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Chile WHS

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Author nfmungard
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#1 | Posted: 21 Jul 2016 11:02 
Planning a trip to primarily Chile and Argentina in November 2016. I would love some feedback. :)

First part - Chile

Sat - Santiago de Chile Arrival, Exploring
Sun - Sewell (WHS) -> Only possible with a tour (one provider). Seems restricted to weekends.
Mon - Flight Easter Islands
Tue - Easter Islands (WHS)
Wed - Easter Island. -> Night flight back to Santiago.
Thu - Valparisso (WHS) - Santiago
Fri - Morning flight Santiago -> Puerto Montt, Bus to Punta Varas
Sat - Punta Varas - Chiloe
Sun - Chiloe (WHS)
Mon - Chiloe. Evening flight: Puerto Montt -> Punta Arena
Tue - Punta Arena -> Torres del Paine
Wed - Torres del Paine (THWS)
Thu - Torres del Paine -> El Calafete (Bus and Argentina it is.

Notes:
* I will skip the Northern part of Chile.

Questions:
* Are 2,5 days enough for Easter Islands? I cannot get a rental car and don't enjoy doing tours for more than a day. Can you explore the islands by foot/bike? I do get this will be expensive (100$ per night, 600$ flight, food expensive).
* Is doing the Sewell tour complicated?
* Santiago itself wasn't described all that fondly by people I knew. Any reason to spend more time there?

I could spend another 1-2 days in Chile before transferring into Argentine.
* Any THWS I am missing or should try to visit?
* Punta Arenas of any note?

Author elsslots
Admin
#2 | Posted: 21 Jul 2016 11:24 
nfmungard:
* Are 2,5 days enough for Easter Islands?

Yes, enough to see the main places anyway. I only rented a car for one day, to get to Anakena and Ahu Akivi.
One day I cycled all the way to Rano Raraku (18km one way, no shade). It was tough for me, but I guess you're in better shape.
And I did a half-day tour to the Southern part of the Island (Rano Kau, Orongo, Ahu Tahiri).
And you can walk around in Hanga Roa, the capital with a museum and its own moai.

It's a special place, worth an extra splurge.

Author Allan
Registered
#3 | Posted: 22 Jul 2016 11:56 | Edited by: Allan 
Hi nfungard,

I've recently completed a trip to Chile which broadly matches your itinerary, so I might be able to offer a bit advice. Also helps that my wife is from Chile.

nfmungard:
* Is doing the Sewell tour complicated?

The Sewell tour is not particularly complicated. Catching the bus in Santiago is relatively straightforward, and can be caught from the Plaza Baquedano. Only thing to say is don't catch the wrong tour, as several different groups leave from that spot, so make sure you're standing with the right crowd. The tour takes the best part of the day. I would say that it really helps to have a bit of Spanish, as while on my trip there was a English speaking assistant, the main guide didn't speak any English, and not everything was translated. I found the tour quite interesting, though the actual tour itself is quite restricted in terms of what you can see. It really is a working site.

nfmungard:
* Santiago itself wasn't described all that fondly by people I knew. Any reason to spend more time there?

Santiago is okay, depending on what you would like to do. I recommend the Precolombian Art Museum. Also, make sure you visit the Moneda Palace and the Museum de San Francisco, as they are both on the Tentative list, even if I feel that neither really stand much chance of an inscription. There's not a lot happening in the 'downtown' part of town, but there are some nice restaurants and the like in Providencia.

I really enjoyed Chiloe actually. I don't know if you're renting a car or not, but I recommend it as it's really the best way to see the churches. We saw 9 of the 16 in two days, but some of the remote ones are really had to get to. My personal recommendations are Rilan and Tenaun. Also, if you can, try to stay in a Palafito in Castro. These wooden house on stilts are famous, and quite specific to Chiloe.

I haven't been to Punta Arenas, but my wife doesn't speak too highly of it.

Hope that helps!

Author nfmungard
Registered
#4 | Posted: 25 Jul 2016 12:38 
Again thanks for the comments.

elsslots:
It's a special place, worth an extra splurge.

I got 3 days of unpaid vacation approved, so if the fights are still reasonable (~ 600€), I will go. I will probably due a bus trip for a day and the cycling stuff you did the other day. And on the arrival day do stuff in the main town.

Allan:
I found the tour quite interesting, though the actual tour itself is quite restricted in terms of what you can see. It really is a working site.

In a way those have a special appeal. Looking forward. And let's see how far my pocito Espagnol takes me ;)

Allan:
Santiago is okay, depending on what you would like to do. I recommend the Precolombian Art Museum. Also, make sure you visit the Moneda Palace and the Museum de San Francisco, as they are both on the Tentative list, even if I feel that neither really stand much chance of an inscription. There's not a lot happening in the 'downtown' part of town, but there are some nice restaurants and the like in Providencia.

Sounds like what I heard before. Will use it as base for tours then and try to see a few sites along the road.

