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Home > Member Reviews > Crocodile Dundee's Port Reviews of Santiago (Valparaiso), Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Buenos Aires

Crocodile Dundee's Port Reviews of Santiago (Valparaiso), Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Buenos Aires
Veendam cruise in January 2010
Member Name: Crocodile Dundee
Cruise Date: January 2010
Embarkation: Valparaiso
Destination: South America
Member Review: Crocodile Dundee's Veendam Review
Santiago (Valparaiso)
Port Rating: 2.0 out of 5+
Santiago is not exactly one of the more exciting cities. We were only there a day or so, and although we climbed the nearby hills and visited the zoo it was more to pass the time of day than anything else. The earthquake struck soon after we left, so we were fortunate - but I would not recommend Santiago as a place to visit except in transit.

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Puerto Montt
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We arranged a private tour with GV tours who have a great reputation and one which was well deserved. It is a family business and we were escorted by the daughter of the couple who run the business. She spoke excellent English and was very easy on the eye as well (if you happen to be a male chauvinist pig like me).

They gave us a great day and I would recommend going with them with one main change to the itinerary if possible. One stop is the green lagoon - and this could easily be missed as it's rather underwhelming. Far better to spend more time at the Petrohue falls and rapids which are excellent. It was a shame our visit to the falls was so brief, and I would have swapped the lagoon for the falls anytime. The trip included lunch and it is a nice way to see the Puerto Montt countryside as there is little to see within the town itself. After the day trip you will have time to see the town of Puerto Mont but don't expect it to be the stuff dreams are made of.

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Punta Arenas
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We chose a Penguin tour run by HAL which was fine - we've seen penguins before often enough, but there were far more than we had seen before, and they were quite happy to see us (if you could count ignoring us altogether to be a sign of happiness). There is a bit of a hike, but not too bad although it is very cold. I would recommend taking the morning visit rather than the afternoon one because others on the ship told us that many of the penguins had gone fishing by the afternoon, and there were far fewer to look at.

When we returned we made the mistake of walking into town. That made for a very loooonnnng and tiring (and basically pointless) walk, with nothing of interest on the way and not a whole lot when we got there. If you go into the town take a taxi both ways! Again, it's not the stuff that dreams are made of, so take a tour outside the town and see some penguins.

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Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
I hate to sound negative, but the ports on this cruise are not wildly exciting - just a pleasant way to pass the time - it's more about the scenery from the ship in the fiords than in the ports. Ushuaia has a perhaps more interesting township, but a day trip into the country is needed to fill your time. We took a HAL tour, which tried to make the best of a basically OK sort of place. It's a nice drive, nice scenery, we had a nice time - but not the sort of place that you will wax lyrical about afterwards.

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Buenos Aires
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Buenos Aires is BIG ... in fact it goes on forever. I would hate to find my way around it, so we were glad to have arranged a private tour. There are some interesting places to see, but without a driver and guide you may well waste a lot of time just figuring it out by yourself (and you might get robbed doing it!)

Hire a tour guide and see the cemetary where Eva Peron is buried and go for a ride to see whatever local sights they recommend. You'll enjoy the day, and far more so than if you try doing it yourself.

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