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The South America Trip Report


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Early this year I decided to explore those south american parks that are not well known and that barely no one talks about it. I left Rio de Janeiro towards Santiago, Chile in order to travel all the way to Buenos Aires by bus/plane.

 

On my way I could visit six parks, including the most amazing abandoned park ever, Parque de la Ciudad!

 

 

One thing you should know is that Chile and Argentina are pretty much "first world countries" in South America, so it's kind of easy to get around, even for a woman traveling by herself who didn't speak a fluent spanish.

 

Both countries are very safe, have decent hotels and hostels, reasonable airports, good public transportation and most important, everything is cheap compared to USA or Europe, or even Brazil.

 

 

So, those were the parks I visited:

 

Fantasilandia - Santiago, Chile

Super Park - Córdoba, Argentina

Neverland - Buenos Aires, Argentina

Argenpark and Parque Luján - Luján, Argentina

Parque de La Ciudad - Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

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That was pretty much my itinerary

Edited by Mrenata
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Fantasilandia - Santiago, Chile

 

 

Santiago is Chile's capital, and one of the biggest cities in South America. It's architecture is a mix of new office buildings with some old colonial houses. There's a hop on, hop off bus that goes arount the whole city and it works pretty much the same way the other hop on/offs buses around the world do. The subway system ir really good, it takes you everywhere and it's easy to understand how the lines are combined.

 

Fantasilandia is one of South America's biggest and most important parks. And is one of my favourites around here. It is located inside Parque O'Higgins, a local city park, and it's easily accessible by subway. The park even offers a shuttle from the subway station to the park gate, even though it's a 500m walk.

 

The park area is not big, but they make the best out of it. Their flat ride collection is very good, and includes a Condor, Top Spin, Disk'o, Go Karts, Drop Tower, Wave Swinger, Tidal Wave, etc. They also have 5 roller coasters: A SLC, a Wild Mouse, A Boomerang, A dragon and a Galaxi.

 

Their website is also very good and easy to navigate, even for non-spanish speakers. http://www.fantasilandia.cl/

 

The entrance fee is very cheap, around US$16.00!

 

 

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If you're flying from Brazil or Argentina to Santiago, the plane will cross the Andes, giving you a nice view of Aconcagua, South America's Highest point

 

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Santiago's achitecture is a mix of new and old

 

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This bus takes you from the subway station to the park entrance. There was a sign saying that it costs 100 pesos, but when I tried to pay for the ride, the bus driver told me it was free.

 

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Raptor, a Vekoma SLC Coaster

 

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Raptor, along with MP Express are the two smoothest SLC coasters I've ever ridden.

 

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And it also has a nice landscape!

 

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The park has a lot of gardens, benches and family rides. It looks like a cute RCT park.

 

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Fun South American fact: Both Fantasilandia and Parque de la Costa (Argentina) have a wild mouse coaster, but for some reason none of the brazilian parks have got one yet. It's a shame, since it is a nice adition to any small park.

 

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The lap bars were all tied toghether. Never seen that on a wild mouse before.

 

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The Top Spin that really makes evryone wet!

 

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They also have a Pirates of Caribbean ride that is actually good, even though the boats are really, really tiny!

 

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For some reason, this ride is very, very popular in South America!

 

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The Go Kart track goes under Boomerang

 

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A galaxi coaster, another VERY popular ride in South America

 

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This one has no lap bars, just a creepy car seatbelt

 

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The seatbelt is completely loose and one can easily take it off during the ride

 

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Ikarus was the newest addition for 2012 season

 

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And they also have this boat ride that is so rare to find nowadays. It's the only one of it's kind in South America.

Edited by Mrenata
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I love it when people hit 'out of the way' parks like this! The park itself might not have the best coasters, but the scenery and greenery look top notch. It looks like such a clam park where people can relax and not worry about anything. And it looks like they take care of your rides, if you say that the SLC is smooth. I'm planning a trip to Peru in the upcoming years, and I may just make a pit stop in Santiago to visit this place. I'm am interested in picking up the credits, but that's not the only reason I'd want to visit the park.

 

Cannot wait to see your other trip reports

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Thanks for sharing this adventure! Great to see and hear about South American parks, which absolutely don't get much coverage.

 

That Pirates dark ride is hysterical; those boats are absurdly small.

 

And loved the shot of the Andes from the plane window. Awesome.

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The park advertised the "boat ride", caled Mississippi, as a terror ride, but I can't tell for sure whether this is accurate or not. I tried to find more information about this ride on the web, but the only thing that I could find out is that the ride is not operating anymore due to a lot of injures (which makes me think that it was indeed a Fun House). Apparently now they use the boat as a stage for some shows and contests.

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Super Park - Córdoba, Argentina

 

 

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Culture credit: If you travel from Chile do Argentina by bus, you will cross the Andes. The trip from Santiago to Mendoza takes aprox 8 hours, and the views are breathtaking!

 

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It's almost a Wild Mouse credit!

 

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The view is amazing all the way. The roads are very safe and the buses are double decker with free snacks and beverages all the way! The one way fare is around US.

 

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Seriously, this road is insanely beautiful!

 

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There are some Inca ruins all the way. Breathtaking!

 

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The mules ready to climb Aconcágua

 

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The first major city in Argentina coming from Chile is Mendoza. It's the base camp for anyone who's going to climb Aconcágua. From Mendoza you can choose to either take a bus or fly to Cordoba and Buenos Aires. I choose to fly, since the air fare was really cheap (around US). The Airline Companies in Argentina are really good (Andes, Austral (which belongs to Aerolineas Argentinas) and LAN. Cordoba is Argentina's second biggest city and is one of the nicest ones too!

 

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Super Park is a small park inside Parque Sarmiento. It looks like a small carnival that stood still on time. It's cute, though.

