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Poogie Feb 10th, 2007 02:55 PM

Favorite South America Destinations?
My husband and I are looking for vacation destination ideas for 2007. We are from the US and do not speak Spanish. We have been to Japan and Europe many times as well as Hawaii, China, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada but have not been to South America and we are looking for suggestions. We are 38 and 42 years old, we can go anytime of year, we have 2 or 3 weeks, are budget is upper mid to high end and we like pretty much all types of vactions: cultural, wine/food, active, exotic etc. We are quite active and would not like laying around the beach or sitting on a cruise ship for 2 wks. We prefer to balance places of natural beauty with city destinations. The questions we have are:
1) For your first time in South America which cities/countries would be at the top of your list and why?
2) Do you have any strategic itineray ideas or suggestions as far doing a multi-city, multi country trip?
3) Should we rent a car at the suggested destinations?
Also, we really place an emphasis on good quality restaurants and food when we travel so any comments on food and restaurants would be appreciated too.
Thank you very much for any suggestions.

avrooster Feb 10th, 2007 03:25 PM

Argentina, of course, Poogie!!!

mikemo Feb 10th, 2007 03:51 PM

The very best tax "less" is arriving in BsAs and exiting in Santiago - spend maybe lots there, and visiting Iguazu, AR.
Many others like Mendoza, but as much as we like wine, never want to see another winery: so not.
We hate snow and cold, so glaciers are out for us.
Buenos Aires and Santiago are way wonderful.
Buen viaje.

Scarlett Feb 10th, 2007 06:52 PM

1- Buenos Aires, Argentina
2- I only know about day trips or one night trips to Iguazu Falls and Uruguay.
3-No cars needed in BsAs, taxis are easy and inexpensive and not half as scary as driving yourself.
4-Once you decide where , you can get food/hotel info..there is soooo much in BsAs, no point in posting until you decide :)

We liked it so much , we are moving there in about a month or so ~

skatedancer Feb 11th, 2007 07:02 AM

I'm not an expert on SA, but I agree that Argentina would give you exactly what you are looking for. We spent three days in Buenos Aires, and then five nights in the Salta region, which offered everything you are looking for -- wine, food, scenery, culture, history, great lodging, outdoor activities. With your time frame, I would spend at least seven nights in the region (five was just enough for us to do the minimum, but I would have loved to have had more time!). put "Salta" in the search bar, and you will find my trip report and others.
With two or three weeks, you would also have time to go to the Iguazu Falls.

southernpaula Feb 15th, 2007 11:24 AM

We have just returned from 3 weeks in S.A. and concur with the recommendation for Argentina: BA, Mendoza for cafe ambiance and food/wine, Iguazu for the drama, Bariloche and stay at Llao Llao. Leave 4-5 days to hop over to Montevideo and Punta del Este/La Barra for beaches and fabulous beef(better than Argentina). Uruguay will surprise you; it is great. Stay at the Belmont in Montevideo and walk 2 blocks to Garcia's for baby beef. Rent a car there to enjoy the beaches. Don't need one in BA and other Argentine spots. Austral Travel (London) will book all your internal air and Aero Argentina does not charge a change fee if you need to re-arrange. Go soon to get the hot weather; it will be fine through March.

southern paula

drdawggy Feb 15th, 2007 12:19 PM

I have visited Ecuador, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. I keep intending to broaden my travels to include other countries...but I can't get beyond Argentina!!! What a great country. Buenos Aires, Iguazu, Patagonia, the wine region of Mendoza...I still have not made it to the Northwest, but one day I will!

mikemo Feb 15th, 2007 12:32 PM

We are following Scarlett's lead and returning to BsAs in their Spring to buy an apartment.

CollegeMom Feb 15th, 2007 06:51 PM

Would agree that Argentina is the best choice for SA travel currently. They offer great culture in BA, fabulous food and wine through out the country, and natural beauty especially in the NW or Salta region. The exchange rate makes it even a better bargain, the people are very friendly and helpful, and you need not speak Spanish to communicate. BA is very bilingual and offers many cultural as well as historical offerings. The Salta region is a little more of a challenge without Spanish, but the scenery and natural beauty are well worth at least 4 or 5 days if not longer. There are several posters here who can give you great advice for Salta as well as BA. Having travelled to the same places you mentioned and Chile, I would put Argentina at the top of the list! I would not recommend a car in BA since the traffic is beyond description, but the cabs are very inexpensive and readily available. A car in Salta would be required, but you can get a car with driver or drive yourself. Having a driver allows you to enjoy the scenery, not worry about the narrow, winding, mountain roads, and also often offers you information about the area otherwise missed. We used a Salta TA for our 5 day stay there and can recommend her and our driver if interested. Both were wonderful! If you go to Salta, plan to go during their spring or fall to avoid the heat or cold especially in the mountains.
Both BA and Salta were very comfortable in early Sept. which was just the beginning of spring. Can't go wrong in Argentina!

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