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Currency

Chilean Peso and Argentine Peso. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit cards in the larger towns. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows.

When to go

A visit at any time is recommended outside the winter months Jun-Aug when it can be very wet, cold and access routes in the south can be blocked by snow. On the other hand, it is frequently less windy in winter and you have a better chance of seeing wildlife as there are few tourists around. Many facilities are closed then, however.

Language

Spanish.

Time difference

GMT -4 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer.

Getting there

Daily flights from Buenos Aires take 3.5 hours to El Calafate, thence 3 hours by road to El Chaltén; from Ushuaia the flight to El Calafate is 1.5 hours.

Combines with

Puerto Natales, picturesquely located town on Last Hope Sound is famous for its black necked swans; itstill has a frontier feel, , 3hrs by roadEl Calafate in the Parque Nacional de los Glaciares, Argentina (to visit the Perito Moreno glacier), 425km (7 hours scenic drive);the Aisén Region, a wilderness of little-visited forests and rivers north of the park, 4.5 hours drive to Punta Arenas then 1.5 hours by air the Chilean lake district (2 hours away by air from Punta Arenas).

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