Argentina Itinerary help

Old Jul 8th, 2021, 06:44 PM
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Argentina Itinerary help

My spouse and I are FINALLY venturing into South America travel. We have traveled all over the world except this continent. We know we want to go to Buenos Aires and the Falls. We do like Malbec so it will be difficult for us to go this far and not spend a couple of days in Mendoza. I need some help on the itinerary. We land in Buenos Aires on Feb 11, 2022 at 8a. Because of the early hotel arrival and the long flight from the USA I thought it might be better to go right to the falls or Mendoza. It appears that we are best served (time wise) to just fly from point to point. Flight schedules seem to be difficult if we don’t put B.A. in the middle of the trip. My spouse doesn’t just want to go to Mendoza for the wine and I have read that it isn’t too far from Santiago (kill 2 birds with one stone, do some driving once in Mendoza?)). We have a total of 10 nights. A few have recommended Ushuaia, Calafate but I wonder if those places would be better served on another trip? Thoughts on an itinerary?
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Old Jul 11th, 2021, 09:33 AM
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Seeing that no one has yet replied, I'll offer my off the cuff reaction for consideration.

First, note that I have little actual experience with Argentina, but a fair amount with Chile. I appreciate that we each have our own travel style/speed, but my first reaction is seeing that you have a total of 10 nights I really do not think Ushuaia and Calafate are very realistic given the distance and travel time/logistics involved. If it were me I would feel very rushed (marathon) and personally I would leave those for another time to give them more justice.

Your priorities are BA and Iguazu Falls; these two alone could easily use up at least half your nights. I am assuming that you would take a domestic flight to Mendoza with probably at least 2 if not 3 nights in the area. Then the intercity bus to STGO follows a very scenic route with a lot of switchbacks in the mountains and unknown delays at the Arg-Chl border so that will likely eat up a significant part of a day (Chilean customs officers tend to be very thorough when processing). This would leave very little actual time for Stgo and surroundings. It seems to me that this would make some sense if you are flying out of STGO (open jaw), as oppose to going back to BA for the flight home and burning yet more time, but do check flight schedules and availability as airlines have severely curtailed flights in that part of the world. Not sure how things would be in February but I very much doubt that it will be normal. One never knows I suppose.

Seeing that you are interested in wine, it would be a little bit of a pity that you would have no time left for Chilean wineries in and around STGO many of which I would consider very worthwhile.

I realize this is a bit thin for what you were asking, but it is my 2 cents worth!
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Old Jul 12th, 2021, 08:40 AM
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We flew from Buenos Aires to Bariloche in the SW part of the country, a ski area, many lakes. From there we did The Lakes Crossing through Argentina’s national park into Chile’s national park ending in Puerto Varas. We spent a night en route in the park too. You travel by a combination of boats and busses in between the lakes, passing volcanoes. We spent a few days in Puerto Varas and then flew to Santiago. It was a beautiful and unique experience.
In the middle of a forest in Puebla , in a double wide, we were processed through Chilean immigration. They went through everything in our suitcases! I was behind a US celebrity whose suitcase looked professionally packed. My things fell on the floor when they opened my suitcase, not professionally packed.. We were given a flimsy piece of paper. Do not lose this! You can’t leave the country without it.

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Jul 12th, 2021 at 08:44 AM.
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Old Jul 12th, 2021, 10:55 AM
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Ten days is a very short time for a very large area. I loved Patagonia, but if your priorities are BA, the falls, and wine, you absolutely do not have time. A rushed but perhaps doable itinerary, as kanadajin outlines, would be: fly into BA, fly on to the falls, fly to Salta/Mendoza, bus to Santiago/Valpo, fly home. You need two full days/three nights for the falls.
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Old Jul 12th, 2021, 07:19 PM
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Ok update based on comments from several people….Thank you. We have now eliminated Mendoza. Spouse has decided he doesn’t want to spend time in the wine country because we can drink Malbec everywhere. We are putting off Patagonia so that we can give this area its due another time and for ease of packing cold/swing weather.

This now leaves us with BA for 4 nights?, the Falls for 2 nights, Colonia (for a day or a night) and maybe Salta? It looks a little like Sedona - very pretty. Has anyone been there? Thoughts on spending 3 nights there? Still haven’t eliminated Chile. The big kicker is finding flights that are convenient without flying back to BA or on the days we would want to go. I have also heard that Aerolinas is “famous” for canceling flights. Ugh…
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Old Jul 13th, 2021, 01:08 PM
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Of course people have "been there". If you are using the mobile/cellphone website you may not realize there is a Trip Report flag as well as a search function. Many users have stopped visiting the destination forums in the last few years but there may be some useful information from before that. I think you can change from the cellphone to regular website view, or use a laptop.

BTW I am not a good source for Buenos Aires..didn't care for it at all. If you are expecting some form of a European city you will likely be disappointed. The steak isn't even that good anymore. There wasn't a single memorable meal I had there (note that you may wish to bring your own saltshaker, everything was underseasoned). I preferred my half day in Uruguay (Montevideo).

Wish I had spent less time in Buenos Aires and gone to the Falls instead. PS Maybe I would have been more impressed if staying in Recoleta for a hotel, not one of the Palermo neighborhoods.

I do like Patagonia and the Atacama desert of Bolivia/Chile for landscapes.

