altos Hills, CA
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6. Re: Torres Del Paine - All inclusive or not?

This will be our first trip to South America. We briefly thought about Peru but decided to concentrate on Argentina and Chile. Definitely plan on seeing Iguazu Falls. Current thinking is a few days each in BA, Iguazu Falls, either TDP or El Calafate/El Chalten, the Lake District (crossing over the Chile), and ending with Colchagua wine country.

Did you check the LAN pass? if you book your incoming on LAN, there's a bit of a discount. On the boat cruise, not sure if you overlapped with the couple from SF at Olakira. They took the boat cruise (as part of a massive 35 day trip!) and loved it. I'm tempted, but a bit concerned about weather/sea sickness.

Houston, Texas
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7. Re: Torres Del Paine - All inclusive or not?

I've heard about people mentioning the LAN pass here but I think you are right and requires an international leg and for us, from the US. We just have too many airline alliances and thus haven't really looked into it as it probably requires some connections and we always opt for the non stop. This time around, it's not so bad. We are using some BA miles. But I do think the LAN pass is worth looking into.

We're also looking to visit some wineries from Santiago. Luckily our cruise is only 4 nights so if I do get sick, it's a short duration. I did hear the seas can be rough.

Dallas, Texas
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8. Re: Torres Del Paine - All inclusive or not?

You should be back from you trip to Chile. I am planning a trip next year and was really interested in your itinerary. Would you mind sharing your trip experience and what were absolutely must dos. Thanks.

Edited: 7:08 pm, July 14, 2012
New York City, New...
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9. Re: Torres Del Paine - All inclusive or not?

We are planning a similar trip for January. Just wondering how you are getting to Ushuaia. We want to book that cruise, but couldn't figure out how to do the return trip.

10. Re: Torres Del Paine - All inclusive or not?

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