Patagonia

We are thinking of going on the Patagonia tour but I understand there will be long bus rides and boat rides. I have pretty bad motion sickness and I'm concerned about the bus and boat rides. Can anyone tell me whether the roads for bus rides are windy or not? Also I understand the boat rides will be windy and just want to know how the wind affects the boat ride? I know I can take medication but it makes me very tired and I won't be able to enjoy the trip. TIA!

Comments

  • Mr. Dixie and I went on this trip several years ago. The wind never stops blowing in Patagonia, and yes, it does have an impact on the trip. The boats used by Tauck are small, and our first boat trip had to be cancelled because of the wind. One day we set out on a walk to see a glacier. Some people were able to continue, but I was not able to stand up in the wind and had to turn around and go back before I was blown over. OK, I am not very large, but, still, it was disappointing. There are several very long travel days, but I do not remember the coach being affected by the wind. But then, I do not have problems woth motion sickness. The glaciers truly are beautiful, but they make up a very small part of the trip. If seeing glaciers is your main reason for going on this trip, I would suggest the Canadian Rockies and Alaska. The scenery and activities are fabulous, and they both certainly are closer than the southern tip of South America. Happy travels.
    Nancy
  • Mr. Dixie and I went on this trip several years ago. The wind never stops blowing in Patagonia, and yes, it does have an impact on the trip. The boats used by Tauck are small, and our first boat trip had to be cancelled because of the wind. One day we set out on a walk to see a glacier. Some people were able to continue, but I was not able to stand up in the wind and had to turn around and go back before I was blown over. OK, I am not very large, but, still, it was disappointing. There are several very long travel days, but I do not remember the coach being affected by the wind. But then, I do not have problems woth motion sickness. The glaciers truly are beautiful, but they make up a very small part of the trip. If seeing glaciers is your main reason for going on this trip, I would suggest the Canadian Rockies and Alaska. The scenery and activities are fabulous, and they both certainly are closer than the southern tip of South America. Happy travels.
    Nancy


    What are your overall impressions of the trip - wind and problems and all? Would you recommend it? How was the scenery compared to Alaska or Alps or Canadian Rockies? Are there several opportunities for getting out and walking (maybe even hiking) or are you trapped in a bus most of the time?
  • edited October 2018
    CatLover8 wrote:
    Would you recommend it? How was the scenery compared to Alaska or Alps or Canadian Rockies? Are there several opportunities for getting out and walking (maybe even hiking) or are you trapped in a bus most of the time?

    We have been to Alaska with Tauck (Grand Alaska) and done the Best of the Canadian Rockies. We have also been to the Alps on our own (more on this at the end). I would recommend all of these, but for different reasons. If I had to pick one of the trips in the Americas, I would go with the Grand Alaska trip. Here's some pluses and minuses of those trips:

    Best Glaciers: Patagonia, by far. Alaska second.

    Most time sitting on a bus or plane for the time spent seeing things: Patagonia, you really spend a lot of the trip traveling. Alaska does have a couple of days of cruising and one long bus ride, but there is some good scenery.

    Most free time available for hiking, golfing or relaxing: Canadian Rockies.

    Best food: Alaska, Canadian Rockies second.

    Best Accomodations: Canadian Rockies.

    Most interesting local culture: Patagonia (of course).

    Best scenery: Alaska, you really don't appreciate virgin wilderness until you've been to Alaska.

    Best wildlife: All three are good. I would go with Alaska, with Canada and Patagonia as close second and third.

    About the Alps - They are beautiful, but a very different experience from the other three trips. The land surrounding the mountains is more pastoral and less wilderness. Lots of ski resort villages. It has a very different feel. I love traveling in Europe and plan to see more of the Alps, but its really apples and oranges trying to compare the Alps to mountains in the Americas.

    Finally, if you do Patagonia, I would recommend an extra day at the start and end. Take the extra day at the start to insure yourself against flight delays. You would not want to chase the tour to Patagonia. Take the extra day at the end because there's lots to see in Buenos Aires.

    Happy Travels.

