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Argentina, Bolivia or Chile??

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We are planning to spend 3 to 4 weeks sometime between July and October this year in South America.
We've backpacked around Peru a couple of years ago, and this time are trying to decide between Argentina, Bolivia or Chile.

Obviously, Argentina and Chile are both very large countries and may not be doable properly in just a month.

Can anyone advise me as to which country they would suggest and what major sights we should try and fit in in our limited time. Also what time of year is best for the particular country.
We're willing to take some internal flights but don't want to give the whole time flying from one destination to the another - we would like to see some of the country first hand.
All comments welcomed.
Thanks

Paschal
Dublin, Eire

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    You need to check the climates, since July will be the dead of winter. Basically, your proposed travel period is the equivalent of January to April in the northern hemisphere. Bolivia is farther north, so the climate might be a bit warmer being closer to the equator, except that it is pretty much all at a high altitude which would probably make it cold then. Enough of the geography lesson. For me, the time to go would be November thru February, when it is spring/summer. October might work.

    Look for air passes. You could get cheap tickets and visit all three countries. I think it is called the Mercosur airpass. It covers Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. I think it also covers Bolivia, too. I saw info in the past about it at the tam.com, varig.com, lanchile.com websites, but just now couln't find any info. The pass might make it inexpensive, but you would still have the flying time to spend.

    If you choose Argentina, you might also consider visiting Uruguay (get there via hydrofoil). From B.A., a lot of people go up to the Iguasu Falls. The Brazil sided is said to be better than the Argentine side, but you would definitely need to check on the visa requirements.

    Argentina's economy is not sound. That means that you will get a great exchange
    rate and some great bargains. It is also not stable economically and may/may not become unstable politically. I suggest that you pay attention to the news about Argentina. They have been turning their problems around and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to B.A. at the end of Dec. 2001, but their recovery may not continue.

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    I can give you some ideas about Argentina:
    - Iguazu falls in the north: worth visiting. The main difference between the argentine side and the brazilian one is that the latter is more panoramic, but from the argentine side you get MUCH closer to the falls.
    Americans need to apply for a visa and the processing fee costs $100.00 http://www.braziltourism.org/visas.shtml

    - Salta, Jujuy: located in the northwest, these two provinces have a striking scenery. I suggest you take the train to the clouds.

    - Mendoza: famous for its vineyards and mountains, this is another good choice for your itinerary.

    - Patagonia: Bariloche, San Martin de los Andes, Villa La Angostura, Calafate (Perito Moreno Glacier)... all these are on the west side of Patagonia, next to the Andes.

    In most cases, you have to return to Buenos Aires in order to take another flight to your new destination. But
    you can travel from Buenos Aires to Bariloche, from there to Calafate and then to Ushuaia, without having to return to BA.

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