Are you ready to Get South? The gems of South America have been discovered, and they are here waiting for you! The landscapes are awe-inspiring, the cities unique and the culture full of passion. Think you’re ready for a fiery football match, going mad for mate and consuming copious amounts of scrumptious meat and wine? Want to soak up some rays on cool beaches, dive in the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans or ski on unblemished slopes? Well, it’s all here! Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. These three countries lie side by side, each completely unique but together they form one of the most exhilarating, enticing and unforgettable places to travel in the world! The possibilities are endless… Draw yourself into the shadows of the majestic and omnipotent snow capped Andes, hang out with a million penguins, or be mesmerized by giant glaciers shedding chunks of ice in a sea of rugged frozen fields. In this vast land, you’ll also find top-notch rafting, trekking, mountain climbing, diving, fishing, paragliding, horseback riding, mountain biking, skiing and our personal favourite: having a good time. Now go on... Get South!
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CONTENTS CONTENTS 67911 13 14 16 17 18 19 32 33 34 35 39 40 42 43 45 46 53 54 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 70 71 73 74 75 76 -
Getting Around Health Tips / Visa Information Volunteering Responsible Travel / Trekking Tips Don’t leave without trying these Popular Festivals 21 December 2012 ARGENTINA MAP Useful Information / Distance chart Buenos Aires CENTRE MAP La Plata Mar del Plata Córdoba LITORAL MAP Rosario Esteros del Iberá Puerto Iguazú CUYO MAP Mendoza San Rafael San Juan Barreal NORTH MAP San Miguel de Tucumán Tafí del Valle Amaicha del Valle Cafayate Salta S.S. de Jujuy & Purmamarca Tilcara Humahuaca & Iruya PATAGONIA MAP Neuquén San Martín de los Andes
77 - San Carlos de Bariloche 84 - El Bolsón 85 - Esquel 87 - Las Grutas 89 - Puerto Madryn 92 - Puerto Pirámides 93 - El Chaltén 95 - El Calafate 99 - Puerto San Julián 100 - Ushuaia 104 - CHILE MAP 105 - Useful Information / Distance chart 107 - Arica 109 - Iquique 111 - San Pedro de Atacama 116 - La Serena 117 - Pisco Elqui 118 - Valparaíso 121 - Santiago 127 - Pichilemu 128 - Villarrica 129 - Pucón 131 - Osorno 132 - Puerto Varas 135 - Puerto Montt 137 - Chiloe Island - Ancud 139 - Chiloe Island - Castro 140 - Carretera Austral 141 - Villa O’higgins 142 - Puerto Natales 143 - Punta Arenas 145 - URUGUAY MAP 149 - Glossary 150 - Spanish / English dictionary 152 - Acknowledgements
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** Getting Around ** :: By plane: Airlines tend to fly to and from capital cities, with connections to most major cities and tourist centres. Check out www.aerolineas.com, www.lan.com, www.lade.com, www.skyairline.cl or www.flypluna.com for details! :: By bus: You can get virtually everywhere in South America by bus. Take a bus for a more cost-effective and culturally thrilling experience. Overnight trips are quite comfortable, often including meals, films, and attendant services. :: By car: For a personalized adventure through the countryside, you can always travel by car. Rental companies generally operate in most towns and cities and you can save some bucks if you are travelling in a group. :: By taxi or remis: Cheap and reliable, taxis and remises (private taxis) provide quick transportation within city limits. Simply flag them down with an outstretched arm, or call them in advance. :: By local bus: Sometimes very efficient, but unless you know the city very well, it can be a bit confusing. In Argentina they are called “colectivos”, but in Chile this word means “shared taxi”. Local buses in Chile are called “micros”.
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Tips ** ** Health & Safety To make sure you stay healthy and enjoy your travels, we have developed a couple of health and safety tips: - You can drink tap water, although always ask if you are unsure. - Use sunscreen, especially at high altitude - even if it’s cold, the sun is still strong. - Stay streetwise as you walk around the big cities, keep to busy streets, avoid being a target and mind your pockets/bag. - Take taxis at night and try not to be out alone. - If you do fall in love one night, always use protection - AIDS, HIV and other STIs are a risk in any country with any person (heterosexuals included). - Keep your documents safe, make copies and save your details online in case. - If you have any valuables, try to keep them in the hostel/hotel safe. - Never leave valuables in a car or bus. - Dress appropriately to not attract unwanted attention. - Overnight buses sometimes get very cold, wrap up warm. - Don’t change money on the street, only use recognized exchange bureaus.
** Visa Information
To visit Argentina, Chile and Uruguay most nationalities (including most of Western Europe, South Africa, New Zealand) don’t need a visa and can enter these countries with a valid passport and receive a free 90 day Tourist Card on arrival. Some nationalities (including USA, Australia and Canada) are required to pay a reciprocity fee on entry to Chile and Argentina - these can be paid on arrival and is typically around US$130 payable in cash (it depends on the country). The receipt is regarded as a multiple entry visa. Other nationalities require a visa before arriving - contact the relevant foreign consular representative if you are unsure or if you need to apply in advance for an entry visa. Note: Passport and visa requirements are liable to change at short notice. Travellers are advised to check their entry requirements with their embassy or consulate.
