Argentina itinerary input, please

Old Jul 27th, 2010, 09:59 AM
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Argentina itinerary input, please

My husband, adult daughter and I will be spending 4 weeks in Argentina in February, 2011. We enjoy hiking and wine tasting and generally fare better when we are in the countryside. We would rather spend more time in a few spots than dash around a country, especially one as large as Argentina. We prefer bed & breakfast type lodgings to large hotels. Our daughter is Spanish proficient.

I have scoured the trip reports here and on T.A. and now seek input on our proposed itinerary. We may use a travel agent to arrange internal flights, but that is undecided at this time.

I am especially interested in your thoughts as to our proposed length of time in each area, as well as suggestions for the best towns to base in. Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls and Patagonia are the "must sees." We are open to modifying everything else.

Buenos Aires 4 nights
Iguazu Falls 2 nights
Northwest 5 nights - possibly base in Cafayate
Mendoza 3 nights
Bariloche area 5 nights
Patagonia 5 nights - possibly base in El Calafate
Buenos Aires 3 nights - our flight home is at 10 p.m. giving us another full day

One final question: Is Tierra del Fuego a "must"?

Thanks.
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Old Jul 27th, 2010, 11:09 AM
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I think you are right on track with your times in each place. Although I might suggest adding a couple more days to Patagonia, if possible.
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Old Jul 27th, 2010, 06:26 PM
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My husband and I spent 3 weeks in Argentina in March-April and were intersted in hiking and wine as well. Our itinerary was pretty close to what you had - 4 nights in BA, 2 in Iguazu so I think you are good there. I don't think you need an additional 3 nights at the end of your trip in BA. You will have seen it well enough in the 4 days on the front end. We did and that included taking a day to ferry over to Colonia, Uruguay. We spent more time in Mendoza 2nights in Mendoza proper and 3 nights out in the country) but wanted to do some major wine tasting. You will see Mendoza adequately in 3. Definitely start your stay there with a visit to Vines of Mendoza for a tasting. We did a premium wine tasting (private room) that lasted 3 hours and gave us a real good foundation on the wines and bodegas we wanted to taste. You have to have appointments at most bodegas so plan accordingly. We also spent more time in the Bariloche area. Bear in mind that the roads there are really rugged. It takes hours to go very short distances. We ended up not staying in one place but made a circuit staying in places for a few nights then moving on. If you want more specific info you can email me directly at [email protected]. We did not go down to southern Patagonia-El Calafate with only 3 weeks because we did not want to be rushed but you could surely do that and the NW if you cut out some of those back end BA days.
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Old Jul 27th, 2010, 09:44 PM
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Thank you to melinbsas and cavergirl. It's the fine-tuning tips such as yours that really help.
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 12:14 AM
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Looks like a pretty good itinerary to me and the timings in each place are about right given the vast travelling distances involved. A couple of specific thoughts:

Travelling directly from Iguazu to the North West may be a little problematic as flights have only just commenced and I don't think they operate every day. anid2004 managed it see their post

http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...-argentina.cfm

We did the journey in reverse by overnight bus which was comfortable and efficient but did take around 20 hours (including a time zone change!).

The Salta region was a highlight for us and you may wish to consider renting a car and driving a circuit of the area to make the most of it. Otherwise, Cafayate is a good place to base yourselves.

B&Bs and Hostals are plentiful in Argentina, some very good and some very bad bust most are ok. Two that stand out are Finca La Paya, just outside of Cachi in Salta province and http://www.lacasahernandez.com.ar/index.html in San Lorenzo.

Photos of these places and our travels can be found on

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog...ai/1/tpod.html entries 70 onwards.

I agree with cavergirl's comments re BA. Much as I love the city and spent a moth there, with three weeks to play with one week does seem a disproportionate amount of time when there is so much else to see.

