It’s been nearly 90 days since we arrived in Chile! I can’t believe how fast time goes! Tourist visas in Chile are valid for 90 days, so we are heading out of the country and then back in to get another 3 month stamp. So we are taking a bus from Castro, Chiloe over the mountains to a small place called Villa La Angostura, Argentina. The other
morning late afternoon (I don’t do mornings lol) I went down to the bus station to buy our tickets. There are two bus stations in Castro and they are both on San Martin in the downtown area. One is for local transportation and the other for longer trips. You want the one for longer trips for crossing the border on a visa-run from Castro. It is the Terminal Cruz del Sur, located at the corner of San Martin and Sotomayor streets.
One reason I am a little anxious about this trip is there is a reciprocity fee Americans must pay to enter Argentina. It’s $160USD and it lasts for 10 years. The thing is, I already paid mine when we went to live in San Rafael, Argentina, back in February 2015 (we were there for 4 beautiful months!)…but that was before I got married, changed my name, and got a new passport with my new married name.
Will they let me cross the border without paying another fee?
In my ‘cute’ chicken scratch Spanish, I explained to the ticket lady I needed two tickets to Villa La Angostura. No problem. This woman was so sweet…she even SLOWED DOWN when she talked to me so I could understand her! Bless her! I hand her our passports and start rattling on about the reciprocity fee. I’m pretty sure she understood me. (I’m thinking, “yeah man, I got this Spanish thing so under control…”) It sounds like I can just take my old and new passports to the Passport Control area when we get to Argentina and they will let me in without another fee. Let’s hope so!
We booked one way and will have to buy our return tickets upon arrival. We go to Puerto Montt, spend the night there to check out the scene, and then get on the International bus to Argentina! From Castro to Puerto Montt–6.000CLP (about $8.50USD) and Puerto Montt to Argentina–18.000CLP (about $25USD).
On my way back from town today, I just had to stop and get some fresh fruit from the street vendors downtown. If you are in Castro (and probably a lot of other places in Chile) don’t buy strawberries or cherries from the grocery store…get them from the street! These are farmers who bring in their fresh and ridiculously flavorful fruit that have been picked at the perfect moment. A few weeks ago, I had THE best strawberry of my life. Today I couldn’t resist these cherries. SOOOO GOOD!
So for now, we are just preparing for our visa-run (gotta book the hotels today!) and trying to stay dry! Lots of rain this week!