Patagonia series | To the end of the world and back | episode 5

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Day 2 | Valle Nevado

Turistik charges 32,000 Pesos per person for this half day tour departing 3pm from the office based in Mercado Central. We were told to be at the office by 2.45pm. Of course, latino time means always at least 30 mins later than the official time. The bus eventually turned up at 3.40pm.

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Valle Nevado (Snow Valley) in the Andes, it’s a ski resort located in El Plomo foothills in the Andes Mountains. Approximately 46km to the east of Santiago. This French-Chilean ski resort was founded in 1988.

Our tour bus 1st stopped at the bottom of the mountain Andes so you can rent your appropriate clothing for the snow valley for a charge. We were the only people in the tour didn’t rent anything as we were wearing thick coats and good walking shoes.

After approximately 1.5 hours from Santiago, we arrived at Valle Nevado and it was snowing when we arrived. To be honest, the ski resort is very average and not at all very impressive. If I would have known beforehand I’d rather save the money to do something else. Due to the altitude this place is cold and snowy all year round. The resort was not in operation during summer, so when we got there there was only a luxury bar selling over priced food and drinks and a little souvenir shop.

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When we got back to the hotel it was nearly 9pm so we didn’t have much time left to enjoy anything else but catch our overnight bus to our next stop in Chile – Pucón.

How to get to Pucón from Santiago?

You can either fly or take the bus. I personally think the bus would probably be the most efficient way considering no need to get to the airport, through security and boarding the plane. My guide book or Wikipedia said you can fly directly from Santiago which is a false/outdated information. There is an airport in Pucón but it’s not used by civilian traffic. You will have to fly to Temuco which is about 2 hours by car outside of Pucón. The flight with Sky Airlines to Temuco is very cheap costing approx USD 30, but then you will have to consider the transport from Temuco to Pucón and the additional cost and time for the additional bus journey. By taking the overnight bus, we would save a night in a hostel and the bus arrives Pucón directly.

There are several bus companies operating on this route from Santiago to Pucón. I am very happy that we chose Tur Bus (www.turbus.cl), their premium seat which is 180 degrees of recline. Our bus departed punctually at 22:00, estimated arrival time will be 8am.

It has been a really long and eventful day for us, the tour to Cajón del Maipo was cancelled in the early morning, then the robbery happened midday, with an excursion to the Snow village in the afternoon. I will now have a good rest and look forward to our next stop in Pucón.

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Continue to read: Patagonia series | To the end of the world and back | episode 6 — Day 3 | Pucón

Or read: Patagonia series | To the end of the world and back | episode 4 — Day 2 | The Robbery

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