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Old 01-12-2013, 09:29 AM   #1
Eli Pasquali OP
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Argentina&Chile

Firstly I'd like to thank "doc" from a different forum for introducing me to this site. Great stuff on here! I'm currently in Santiago Chile with a newly purchased Euromot GXT200, Love the bike for the price. I'm planning on heading over to Argentina and checking out Aconcagua before heading down route 40 to Patagonia. I've hit a slight snag and had my Credit Card lost (entirely my fault, left it at a gas station in santiago, no extra charges on it, but cancelled it as soon as I discovered it was lost). I'll have a friend bring a new one down in February for me. Until then I'm stuck with Debit and Cash. A couple questions for you more experienced bike travelers in the area:

1) When Heading into Argentina from Chile, is it better to arrive at the boarder with Argentinian Pesos, Chilean or US dollars, Ideally Id like to use chillean Pesos for the reciprocity fee but I can hit up a bank for other currencies if needed.

2) With the 8L jerry can strapped to the back of the bike I figure about a 400km range, with A LOT of padding. Route 40, is easy to find gas on the trip down?

3) I've had nothing but good experiences with the police in Chile, in Argentina from what I've read it's "different", is it advisable to carry some cash on you?

4) As cool as GPS is, I've decided not to go that route, can someone recommend a place in Santiago that sells road maps, my Spanish is unfortunately non-existent, and I've had trouble finding a good road map for Argentina and Chile.

Any Help would be greatly appreciated, if you happen to be in the Santiago area, I think I'm around for another week and am always up for a coffee or a pint!

Cheers,

E
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:11 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli Pasquali View Post
Firstly I'd like to thank "doc" from a different forum for introducing me to this site. Great stuff on here! I'm currently in Santiago Chile with a newly purchased Euromot GXT200, Love the bike for the price. I'm planning on heading over to Argentina and checking out Aconcagua before heading down route 40 to Patagonia. I've hit a slight snag and had my Credit Card lost (entirely my fault, left it at a gas station in santiago, no extra charges on it, but cancelled it as soon as I discovered it was lost). I'll have a friend bring a new one down in February for me. Until then I'm stuck with Debit and Cash. A couple questions for you more experienced bike travelers in the area:

1) When Heading into Argentina from Chile, is it better to arrive at the boarder with Argentinian Pesos, Chilean or US dollars, Ideally Id like to use chillean Pesos for the reciprocity fee but I can hit up a bank for other currencies if needed.

2) With the 8L jerry can strapped to the back of the bike I figure about a 400km range, with A LOT of padding. Route 40, is easy to find gas on the trip down?

3) I've had nothing but good experiences with the police in Chile, in Argentina from what I've read it's "different", is it advisable to carry some cash on you?

4) As cool as GPS is, I've decided not to go that route, can someone recommend a place in Santiago that sells road maps, my Spanish is unfortunately non-existent, and I've had trouble finding a good road map for Argentina and Chile.

Any Help would be greatly appreciated, if you happen to be in the Santiago area, I think I'm around for another week and am always up for a coffee or a pint!

Cheers,

E
Can't help you on the reciprocity fee, but I've heard it can be paid online.

400km should be plenty of range

I had zero police troubles in Argentina, zero police contact in fact, riding like a semi-hooligan from one end of the country to the other, but as always YMMV. I'd guess with the Dakar happening right now and the big influx of foreigners, I bet the police are under pressure from their higher-ups to be on their best behavior.

YPF gas stations have pretty good maps as well as most book stores. I bet even your 'non-existent' spanish can ask for a "mapa de carreteras"
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:03 AM   #3
Acampao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli Pasquali View Post
Firstly I'd like to thank "doc" from a different forum for introducing me to this site. Great stuff on here! I'm currently in Santiago Chile with a newly purchased Euromot GXT200, Love the bike for the price. I'm planning on heading over to Argentina and checking out Aconcagua before heading down route 40 to Patagonia. I've hit a slight snag and had my Credit Card lost (entirely my fault, left it at a gas station in santiago, no extra charges on it, but cancelled it as soon as I discovered it was lost). I'll have a friend bring a new one down in February for me. Until then I'm stuck with Debit and Cash. A couple questions for you more experienced bike travelers in the area:

1) When Heading into Argentina from Chile, is it better to arrive at the boarder with Argentinian Pesos, Chilean or US dollars, Ideally Id like to use chillean Pesos for the reciprocity fee but I can hit up a bank for other currencies if needed.

2) With the 8L jerry can strapped to the back of the bike I figure about a 400km range, with A LOT of padding. Route 40, is easy to find gas on the trip down?

3) I've had nothing but good experiences with the police in Chile, in Argentina from what I've read it's "different", is it advisable to carry some cash on you?

4) As cool as GPS is, I've decided not to go that route, can someone recommend a place in Santiago that sells road maps, my Spanish is unfortunately non-existent, and I've had trouble finding a good road map for Argentina and Chile.

Any Help would be greatly appreciated, if you happen to be in the Santiago area, I think I'm around for another week and am always up for a coffee or a pint!

Cheers,

E
1. US dollars will do the trick everywhere. You'll get better exchange rate in Argentina compared to CH$.

2. 400 km is a pretty good range. But don´t forget the number one rule for riding (or driving) in Patagonia: fill your tank at EVERY gas station you find. Even if you just filled 50 km ago. You never know when you are going to find another station (and in Argentina, if it's going to have gas available).

3. Never offer to bribe a police officer in Chile. You will end up in jail. In other countries, do not take the initiative but be willing to play their game. Carry just a little cash in one of your pockets and bargain saying it's all you have.

