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Home > Member Reviews > Nature Cruiser's Port Reviews of Santiago (Valparaiso), Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Stanley, Montevideo

Nature Cruiser's Port Reviews of Santiago (Valparaiso), Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Stanley, Montevideo
Veendam cruise in December 2010
Member Name: Nature Cruiser
Cruise Date: December 2010
Embarkation: Santiago (Valparaiso)
Destination: South America & Antarctica
Member Review: Nature Cruiser's Veendam Review
Santiago (Valparaiso)
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Santiago Chile is a beautiful and modern city. Its climate is lovely and it offers a wide variety of sight seeing and cultural opportunities.



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Puerto Montt
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Puerto Montt is a sleep tourist town. It has the best handicrafts market in Chile (buy here if you see something you like). Best of all, Puerto Varas is about 30 minutes from here. the stunning views of Lake Llanquihuye and the Orsono Volcano are not to be missed. Another 30 minutes on are the Petrohuye Rapids/Falls which are well worth seeing.


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Punta Arenas
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Punta Arenas was a vibrant trade port up to the opening of the Panama canal in 1912. It boast many historical buildings, beautiful parks and scenery. About one hour from town the Penguin preserve is a must see. In addition the the penguins we saw condors, rhea, caracara, upland geese, flamingos and vultures on this trip. It was scenic and very worth while. Be sure to touch to foot of the Patagon in the plaza - this means you will return one day. Lunch at Luna's is a treat as well and it is easy to find. Please do note that this is a VERY windy place. You need to dress appropriately.



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Ushuaia
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
The city itself is very 'touristy' and the sidewalks are jam packed with people. If you leave the city and explore the Tierra de Fuego National Park you will be rewarded with beautiful scenery and a chance to take your picture at the sign that marks the very end point of the Pan American highway.

All of the major Antarctic expeditions leave from this port so there are interesting ships in the harbor and lots of outdoor gear stores. This is a very windy city, be sure to dress appropriately.



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Stanley
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Port Stanley is a remarkably British place. It is also situated on what has to be the rockiest place on Earth. In spite of the fact there there are howling winds and no naturally occurring trees, this is a remarkably beautiful place and offers opportunities to visit penguins and other wildlife as well as battle sites and minefields (yet uncleared) from the war. Ask someone about the cow that got blown to kingdom come last year! The locals are a charming and affable bunch. Apparently they also hold the world record for per person alcohol consumption.

We arrived on a beautiful day and took Patrick Watts' expedition out to Volunteer Point - it was AMAZING!!!



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Montevideo
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Our experience in the port was tempered by the fact that the plans we'd made with a local guide fell through and we had to hire a car and driver a the pier - the driver was new and not from the city so he spent the entire day lost and he knew nothing about history etc.. That said, the trip to Colonia del Sacramento was scenic and the city itself, while overly packed with tourists, was worth seeing as much of it dates back to the early 1600s. The city of Montevideo itself has certainly seen better days. It felt run down and grungy. Many have left the city for the newer beach town of Punta del Este (not unlike Detroit in the US, I suppose).



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Buenos Aires
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
It is still the "Paris of Latin America". Buenos Aires has great food, great museums and a rich history that is readily explored on foot or via a tour. There are also a number of things to do near Buenos Aires such as the markets in Tigre that make for good fun. Don't miss the cemetery in Recoleta it is its own museum and art gallery - one can wander there for hours.

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