Last edited by mlgb; Jul 13th, 2021 at 01:20 PM.
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Old Jul 13th, 2021, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ccarlson View Post

This now leaves us with BA for 4 nights?, the Falls for 2 nights, Colonia (for a day or a night) and maybe Salta? It looks a little like Sedona - very pretty. Has anyone been there? Thoughts on spending 3 nights there? Still haven’t eliminated Chile. The big kicker is finding flights that are convenient without flying back to BA or on the days we would want to go. I have also heard that Aerolinas is “famous” for canceling flights. Ugh…
I have never heard of Sedona so couldn’t possibly comment However, we have spent a lot of time in Salta and NW Argentina and covered in out blog in depth with lots of photos See https://accidentalnomads.com/categor...ica/argentina/

The area is best explored by renting a car and driving one or both of the circuits to the north or south of Salta city. Either circuit can be done 3-4 days. 4 is better. both circuits need a minimum of a week. The driving is easy and there is as much to be seen between the destinations as in the towns themselves. The drive along Ruta 40 between Cachii and Cafayate is one of the best in SA, if not the world.

Iguazu, if you pick the right flights, can be done in 2 nights. A full day for the Brazil side and half a day for the Argentine side. There are/were direct flights between Puerto Iguazu and Salta BUT you are correct in what you have heard in that Aerolineas Argeninas are world leaders in cancelling and amending flights. Last time there our direct flights from PI to Salta were rescheduled 6 times in as many months and a week before departure it changed from direct to via BA.

Good call on skipping Mendoza. We didn’t take to the place at all. Plenty of great vineyards around Cafayate which in addition to Malbec is more noted for its white Torrontes wines which you won’t find everywhere and the Tannats are pretty good too.
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Old Jul 13th, 2021, 05:45 PM
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Crellston, Sedona is a town in Arizona USA that's purported to emit cosmic energies that you can perhaps channel into your soul (if you have the right guru) via crystals dangling over your head. Stuff like that.
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Old Jul 13th, 2021, 10:04 PM
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Thanks for the enlightenment Baldone! In that case, Salta is nothing like Sedona ( it does have the best empanadas in Argentina though!
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Old Jul 18th, 2021, 05:07 AM
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My vote goes to the post by Crellston, above. 2 nights in Iguazu, a few in BsAs and a few in the Northwest (Salta) region which is Andean and beautiful and oh so interesting culturally. And they have great wine ! A day trip by boat to Colonia, while in BsAs would be another fun excursion.
Enjoy yourselves
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Old Sep 19th, 2021, 12:02 PM
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We did not enjoy BuenosAires like we expected. Felt like we had to be hyper vigilant and did have one bad incident there. Favorite place in Argentina for us was Bariloche, lakes, charm. Ski area in their winter( our summer.)
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Old Sep 20th, 2021, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr View Post
We did not enjoy BuenosAires like we expected. Felt like we had to be hyper vigilant and did have one bad incident there. Favorite place in Argentina for us was Bariloche, lakes, charm. Ski area in their winter( our summer.)
Hi - you have always been so helpful to me in the past. When did you go month wise? Did you go recently in the middle of all this crud? Why did you feel you had to be hyper vigilant? Theft? Covid? We haven’t booked our inter country flights because we have been waiting to see what happens with their restrictions. We had planned to go to the lakes region for a couple of nights and were hoping to go to Uruguay for the day.
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Old Sep 26th, 2021, 05:50 AM
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I've been to Argentina twice - once to Buenos Aires and Patagonia in December 2017 and the other time to Iguazu Falls (we came from the Brazilian side but stayed on the Argentinian side) in July / August 2014. The weather was good for both trips. Iguazu is well worth the time and I would hope you will be able to visit both sides (don't know what the land border crossing situation is these days). Patagonia was great too, but requires more time. I didn't think a visit to Colonia was worth the time; I would rather have spent the day in a different way. I wrote fairly lengthy trip reports for both, so you should be able to locate it by clicking on my screen name.

I agree with some of the others regarding Buenos Aires; it was not my favorite city either. Pickpocketing and petty theft is an issue in Buenos Aires as it is in much of the world dealing with economic problems. Leave your valuables in a safe place, know where you are going, and understanding your surroundings, as you would visiting anywhere that may be unfamiliar. There are some parts of Buenos Aires that is less safe than others; one frequently cited as the area around Caminito and the Boca Juniors stadium. The so-called mustard scam, in which someone sprays a substance on you, tries to distract you, and go for your belongings is alive and well in Buenos Aires - at least it was prior to the pandemic.
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Old Oct 4th, 2021, 04:20 PM
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Hello, everybody; Hello; Crellston!!! I see you do not forget my wonderful NW of Argentina!!! And of course, everyone who have ever visited the area of Salta and Jujuy will never forget it because it touches all the senses... The wonderful sceneries, the weather, (February is rainy, though) but still nice, the food (empanadas, humitas, tamales, and the worldwide famous asados!!! And no way to compare our delicious wines with any other. Believe me, this area is also well-known for the great torrontes wine, and our fantastic rose. You can also find our malbec very interesting as the altitude affect possitively to the taste of the red wines giving them a very special flavour.
But as a good wine, our NW is not a place you can go through in a rush. Take your time. At least five or six days, for an intensive experience. An experience I bet will last for ever.
Warm regards,
Flintstones.
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Old Oct 4th, 2021, 04:23 PM
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Great Choice!!!
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Old Oct 6th, 2021, 10:50 PM
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Hi Flintstones. "Hello, everybody; Hello; Crellston!!! I see you do not forget my wonderful NW of Argentina!!! - How could I? I consider it my spiritual home!
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