I wa not that impressed with Bariloche town and moved on after a couple of days. Although to be fair it was spring break time and the town was full of excitable and somewhat drunken teenagers so perhaps I did not see it at its best! We did however enjoy the drive through the seven lakes areas from San Martin de Los Andes to Bariloche.
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 11:01 AM
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Five night are perfect, but do not base in Cafayate...
I suggest to take a night for Salta (arrival day)
then night in Purmamamrca or two and one night in Cafayate or two... You can NOT miss Purmamarca and the Salt Flats and Humahuaca ( just to tell you reached there) and Tilcara.
The / colour mountains are a MUST in the NW! II know many people do not like to be moving away all the time, but it is necessary if you want to enjoy the area. It will be relaxed and pleasant...
I am confident you will spend a great time in the NW of Argentina.
Flintstones
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 11:57 AM
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If you decide to go to Purmamarca and Tilcara I would add a day or 2 to your trip. Five days is too short and you will spend too much time driving. The Salt Flats I found sort of boring and wouldn't make the drive esp if u only have 5 days. Cafayate is a charming small town and we enjoyed that area alot.
I'm going to the Bariloche area this year, so can only speak from what I've been reading. U might want to add a day or so to the Lake area. We started with 5 days and have added 2 more days. Seems like there is a lot of areas where u can hike and enjoy the outdoors.
Enjoy your trip -- Argentina is wonderful!
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 07:45 PM
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I dont think you will need so much time in buenos aires, if you cut that to 3 days. Iguazu falls you really only need one full day, thats if your just doing the Argentina side. So if you cut another day there you can add 2 days to other more distance places such as patagonia.

hope that helps
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Old Jul 29th, 2010, 04:26 PM
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I agree with cutting out time at BA at the end. I would think about adding another night to the NW. In Bariloche, stay out on the peninsula -- not in the town. We divided up our time between Bariloche and Villa La Angostura. You don't need to stay in two different places, but it worked out well for us to do that.
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Old Jul 30th, 2010, 10:40 AM
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I agree, NW deserves and extra day...
or two... You will not regret.
Specially when youa re out of town!
Skatedancer, when are you coming back??
Flintstones
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Old Jul 31st, 2010, 11:26 AM
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An ambitious but doable schedule.

Here is a list of things to do around Bariloche.

http://livinginpatagonia.com/?page_id=1001
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Old Jul 31st, 2010, 12:58 PM
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Soulskier,
Thanks for the link.
If it were you, what would you cut out? We don't want to come home feeling like we need a vacation from the vacation. We would much rather make two - or three... - trips than feel like we blew in and out of places.
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 05:50 AM
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PJ,

I would likely cut out Mendoza. You will get your share of wine and Andes scenery between the NW and Bariloche.

Suerte, SS
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 08:12 AM
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Re: Patagonia, consider choosing El Chalten as your base. Hiking opportunities abound there and the scenery is stunning. I found El Calafate to be a rather faceless town although Perito Moreno glacier is totally worth a visit.
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 09:41 AM
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Thank you for great input. We are considering cutting out Mendoza. We enjoy wine, but can do plenty of cellar hopping at home in the SF Bay area. It also saves an overnight bus ride or flight.

We will be there Jan. 26 - Feb. 22. Any input on whether we should go to Patagonia first, saving the northwest for last? This may be like asking you to look into the cyrstal weather ball, but I am wondering if we would have milder weather in Patagonia and less rain in the Northwest if we flip the order of things.
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 10:50 AM
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I might suggest Patagonia second, as January is peak peak season and it is likely to be a bit less crowded in February. The NW won't likely matter as it is not the big summer draw that Patagonia is.
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Old Sep 13th, 2010, 07:34 PM
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OK, based on guide books, trip reports and advice from a travel agent, we are now looking at the following itinerary. We have 1 night unaccounted for. Suggestions as to which area we should add that night will be appreciated. Note that we have decided to eliminate Mendoza for numerous reasons. Travel agent urges more time in Buenos Aires and only 5 nights in Patagonia, but we would rather have scenic beauty than urban splendor.

Buenos Aires - 4 nights
Patagonia (El Calafate/El Chalten) - 6 nights
Lake District - 7 nights
Northwest - 7 nights
Iguazu Falls - 1 night
Buenos Aires - 1 night + another full day before flight leaves
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Old Sep 14th, 2010, 03:38 AM
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I like 2 nights in Iguazzu. You could then view the Falls from both countries (sides) and see a bit of the small town, Puerto de Iguazzu, as well - or Missiones or the countryside. There is also a Bird Park in the Brazillian side.

~MarnieWDC
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Old Sep 14th, 2010, 10:27 AM
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I agree, two night in Iguazu, it's worth it!
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Old Sep 15th, 2010, 09:41 PM
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Thank you all for your advice. We have finalized our itinerary and had to make a few adjustments in order to take advantage of direct flights from point to point. Come February 2011 I'll be writing a trip report! In the meantime I will be scouring the forum for more tips.
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