South America is amazing. This has mutually been our favorite trip we've ever been on - and we are so lucky we had a lot of fantastic input from our friends Devin and Cody.
The variety of things to do and see is unlike any place I've ever been. You can be as close or as far away from people as you want - from hiking to hot springs to modern art, it's dealer's choice.
I don't even have the poetry of language to express how thankful I am that Jess planned this entire thing. So many hours of research and planning go into a well-planned trip and he killed it, per the usual.
I've never been big on words to here's some pictures, enjoy this uncomfortably long slide show of our vacation LOLOL.
- Learn Spanish - there's not a ton of western tourists and people don't speak much if any english (or learn how to use Google Translate lol)
- Cabs are cheap in Buenos Aires so we took them everywhere - all of the cabs down there are painted black and yellow, but only take the ones with a phone number/business logo on the car - those are regulated and the others are not.
- Always bring money into El Chalten, Argentina. Half the restaurants will take cards but pretty much everything else does not. The have one ATM and it's basically always out - it gets refilled on Mondays and is gone by the end of the day.
- Hikes are long in South America - the best hikes are going to be 10+ miles roundtrip
- Empanadas are the best hiking food and super cheap
- Have backup camera gear - you literally cannot ship to Argentina (Amazon won't ship and many stores refuse to ship) and the local stores don't sell anything worthwhile...possibly in Buenos Aires, but due to an electronics embargo it's going to be significantly more expensive. Theft in the postal service is also V high.
- If you are crossing the border with a rental car, make sure you fill out some type of form specific to the rental car - they forgot to have us do this when we went into Chile and it was an issue coming back to Argentina.
- Pucon, Chile is magical - spend a lot of time here
- We would have skipped Bariloche entirely (too busy and too many people)