** Volunteering ** Interested in making a societal impact? South America offers a number of charitable organizations that need YOUR help! A few hours a week can enrich your experience abroad and can make a world of difference!
Here are only a few of many organizations operating: ARGENTINA • Fundación Argentina de Etoecología (www.etoecologia.org.ar) raises environmental awareness through direct action such as forestation, ground imporvement, water purification and education on environmental issues. You can also volunteer with them to help children and women on the street. • Hogar Amparo Maternal (www.amparomaternal.com.ar) works with young mothers and their children to create a place to stay and organize their daily tasks. • Banco de Alimentos (www.bancodealimentos.org.ar) fights hunger and malnutrition by providing soup kitchens and raising awareness. • Voluntario Global (www.voluntarioglobal.com.ar) runs educational projects in Buenos Aires, northern Argentina, Bariloche and Iguazu. • South American Explorers (www.saexplorers.org) has a good database of volunteer opportunities across South America for eager travellers.
CHILE • Voluntarios de la Esperanza (www.ve-global.org) works to provide shelters, orphanages and schools in Santiago. • Agrupacion Medio Ambiental Torres del Paine (www.amatorresdelpaine. org) does conservation work and environmental education in the national park. • Verde Mar (www.verdemartours.blogspot.com) works in Ancud on forestation and conservation projects with the penguins. • Un Techo para Chile (www.untechoparachile.cl) works on reconstruction of homes for those in Southern Chile whose homes were devastated by earthquakes.
URUGUAY • Karumbe (www.karumbe.org) is a volunteer project that monitors and conserves sea turtles in coastal Uruguay.
** Responsible Travel** Travelling is a conscientious act of discovery and liberation. Still, simple steps can (and should) be taken in order to be a responsible traveller and to avoid undesirable incidents. How to be a responsible traveller... • Read about the social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental climate of your destination. • Seek out locally owned businesses (accommodation, restaurants, etc). • Travel in small groups and mingle with locals. • Attempt to learn the local language. • Be respectful of culture and customs: dress accordingly, ask to take photographs of people, etc. • Volunteer with local organizations. • Travel to enjoy, not to destroy. • Buy crafts from local artisans to assist local economic development. • Don’t be stingy with tips, especially when visiting developing areas. • Limit your environmental impact - don’t litter!
The key is to travel with an open mind; a desire to connect with the people and culture you’re entering will go a long way towards creating an unforgettable journey.
** Trekking Tips ** Trekking is one the best things to do in South America it’s cheap, it’s healthy and always memorable. Here are our top tips: :: Avoid trekking alone. :: Pre-plan your itinerary, informing others of your route and making sure you leave yourself plenty of daylight time. :: Always remain on marked trails. :: Make sure to read and obey all signs. :: Make sure to wear and carry the appropriate gear. UV sunglasses, a waterproof jacket, sunscreen and warm clothing are just a few to mention… if in doubt make sure to ask a local guide. They will know best!! :: Don’t bother the wildlife, pick up your waste and bring back only memories. :: Never ever light a fire under any circumstances. :: If someone has left a mess before you, do the right thing and pick it up.
** Don’t leave without trying these ** Argentina, Chile and Uruguay have some national dishes and drinks that you shouldn’t miss. Almost all of them appear in each country and beyond being tasty, they are a key part of the culture. Try them all !!
Is in essence a grilled barbecue, consisting of various cuts of meat. A typical asado* may have an assortment of various cuts of steak, chicken, morcilla (blood sausage/black pudding), chorizo (sausage), mollejas (sweetbreads), riñones (kidneys), and chinchulines (intestines).
This Uruguayan sandwich consists primarily of a thin slice of steak, with mayonnaise, black or green olives, cheese, tomatoes and sometimes also bacon, fried or hardboiled eggs and ham. Normally served in a bun with a huge stack of French Fries! The Chilean version is barros luco and in Argentina, the lomito.
Is a tasty stuffed pastry that can have a wide range of fillings, such as beef, chicken, seafood, vegetables, ham and cheese, sweet corn, onion, boiled egg, olives, raisins and more. It can be baked or fried.
Is a popular traditional infusion made with the leaves of the yerba plant. Once dry and processed, the leaves are put into a gourd called mate (made of wood or other materials) and hot water is poured over it. The infusion is sipped through a bombilla (a filtered metal straw).
Argentinean wines are gaining fame worldwide for their quality and value. The main wineries are spread around Mendoza, San Juan and Salta. You are sure to have heard of the famous Argentinean Malbec, but Torrontes, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Bonarda are pretty good here too. Chile has a wide selection of international varieties planted, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and others. Chile’s signature grape, Carmenère, is a rarely planted variety of Bordeaux. Uruguay’s top grape is Tannat which, like Malbec, also originally came from France.
