South America Journals

Cruising in South America

A December 2006 trip to South America by Sandy Goes

Cruising in South America Photo, Chile, South America More Photos
Quote: Two week cruise aboard the Norwegian Crown visiting ports and lake districts of Chile, Argentina, Falkland Islands and, Uruguay.

Cruising in South America

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Overview

Cruising in South America Photo, Chile, South America
Quote:
We boarded the Norwegian Crown in Valparaiso, Chile to begin a two week cruise over the Christmas holidays with destinations in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Falkland Islands. Christmas Day was celebrated with an appearance by Santa Claus and was not over-done but simple and tasteful. It was sweet to see the children sit on Santa's lap and receive a small gift while cruising in the middle of the ocean. It made Christmas extra special. I couldn't resist hopping on Santa's lap myself which was captured by the ships' photographer. The purchase of the photograph pricey at but it was all in good fun and what a great memory.A couple of days before Christmas Day Gingerbread houses started to appear...Read More

Puerto Montt, Chile

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Story/Tip

Open Air Museum in Chile's Lake District town of Frutillar  Photo,
Quote:
Our first South American port of call was the small but vital city of Puerto Montt, Chile. This is the transportation hub to the Patagonia region and the Chilean lake district.The city is not particularly attractive but bustling with traffic and shoppers. The main shopping area of stores, some modern, some quite dated, as well as produce stands on street corners make for a good photo but this is their way of life. There is much salmon cultivation in this district.This region was originally settled by German colonists in the 1800s. We took an optional bus trip to neighboring village of Puerto Varas, about 20 miles away. The quiet resort town had a casino. The main streets were lined with ...Read More
Summertime in Chile Photo,
Quote:
Port of call, Punta Arenas, is Chilean Patagonia's largest and most important city situated at the foot of the Andes in the province of Magallanes which includes Tierra del Fuego Island and is correctly termed "Chilean Patagonia." The atmosphere feels like turn-of-the century Europe. Before the Panama Canal opened, the city was a booming port of call at the tip of South America. Seems to be the most prosperous city we visited in the Patagonian region. Nice walking city with good views. The Magallanes Regional Museum is an interesting trip back in time to the early Indian settlers and missionaries. The Sara Braum museum is housed in a beautiful French style building. It has some nice de...Read More
Waterfalls in Simpson National Reserve  Photo, Puerto Penasco, Mexico
Quote:
This port is quite isolated but interesting if you are a spirited traveler. We hopped on a local bus for an 8 mile trip to the nearby town of Aysen. For $1 US dollar we got our first glimpse of Patagonia as we passed a fjord and salmon being cultivated. Even though it was raining, the scenery was picture perfect.Salmon farming is a major industry in this area. The locals on the small bus, more like a van, were amused at the bunch of about 10 cruisers chattering about and being fearful of getting lost or getting off at the wrong stop. The bus ride was worth the anxiety as we saw a town where the average people in the area are living and working. Shops didn't start to open until after 10...Read More

Falkland Islands

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Story/Tip

Welcome to windy Falkland Islands, South America Photo,
Quote:
A tender was needed to land at the capital Port Stanley, Falkland Islands. There are frequent winter gales, 80-foot waves and treacherous reefs and hundreds of wrecks along the coast. A memorial stands high above the harbor to commemorate those sailors lost at sea. The currents were so strong that tendering was delayed several hours which cut short our stay. After being asked why are you going to the Falkland Islands, I was curious about this windy and desolate area of the world. I found it fascinating port.The wind was quite severe but died down in the late afternoon as I walked around the island. It was summertime, a bright and sunny day with temperature in the 50's and a constant wi...Read More
View from above the city of Ushuaia, Argentina Photo,
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Ushuaia is the image of Tierra del Fuego as named by Spanish explorer Magellan. The name "land of fire" was given when he saw mysterious flames in the darkness when first passing the island. As described by some travel guides, the town feels like a wild outpost, an odd blend of modern tourism, Klondike-style boom-town and gateway to the world's last great wilderness. I would agree this is the feeling you have as you walk around town among the locals and young back-backers. I could imagine some hippies targeting this spot to hide out for a while. Many restaurants advertised King Crab but our timing was off and most restaurants were closing early for Christmas eve. The Museo del Fin del ...Read More

Punta Tombo Penguin Reserve

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Attraction | "Puerto Madryn, Argentina"

Punta Tombo Penguin Reserve Photo, Puerto Madryn, Argentina
Quote:
We are finally going to see some penguins in South America. We booked an optional excursion to Punta Tombo Penguin Rookery to see the Magellanic penguins. This was a pricey tour of $119 per person and took the whole day. We did not see much of Puerto Madryn except the dry desert like terrain which is due to lack of rain during the summer and winter months. Many of the early immigrants to Puerto Madryn were from Britain and there is a large population of Welsh today keeping the culture alive.The area is rich with sea creatures, mammals, and birds such as the cormorant. After a bus ride of approximately 2 1/2 hours we arrived at the Punta Tombo Nature Reserve where over a million...Read More

Punta Tombo Penguin Reserve
Route 1 187 Km South From Puerto Madryn
Puerto Madryn, Patagonia

Tourist Sign in Montevideo, Uruguay  Photo,
Quote:
The ship docked in Montevideo, Uruguay where the temperature was finally quite balmy. The city is quite tourist friendly and I believe this could be quite the up and coming city to visit in a few years. A free shuttle meets the ship and drops you off at a leather shop and you can hop back on a bus at the shop after you have walked around the city.This is a very old city, not very clean and with much decay but with some interesting buildings that resembled many European cities. A small section of wall from early battle days still existed in the Plaza Independencia. A bus tour took us outside the city to a beautiful and wealthy residential area. The contrast to this part of Montevideo versus the...Read More

Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Story/Tip

Caminito Street, La Boca Photo,
Quote:
We debarked the ship in Buenos Aires just in time to spend New Years Eve and experience a heat wave in the city. It must have been close to 100 degrees, hot and humid, a little warmer than usual for December.This was our second time in BA so we felt quite at home. Our hotel, the Marriott Plaza was quite luxurious and situated at the end of Calle Florida, a walking street full of shops and restaurants and many interesting characters. During the early evening hours as you walk along Calle Florida you will hear tango music playing. A crowd starts to form to watch tango dancers dance perform on the coble stoned streets and then pass the hat for the few coins that audiences parts with to show their...Read More