Dear fellow travellers!
We are very excited about spending our first wedding anniversary in Argentina during the second half of October. Young and adventurous and don't mind packing the trip to the brim (I always hear my itinerary is too busy, but it turns out perfect, although on this occassion I think I have outdone myself by one location too many!)
I have a few questions and would much appreciate experienced Argintinean travellers' advice on below, and how we should perhaps tweak our itinerary for any unknowns.
1. Am I right in saying to get to most places by air, you'd have to travel through BsAs first...which is where I went wrong with my planning, as the extra leg eats up too much time (and money...flights are much more expensive than I thought!)?
2. Is Aerolineas Argentinas the best airline to use? They seem to offer the most flights at the cheapest prices, but perhaps I am missing out on some local airline I haven't come across in my research?
3. Our itinerary follows below. To make it work in the time we have (16 days) I expect I will have to cut out one of the locations (which will naturally help the budget due to flight costs). The most important point we need advice on is whether or not to cut out Salta, or whether (because we'll see the glaciers in El Calafate anyway for more of the same) we should cut out a day in Ushuaia and keep Salta on our itinerary.
4. Also regarding the itinerary, as we prefer warm to cold weather, we thought to save Iguazu for last...does that make sense? I noticed on most itineraries it appears as the first stop.
5. I see on XE.com that the official USD to ARS is 5.77, but I read that the unofficial rate is more like 9.00 USD to ARS and that wherever you use a credit card, you'll be charged the (worse) official rate. Is there any way to pay for flights (in advance) and obtain cash (in Argentina) at the unofficial rate?
6. Any other points you think we should know about or incorporate / amend / remove from our itinerary!
Any feedback would be tremendously appreciated! Thank you in advance and best of luck with all your adventures!
Herman & Iwona
Fri 18th: Arrive BsAs 07:35 and spend the rest of the day acclimatising, resting and familiarising - OVERNIGHT BsAs
Sat 19th: BsAs full day city tour: 9 de Julio Avenue, Obelisk and Corrientes Street, Plaza de Mayo, Cathedral and the Cabildo (Old City Hall, San Telmo neighbourhood (old colonial houses and the cobblestoned streets), La Boca Neighborhood in the south of the city (colourful zinc houses), Puerto Madero (old port of the city), Palermo (741 acres of gardens and artificial ponds), Recoleta for Recoleta Cemetery and ending up there in bars, cafes and restaurants. OVERNIGHT BsAs
Sun 20th: Full day at Fiesta Gaucha. OVERNIGHT BsAs
Mon 21st: Fly to Salta, check in and stroll to plaza, visit Iglesia San Francisco and baroque Salta Cathedral, lunch in the sunny courtyard of Casa Moderna, Vte Lopez 423, visit the MAAM (known locally as mummy museum), enjoy a Torrontes wine at Café Van Gogh on the plaza before dinner at restaurant José Balcarce. OVERNIGHT SALTA
Tue 22nd: Take cable car to San Bernardo Hill, take taxi to hilltop village of San Lorenzo (lunch at the Tuscan-style El Castillo de San Lorenzo hotel), taxi to Mercado Artesanal (renovated millhouse) for afternoon tea amid genuine local products, head to Salta's nightlife street Calle Balcarce for music session at Café de Tiempo followed by and numerous clubs nearby. OVERNIGHT SALTA
Wed 23rd: Fly to Mendoza and conduct half day tour to Wine Cellars and Great Wineries, around two collards in the heart of the Central Region of Mendoza that comprises Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo, visiting two cellars. OVERNIGHT MENDOZA
Thu 24th: Drive west into the Andes, first south out of town and then west on RN 7 to Potrerillos and on to the Chilean border, after Uspallatathe winding mountain road takes you to the base of Mt. Aconcagua (highest mountain outside Himalayas, with photo opportunity at the mystical Puente de Inca en route, return via the winding spiral, cliff-hanging Ruta 52 past the thermal springs at Villavicencio. OVERNIGHT MENDOZA
Fri 25th: Take the Pan-American Highway RN 40 toward the town of Tunuyán (rolling hills, poplar-lined country roads, and Andes mountains), stopping at impressive Bodega Salentein (including interesting art gallery and spooky, fascinating cellar), lunch at their vineyard cafe or nearby Posada Salentein before returning to Mendoza for the flight to Bariloche. Were going to overnight Bariloache, but advised Villa la Angostura is a less touristy and better alternative. OVERNIGHT VILLA LA ANGOSTURA
Sat 26th: Cycling along the northern shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi. Instead of overnight Bariloche, OVERNIGHT VILLA LA ANGOSTURA
Sun 27th: Victoria Island navigation and disembark for walks along different paths on the island, continue sailing towards the Arrayanes Forest with rare “arrayan” trees (Luma Apiculata) for mountain bike along tourist path, finishing sailing at Pañuelos Pier before returning to Bariloche and flight to El Calafate. OVERNIGHT EL CALAFATE
Mon 28th: 80km by road to Perito Moreno glacier with Andean pre-cordillera sites en route to Los Glaciares national park, spotting floating icebergs along Brazo Rico to the glacier. OVERNIGHT EL CALAFATE
Tue 29th: Full day excursion to Ice Rivers, departure from Punta Banderas. Sightseeing of the Upsala Glacier, Iceber barrier, Landing at Onelli area, navegation among Icebergs and returning to Puerto Bandera. OVERNIGHT EL CALAFATE
Wed 30th: Fly to Ushuala. Excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park for the lakes, lagoons and rivers within its limits, and their exit towards the Beagle Channel, characteristic that makes the difference with the other national parks of our country. Tour Seal’s island starts at the pier along the coast of Ushuaia, with a view of the most important building. From this point on, the landscape is a combination of sea and mountains. OVERNIGHT USHUAIA
Thu 31st: Arctic cruise to Cape Horn. OVERNIGHT USHUAIA
Fri, 1st: Fly to the Iguazu Falls on straight on to the Brazilean side for the four main rapids: Floriano, Deodoro, Benjamín Constant and Salto Unión (Devil´s Throat). OVERNIGHT IGUAZU (Arg)
Sat, 2nd: Tour of the Iguazu Falls on the Argentinean side for 3 circuits on catwalks: Lower Path (1.2km / 2hrs with views of majority of rapids and falls from a front and lower point of view), Higher Path (1.3km / 1hr with steep walks along the edge of some waterfalls with cliff-point outlooks), Devil’s Throat (via the Ecological Jungle Train stopping for stroll along the catwalk for 1.1km ending in balconies located on the edge of falls). OVERNIGHT IGUAZU (Arg)
Sun, 3rd: Return to BsAs for onward flight home at 14:25. OVERNIGHT CRAMPY ECONOMY CLASS SEAT ON BA.
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Please help witih advice on tweaking our 2 week holiday in Argentina...thank you!
Dear fellow travellers!