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Thread: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

  1. #1
    J. Austin Powers appletree's Avatar
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    Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    So...last year I went to Portland (see below) around Christmas time and got some great advice, as always.

    I'll Be Fine
    by Johnathon Powers, on Flickr

    Itching to go somewhere again this year, maybe for 5-6 days. I don't mind camping (an Eagle Scout and still camp when I can), or sleeping in the back of a rental car. I am not opposed to staying in a hostel or Airbnb too.

    Really want to go to Yosemite at some point or maybe once in snow time and another in spring or fall. Not sure if Yosemite is a horrible idea in December or not.
    Thought about getting a ticket to go spend a week in the Atacama Desert in Chile.

    If international I would like to stay around $1k for a ticket. Hard with a short notice as this. Really want to go to Iceland at some point. But alas, once again maybe I plan it a bit better. Staying in the states obviously has it's advantages. But I was in France, Turkey, Rep of Georgia earlier this year so I am fine with traveling.

    Also, please give me some advice not just locations. If you have experience of some place (bonus if in the winter time) that is appreciated. Thanks!!!

    PS: Found out I can carry over vacation days (new policy this year), but I have a few I need to burn. So I could take a short trip 3-4 days and take advantage of holiday days, then something longer next year sometime.

  2. #2

    Re: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    I've been to Chile and the Atacama desert...there's also La Serena which is supposed to be lovely. don't forget you will have to fly to Santiago and then take another flight to Atacama. I enjoyed being there but only spent a few days. you might want to go to Bolivia instead as I understand it's like going back in time. hope you find a great destination...
    Best, Peter

  3. #3
    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    Unless they have changed it, US citizens flying into Santiago will have to pay an additional $100US in cash to Chilean immigration at the airport before being allowed to enter. The fee is good for 10 years and they stamp its payment in your passport. However you can fly into Argentina without paying the fee and bus into Chile.

    Our December is summer in Chile and an ideal time to visit Torrie del Paines national park which can be reached via Santiago or Argentina. If entering at Santiago, I wouid recommend checking out taking a NaviMag ferry through the Chilean fjords from Puerto Montt (about a 150 or so mile bus ride south from Santiago) to Puerto Natales (~3 days), check in and leave the heavy stuff at a very affordable and trustworthy "hospije" (sp) - they will be waiting for you when you disembark from the ferry, and spend a few days backpacking in the park which you can access by bus or, in my case, by boat. For return take the bus at Puerto Natales to Punta Arena which is about 100 miles south and catch a plane back to Santiago or wherever.

    Thomas

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    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    Out of curiosity I just did an online fare search for leaving SFO (San Francisco) to Santiago on 12/5 and returning 12/15 (10 days). $1,018.00 - not bad for December. However the one-way flight from Punta Arenas would be extra.

    Thomas

  5. #5
    J. Austin Powers appletree's Avatar
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    Re: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    Yeah. Looks like I could go from the 14th of Dec to the 24thish for around 1000-1100 bucks for a flight.
    Other expenses down there should be fairly affordable, I would assume. I was in Peru 5ish years ago and it was very affordable.

    Why Chile? No real specific reason, just read it is a good place to go this time of year (being in the southern hemisphere and all).

    And WOW to Torrie del Paines National Park. Beautiful place it seems.

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    Re: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    Kanab, Utah and Hole in the Rock where you can camp, photograph red rock desert and overlook Lake Powell with few around.

  7. #7
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    Re: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    National Geographic rates Torre del Paines the 5th most beautiful place in the world.

    Thomas

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    J. Austin Powers appletree's Avatar
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    Re: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    Thanks for all the advice.
    10 days should be long enough, right?
    Is this something I can plan in a month and half?
    I mean, my buddy and I were flying standby and we decided to go to Peru while at the airport in Newark...so I mean, I guess one finds a way.

    I could go in January (roll the vacation over) and save around 200ish on plane tickets. But I lose the "free day" of vacation on the 24th and it is nice since December is generally dead around the office (am an engineer).

  9. #9
    J. Austin Powers appletree's Avatar
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    Re: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    In regards to Utah. That is nice. And I am not opposed to staying in the states. So much to see here alone.

    And I "know" someone who does night photography in Utah and has offered for me to go with him. We talked about a month ago and he said only problem would be the cold. Especially since he, personally, shoots so much night photography (https://www.instagram.com/valleyofdyingstars/). But to let him know if I end up taking a trip to Utah.

  10. #10
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    Re: Where To Fly To...Mid-Late December??

    If you wanted to stay in the USA, you could hit the lower (and warmer) deserts...In Death Valley your friend would have long nights to photograph in! Southern Arizona (Saguaro National Monument and missions), and back in California -- Joshua Tree NP and Anza Borrego Desert State Park (and the ruins of Salton Sea resorts) would all be warmer and less likely for bad weather than Utah.

    Nice to be able to pick a destination!
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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