From your OAT TRIP LEADER

This TRIP was designed by us (your local Trip Leaders) & OAT Regional Office in Argentina for you to have the most intense & unique TRAVEL EXPERIENCE! We seek out unusual experiences, in out-of-the-way places where ordinary tours do not dare to go! Be prepared to leave your comfort zone to get a real feel of our local culture! We will encounter everything... from airline delays to unpredictable weather as we head to the Southernmost part of the Globe only ruled by the strongest winds & mighty ice! There will be an abundance of natural & human challenges but at OAT we believe that "the worst that can happen to us is that NOTHING happens to us"!Flexibility & a Possitive Attitude are crucial to embarking on this spectacular journey!!! In order to accomplish this goal I MUST have your commitment to our OAT philosophy:


  • Be prepared to travel OVERSEAS!!!

Many hours flying south & across the world to get to my crazy Buenos Aires... better known as the New York of the Southern Hemisphere! then many hours south to El Calafate to start our Great PATAGONIAN ADVENTURE... mighty Perito Moreno Glacier will be waiting to take our breath away! but we do not stop there.. we push across the Andes towards Torres del Paine Massif! We continue south across steppe & sheep country to embark on the Via Australis in Punta Arenas! We will sail some of the most isolated & unchartered places on the planet! After a few days we get to Ushuaia... famous for being the SouthernMost city in the world!!!! Our Grand Finale is again in my Buenos Aires before heading back home!

  • Be ready for this Adventure

Being 100% flexible & ready to turn each minus into a plus is essential! This trip will reward you with very intense and serious LEARNING experiences as well as the opportunity to DISCOVER a whole new world of natural wonders which are beyond description.

  • we Travel in order to improve our lives (become better people) & help others improve theirs by opening our hearts & minds to sharing experiences, cultures & supporting the local economies!

  • being a real Team is our goal!!! Get to Know & Care for Each Other ... Patagonia is one of the most challenging trips you've ever done & I will need no less than the Very Best of each of you!

Some of my Pictures

PRE TRIP EXTENSION TO EASTER ISLAND


BASE TRIP



POST TRIP EXTENSION TO IGUAZU FALLS

GETTING READY TO GO

IS THIS ADVENTURE RIGHT FOR YOU????

In general terms, this program is an active, challenging and bewildering trip, that requieres a greater level of fitness than most OAT adventures. There is a wide range of outdoor activities and the pacing is fast—we will cover a lot of territory! We will hike in Patagonia, sail amongst glaciers, and travel overland in the Andes from Argentina to Chile. Be ready for harsh and changeable weather conditions, rugged and unpaved roads, long bus rides, and remote locations without immediate access to medical care.
You must be able to walk 3 miles unassisted over the course of each day, exploring on foot and standing for up to a half hour at a time. Good balance and agility are required for climbing in and out of small boats during shore excursions. You must also be comfortable participating in 6-8 hours of daily physical activities.


1- Visit your Doctor
  • Prescription Medications!!!! Make sure you bring ENOUGH of your regular medication & just in case have the name of main component in writing! NOTE: GastroInstestinal viruses may happen at any time but mainly during our cruise so make sure you have an excellent hand-sanitizer & specific medication by doctor if you had this happened to you in the past!

  • Dental check-up!

  • Sunblock (over SPF45, sun-blocking chapstick & UV Sunglasses are highly recommended due to Ozone Hole!!!

  • Motion Sickness Medications & PATCHES
  • NOTE: we will be sailing mostly FJORDS (protected waters)! It is only for a couple of hours on the second night that we get in the open waters of the Pacific & around Cape Horn where we may "ROCK & ROLL" a little so depending on your own previous experiences at sea ask your doctor about the best sea-sickness medication for you! If you are thinking of using PATCHES please check with your doctor first due to their many & complicated side effects! Wrist Bands tend to be very effective!
    2- Camera gear

    • enough Memory Card (al least 8GB/very expensive in BA)
    • enough BATTERY! (I recommedend rechargable ones & battery charger )
    • UV Filters not to damage your lenses!
    3- Clothes

    Layer Clothing!! everything MUST be WATERPROOF (pants/park & trekking boots) Weather is unpredictable! we start in BA where it could be real summer (80-100F) & we fly into Patagonia where temperatures usually drops to the 60s but sometimes in low 40s + the wind chill! so please follow OAT Handbook Tips & be prepared for heavy rain, snow & furious winds!!!



    COLD or WARM are entirely personal & very much depend on where you live in the USA! Remember that we "PREPARE FOR THE WORST & HOPE FOR THE BEST" & we can always leave 1 or 2 layers in the bus while hiking if weather conditions are excellent but if you feel cold & you do not have enough layers...not much you can do then!!! so this is my general recommendation:
    LAYER1 insulated underwear specially if in early season (september) or late season (march/april)
    LAYER2 cotton shirt or t-shirt & waterproof pants
    LAYER3 sweater or FLEECE
    LAYER4 waterproof parka

    I HIGHLY recommend you have 2 bags:
    1- the BUENOS AIRES/EASTER ISLAND / IGUAZU FALLS BAG with all the lighter (mostly cotton) t-shirts or shirts / shorts / hat / light walking shoes or teva-like shoes. We keep that at hotel storage when in Patagonia!
    2- the PATAGONIA BAG with all the heavy stuff (parka /insulated socks & underwear / Polartec clothes are LIGHT & COMFORTABLE)that we keep at hotel storage when on the PRE/POST extension. Inside the Cruceros Australis temperature is aroud 70-75F!! DO NOT FORGET we go on a real EXPEDITION so all the Staff / Crew & most of travelers on-board will dress CASUAL all the time but it's up to you if you want to bring one slighlty dressier outfit for city evenings and dinners on-board! Being Comfortable with functional clothes is the RULE! Expensive Jewelery & expensive fashionable clothes are not recommended!

