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Chile, Atacama, Patagonia and Easter Island Oct 2019
Post: #1
This is not a review as such as there have already been some excellent detailed reviews which I would not attempt to repeat as they tell you exactly what it is like. This is also a bit rushed as I notice there is a Group leaving shortly so I hope it is some help to them and is really a list of things I would like to have known before I left.
The trip is everything people have said it was although, the riots did provide an interesting background but even in the city centre,  we were in no danger and the only inconvenience was the night we got to our hotel to find the curfew was about to start shortly but the hotel manager was able to arrange food for us which we supplemented from the minibar J
We did have to rush 2 hours early when leaving to come home as the blockade was about to start but it made the journey to the airport more interesting. I have noticed on the forum some of those about to go are a bit worried but let me assure you we never once felt we were in any danger and the agents in Chile have it under control.
You are living out of a suitcase so packing cubes are brilliant and if you have never used them, they are cheap as chips from Amazon and really keep your case in order. Bottled water is readily available and absolutely essential especially at altitude to avoid the ill effects. We had no problems in our group as far as I know with that or any other tummy bugs that can cause problems in other countries. I never found the need for mosquito repellent but check the time of when you are travelling. It is also perfectly safe to leave anything on the coaches as they are locked and the drivers totally trustworthy
I spent about £600 in total and really did not buy any presents, but I made up for this with the wonderful red wine and Pisco Sours. I took £500 worth of Chilean Pesos and used a credit card for the rest. I planned to change more if I needed but my stash of sterling would have been hard to change up. I found dollars would have been easier to change but the best thing is to take Chilean Pesos with you whatever you feel comfortable carrying and use an ATM for the rest and these are readily available.
Like most of South America, they are on the whole pretty good but like the world over, there are plenty for the men and not enough for the ladies. As I was the only man in the group with 15 other ladies, I could swan in at my leisure although once I had to go again as the ladies were taking so long.
Yes, in every hotel room although unfortunately I have long since needed one
Every socket takes the 2 pin adapters but the thicker type doesn’t fit only the thinner ones. At first glance they look the same size and short of measuring them with a micrometre, it is difficult to tell which is which. I have used both in  France and the thick ones fit nicely but the thin ones tend to be a bit loose so its these thinner ones you need to take.
They are in every room
Probably best to travel light as there will not be a lot of need to dress up. What is essential is clothing to suit all conditions. The hot sun in Atacama, The wind in Patagonia and the rain and snow at the glaciers as well as hat and gloves. Layers is the best advice. Good strong shoes were required on a number of occasions also
The meals in the hotels and restaurants are excellent and I was particularly fond of King Crab Chowder/stew/gratin particularly as I had it 3 times. Some of the included lunches were not great but perhaps that was just me and there did seem to be a lot of meat with these. Those in the group who were vegetarian or had other dietary needs were well catered for so that will not be a problem.
I took over 1000 photos and having a DSLR camera found having a zoom lens useful but those with whatever kind of camera got some great shots. Our guides cleverly got us there ahead of the crowds to avoid those nasty tourists spoiling the photo.
If you can afford it, please do as not only was the Island a big WOW factor, it was relaxed and made it a nice way to unwind.
In conclusion this is a great trip and those who have written reviews before describe it very well. I personally could have missed out Chiloe Island but others seemed to have enjoyed it however the highlights for me were The Atacama Desert, The Pink Flamingos, The scenery with the snow-capped Volcanos, The  elephant seals, penguins, The granite mountains/ glaciers of Patagonia and of course the Easter Island statues.

Special thanks to Lezli our Tour Manager who seemed to lose a lot of sleep as flights were delayed and rearranged at short notice and who worked really hard to ensure we had the trip we all expected
This trip ticked lots of boxes for me and hope it will for you but please ask if you have any questions

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Post: #2
Thanks for the great information Keith! Glad you had a good trip Smile

Many thanks,
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Post: #3
Thanks Keith, very helpful.

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Post: #4
thanks Keith. I am going in February so your tips are very useful.
Just 1 question. Is there a kettle in the rooms?
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Post: #5
(12/11/2019, 02:37 PM)pat534 Wrote: thanks Keith. I am going in February so your tips are very useful.
Just 1 question. Is there a kettle in the rooms?

Hi Pat,
Good question and I should have included in the review. The short answer is "No" the rooms do not have kettles so if you want your early our late morning cuppa you have to take your own kettle or one of those one cup diffusers and your own cup. The Director 45 hotel which you will stay in many times has some sort of designer coffee machine and a couple of cartridges but I didn't try it. None of the hotels had a place where you could get a tea or coffee other than at meal times. If I was going again I would take one of these

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Post: #6
many thanks for your reply Keith and the tip about the heater.
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