 

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There are no entrance fees, or wristbands for unlimited rides. You pay 5 pesos per ride, less than US.

 

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They still use the good old paper ticket

 

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Speedy Gonzales, the only credit there

 

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The park has around 20 rides, but they're all well taken care of. Their website, though, is a mess, http://www.super-park.com.ar/superpark.php

 

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Good, old flat rides

 

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Tagadas: For some inexplicable reason, they are SUPER popular in South America. I hate those rides, it doesn't make sense why one would spend money to end up with a stranger sitting on your lap. Or does it?

 

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A nice, small caroussel

 

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Another VERY popular ride in South America

 

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Tagadas: For some inexplicable reason, they are SUPER popular in South America. I hate those rides, it doesn't make sense why one would spend money to end up with a stranger sitting on your lap. Or does it?

 

I guess that would depend on the stranger.

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USA is blessed with 2 of the most amazing roads I've ever seen: I-15 to Vegas and Pacific Coast Highway. Those two, along with the route from Chile to Argentina are the holy trinity of amazing roads in the world.

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Neverland - Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

 

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I decided to fly from Cordoba to Buenos Aires, since the ticket price was so cheap (around US0). Buenos Aires is one of the most beautiful cities I've visited, and I try to go there at least once a year.

 

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The architecture in Buenos Aires is amazing, the streets are large, people are very polite and helpful, the transportation system works perfectly and it's a very safe place to visit. It reminds me a lot of NYC (besides the polite people :-) )

 

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Neverland is a small indoor park inside Shopping Abasto. In South America is very common to see those small arcade/parks inside malls. Most of them, though, don't have rides for teens/adults, just some kiddie ones.

 

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Neverland is bigger than those small parks, and it occupies a large area of Shopping Abasto.

 

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On the first floor there's a huge arcade area with some coin operated rides.

 

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On the third floor there's a very, very cute ferris wheel

 

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And on the second floor you can find some bigger rides like this pirate ship

 

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More kiddie rides

 

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The rides reminded of Luna Park, at Coney Island

 

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Oh, of course, there's a credit there!

 

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A very cute zamperla powered coaster

 

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It's one of the best themings I've ever seen on a powered coaster

 

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A bad ass shark

 

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I'm usually ashamed of credit whoring like that, but this one was really worthy!

 

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weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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Argenpark and Parque Luján - Luján, Argentina

 

 

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Luján is a city 65km away from Buenos Aires. It's easily accessible by bus (Linea 57 at Plaza Italia) and it is know for 3 things: The petting zoo (Zoo de Luján), the cathedral (Basílica de Luján) and for it's amusement parks.

 

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The petting zoo is one of the few zoos in the world where you're allowed to enter the cages and actually pet tigers, lions and bears (with the company of a trainer, of course). I've only seen those zoos in Luján and Johannesburg.

 

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It's actually pretty safe, and there has never been an accident or injury in Luján.

 

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Luján has 2 known parks: Argenpark and Parque Luján. During my visit I found a third park, with no name and just a few creepy rides along the river. This map shows how the parks are arranged around Luján.

 

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If you are not from South America, you'll find those parks very, very creepy, but this is how all the small parks look like around here.

 

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Some vintage rides that are rare to find nowadays

 

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Ticket booth, called "boleteria" in spanish

 

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There are no unlimited rides wristbands. They use this token as the ticket, and the token colors may vary according to the ride's ticket price. The most expensive ones (the rollercoasters) cost around US.

 

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Some kiddie rides and a credit on the background!

 

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Luján's cathedral is HUGE! This picture almost reminded me of Magic Kingdom

 

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More vintage rides

 

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A pretty steep drop for such an old coaster

 

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In the past there was a huge amusement park in Argentina called Ital Park. After a girl's death on the matterhorn ride on the 90's the park was shut down and it's rides were either bought by Beto Carrero, or ended up in Luján. Super Tornado is a 60's coaster that came from Ital Park, where it was called Thunderbolt.

 

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You can tell it is at least 40 years old. It's manually operated and there's a sign saying that the car's ONLY capacity is two people. It means that I had to use all my spanish to bribe a dad into landing me his kid so I could ride Super Tornado.

 

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The seat belt is that bumper car style shoulder harness that both people have to share. Awkward. The car is too tall and too narrow for it's turns, so you feel like you're gonna derail any time soon. The first drop is pretty steep, and at the end there's a huge bunny hop that ejects you from your seat.

 

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From Parque Luján you can either walk or take the cable chair to Argenpark

 

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Argenpark Station

 

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That building on the left is Ital Park's old Ghost Train that Argenpark is trying to restore.

 

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More vintage rides

 

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Super 8, another coaster that came from Ital Park

 

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It has seen better days

 

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On my way back to the bus station I spoted a thid park. Well, it was more like a creepy carnival ride reunion along Luján's river.

 

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It would be just a regular creepy park if it wasn't for the ULTRA CREEPY pirate ship. This thing was insane. It was going really high, it was even hitting the trees. That thing was so messed up that I had to try it. The bars were all rusty and I swear to god that it almost made a loop at some point.

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Back to the bus station I found those old fortune teller birds.

 

Even though Luján may seem a very unsafe place to visit, I had no problem getting around by myself. It's not a place that I would come back every year, but it's worthy a visit.

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Wow, some of those vintage rides look hair-raising!

 

Great TR so far - particularly looking forward to your Parque de La Ciudad update - a park that has always fascinated me.

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Those pictures of you with the lions and tigers are awesome, especially the one where you are kissing the lion. Even though I realize it is, for the most part, relatively safe, I would still be very apprehensive about being within paws and jaws reach of such powerful animals. I applaud your courage for getting those pictures and thank you for sharing them with us.

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