Do you know Argentina?

Old Nov 4th, 2004, 08:58 AM
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Do you know Argentina?

I am visiting Argentina with 3 other friends for 18 nights in February next year. As it is our first possibly last visit to Argentina so we would like to make better use of our time there. We arrive Buenos Aires on Feb 12 late evening and leave on March 2nd. Our rough itinerary:

Buenos Aires 3 nights
Ushuaia 4 nights
El Calafate 3 nights
Bariloche 4 nights
Iguazu falls 2 nights
Buenos Aires 2 nights

Even though we would like to see as much as we could, we don?t like to rush through places just for sake of ?we have been there?. One of my travelling companions is a wine-lover and he wants to include Mendoza in the itinerary, should we cut short a night both in Ushuaia and Bariloche to accommodate him? We are fit and seasoned travellers (60 odd countries among the four of us) and like to experience the local culture (language is not problem, we speak 8 languages among ourselves including Spanish), do you guys think we have missed out any other interesting places?

On initial research we are surprised to find hotel accommodation both in El Calafate and Ushuaia expensive, what happen to the ?cheap Argentina? we keep hearing about? Apart from the hostels, is there anything under US$100 per night? Are we better off by using a local travel agent to arrange everything for us? Thanks.
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Old Nov 5th, 2004, 04:46 AM
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Where are you guys, Dr.Dawggy, Milla et al?
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Old Nov 5th, 2004, 06:12 AM
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General reactions:

1. You are trying to see a lot in a short period of time, parrticularly if you add Mendoza.

2. Have you looked at travel schedules? Travel by Air direct from Point A to Point B is often difficult if not impossible....You may find yourself doubling back to BA to make connections.

3. Hotels in the southern part of Patagonia are expensive, much more than in other parts of Argentina....

4. Two nights in Iguazu..ample time.

5. Other interesting places: Salta and the North...but since it is warm there and you will be in Argentina in the middle of Summer...maybe you could skip it....

Sorry if this seems rushed...I am in a hurry today...more later.

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Old Nov 6th, 2004, 02:56 AM
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Thanks, Dr. Dawggy. Checking through Aerolineas's schedule there seems to be flights connect all these places without having to double back to BA. I suppose timing is important trying to string all these places together.

Yes, we'll try to persuade our friend to drop Mendoza as I am warned it will be unbearably hot in February too.

Any good recommendation of websites on accommodation in Ushuaia and El calafate apart from losglaciares.com?

Any more advice, anyone?

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Old Nov 6th, 2004, 06:09 PM
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Check out www.interpatagonia.com for places to stay and info. We stumbled across a lovely little apart hotel in El Calafete. I will attempt to find their info in my mess of paperwork (arr home from Arg. Oct 10). I would reduce El Calafete to 2 nts, try to see Iguazu in two days/one night (it is possible!) and have an extra night in BA. Check out www.sw.com.ar for flights also. Mendoza is lovely but I don't think you'll have time if you want to see the others. Argentina is so gorgeous-we are already planning our next visit.
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Old Nov 6th, 2004, 06:25 PM
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Hi again-I found the card for the apart hotel in El Calafete. It is very new and in a quiet area of the town, only 5 mins walk to everything. www.advance.com.ar/usuarios/diraddo
We stayed somewhere disappointing and found this place by accident. Also in Bariloche check out www.lejanias.com for a lovely lakeside apartment perfect for 4 people. Neither of these establishments are 5 star (3 star I suggest) however the people who operate them were extremely kind and generous and we tasted some fine hospitality from them for around 80 pesos per twin per night US27. You would certainly pay more in Feb. We thought they were perfectly comfortable, well cared for places and are bargains imho!!
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Old Nov 7th, 2004, 05:06 AM
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Thank you, Lyndie, your input is much appreciated. I shall check out your suggestions.

