Isla Magdalena/solo expeditions-better experience
Just another side to the Solo Expedition review above. My take on the review is the sea was too choppy to be safe in the boat and the Captain used poor judgment to go. The alt. would have been no trip that day for the writer with this group. I had a wonderful experience with Solo Expeditions and am writing this because they left at 7 AM and returned by 12:30 so I had something amazing to do on the day my plane flew back from P.A. to Santiago at 3:30 PM. The boat was as described and the Captain explained to us the conditions were not bad but moderately choppy. Here's a photo of the window with splashes coming up.We could be expected to rock and roll but the boat was very stable on the Pontoons and it was. No one seasick. They passed out life jackets for all to wear and allowed us to get out of the boat with one hand always on the boat at Isla Marta to sea the Sea Lions for about 15 minutes. Amazing. Then we continued onto Isla Magdalena and spent an hour there. It was Patagonian windy and freezing cold as usual. ( YAY!- I love this crazy weather). An hour was an amazing amount of time IMHO given the miracle of even being able to be with 10,000 penguins and seabirds on THEIR remote island that's their sacred yearly mating grounds for 2 months or so. It was about $60 US dollars and I would have paid 5 times that to have this experience. Most tour operated packages seem to cost 500 to 1000 per day for guides etc. I did not think at all the cost for 5.5 hours of sea birds ( we saw an Albatross and the guide pointed out and named many many other birds). We had hot chocolate and coffee or tea in the boat before shoving off from the island. It was a peak experience in my life. I would say you know from the other reviewer if there are rough seas that day you may not want to go with this company but I had the sense the Captain was very concerned with our safety.
Other dangers in P.A. I had two guys in orange sort of official jackets call me over. As soon as I got a sense they were trolling for attention and not officials I quickly excused myself and walked on. I walked around the City everywhere for about 7 hours into the hills and residential neighborhoods and did not feel unsafe in P.A.
I'm not guilty!
Now, this is something I'd thought I'd share with all of you. Chances are this might not happen to you, but you never know, because it did to me. Be careful how you conduct yourself, this goes for anywhere. The reason I say this was because I was walking near the port area when this car pulled up alongside me. One gentlemen got out of the car and showed me his badge and ID and immediately started to ask me questions, and rather quickly. Of course in Spanish naturally. Since I can speak it I told him in basic what I did and where I worked (on the ships at the time). He seemed to back of but still was a bit weary. Apparently, they thought I was someone they were looking for. I was rather bewildered by the end of the day that this happened. My advice is just to always have proof of ID and a copy of your passport if possible. It's never a good thing to be hasseled by law enforcement in another country. And try and be with someone if possible.
- Budget Travel
Great for wheelchairs, but bad for pedestrians
The pavewalk and the street are at the same level, that is quite good for people with wheel-chairs, but at the other hand there are some obstacles to prevent cars from parking on the pavewalks. When walking and searching for great places to take photographs you might stumble like I almost did before I realized these concrete-things in the street.
In general you will find that Chile has a lot of streets, where going by wheelchair is easy and most pavewalks that I saw in Santiago and Valparaiso ended with a small declining ramp to enter or leave the street-level .
On my 4th picture : the lift for wheelchairs in the back of Museo Regional de Magallanes.
On my 5th picture : Unfortunately there is no lift for wheelchairs in Museum Sara Braun. the entrance through the hotel might be a solution, but also there you will have a few steps !
- Family Travel
be patient at the museum Sara Braun
Be patient at the door of the museum Sara Braun: There is only a single person selling the tickets in a side-room of the museum and there he cannot watch the entrance-gate and that is the reason, why he wont let more than a few people in at the same time.
He will lock the door of the museum and wont open it again before he had sold these tickets. That system seems to work well at an ordinary day with just a few tourists, but on day with a cruiseship with 2000 passengers onboard he was a bit stressed...
Just wait a few minutes, that is all, the museum is really worth it !
Take a look at my photographs, while waiting ;-)
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
Big ships will need a TENDER-service
Be careful when booking a cruise to Punta Arenas : The pier of that port is too small for giant ships like M/S Infinity of Celebrity Cruises with 90.000 GRT.
So they have to take you ashore by small tenderboats, a time-consuming procedure that will cost you a lot of extra-time. So you have to deduct at least 2 hours from your time ashore.
Take a look at my pictures :That is the waiting-line for the people queuing up for the tenderboats to get back to the ship. A security-check with x-rays onboard added some extra inconvenience, but that seems to be standard nowadays, especially on US-ships.
In order to leave the ship, you have to register for a tender, the first people allowed to leave the ship are the ones , who have booked a tour-ticket, the others have to wait.
- Family Travel
- Luxury Travel
Islas Magellenas: DANGEROUS COMPANY
DO NOT USE SOLO EXPEDITIONS. IT IS DANGEROUS!!!! We went on this excursion today. It cost us 64 US dollars per person to visit the Magdallenas and Martas islands. It was a nightmare. The boat was about 24 feet long and all steel and pontoon baloons. AFTER we had paid, left the agency, and were already on the boat, the "captain" told us that the weather conditions would not allow us to go to Martas. We then endured a very dangerous ride out to the island. The tiny boat was filled with passangers bouncing around on steel benches with no padding anywhere. Several of us hit our heads on the steel beams as we lurched over enormous waves at near light speed. We finally got to Magdallenas and were only allowed to spend 40 minutes looking around. Then we got back on the boat to head home. This time was even worse. The unexperienced crew (2 people) got totally lost in the ocean, three passangers became seasick due to the terrible waves and horrible navigation, and one passenger even flew out of her seat and hit the steel floor on her knees. We were only given ten of the 64 dollars back for missing out on the second half of the trip, and no one was concerned about our safety or well being at all. SOMEONE COULD BE SERRIOUSLY INJURED OR EVEN KILLED ON THIS EXPEDITION!! Use another agency, or take a bus 1.5 hours away to see a penguin colony on land. AVOID THIS COMPANY!!
Great Hospital--Clinica Magallanes,
This is the Hospital that I came to visit. It is the place that is used to stabilize patients who take ill or are injured in Antarctica
Av. Manuel Bulnes 1448
My friend Dr. Jaime Abarca, who trained in the U.S. and completed a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic is a real expert on the effects of the sun on the body under the ozone hole works here first class doctor.
- Adventure Travel
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