Allan:
I really enjoyed Chiloe actually. I don't know if you're renting a car or not, but I recommend it as it's really the best way to see the churches. We saw 9 of the 16 in two days, but some of the remote ones are really had to get to. My personal recommendations are Rilan and Tenaun. Also, if you can, try to stay in a Palafito in Castro. These wooden house on stilts are famous, and quite specific to Chiloe.

No car, but looking forward to Chiloe. Not sure why, but seems to be a magical place.

Allan:
I haven't been to Punta Arenas, but my wife doesn't speak too highly of it.

Hope that helps!

It does. I will take the first bus to Torres then.

Author Jarek Pokr
Registered
#5 | Posted: 27 Jul 2016 16:17 
A rented car is highly recommended for Chiloe. Otherwise you may see only churches around Castro (its cathedral is part of heritage, Nercon, Vilupuili, Chonchi). Other places even looking close are in reality quite far and the roads are not very good. Within two and half days I managed to see 12 churches (some only from outside) but I had a car.

Sewell - I visited the site from Rancagua (organised trip including El Teniente copper mine, but in Spanish only).

2,5 days for Easter Island - well its a place you come once in a lifetime. If you want to explore on foot - that may not be sufficient. Anakena and Tongariki requires some kind of transportation (you can join someone with a rented car and share the cost)

Author nfmungard
Registered
#6 | Posted: 25 Oct 2016 10:58 | Edited by: nfmungard 
Bringing this topic up again. I have an option of a tour to Monte Verde, but it would make things a bit complicated and expensive:
http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/twhs.php?id=1873

Has anyone been and how do you judge its chances?

Author Solivagant
Registered
#7 | Posted: 12 Nov 2016 16:28 | Edited by: Solivagant 
nfmungard:
I have an option of a tour to Monte Verde

Coincidentally with Nan's review from 2 days ago of his visit to Monte Verde ( http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/twhs.php?id=1873 ), the BBC has this evening re-aired its 2009 program reviewing the arguments for the "Coastal Route Theory" for the population of the Americas by humans.

Among locations visited was indeed Monte Verde - as Nan found, there was nothing much even for the BBC to show there, apart from the same stream which he photographed and an audience of sheep!! They did manage some computer generated versions of the huts and also made a visit to the University of Southern Chile (Valdivia - but whose archaeology faculty is, I believe, in Puerto Montt) to see some of the remains from c 14500ybp.

Other places visited with relevance to the "theory" (now apparently widely accepted) included
The Channel Islands of California - see http://westerndigs.org/11000-year-old-seafaring-indian-sites-discovered-on-california -island/
and
Monte Alegre in Brazil, Santarem - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caverna_da_Pedra_Pintada and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luzia_Woman

The BBC program will be repeated on Thursday 17 Nov and should then be available on BBC iPlayer to those with access.
See http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00l7pmr

Author meltwaterfalls
Registered
#8 | Posted: 13 Nov 2016 07:01 
Thanks for flagging up the screening will take a look.

Author meltwaterfalls
Registered
#9 | Posted: 13 Nov 2016 07:11 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Also I wanted to say thanks to nan for the reviews the layout with practical information etc. is really useful so thanks for that. I may copy some bits of that lay out in my future reviews where relevant, and mussels and pork, hmm glad you tried it so I won't have to.

Author nfmungard
Registered
#10 | Posted: 23 Nov 2016 17:07 
Feedback on my time in Chile and some feedback.

nfmungard:
Sat - Santiago de Chile Arrival, Exploring

Santiago is rather dull. Keep your time here as short as possible. Preferably go to Valparaiso.

nfmungard:
Sun - Sewell (WHS) -> Only possible with a tour (one provider). Seems restricted to weekends.

Tour from Santiago with VTS was booked and confirmed. Then they cancelled due to bad weather. Not sure if I got my money back. The tours only run on weekends, so my recommendation would be to have at least a buffer day/week, so you can be sure to get in.

nfmungard:
Mon - Flight Easter Islands
Tue - Easter Islands (WHS)
Wed - Easter Island. -> Night flight back to Santiago.

If the weather works 2,5 days are the minimum time you need to see the full island. A week may be a bit much, seeing it's a tiny place in the middle of the pacific. Be ready to dish out serious money for the flight.

nfmungard:
Thu - Valparisso (WHS) - Santiago

The additional day in Santiago was not warranted. If you can stomach it, I would go to Valparaiso and then fly out the same day.

nfmungard:
Fri - Morning flight Santiago -> Puerto Montt, Bus to Punta Varas
Sat - Punta Varas - Chiloe
Sun - Chiloe (WHS)

It ended up being a late afternoon flight. The morning in Santiago offered little highlights as Chile was on strike and all public facilties closed. I visited the Pre Columbian Art museum, but having been to the one in Mexico City this was pretty simple.

I skipped Puerto Varas and stayed in Puerto Montt instead. Keep in mind that it's nearly 4h to get to Castro from Puerto Montt, so you may need to stay in Puerto Montt two nights flying in and out.