Lyndie, or anyone, do you think El Calafate is a must-see? A friend of mine (who visited Argentina 15 years ago) told me if I have seen glaciers in New Zealand (Mount Cook), European alps and Iceland, missing El Calafate is no big deal, I should spend more time in other parts of Argentina. What is your opinion ?
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Old Nov 7th, 2004, 02:30 PM
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I disliked El Calafete town. It is a real tourist rap full of overpriced handcrafts easily obtainable in BsAs for significantly less dollars. I've been to Alaska and NZ and seen glaciers but I've never seen one like the Moreno Glacier. I felt it was worth the detour to El Calafete.
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Old Nov 7th, 2004, 02:30 PM
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I disliked El Calafete town. It is a real tourist trap, full of overpriced handcrafts easily obtainable in BsAs for significantly less dollars. I've travelled to Alaska and NZ and seen glaciers but I've never seen one like the Moreno Glacier. I felt it was worth the detour to El Calafete.
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Old Nov 8th, 2004, 05:57 AM
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Thanks again, Lyndie. How about a trip report?
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Old Nov 8th, 2004, 08:46 AM
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i think your plan is really fantastic. it is a shame you are not staying in Salta one of the best touristic place but the weather is difficult for those who ccome from the northern hemisphere. anyway i would try, it is worth, being in argentina it is a pity you dont make it.
- five days in buenos aires is ok
-maybe i could cut one day in ushuaia but 4 is not bad.you can explore the whole islands, make crossings,etc.
-iguazu is for 2 nights.
-and bariloche is possible in 4.

Calafate is a small city located on the shore of Argentino Lake. So if you plan to go there, think about 3 full day excursions. no less than that.

1 day . Perito Moreno Glacier the most popular and famous glacier. you will be overwhelmed by the impressive spectacle seen from the walkpaths.
2 day: Boat excursion to enjoy three amazing glaciers, also a Must in the area. you cant miss the Upsala, Onelli and Spegazzini.
3 day dont miss the Calafate area, there are short tours you can get in the same city. bird santuary, fauna reserve. horseback ride, trekking in the surroundings; typical ranches with their farming activities

you will enjoy ushuaia. The place is outstanding These are some of the excursions to fill the 3 days there:
End of the World Museum
Ex Prison in Ushuaia.
Museum of aborigen land
Martial Glacier 7 km from ushuaia.
City Tour 1:30 hs.
Sailing across the beagle
Island of the birds and lighthouse
Lapataia Bay
Ushuaia Bay at night 2:30 hs.
National Park 4 hs.
Train of the End of the World 2 hs. daily from the station end of the world. 8 km from ushuaia city.
In 4 days you will be able to take full day excursions and visit i.e. an estancia in tierra del fuego.Lakes:Escondido and Fagnano 7 hs.
Harberton Ranch All day-overnight stay.

Even in patagonia in these 2 places there is accommodation for all budgets. Cozy and friendly double rooms for u$s 33 up to wonderful resorts from 150 u$s overlooking the glacier martial or the beaglein Ushuaia. dont know the prices for february in the glaciers but a piece of advice. if you stay there 3 nights you dont need to hurry you can stay in the city of calafate where the prices are lower than in front of the glaciers. dont spend so much on accommodation. All places are inmerse in a beautiful surrounding, service and the atmosphere even in the unexpensive ones are excellent. What is your budget?



First thing you have to do is GET THE AIRLINE TICKETS, there are excellent prices for the people who decide early.

LADE and SOUTHERN WINDS offer the lowest rates
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Old Nov 8th, 2004, 09:46 AM
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Milla, you are a star! We have only purchased our return flights from London to Bueones Aires, still debating how long we should spend in one place. Checked with aerolineas office in London, the internal flights are pretty expensive even with the air passes. We have also explored flying with South Winds, the trouble is that SW does not fly to Ushuaia. Looking into the possibility of flying with Lade. I have asked for their 2005 fares and schedules today. We hope to finalise our itinerary by early next week.

Our budget for accommodation is US$40 per person per night, any recommendation for this price range? I guess with this budget we won't have much problem in BA or Bariloche.

Yes, my friend was recommending Salta too, but so many places so little time, what to do? Maybe, I'll plan a return trip after this one.

