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Argentina Holiday Help

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Hi Guys,
I'm so glad I came across this site whilst doing research for our trip. My wife and I have always wanted to explore a bit of South America, and so at the beginning if this year we booked our flights from South Africa to Argentina! We are going for a month starting the 5th of December.

I have a basic plan in my head of what we would like to see, but this is where I thought you guys could help.

Land in Buenos Aires (BA)-3nights booked there (fly/bus to Iguazu)
Iguazu Falls (fly/bus to Mendoza)
Mendoza (hire a car from there to drive to Bariloche-stop along the way)
Bariloche(drive or catch a bus to El Calafate)
El Calafate (fly back to BA)
BA
Possibly go visit friends in Monte Video (Uruguay)?

The other option is to go from BA to Mendoza, and then do Iguazu after El Calafate, at the end??

So far, I have only booked 3 nights in BA for when we arrive. The rest, I would like to try do without pre-planning too much, as I want the spontaneity and flexibility of coming or going depending on how we are enjoying the place. So for example between Mendoza and Bariloche, it could take us 2 days or 6 days depending on how we like the towns we pass. Is this realistic? I believe high season is Jan/Feb, so was hoping that we could call 1-2 days ahead of arriving in a place to try book?

As I said, we have 1 month and a budget of about 8000-10 000 US$. We are in our late twenties. We don't want to stay in hostels, but self-catering accomodation would be adequate.

Is this do-able, will we have to book ahead and any other advice?

One of my main concerns is finding a car hire company in Mendoza that will allow us to drive it down to Bariloche...

Looking forward to your responses.

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