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Argentina & Uruguay A-OK!

Old Dec 9th, 2002, 09:43 AM
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John
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Argentina & Uruguay A-OK!

Hello All:

Just returned from another fantastic vacation in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Carmelo, Uruguay.

Glad to answer any questions you may have. The exchange rate is great and the visible poverty and social unrest portrayed in the news was very minimal and in some places, not happening at all. As in any big city, just take precautions, but on the whole, Americans are quite welcome.

Make sure to check out the new Eva Peron Museum in Palermo. The shopping on Calle Florida downtown is a fun experience, with great bargains. You will be inundated with street vendors but just ignore them. Stop and have lunch at Cafe Richmond.

The dining options in Puerto Madero have expanded. For champagne lovers, make sure you visit Chandon Bar. You'll see real Porteno's enjoying life and you can walk along the sidewalk and see modern 21st century BA on one side and the historic Monserrat on the other.

And, while I'm not a Four Seasons employee or stockholder, I just can't stop complimenting the staff and the properties.

Even if you don't stay at the Four Seasons-BA, have Sunday Brunch in the historic mansion connected to the hotel.

In Carmelo, go for a yoga class or a horseback ride among the tall pine trees and the banks of the Rio de la Plata with a real gaucho.

Or, just lie around the pool drinking, in either city.

 
Old Dec 10th, 2002, 04:25 AM
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heather
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John,

Thanks for your wonderful advice. Was Sunday Brunch in the historic mansion expensive?.
 
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 07:21 AM
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John
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Heather:

Sunday Brunch at the Four Seasons was not expensive by American standards. With champagne, and a 20% tip, I think it might have come to $40 USD!

The setting is very romantic and is very glamorous, many Portenos gossiping and milling about. I felt a little out of place dining alone, but it made for great people watching.

The brunch chefs take great pride and care (and have a real show-biz streak) when they prepare the custom pastas (and I NEVER eat Pasta in the US) as well as the dessert chef. Make sure you try the custom-made crepes with fruit and dulce de leche.

John

 
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 11:13 AM
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Jeannie
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Hi John,
We have heard that there is great shopping in the area, also outlets and the like. Any recommendations?
 
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 11:57 AM
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Jeannie
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Jeannie:

I bought a lot of polo shirts, as well as dress slacks at Galerias Pacifico, which is on Calle Florida. It's a beautiful modern mall inside a 19th century rail station with beautiful murals painted on the ceilings.

There are plenty of other shops along Calle Florida too. I bought my mom a beautiful leather purse (and she's a Coach snob) for about $25USD.

Alto Palermo mall in the suburb of Palermo is also modern, so it doesn't have the character of Galerias Pacifico. But, if certain restaurants will give you a free glass of champagne or dessert if you present your receipt.

If you're looking for tourist or native trinkets, try the Saturday fair in Recoleta Cemetary.

Likewise, to experience the Rodeo Drive of Buenos Aires, walk up and down Calle Posadas and Avenida Alvear, in the Recoleta section. You'll see global favorites such as Polo and Versace, and some top-end Argentine designers.

Another place I like, though I wouldn't venture there in the evening, and exercise caution in the daytime is Abasto Mall in the Once district. It's modern too, but a lot of fun. If Buenos Aires is European, one step in this area and you'll know you're in Latin America. The Andes Indians come to town selling shawls and all sorts of crystals and such.

Hope this helps!
 
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 05:17 PM
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Steve
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We will be headed to BA in ten days. Any further ideas with respect to Argentine dining and tango.
 
Old Dec 13th, 2002, 06:37 AM
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John
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Spetus in Puerto Madero is excellent. It's a churrascaria, a Brazillian steakhouse that has a great salad bar and dessert bar.
While I've been to ones here in the United States, this one is an a great area. After all that meat eating you can walk it off along the port.
I did go to a tango show at Cafe Tortoni on Avenida de Mayo. They have them almost every night, from what I understand. That was the only one I went to and even then, I literally stumbled in when the show was going on.
Have a great time!
 
Old Dec 20th, 2002, 12:43 PM
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Janie
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Can you believe some people we know cancelled their trip because it was TOO dangerous. Amazing. Argentina is very safe. FRankly, you just need to be smart no matter where you go.
 
