We are taking the Patagonia tour in February 2020. Are hiking boots needed or will trail shoes work for the hikes? Any other suggestions most welcome. Thank you.
See what Ken from Vegas has to say about shoes/boots/clothing overall and the trip in his posts in this thread from the forum archives: https://forums.tauck.com/discussion/8822/patagonia-tips-and-hints#latest
In the same thread TRAVELAM28 says Ken's comments are spot on.
For more info: check out all the posts in the Patagonia forum: https://forums.tauck.com/categories/patagonia-forum
We took this tour just over a year ago.If you have hiking boots take them. If not, the minimum you should take is waterproof shoes with a really good tread. Everything Ken mentions in the link above is correct. I also wrote about the tour in detail. The winds are epic, as much as seventy miles an hour when we were there. We don’t get cold easily but for this tour we purchased long johns and good wind and waterproof rain pants, in other words, we needed three long layers on our legs, four layers on top and two layers on our heads. We loved the tour and it’s one of our favorites. I would love to take it again.
And then the Patagonia weather can be very nice (at least a bit farther north! ). My daughter and family who are stationed in Buenos Aires vacationed in Patagonia last week. This photo was taken at Sendero Cerro Llao Llao outside San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina. It is about 640 mi. (as the crow flies) north of the glacier area of El Calafate (which is on the tour).
Alan and British -
Thanks for referencing my earlier post. Saved me the trouble. It's nice to know that people find my posts useful (as I find posts by both of you).
Here's a picture of Lago Grey in Torres del Paine National Park. The wind was so strong that we had to cut our hike short for fear people would be blown over. The "surf" on the lake is entirely wind blown.
We have several pics of us trying to keep standing up in the wind. My husband had his glasses blown off his face too. But we loved the tour.
What made it so good? Is it the scenery? The comments make it sound unattractive. That said, I've thought of taking this trip.
I did this trip just over a year ago (over Xmas 2018). It was a great trip. We had unusually good weather - no rain, other than a short drizzle for an hour or so one day, and no very strong winds (up to 30 mph, max). It's a great trip with outstanding scenery. Patagonia has the third largest ice fields in the world, after Antarctica and Greenland. If you like outdoorsy, scenic trips, including some light hiking, it's a must. There's also a day in Santiago and a day in Buenos Aires. I arrived a day early, which was perfect for Santiago. I wished we had more time in BA. It's a beautiful and large city.
Re hiking boots, I brought some lightweight, water resistant Timberland hiking boots and they were perfect. If you are buying new ones, break them in before you go. Daily walking sneakers will NOT do for this trip. Re clothes, February is equivalent to our August, so it shouldn't be too cold (and it will be very hot in the cities). Even in early summer (Dec), when I went, I brought a very light rain jacket shell (which I never wore), a mid weight windbreaker (which I wore a lot), and rain pants (which I never wore). Don't bring a brimmed hat. It will blow away. Bring a ski cap style hat. I didn't bring long johns and was perfectly comfortable in Levis.
There are so many different parts to the tour, it’s like three or four mini vacations. We arrived a day early and stayed an extra day in BA. The difference from when we went in November and BKMD just shows how unpredictable the weather can be. We thought this trip appeared much better value than the tour of Antarctica and had so much variety.
On the extra day one of hte things we did was walk all the way to the lovely Japanese Gardens in BA. There are still plenty of sites we missed. We hope or take Essence of South America in the future which goes to different sites in B A.
Thank you for your comments and suggestions. The trip posts have been very helpful. I’ve read comments where some travelers wished they had skipped the ‘silversmiths and gauchos’ and instead spent the day exploring Buenos Aires. Thoughts? We are not spending an extra day in BA; we are flying the Iguazu Falls before heading home. Thank you again!
We spent an extra day in Buenos Aires and enjoyed that time there. But we also liked the gaucho show and the lunch that went with it (the silversmith was just so-so). It would be hard to choose between them, but if I had to, I'd say spend the time in Buenos Aires. You may want to hire a guide or book an activity on Viator.com.
We enjoyed the Gaucho show. We liked seeing the town where the Silversmith was. Nice to meet his family and buy a couple of nice pieces of his jewelry. Several of fhe Tauck tours now visit these kinds of out of the way places,. That have real craftsmen and things you may not know about. When you stay in the city it’s much easier to do things you can find on Viator and similar in your free time. It’s also good to stay on an extra day, we do that when we can now. Great to wind down before the long flight home and site see without getting up at the crack of dawn
I liked the gaucho show. Personally, to be blunt, I thought the silversmith trip was a waste of time, which included about 2 hours each way in the bus.
Wasn’t it on the way to the Gaucho show?
I think you may be right about that.