Food in Chile/Argentina

Regional discussion and conditions reports for South America. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the South American Climbing Partners section.
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Andrew Rankine

 
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Re: Food in Chile/Argentina

by Andrew Rankine » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:31 pm

I carried a bunch of food from the US to Argentina via Santiago. I had two separate itineraries so I was supposed to clear customs in Santiago and then recheck my bag. But I went to the lost bag office in the SCL airport with my bags--before clearing customs and with a little 'help' and a 'tip' I got them to clear the bag to go to Argentina without messing around with Chilean customs. You can do the same thing in Argentina if you get hassled- pesos solve lots of problems.

On the other hand why bother with all of this when you're about to eat a ton of other local stuff that you won't be sure what's in it? A few bars and things are the tip of the iceberg I'd think unless you plan to bring everything. The other option is to ship a big box of food ahead and pray that it makes it.

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mbostleman

 
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Re: Food in Chile/Argentina

by mbostleman » Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:23 pm

Ok that's good to know that a "processing fee" might be an option. I would happily go that route to get things done.

I don't have any concern with local food in terms of health issues or what's in it. I've eaten street food and tea house fare in a lot of international environments and knock on wood I've never had major problems.

My issue is the time it takes to organize, buy, and pack food for 10 days above base camp. Our itinerary is such that we arrive in Mendoza at 10 PM, then the next day buy our permit and get on the bus to Puente del Inca. So to organize everything in Mendoza before heading out, I would really need another day I think. Maybe food could be bought along the way and in BC, but I'm leery about the price and variety. Once in BC it seems like you're a captive market and prices are probably through the roof. One base camp provider I saw was charging $115 US a day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in their mess tent.

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Damien Gildea

 
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Re: Food in Chile/Argentina

by Damien Gildea » Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:14 am

Andrew Rankine wrote: The other option is to ship a big box of food ahead and pray that it makes it.


No, that's really not a good idea. I've shipped plenty of stuff to Chile and Argentina in the past and it's a nightmare. Even the Chileans told me not to do it. Gets caught in customs for ages and often attracts taxes, charges etc. And that's assuming it actually gets through.

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Re: Food in Chile/Argentina

by Damien Gildea » Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:17 am

mbostleman wrote: Do you know anything of the specifics on regulations that make Mountain House packs a problem? Is it the ones with meat? Eggs? Fruit? Obviously the meat is all cooked so that seems contradictory if raw meat is an issue.


It's mostly meat, yes, though all animal products are prohibited, including honey. But also nuts, fruit etc.

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Re: Food in Chile/Argentina

by Damien Gildea » Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:20 am

mbostleman wrote:My issue is the time it takes to organize, buy, and pack food for 10 days above base camp. Our itinerary is such that we arrive in Mendoza at 10 PM, then the next day buy our permit and get on the bus to Puente del Inca. So to organize everything in Mendoza before heading out, I would really need another day I think.


Maybe, maybe not. If you're on a public bus then you're stuck with a set time, but if getting transport through your agent then you might have more flexibility. The permit process never took me more than an hour or so, and you should be able to procure white gas or canisters within an hour from one of the main shops in the city centre. If you find the best supermarket (it's a few years since I was there) and stop by on the way, stock up what you need, then sort it out in the evening at Puenta del Inca. The more you can organise in advance, the better.

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Re: Food in Chile/Argentina

by herdbull » Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:29 am

mbostleman wrote:My issue is the time it takes to organize, buy, and pack food for 10 days above base camp. Our itinerary is such that we arrive in Mendoza at 10 PM, then the next day buy our permit and get on the bus to Puente del Inca. So to organize everything in Mendoza before heading out, I would really need another day I think. Maybe food could be bought along the way and in BC, but I'm leery about the price and variety. Once in BC it seems like you're a captive market and prices are probably through the roof. One base camp provider I saw was charging $115 US a day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in their mess tent.


I would just plan 1 day in Mendoza. A 10pm arrival if on time and a late morning departure from Mendoza leaves zero time for hiccups, travel plans or other issues. As it is it may be hard to get the permit, pay for the permit at a Pago facility, get back to permit office and then over to the bus station. If memory serves me correctly there's only a few buses a day that leave for Los Pen. Something like a 6am and a 10am bus. If that's the case you won't make either one.

Mendoza is a great town with tons to offer the "tourist". There's probably a hundred hostels in town. Most of which you can stay for $5-$15/night. There's a huge Carrefour on the NW part of the main town square. Think super walmart'ish. The gear shops have dehydrated food but expect to pay a pretty good price for them. I checked enough mtn house for about 3 weeks when flying from the states and didn't lose a thing. I went through Sao Paulo, Bueno Aires then to Mendoza.

You will find everything at the Carrefour. Things like oatmeal, peanut butter, candy bars, cookies even a self serve mixed nut/trail mix area in the produce section. I drank down a couple 20oz waters and filled them with trail mix and mixed nuts for the climb. Worked great and much more rugged than a zip lock bag. Make sure to do your shopping list ahead of time in Spanish if you don't know much Spanish. It saved my butt when looking for things.

Also white gas is plentiful at any of the gear shops. As is last minute items you may have forgotten, lost or misplaced. most of the stuff can be rented as well. Any more questions please ask away.

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