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Argentina before and after Antarctica Itinerary


Sep 3rd, 2017, 06:23 AM
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Argentina before and after Antarctica Itinerary

Thanks for helping me plan out a trip of a lifetime. My father made my husband and I promise, on his death bed, that we would complete my quest for all 7 continents, and the kids are finally old enough to leave with my mother for several weeks ... so we're doing it!

Our dates are set from Feb 21 - March 14th, and I've just received the dates for the Antarctic cruise which will include domestic flights to and from Buenos Aires in the middle of our trip.

Given this, the dates for the cruise, and the fact that my husband really wants to see Iguazu Falls up north, I am coming to the realization that we simply won't have time to travel through Patagonia as I originally envisioned, but I think I am okay with giving this up - there's only so much I can pack into one trip before it becomes hectic instead of enjoyable, right?

I could use some suggestions / ideas of how to plan out the before and after time in Argentina. We don't know much about Argentina, so we're open to ideas.

Here's a little about our personalities: It is very important to me to do some wine traveling and tasting (Mendoza) as I volunteer in the wine industry and wine is an amateur passion of mine. We also are very interested in hiking / scenary / cultural experiences. In my 20s I did numerous month-long backpacking trips throughout the world, and we hiked up Kilimanjaro together 10 years ago, but time, injuries, and children have left us both a bit overweight and in less physically fit condition, so I need to be realistic about the types of hiking we can still do and intersperse hiking with days of relaxation / cultural enjoyment. We aren't really museum people - we prefer to experience local culture by hitting up the night market or local watering hole than to stand in a room looking at items through plexi glass.

This is the preliminary itinerary I've crafted. It gives us 2 1/2 days in Cordoba, 3 full days in Mendoza, 2 1/2 days in Iguazu Falls before the Antarctic cruise, and then about 3 to 3 1/2 days to explore Buenos Aires proper after the cruise. Could we fit a trip to Patagonia into these last 3 days, or is traveling back south again after flying up to BA just silly at that point?:

Day 1: Overnight flight USA - Buenos Aires
Day 2: Arrive Buenos Aires (morning), domestic flight to Cordoba arriving mid-day
Day 3 - 4: Explore Cordoba area? Wine? Stay at an Estacias? Parque Nacional Quebrada del Condorito
Day 4: Evening flight to Mendoza
Day 5 - 7: Explore Mendoza area - wine! What else?
Day 7: Overnight bus to Puerto Iguazu
Day 8 - 10: Iguazu Falls
Day 10: Afternoon flight to Buenos Aires, arrive BA for start of Antarctic trip, hotel in BA included in package
Day 11 - 18: Charter Flight to Ushuaia, Embarkation, Antarctic Cruise
Day 19: Disembark Ushuaia, Included Charter Flight back to BA
Day 20 - 22: Explore BA?
Day 22: Overnight flight back to USA
kesrya is offline  
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Sep 3rd, 2017, 07:21 AM
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" is traveling back south again after flying up to BA just silly at that point?:"

Yes. If you could change the flight to go to El Calafate or Bariloche instead you could get a taste, but better to make a separate trip.
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Sep 3rd, 2017, 08:31 AM
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A few things:

You need to make sure you give yourself A LOT of time between arriving in BsAs and flying back out. Most flights arrive in the international airport (EZE) and most domestic flights leave out of the domestic airport (AEP). The two airports are not close, traffic is bad and the service at AEP is beyond horrid-ie the two times we have flown out of AEP, the lines to check in have taken hours to clear (unless you are flying first class or have status with your airline). It is generally recommended to stay the night in BsAs simply to ensure you make your connecting flight (think showing up four hours before the flight is due to depart).

Yes, traveling back to Patagonia from BsAs would not be advisable. as thursdaysd said, it would only make sense to travel to Patagonia if you could fly from Ushuaia to El Calafate.

If you switched and put Patagonia at the beginning, maybe along with Iguazu and saved Mendoza until the end? But priorities may be the wine and so leave it as it is.
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Sep 3rd, 2017, 10:06 PM
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Not wishing to complicate matters but there are some great wines to be found in Salta province and it is easier to get to Iguazu from there. The scenery is fantastic renting a car in Salta and driving a circuit over 4-5 days - Cachi, Purmamarca, Huamhuaca, cache and Cafayate (some world class vineyards!) would b great. Personally, I thought Mendoza was overrated, but maybe that's just me.

It is also arguably easier to get to Iguazu from Salta than from Mendoza.
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Sep 4th, 2017, 07:49 AM
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I passed on Mendoza or Cordoba. I like crellston's suggestions. We had some terrific wines in Cafayate and the scenery is superb in the areas he mentions. I believe you can still fly from IF to Salta.
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Sep 4th, 2017, 11:55 PM
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Seems silly to spend such little time at Iguassu and so much time at Mendoza/Cordoba.

Why not find a wine bar in Buenos Aires? And then spend at least two nights in Iguassu.

It looks like you are on charter flights so no possibility of sightseeing around Patagonia or Ushuaia.
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Sep 5th, 2017, 08:09 AM
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I'd fly to Iguazu Falls from BA for three nites and then fly or bus to Cordoba rather than visiting the Falls at the end of the trip. At least, the bus ride will be shorter from the Falls to Cordoba than from Mendoza to the Falls.

However, given the time you've got, I'd fly everywhere.

I do like the idea of Salta rather than Mendoza, but can understand why you'd want to go to Mendoza.

We visited the Parque del Condorito on a day trip from Cordoba, and I was underwhelmed, although I liked Cordoba a lot. No condors to be seen.
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Sep 6th, 2017, 11:09 AM
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I am in the Salta (NOA) camp here. I would spend 2 nights in Iguazu Falls and several days in the NOA - exploring the fascinating culture there, the fine vineyards and the unbeatable scenery...good for walks and for hiking, too. And interesting folkloric music.

Cordoba holds little of sufficient interest to take time away from the rest and, IMO, while Mendoza a certainly good for vineyards and hiking...so is the NOA and that is close to Iguazu Falls.

Enjoy the planning for this trip...and buen viaje !
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Oct 13th, 2017, 09:46 AM
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Thanks so much to everyone for suggestions. The message board did not notify me that I had responses, so I didn't check back in for awhile because I thought no one had responded.

Our Antarctic cruise has changed a little bit and it looks like we will take a different cruise (though roughly the same time period) without charter flights included, so that frees up our itinerary a bit because we are not required to be in Buenos Aires immediately before and after Ushuaia.

I've also added some things to our list of what we want to see, and I will definitely have to cut some items out all together. I'm going to take a look at your suggestions regarding Salta and come back with a new post with an updated itinerary for suggestions. Thanks again!
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Oct 13th, 2017, 10:25 AM
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Quick question - knowing that something needs to get dropped from all the things we want to see, I have mixed feelings about spending time in Buenos Aires. Part of me thinks since we are flying in and out of BA, and it's the capital, we should plan to spend several days here. The other part of me is just not that interested in BA, has heard many people say they were not particularly fascinated by this city, and dropping it from my itinerary would give me more time in the other areas I am more drawn to.

We've booked our international flights - we land at 9:30am in the morning, and leave at 8:15pm. Given this, would you work in time in BA at the beginning or end of the trip? Both? Or would you just get in and out of BA same day to / from elsewhere in Argentina?
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