    4- IMPORTANT ITEMS

    PASSPORTS & TRAVEL PROTECTION PLAN
    Once we meet I will be in charge so for airline check-in & all the endless Immigrations & Customs paperwork I will need your passport information so please bring 2Copies of your PASSPORT
    *1 for you to carry around instead of your passport
    *1 for me that you must give to me at your arrival also with your airline FREQUENT FLYER number (LAN/American/British or any other One World Alliance partner)
    Since Patagonia is so remote it is highly recommended that you have an excellent Travel Protection Plan! If you have Trip Mate I will have all the info beforehand but if you have another company I will need a copy of it.



    CONVERTERS & PLUG ADAPTOR:
    Electricity is 220V in Argentina & Chile so check if your electrical devices are for both 110v-220v otherwise you need a CONVERTER! PLUG ADAPTORs are always "the" problem so please make sure you bring your own INTERNATIONAL PLUG ADAPTOR SET that you can easily get on-line! Generally speaking we mostly use EUROPEAN 2 ROUND PRONGS plu adaptor but be aware that this is not standarized & specific adaptor may not be available at hotel reception!




    NOTE: Most Hotels & Cruceros Australis have HAIR DRIERS

    EMAIL & MOBILE PHONES:
    most hotel have free or inexpensive WI-FI available in the lobby & sometimes even in your room in case you were thinking of bringing your laptop or netbook! Most hotels also offer a public PC at the Business Center but it may be busy most of the time with teenagers or out of service! NOTE: Due to the remoteness of Patagonia internet is provided mainly by satellite so be aware that it may not be very fast & sometimes it´s not available for days if a storm!
    If you have a TRIband cellphone you can use it in Argentina! ROAMING charges are extremely high! 5dollars per minute! Public phones or "locutorios" are widely available in Buenos Aires, Calafate, Punta Arenas & Ushuaia!
    NOTE: No email service or cellphone signal of any kind on-board Cruceros Australis! only extremely expensive satellite phone!

    CURRENCY
    NOTE: There´s no need to exchange money before you arrive! In Argentina, U.S. dollars might be accepted for payment at tourist-related businesses at a much higher rate than credit cards or ATMS (30-40% higher) so bring USD CASH! Previous travelers have suggested bringing small U.S. bills for small expenses & tips (bills of 1-5 & 10 as well as some 50 & 100 usd notes for higher exchange rate). To better calculated how much small cash you may need while the adventure, please have in mind that during this trip you will visit 4 different destinations plus the ship within the main trip and in every place we will have a different expert local guide of the zone, as well will have a minimum of same amount of different drivers. On the Pre and the Post extension generally we have 2 different guides also experts on their region.
    RECIPROCITY TAX
    NOTE: new web policy for Argentina
    All U.S. and Canadian citizens must pre-pay their reciprocity fee before landing in Argentina. Payments must be made online by Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. Once payment has been made, you will be emailed a receipt that you must print and bring with you on the trip.


    You’ll need a computer with Internet service, an email address, and access to a printer. Simply follow these steps:

    • Step 1: Go the official pre-payment website at www.provinciapagos.com.ar/dnm/.

    Hint: If you are uncertain how to type this address directly into your browser, you could use a search engine like Google or Yahoo instead.

    • Step 2: Sign up to use the website. Click the words “How to pay the Reciprocity Fee”. In the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, you’ll see a place to log in. Under that you’ll see the words “Forgot Your Password” and “Sign Up”—click “Sign Up”. That brings you to a short sign up form. Fill out the form, and when you have finished, click the “Sign Up” button at the bottom. You pick your own user name and password. Don’t forget to add a “1” before your phone number. (That’s the country code for the U.S. and Canada.)

    • Step 3: Add a form. On this screen you’ll be asked to re-confirm some of what you already entered, plus answer one or two new questions. Once you’ve done that, click the “Add” button in the bottom right-hand side of the screen. After the first traveler you can add more travelers, but only if you will be arriving in Argentina together. If you do add more travelers, you’ll pay all the fees as one transaction.

    • Step 4: Pay your reciprocity fee. Once all the travelers have been added, click the “Pay” button at the bottom of the screen. Check the box to indicate you accept the Terms and Conditions. Select the type of card you want to make payment with (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express). Click the word “Continue” on the bottom right-hand side of the screen; this will send you to a secured screen where you can enter payment. Enter your payment information and click the word “Send”.

    This "reciprocity fee" is not a Visa but an entry fee on equal amounts to those citizens of Argentina must pay when requesting a TOURISM/BUSINESS VISA to travel to USA,Canada or Australia.

    NOTE: you must bring this receipt (the one with barcode) and have it always with you in your passport for all the border crossings in & out of Argentina!
    Have your username & password written so that you can re-print this receipt in case it is lost!
    5- IMPORTANT TIPS


  • HOTEL CHECK-IN time is 3:00pm & check –out 12 pm. Due to the high tourist season early check in is not always possible even with OAT priority on access to rooms. Please be prepared to wait.
  • Buenos Aires is a big city & pickpocketing happens around hotels so I recommend to leave your passport at the hotel safe. Bring 2 xerox copies (1 for you to carry around the city + 1 for me to be in charge of airline check-ins for domestic flights& all paperwork for crossing the borders).
  • Have the generic name of your medicine.