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Old Nov 8th, 2004, 01:11 PM
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Hi Naturaltan
I don't have time fo a trip report! Wish I could put something together but it takes me ages to gather my thoughts and notes etc. so will have to just post when I can comment on somewhere we've travelled to. We travel extensively and are home around 20 weeks a year. We're off to Thailand (3rd visit) and India in less than 3 weeks and today off for a few days to see friends on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia (magic beaches & scenery). See the world before you leave - it is our motto! Have a wonderful trip!
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Old Nov 8th, 2004, 02:26 PM
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Lyndie, how I envy you! I thought Australia is quite a distance to go to anywhere else, you seem to manage alright. Travelling is only thing that motivates me to go to work every morning these days.

You have a nice trip too.
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Old Nov 9th, 2004, 04:41 AM
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if you are coming in February you have time to find good rates. if it is not sw it can be lade . (i got 3 tickets to go to 4 stars hotels in calafate and ushuaia 4 nights in all for 2100 $ argentinos.) This is more than what you will pay if u book them now. besides the hotels included are very expensive and to make things worse one of the legs is executive making the whole trip more expensive..

The first thing you have to decide on , regardless the places, are the air tickets. when you have them it is easy to get accommodation. Dont need to come to buenos aires from the very south, there must be a combination. there is always a way if you have time to plan your trip. People decide in the very last moment, pay tickets more and have to get what they are offered.
I know Salta is not the place to visit in February, too hot but DRY. Buenos Aires is hot and HUMID. Staying overnight in one of the towns in Humahuaca will sth you wont forget. Dont miss it.
milla.
good luck
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Old Nov 9th, 2004, 05:14 AM
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Milla, you got mail.
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Old Nov 9th, 2004, 12:16 PM
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I am going to jump in here because I have been to all the places you are going and I would agree with some of the other writers about your timings.
B.A. - depending on the type of thing you want to do can be done in about 3 days which should include a trip to San Telmo markets on a Sunday as that is really nice.
Leave experiencing an Argentinian BBQ till you are in Patagonia and you will be blown away by them - they are the most delicious thing I have ever eaten. There was an " all you can eat BBQ" in Ushuaia which was worth the trip to Ushuaia for actually. As for Ushuaia 4 nights are a bit too much I think because you will arrive very early ( I presume you will take the early flight) in the morning and in time to take a tour for that day. I am certainly glad that I went there and I did like it but I would take off a night or even 2- if you are on the early flight into Ushuaia. The flight over the Andes down there is also magnificent.
I agree that El Calafate's Moreno glacier is the biggest WOW! factor that I have seen, and I have been to Glacier Bay in Alaska. I liked the little village of El Calafate actually, I did wonder where it was when I landed but it is quaint. The tours all leave from there to the Glaciers and the area around the Glaciers is just magnificent, pristine and worth more exploration so in that sense a 3 day tour would be fantastic.
Bariloche - I went for 3 days and stayed 10, I loved the place and found myself even checking out the real estate there. There are so many magnificent places to go from there that 4 nights is only a scratch the surface thing.
I got a local bus (30 cents US )to the long-distance bus station and took those buses to places like "xxxxxx Angostina (sp???) mental block here -but it is further up another lake and one hour on the bus. The day will cost about $10 and from that place, that I can't remember, you can get a boat around the lake to a wonderful National Park/forest.
There is also a very nice restaurant in the town and you will be able to find it because it has a very large open square fire place with hams hanging from above that fireplace. Try the venison - it was wonderful!
We also got the International bus $12US and went over to Puerto Montt, Chile, across the Andes. Now that was a wonderful trip and worth taking too. Trip is about 5 hours and you can take it to a closer town and get another back to Bariloche. Views of the volcanos are magnificent.
If you love magnificent scenery and beautiful countryside then you are in for a treat. Enjoy!

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Old Nov 9th, 2004, 01:29 PM
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Thanks Liz. Yes, someone has told me the same thing about Ushuaia, two nights probably enough, given the time constraint. Where did you stay in all those places mentioned, Liz? How did you like them?
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