For Chiloe read my review.

nfmungard:
Mon - Chiloe. Evening flight: Puerto Montt -> Punta Arena
Tue - Punta Arena -> Torres del Paine
Wed - Torres del Paine (THWS)
Thu - Torres del Paine -> El Calafete (Bus and Argentina it is.

Prior to my flight I visited Monte Verde and am not sure if you should, too. Skipped Punta Arenas and took the bus directly from the airport to Puerto Natales. Reserve online. This requires a paypal account. This way I visited Torres on Tuesday and headed to Calafate on Wednesday

nfmungard:
Questions:
* Are 2,5 days enough for Easter Islands? I cannot get a rental car and don't enjoy doing tours for more than a day. Can you explore the islands by foot/bike? I do get this will be expensive (100$ per night, 600$ flight, food expensive).

2.5 Days are fine if the weather is okay. You can rent an ebike to cover the full island. Prices are okay. I think I paid 50$ per night for my room. The flight was 450€.

nfmungard:
* Is doing the Sewell tour complicated?

Yes and no. You can book online. They may cancel if the weather is bad.

nfmungard:
* Santiago itself wasn't described all that fondly by people I knew. Any reason to spend more time there?

No. I would keep Santiago as short as possible. The Maipo valley is nice, if you have some time to spend.

nfmungard:
I could spend another 1-2 days in Chile before transferring into Argentine.
* Any THWS I am missing or should try to visit?
* Punta Arenas of any note?

Decided to shorten my stay by a day and think this was okay.

Author nfmungard
Registered
#11 | Posted: 23 Nov 2016 17:15 
elsslots:
It's a special place, worth an extra splurge.

Indeed. And thanks again for the encouragement.

Allan:
I don't know if you're renting a car or not, but I recommend it as it's really the best way to see the churches of Chiloe.

Jarek Pokr:
A rented car is highly recommended for Chiloe. Otherwise you may see only churches around Castro (its cathedral is part of heritage, Nercon, Vilupuili, Chonchi). Other places even looking close are in reality quite far and the roads are not very good. Within two and half days I managed to see 12 churches (some only from outside) but I had a car.

I managed to see 7 using only public transport. The island has pretty good bus connections from Chiloe. As stated in my review I wasn't able to enter all of them, though. If anyone has information on the opening hours, I think this would be really helpful.

Allan:
Also, make sure you visit the Moneda Palace and the Museum de San Francisco, as they are both on the Tentative list, even if I feel that neither really stand much chance of an inscription

I would tend to agree. I don't see either site having a shot at subscription.

Jarek Pokr:
2,5 days for Easter Island - well its a place you come once in a lifetime. If you want to explore on foot - that may not be sufficient. Anakena and Tongariki requires some kind of transportation (you can join someone with a rented car and share the cost)

I agree. Having 2,5 days seems to be the absolute minimum, but seeing I got lucky with the weather it worked out fine.

Thanks for the feedback.

Author nfmungard
Registered
#12 | Posted: 23 Nov 2016 17:21 | Edited by: nfmungard 
Final remarks on the quality of the WHS:

World Class: Easter Island
Nice: Valparaiso (half a day will be fine), Chiloe (takes more time to get there and to explore, 1 night on the island is minimum).

Tentative Sites:
Torres del Paine: I assume it will be inscribed next year. I did prefer Glaciares though as it's more accessible and greener.
Monte Verde: Not sure. Very little tangible. If you have a car, go. Otherwise I would wait this one out.
La Moneda and San Francisco (Santiago): No way.

Further candidates:
Volcanos: Osarno? Plenty of volcanos to go around.
Nature Reserves: Plenty of NPs along the Andes deserving a review. Same appplies to the islands and the coast.
Chiloe: Palafitos, more vernacular architecture.
Culture: They don't seem to have the one great colonial city. Probably much was lost due to earth quakes and tsunamis.
Precolumbian and prehistoric sites: I think they should have more. Not sure if Monte Verde is the best site for prehistoric.

Author nfmungard
Registered
#13 | Posted: 24 Nov 2016 00:20 
I was 100% certain to have seen Torres del Paine as submission for 2017. Turns out I was wrong? I will update the review, but has anyone an idea when they will submit? Or why they won't?

Author elsslots
Admin
#14 | Posted: 14 Mar 2017 14:19 
Regarding Rapa Nui, I'd like to comment to Gary's recent review where he states "In the ten years since I visited [2007..] I have been told tourism has increased dramatically. There were no proper hotels on the island when I visited". There may be a bit of idealizing of the past going on here: I visited in 2002 and there for sure were touristy hotels at the time. I stayed at the rather comfortable Hotel O'tai (with swimming pool) for 65 USD.

Author GaryArndt
Registered
#15 | Posted: 14 Mar 2017 15:06 
Perhaps I didn't phrase it correctly.

There are some large, major hotels which have opened since then, The number of rooms available on the island has exploded.

The Hotel O'tai has 40 rooms. Some of the newer hotels have over 100.

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