Old Dec 26th, 2002, 07:08 PM
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Jon-Eric
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My parents lived in BA for four years so I'd spend summer vacations there and semester breaks and still consider it the happiest time of my life! I absolutely loved Argentina!
 
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 07:00 AM
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John
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Hi Janie:

Several of my friends discouraged me from going to Argentina this year because of the negative press.

Actually, I think that's the reason why I admire Argentina and the people so much. No matter what life has thrown at them; military governments, hyperinflation, an unstable economy, good times and bad times, they remain resiliant and they never lose their charm.

I saw a beautiful Portena yelling at her boyfriend on her cell phone while the waiter brought her a glass of champagne in a Recoleta cafe, and I saw some Porteno businessman in their Italian suits on Calle Florida walk by and give change to a woman beggar and her daughter. Life still goes on for these people.

I'll be the first to admit there are areas of BA I won't venture into, but there are places here in Dallas I won't go to at night either!

All I know is I plan on returning to this country every year for the rest of my life, if my health and finances can support this habit.
 
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 01:00 PM
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Laura
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Hi John,
my boyfriend and I are on a budget and we want to go to buenos aires in Feb. How much do you think we should expect to spend on an inexpensive, but clean and safe hotel? also, we will not need a car, will we?

we'd like to go to iguaza falls, or patagonia, just somewhere with lots of nature. where do you suggest? Do we have to fly there? how much should we expect to pay for a ticket to these places?

thanks john, I know, lots of questions!
laura
 
Old Dec 28th, 2002, 04:28 AM
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marta
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Hi Laura,

You will NOT need a car in Buenos Aires, or anywhere else. Buenos Aires has excellent public transportation, and you will have to fly either to Iguazú or Patagonia, unless you are willing to spend lots of hours on a bus. Air tickets are inexpensive.
Iguazu and Patagonia are a must see if you want lots of nature, both are incredibly beautiful.
About lodging, you can get very nice apartments in Recoleta, the best location in town for 20/25u$s per night.
A note: bear in mind that February is vacation time for locals, so make your reservations for Patagonia or Iguazú soon!.Feel free to e-mail me for more info. Enjoy!.
Marta
 
Old Dec 31st, 2002, 07:57 AM
  #13  
John
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Laura:

There are much more reasonably priced safe hotels in BA than the Four Seasons. On a budget, I would suggest the Oblesico Center hotel, or even the Holiday Inn in Puerto Madero. The apartments for rent she mentioned are also a good alternative.

As Marta stated, you won't need a car, and quite frankly, driving in BA is comparable to driving in NYC, just not a good idea for out-of-towners. You can walk everywhere and taxis are cheap.

I'm a city person and can't answer your questions, but if you want to splurge a little, try taking the hydrofoil from BA to Colonia, Uruguay. Contact Four Seasons via their website and they will arrange someone to pick you up and drive an hour to their resort which is situated in a forest, along the banks of the Rio de la Plata.

And, like Marta says, Dec-Feb is the high tourist season so make your reservations early.

Have a safe and wonderful trip and have a glass of champagne for me in BA.

John
 
Old Apr 12th, 2003, 03:35 PM
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What do estimate the cost to be to take a high speed boat from Buenos Aires over to Colonia just for one day?

Thanks,

Rosemary
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Old Apr 12th, 2003, 05:55 PM
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I just did it. Cost about 65 bucks per person for a same day round-tripper. Much better than the cheaper (and considerably longer) ferry which I have also taken. Not much happens in Colonia though before 11am or so. Late risers apparently.
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Old Apr 12th, 2003, 06:04 PM
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I am happy to hear that John had a great time in Argentina. I would just like to add some suggestions for those who are planning their trips to my beautiful country:
- the fair in Recoleta is bigger on Sundays, and you will find the same things as on Saturdays.
- for those interested in antiques and used stuff you can go to San Telmo market on Sundays.
- For Rosemary, check the ferry�s website: www.buquebus.com for further information.
Enjoy your stay!
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Old Apr 13th, 2003, 05:43 PM
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Hi John, I am pleased you enjoyed Argentina and Uruguay, I also stayed at the Four Seasons in Carmelo I enjoyed it tremendously. Charming staf good food, lots of things to do.
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