Report on our 16 days in Argentina

Old Nov 11th, 2008, 09:27 PM
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Report on our 16 days in Argentina

Here is my report on our 16 days in Argentina. A wonderful trip.

One of our goals was to see distinctly different areas. We accomplished that. It is a huge country, and you can’t see it all. But, we sure got a good “sampler”.

I organized the trip by lurking for a long time on and reading some travel books. Then, when I got toooo overwhelmed I turned our trip over to a travel agent who had been recommended many times on the board. I can’t say enough good about Isabel of Buenos Aires Tours. She was the best travel agent we have ever had ([email protected]). I could rave on an on about her, as other Fodorites have done. Let me leave it that she was amaaaaazzzzing. More later about some of our great guides.

As to weather and what to pack, there are some good sites with climate information, such as

I found people to be dressed more casually than I had expected, including in BA.
Every Argentine we met on our trip was somewhere between very nice and extremely nice; nothing less than that! We had zero problems with crime; nobody tried to cheat us. Even the sidewalk vendors were respectful; if you don’t want to buy, that is totally okay (unlike most countries we have visited).

Day 1-3, BA. We stayed in the Recoleta area in “Melia Recoleta”, a boutique hotel. Very nice, except for the small bathroom. Great staff, great location. When I get a moment I will post more lodging comments on TripAdvisor.

Day 4: Iguazu. We left BA at obscene hour of 5:50 AM to catch our 7:10 flight. Painful, but ended up being a perfect amount of time at the falls. The falls are awesome. We stayed at the Sheraton Hotel…a very ordinary hotel, and the most expensive of our trip. But, the hotel is right at the falls (pop for the extra money and get a room with a view of the falls). You leave the front door, walk a few hundred yards and you are there. No need for a guide. I have seen a lot of falls, but these are amazing. Iguazu is in a jungle. Quite warm. Our one night here gave us adequate time to see the falls. I had debated whether to see them from the Argentine vs the Brazil side. Some folks that also saw them from Brazil said they liked the Argentine view better.

Days 5-10: Salta/ Jujuy. One of the hassles of Argentina is that most flights have to connect through BA. By the time we arrived at Salta, it was nearly midnight. We were met by our wonderful guide for the next five days, “Angie”. We found Angie through this board, and can give her our highest recommendation. She has live in this area here entire life. She posts on Fodors as flintstones and on TripAdvisor as “genia” (or something close to that). You can reach her at [email protected].

Angie seemed to know every turn in the road and even the name of the roadside vendor’s blond llama.

In the “northwest” our lodgings were:

• El Solar de la Plaza in Salta. Charming Spanish colonial style. Dinner was included in the lodging price, to our surprise. Salta itself is much bigger than I had imagined.
• Drove to Jujuy, stopping the photograph the tiny church in Tumbaya (1795). Our lodging was El Manantial del Silencio in Purmamarca. This was my wife’s favorite lodging of the trip. Looks like something built in Spain 200 years ago and transplanted to Argentina. Our room was acceptable, but ordinary. The setting/view from the hotel was very nice and the dining room warm and spacious. Were that dining room in our California locale they could charge four times the price for meals. The little town of Purmamarca wasn’t very special. A short walk around the town and you’re done. Salt flats nearby. The beauty of our trip really was the road trip, led by our guide Angie.
• Third night back to Hotel El Solar in Salta
• 2 nights at Hotel Killa in Cafayate. This was my favorite lodging of the trip. Each room is quite charming. We were on the third floor; big room with a vaulted ceiling. Bring your earplugs: every night from 11 PM to 5 AM the nearby disco blares out its music. I suspect almost every lodging in town gets the same earful that the Killa gets. The local crafts for sale in and around the square were nothing amazing. We had dinner at Terruòo on the main square. Good. The second night we ate at Machaca. The ambiance was better, but service was painfully slow and the food not a bit better. A one-hour drive south of Cafayate in northern Tucuman province is the “Museo Pachamama” (Mother Earth Museum), with phenomenal stonework and tapestries by a famous local artist.
• Next a scenic drive back to Salta through the Cachaques Valley. This area reminds me of the American Southwest…especially Bryce Canyon, Utah. The hills look like ice cream scoops of orange, vanilla, rust and brown. Condors are visible along the way. On out last night back in Salta, we stayed again at El Solar de la Plaza. Angie recommended a nightspot just around the corner with a local “Salteòo” dancing show and music. Quite night. “La Panaderia” on Balcarce 475. The music starts at about 22:00. You can have dinner, or just drinks. Inexpensive. Other than us and one German lady, all the rest of the customers were Argentines.

Okay, that’s probably enough for anyone to read for now. That covers about 2/3 of our trip. I’ll continue this report another day.
nhulberg is offline  
Old Nov 12th, 2008, 01:33 AM
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Thank you for your great trip report, nhulberg!

I'm glad to hear your favorable comments about the local travel agent and the Salta guide I usually recommend.

We are looking forward to the next chapter of your report.

When should we expect you back in our wonderful country?
avrooster is offline  
Old Nov 12th, 2008, 07:05 AM
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more please!
susanna is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2008, 07:52 AM
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Don and Doña Hulberg will probably let you discover by yourself the beauty of the places they have been.
The NW is amazing! Speachless!
But nothing as living the experience.
flintstones is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2008, 09:19 AM
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Thanks -- adding your informaiton to my ever growing file.
yestravel is offline  
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