Was also on this trip. A few other pointers:
-We were not prepared for the $61 (USA) cash payment per person (for USA citizens) we had to make at the Santiago airport prior to clearing customs. A head's up to all. The fee for Canadians and other countries is lower.
-We used private tours throughout the trip and saved a lot of money compared to HAL prices, plus because we were nearly always on small vans with small groups we saw a lot more with less crowds. We used South Star Tours (www.southstartours.com
) to arrange these trips in all ports. This includes a cheaper but overnight trip to Iguassu Falls (we did not go, but some other people in our group did). In Puerto Montt I would definately recommend on the the trips to Puerto Varas and to the falls at Petrohue. We also used a private tour company here (Eureka Tours). I don't have the URL handy right now, but can get it if anyone wants it.
-In the Falklands did not take a tour, but did take the local $10 shuttle (purchase tickets at the pier) to see the penquin colony at Gypsy Bay and felt this was sufficient. Others saw a lot of penquins on the catamaran trip in Ushuaia.
-I am used to big cities in the USA (LA, Chicago, NYC) and felt no more unsafe in Rio or Buenos Aires than in any other large city. We careful, just as you should be anywhere. Don't advertise that you are a rich American (minimal jewelry, no flag shirts, etc.). Keep your wallet concealed or your hand on it at all times on the street. Don't fall for the local trick of having someone squirt mustard on your clothes and they have a "helpful bystander" help you clean up while they pick your pocket.
-In Ushuaia the museum is closed 12-3PM, so plan around this if you plan to visit. Most tourist shops were open. Hilling with poor pavement, so was a challenge with a wheelchair.
-We went on a city tour in Rio via van. Must better than bus as we could drive up to Cocovado instead of taking the cogwheel tram, and also had a tour of Tujica Forest which cannot accomodate buses. We also had a day tour to Petropolis which I would recommend to anyone interested in history (and it was cooler there than Rio).