** Popular Festivals ** Everyone loves a good fiesta, and here are some of the highlights of festivals for Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. These festivals are popular - so always try to book accommodation in advance! January • Festival Nacional del Folklore, Cosquín, near Córdoba, late January: This is Argentina’s largest festival for folk music. Grab your gaucho pants and armadillo guitar for this one! February • Fiesta Nacional de la Pachamama, Amaicha del Valle: Celebrate the bounty of mother nature (Pachamama) as the natives gather to celebrate with folk music, food and drink and pick out the most beautiful girl as their festival queen. • Lemanja Festival of the Godess of the Sea, Montevideo and Punta del Este, 2 February: One of the major festivals in Uruguay, thousands of devotees take to the beaches to offer watermelons, flowers and candles to the godess of the sea. • Festival Costumbrista Chilote, Castro, Chiloe Island, 3rd week of February: This festival celebrates the Chilote traditions with artisans, typical food, singing and music, animal fairs and traditional games. • Festival Internacional de la Canción, Viña del Mar: This is not only Chile’s but one of South America’s biggest Latin American pop festivals. Everyone gets down to Viña to see their favourite pop acts. • Carnival, Uruguay, North Argentina (Gualeguaychu, Jujuy province), late February - early March: Although much bigger in neighbouring Brazil, carnival is still celebrated with due fervor in these other Southern Cone countries. The main Carnival celebrations are in Montevideo where people dress up, dance and sing to Candombe all night long for a couple weeks. In Jujuy people celebrate Mother Nature’s bounty by throwing a huge party with lots of drinking, eating, singing and dancing. The devil is the mascot of the party and locals dress up in colourful costumes as they move to the music on every street corner and cover each other in snow spray, talcom powder, confetti and using water pistols. March • Vendimia, Mendoza, late February - early March: Celebrating the wine harvest in Mendoza, this event builds up momentum over a couple weeks culminating in beauty parades, big theatrical performances, folkloric music and lots of wine tasting!
** Popular Festivals ** July • Fiesta de La Tirana, Iquique, mid July: One of the most important festivals in Chile’s calender - La Tirana sees around 80,000 pilgrims get together for this religious cult celebration where they present the Virgin with carnival style dances and offerings in this small village. August • Fiesta Nacional de la Nieve, Bariloche, mid August: Up on the Cerro Catedral and in the city locals celebrate the white snow with ski competitions, a chocolate festival, fireworks, music shows and pick a snow queen! September • Fiestas patrias, 18 - 19 September: Chile celebrates its national day (18th) with general merriment across the country - tucking into typical Chilean food, enjoying some dance and music and lighting houses up like the national flag. October
• Oktoberfest, Villa General Belgrano, Argentina, early October:
Argentina’s German immigrants made this festival near Cordoba the beer drinking fiesta that it is today. Two weeks of drinking local brew, listening to music and partying hard. November • Gay Parade, Buenos Aires, mid November: It doesn’t get much more colourful than BA’s gay, lesbian and transgender parade in November. Along with all their supporters and friends they parade from Plaza de Mayo to the Congreso with the music up loud! December • New Year’s Eve, everywhere, 31 December: New Years is a pretty big celebration in every country but the celebrations in Montevideo, Uruguay, have to top them all. An all out Guerra de Sidra (Cider Fight) in the main plaza with hours of cider throwing fun, followed by BBQs, a billion fireworks and dancing into the wee hours of the morn. Bring on the New Year!
* 21 December 2012: End of the World or Spiritual Awakening? * 2012 might be a year filled with travelling and fun for you, but some people are taking it rather more seriously. Following some ancient Mayan literature, some people believe that the Mayans predicted that 2012 would be the year that the world ends. Their historic calender says that the fourth world (which we are apparently in now) will end on 13th b’ak’tun, which happens to be the 21 December 2012. Some devotees are predicting an apocolypse with devasting consequences to humankind, but a few more positive new agers predict that this will be a day when Earth and its inhabitants will undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation and it will bring in a New Era. Either way, it’s a good excuse to get out and see the world just in case anything happens!
Get an early start on your spiritual transformation... The more positive opportunity that the 2012 cult may offer us is that of working towards a ‘positive spiritual or physical transformation’. Some people are choosing to prepare for this transformation by working towards bettering themselves both inside and out. Tips include more physical activity (like pilates or yoga), meditation and reading inspirational and self help literature. If you want to get a headstart on your transformation while travelling the Southern Cone, there are a few options of yoga camps and spiritual retreats along the way: - Eco Yoga Park (www.ecoyogapark.com): This yoga park and organic farm is located in Buenos Aires province and offers a yoga retreat or volunteering opportunities for the eco friendly. - Yoga en Punta (www.yogaenpunta.com): Before and after chilling out on the beach in Punta del Este you can get your yoga on at this centre with outdoor and indoor classes. - Eco Truly Arica (www.ecotrulyaricachile.blogspot.com/): Out in the desert of Arica, here you can practise yoga, build your own eco friendly hut, do trekking or attend the organic garden. - Elqui Valley, Chile: This is a spiritual hotspot in Chile. Located 30 degrees South and 70 degrees West, this is supposed to be the Earth’s magnetic centre and has made a strong pull to astrologers, new agers and meditators.