  • Thank you Ken! That was very helpful. We have been to Alaska 3 times and love it there. So, those comparisons were especially useful. The thing holding us back on Patagonia is it amounts to just 6 days in Patagonia (arrival day, FLIGHT day, 6 days in Patagonia, FLIGHT day, BA day, go home). And, everyone says there is a lot of bus time during those 6 days. It's a long way to go. Is it worth it for a "like to do," but not a "bucket list" place. Also, it seems like the glaciers are the best thing about Patagonia as opposed to scenery and wildlife. Is that correct?
  • Just got the green book in the mail yesterday. Under clothing, they suggest wool hat, gloves, and long johns. Seriously?
  • Yes, of course, didn’t you realize how the areas is known for its biting winds, apparently they are relentless. We are in contact with our tour director and she also mentions bringing them. Mr B has been following her Facebook photos the tour and everyone is wrapped up. We are taking hats and gloves and long Johns.
  • edited October 2018
    BKMD wrote:
    Just got the green book in the mail yesterday. Under clothing, they suggest wool hat, gloves, and long johns. Seriously?

    Yes, seriously. You are headed to the southern tip of south America. Kind of like going to northern Canada. While I think you can leave the long johns behind, I would say a warm hat and gloves are strongly advised. Add rain jacket and pants and waterproof shoes. While we had some nice weather on the trip, we also had rain, gale force winds, and (for the people who went on the Condor hike) a dusting of snow. Be prepared for all four seasons. We went in February, which is the equivalent of August in the northern hemisphere.
  • edited October 2018
    CatLover8 wrote:
    ...it seems like the glaciers are the best thing about Patagonia as opposed to scenery and wildlife. Is that correct?

    Scenery - the glaciers are dramatic scenery in an of themselves, along with the mountains around them. Torres del Paine Natitional Park has some of the most beautiful mountains anywhere. Google them to get an idea. Also google the Perito Moreno Glacier. Best glacier I've ever seen (Alaska, Canada, Norway, and the Alps included). However, most of the area you travel through to get there is scubby grassland (pampas).

    Wildlife - There is wildlife to see. Lots of guanaco (similar to a llama). Also condors, rhea (similar to an ostrich) and other large birds. Pretty interesting, just not as good as grizzlies, bald eagles and moose, in my opinion.

    Hope this helps.
  • I'm an avid skier, occasionally skiing at 0F and don't own long johns. I can deal with bringing a hat and gloves, though :-) Thanks for the advice.
  • More green book readin and another question:

    It says dried fruit and nuts may be confiscated upon entering Chile.

    I usually bring some trail mix and Clif bars on trips. They were OK in New Zealand, which is very strict on food. Anyone have experience with Chile?
  • BKMD wrote:
    More green book readin and another question:

    It says dried fruit and nuts may be confiscated upon entering Chile.

    I usually bring some trail mix and Clif bars on trips. They were OK in New Zealand, which is very strict on food. Anyone have experience with Chile?

    I think we brought some granola bars and didn't have a problem. Usually if it's in a sealed commercial package, there is no problem. However, you should declare it and not complain if it is confiscated.
  • edited October 2018
    Mr B often takes a couple of granola bars for emergencies because he has reflux and does not like long gaps between meals but I don't think we have ever had to use them, after all, it is Tauck and they.give you the opportunity to stuff yourself with food every time you go round a corner. I try to be 'good' but always arrive home with gained weight and feeling I have had very little exercise compared to what I get at home. We don't 'waste time' going to the gym while on vacation, putting priority on site seeing. When most people have booked reservations at restaurants before they even go on the tours, we wait until we get there because we often want just a snack when we have to find a meal on our own, first because we are full from all the food and second we put priority on site seeing rather than a long time in a restaurant especially during the day. And we love food. When we get home, we get right back on track until the next time. Occasionally Mr B will find an ancient granola bar in the corner of a suitcase which always prompts me to ask why he ever bothers taking any. I just asked him if he can remember reading about the ban on dried fruit and nuts in our green book and he says yes he can. At least that has reminded us not to take any on the trip .i think that I mentioned already that our tour director said bring extra dental floss, you will be eating a lot of meat.
  • I’ve never before seen steaks as large as what they serve in the Churrascarias in Buenos Aires. Some of them actually would hang off the edges of a rather large plate. The local people would finish off the whole thing. I could not even come close. You could buy tender steaks for a price, but the average places served cuts that required a lot of chewing. (;-)
  • Our tour begins in Santiago on Nov. 16. Is anyone else going to be on that tour?
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