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Author: logogm

Joined: 8/7/2011
Posts: 1
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2011

August 06, 2011

 We are deciding on the Chile and Argentina tour in December 2011, and need input regarding which dates are best.  Option 1 = December 15-28, while "dooable", would make us miss the actual date of Christmas here at home with our family (it would be possible to have an early or late celebration instead, but not as ideal).  Option 2 = December 26-January 8, while better for family gatherings, would make part of our trip take place over the holiday period, when one poster here has shared that many things are closed down then.    

So, our question is:  how important do you think it is  to avoid travel there over the holiday week?  For Option 2, we would arrive in Chile on December 27, so only a total of 5 days of the 14 would fall over the holiday week.  Option 2 is our preference, yet we don't want to spend the money and effort and find ourselves missing out on a lot because of the holiday.  Please give your thoughts for us to consider as we make this decision soon!

Author: luvtravelin

Joined: 7/14/2010
Posts: 40
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 23
Traveler Since: 2001

August 07, 2011

We were in South America several years ago on an OAT trip over Christmas and New Years.  The only issue we experienced was a less experienced tour guide.  We didn't think about that issue before we booked, but we should have.  We now know that the more experienced guides can request holidays off, if that is what they want.  The guide was ok, but!!!

We also think if you decide to go on either of the two dates, option 2 would be the one to pick.

Hope this helps and have a great trip.

Author: janice.

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 373
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1999

August 07, 2011

My very worst trip ever was with GCT to Guadalajara during Christmas.  There were many last-minute changes to the itinerary that included cancellations of the Folkloric Ballet and the home-hosted dinner because of the holidays.  There seemed to have been no advance planning as the changes usually occurred at the last moment.  GCT discontinued the trip the followling year.  I share this with you as only an example of what can go wrong but hope it would not occur on any of their other tours.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 721
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

September 08, 2011

I made that trip last year and it's a good one. I think you'd be all right with dates after Christmas.You'd arrive in Santiago the 27th and I don't think the dates would affect that schedule: city tour, optional to Valparaiso. I can't imagine restaurants being closed down at that time or shops. There is a good shopping area Plaza Bellevista, a short walk from the hotel. 

You'd go to Puerto Varas from there and stay at the Cabanos. We toured a fish market and visited a museum, which might be closed but I think GCT would find something else. If restaurants in the town are closed, the restaurant at the hotel is good and offers a great view of the sun setting over the lake and the volcano.

The only day that things would be closed would be New Year's and I think you'd be in Bariloche at the Cacique. It's an interesting area. I'm pretty sure there was a free day there so they may just make an adjustment. It's a nice hotel, good restaurants, a swiiming pool so I thinIk you'd find something to do.

You'd be in Buenos Aires after Jan 1 so that schedule would likely be unaffected. The Lancaster is about one block from Galeries Pacifico (shops and food court) and Calle Florida, with shops galore -- can't imagine that being closed.

The only question I would have is about the PD but they may have some sinlges who are willing to work over New Year's.

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