There is a lot to see and do in Patagonia and unless you have extremely deep pockets and an endless supply for time, you have to make sure that you get the most out of your Patagonian holiday. There are many things that you should know before you land here and this is a very tourist friendly place which should make our holiday that much nicer.
- Plan, Plan. Plan
Yes, I know that it doesn’t sound fun planning but your trips always end up better and you end up saving your money and time if you know your itinerary in advance. Depending upon how many days your Patagonian holiday will be, there are many things to do. You can spend a week or months and still not uncover all that is there to see. Patagonia covers a large area, so it best if you know what attractions and places you want to visit. You can always digress along the way to accommodate other sightseeing trips as long as there is a rough idea of where you are going. You have to also decide on the time of the year you wish to visit; keeping in mind the tourists that will also be there, the weather and services which may be closed from March onwards due to the winter season and more. If you have an idea of the places you could stay in, a list of campsites ready so that you don’t have to trudge around looking for one later – you’ll be a much happier camper.
- Language Barrier
Much of the area will be in the remote wilderness, so you should know where you want to head to. But that being said, as you will probably be entering areas that are poorly inhabited, the people there may not know English or your own language. It will be best if you can take a two week course so that you can get around and communicate on a basic level. You also have to keep in mind that the Spanish that the Chileans speak is different from other South American dialects and this may also prove a hindrance – even if you’re South American. Give yourself some time to adjust to the language so that you may see, hear and learn.
- Carry Toilet Paper
It is not a common thing and most public washrooms are poorly maintained. For your own sake and comfort, carry your own tissue paper and toilet paper.
The Chilean Peso is the CH$ and it is advised that you carry small bills with you as you travel as many rural areas won’t be able to give you change if you hand over a CH$10,000 note. Although the currency comes in denominations from CH$500 up to CH$20,000, most rural areas will only have change for up to CH$1,000.
It is great if you can plan your trip by using the public transport system. Chilean Patagonia has a working public bus system the year round but the frequency of their transport varies from season to season. Understandably, the summer peak season sees a higher frequency and the winter months decidedly less. You will have to do your research in advance so that you don’t get stranded in a place for longer than you intended. Many people also choose to rent their own car so that they have flexible hours and have the freedom to travel wherever and whenever they want. The rates can add up however, so you should try emailing the owner of the rental car company to give you a special price if you pay in cash. You’ll find that they usually have more agreeable terms.