4. You can find good road maps at any COPEC service station in Chile. Or just download from the internet and print. Google for images of "Mapa Turistel"
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:29 AM   #4
Eli Pasquali OP
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Thank you both for your help. I figured the bribe thing would be like when I was Africa, as mentioned don't offer but play along. I'll go and see about taking some US dollars out at a bank before I depart Santiago.

Cheers,

E
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:08 PM   #5
markharf
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Most riders do not pay any bribes in Argentina. Most of those who do pay bribes, needn't and shouldn't.

There are some famous roadblocks with corrupt police on the other side of the country from where you're going, between B.A. and Iguazu. None on ruta 40. None at border crossings. Don't give in to any hysteria on the subject. Even if you do find a corrupt cop, you'll find their efforts laughable compared to what's found in Africa.

The fact that you're asking which currency to bring to Argentina suggests you're not paying attention to the emerging black market. Bring US dollars and be prepared to change for pesos cautiously once inside the country. Lots of current information on the HUBB or ADVrider (or Lonely Planet, if they ever reconstitute themselves).

Hope that's helpful.

Mark
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:51 PM   #6
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Argentina maps

when you arrive to Mendoza city look or ask for the Automobil Club Argentino they have the best maps for all the provinces in paper and in dvd format. cost around 30 u$s for the dvd.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:38 PM   #7
Eli Pasquali OP
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Excellent, advice from all. I have been following the black market threads, but would really prefer to avoid that avenue if at all possible. Due to some convincing from some Chilean friends, I've changed the route to Ruta 7 in Chile for as far down as Chile Chico before crossing. Managed to find an excellent map at COPEC. Finally one more question that's directed more towards Canucks who have ridden down here.

Can you do debit card purchases down here? I've found that it can be hit and miss for which countries accept Canadian Debit cards (I'm not talking about ATM usability, but POS systems)

E

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Old 01-13-2013, 07:18 PM   #8
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Easy enough to avoid using the black market if that's your goal: just change money legally, at the legal rate. Only drawback is that everything becomes 50% more expensive. If you don't mind that, you're in fine shape. Note that "legally" includes all debit and credit transactions.

I'm having difficulty seeing the advantage of POS transactions using a bank card. You'll still need to carry cash, since as you've noticed you don't really have the option of paying by debit card in a lot of the places you'll end up. Any reason you're so determined to do things the most expensive, least convenient way?

Mark
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:04 AM   #9
Eli Pasquali OP
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It's not that I want to do everything as expensive as possible, I just don't like carrying large sums of cash on myself. I'm not going to be traveling around with 2-3k in US dollars to get a better rate. The debit Card comment was just because i'm credit cardless until end of February and it's a back up system.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:28 AM   #10
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ATM machines are pretty much everywhere now, no need to carry large sums of cash. I did get a counterfeit 100Arg Peso bill from an ATM once so be watchful. I made it a practice of inspecting the money immediately after withdrawing it from the ATM. I remove the cash and inspect it in front of the video camera so there's arecord that can be referred to later.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:52 PM   #11
Dan Man
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I really enjoyed Ruta 40. My brief excursion into Chile lead me to find Ruta 5 to be a superhighway. However, Ruta 7 (Carreterra Austral) is not to be missed. You could cruise Argentina south until Esquel and then look for a crossing.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli Pasquali View Post
Firstly I'd like to thank "doc" from a different forum for introducing me to this site. Great stuff on here! I'm currently in Santiago Chile with a newly purchased Euromot GXT200, Love the bike for the price. I'm planning on heading over to Argentina and checking out Aconcagua before heading down route 40 to Patagonia. I've hit a slight snag and had my Credit Card lost (entirely my fault, left it at a gas station in santiago, no extra charges on it, but cancelled it as soon as I discovered it was lost). I'll have a friend bring a new one down in February for me. Until then I'm stuck with Debit and Cash. A couple questions for you more experienced bike travelers in the area:

1) When Heading into Argentina from Chile, is it better to arrive at the boarder with Argentinian Pesos, Chilean or US dollars, Ideally Id like to use chillean Pesos for the reciprocity fee but I can hit up a bank for other currencies if needed.There are no fees crossing the border overland either direction, it's just handy to have both currencies with you. When you know you won't need anymore of a certain currency don't wait too long to change into what your route will need. Chilean currency no problem but you don't want to get stuck with very many Argentine pesos.

2) With the 8L jerry can strapped to the back of the bike I figure about a 400km range, with A LOT of padding. Route 40, is easy to find gas on the trip down? a 400km range should be enough as long as you don't make wrong turns(like I did a couple of times) in which case you will be begging for fuel at some estancia, like i had to do.
3) I've had nothing but good experiences with the police in Chile, in Argentina from what I've read it's "different", is it advisable to carry some cash on you? always have some cash, but Argentina the cops are no problem.

4) As cool as GPS is, I've decided not to go that route, can someone recommend a place in Santiago that sells road maps, my Spanish is unfortunately non-existent, and I've had trouble finding a good road map for Argentina and Chile. No Spanish means you are going to have a lot more problems than you would if you speak some lingo, learn some basic Spanish before proceeding.

Any Help would be greatly appreciated, if you happen to be in the Santiago area, I think I'm around for another week and am always up for a coffee or a pint!

Cheers,

E
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:27 AM   #13
Eli Pasquali OP
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Thank you all for help, I'm slowly picking up some Spanish, I'm fluent in French and it has helped. Tomorrow I start venturing south, Concepcion is the goal for tomorrow. I'll spend a few days in the area (need to see Salto de Laja) then head to Puerto Montt, and continue south. The bike has been good so far, and I have enjoyed taking it over to the Canjon de maipo for a few days of camping!
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