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Argentina: Mendoza, Salta

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May 4th, 2011, 05:25 AM
  #1
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Argentina: Mendoza, Salta

Am currently doing draft planning for a 14-17 day trip to Argentina 1Q12. Due to the limited time we will only visit the northern part of the country. BA, Iguassu, Colonia UR are already on the list and probably take up roughly half the time. For the remaining time I am considering the Mendoza area, Salta area, or maybe even both. I don't think there's enough time to include Cordoba.

We are midrange actives. Enjoy hiking, rafting, horsebacking, wine country, cultural aspects, and mountain terrain. Would love to spend a few days at an estanzia.

Any general recommendations or guidance for the time budget? and for estanzias in the region?
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May 6th, 2011, 08:04 AM
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IMHO.......I think you are trying to do too much in that time frame. Relax and smell the flowers in BA! Yes....I'm a GREAT BA fan and can spend weeks and weeks there alone.
Give yourselves at least 4-5 nights in BA.....and 2 nights at Iguazu.....include the Brazilian side: you will NOT regret it.
We recently spent 7 nights in the NW....to do it justice, count on 5 nights. Have not been to Mendoza......someone else will chime in, I'm sure.
If you take a bit more time in BA......you can spend a night or 2 at San Antonio de Areco(there are estancias there) and a day up at the Delta or Tigre town itself.

Cheers for now!
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May 6th, 2011, 11:21 AM
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I agree you cna not see everyhting in two weeks so, take it easy and choose. SALTA and the NW have great comments in all forums. The rainy season is now over and I can garantee sunshine and wonderful days. The scenery in the NW of Argentina is amazing and the wines, food and culture is an addition to all the good you will find!!!!
If I were you I would considerate NW, definitelly!!!! At least five days would be good to have a good idea of the whole area and maybe an extra day for the town.
I can only say You will not regret
Flintstones...
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May 7th, 2011, 12:51 AM
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I loved BA, Iguazzu and Colonia. Mendoza was ok but not my favourite place in Argentina (although other here do love it. For me the NW region around salta was by far my favourite experience in Argentina, if not the whole of South America, The scenery is just amazing, the food and wine great and the people really welcoming. We based ourselves at Casa hernandez just outside of Salta city and rented a car to drive a circuit of the region. With your limited amount of time hiring a guide such as Angie Valdez would make a lot of sense in order to get the best out of your time there.

Some photos and more detail of our trip around the area

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

Entries 75-81 cover our time in the region
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May 9th, 2011, 07:10 AM
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Thanks for the comments. It looks like there will be plenty of time is we skip Cordoba. And plenty of time to visit both the NW and Mendoza regions. The nonstop flight from Iguassu to Salta helps a LOT!

To maximize time, and avoid the inconvenient connecting flight from Salta to Mendoza, we will probably take advantage of the overnight bus (never done that before!). And after Mendoza will bus to Santiago for a day and then depart, again to save backtracking to BA. But still all depends on the international air schedules.

Next task would be to research estancias.....
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May 17th, 2011, 11:53 AM
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One more thing ... anyone have any intelligence on the route from Salta to San Pedro, Chile? Scenery, anything special, etc.?
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May 17th, 2011, 03:35 PM
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Uhmmm, San Pedro de Atacama you mean?? I would better recommend you to do the tours into the bolivian territrory for less money you will pay from SAn Pedro de Atacama. In my opinion SP de Atacama is not as beautiful a Purmamarca and the the cost of hotels and meals there is considerably higher...
If you are going to SP de Atacma enyway, you can take a bus, direct ride from SALTA.
But I feel you will love the NW!
Not only the weather, the landscape but also our wines and our empanadas. ENjoy them!
If you need any ANY, detailed description, pls, keep in touch.
Flintstones
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May 18th, 2011, 04:24 AM
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We were in Salta in November 2010 and booked an estancia from one of the local travel agencies and it was one of the best moves we made. We booked an estancia called Sayta run by the a fantastic guy named Enrique. The horses we rode on were great and ideally suited for types of riders. The lunch cooked by Enrique and his staff was probably the best example of Argentinian Steak we tried during our time in this wonderful country. Not to mention the home made wine. He was the best host and it was a pleasure to visit him and his traditional gauchos. Give it a go, you won't be disappointed.
Also Salta and the northwest was amazing and we can't wait to return.
Sayta does half day & full day tours and pretty sure extended stays can be arranged. Their email address is www.sayta.com.ar
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May 18th, 2011, 11:48 AM
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I have just come back from a week in Salta and it is now my new favourite place in Argentina. The city is Beutiful and clean we also took a trip to cayafate(hope i spelled it right)
which was fantastic and the mountains and the history en route was amazing.
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May 18th, 2011, 12:06 PM
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You guys are selling me on the NW area. And Gary, thanks for pointing out Salta. It sound (and looks) like a superb place and a great jumping off point for 2 to 4 days in the mountains by horse. (Tobacco fields do nothing for me.) I will contact them in a month (after return from a few weeks in GUA).
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May 19th, 2011, 05:09 AM
  #11
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I meant Sayta to Gary in my previous post.
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Jan 14th, 2012, 05:55 PM
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Finally got the trip booked. Interesting hotels booked are the Miravida Soho in Buenos Aires and the Villaggio Hotel in Mendoza. Went with Carpe Diem in Salta. Unfortunately, the Sheraton in Iguazu was fully booked so sucked it up and will be at the Amerian Portal for the one night there.

The only chain hotel is the Intercon Santiago for the last two nights; using a free night and points so I don't feel so bad.

Ended up doing 3 nights in BA, 1 in Iguazu, 9 in and around Salta and the northwest area, 2 in Mendoza, and 2 in Santiago. And one night on the Salta-Mendoza bus.
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Jan 16th, 2012, 07:29 AM
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You will love the NW region - totally different from anywhere else in the country. I spent four nights there, wished I had booked longer. The scenery, Indian markets, Torrontes wine, ruins - fabulous experience. Lucky you!

Santiago is ok, much preferred Valparaiso over Santiago. Maybe you can do a daytrip there via bus.
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Jan 16th, 2012, 08:40 AM
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Santiago is basically a technical stop to get to the flight home. But we do have one complete day there if everything else goes right and Valparaiso is a definite possibility once we actually look at the books to see what there is to see!
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Jan 27th, 2012, 04:27 PM
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I know I am in minority here, but…we did not care for BA. Maybe we went with wrong expectations? Everybody compares it with Paris, and…it is not Paris. We found it boring and polluted.

So before deciding how many days to spend in BA, read more about it, look at pictures, decide if you would rather visit a city or the country side.

From what I hear, the NW region is beautiful – we did not go, preferring to see the glaciers and penguins of Patagonia, which we loved.

Don’t miss Iguazu – we were there for 2 nights, and wished we had a third. There is enough on the Argentinean side to fill 2 days. Getting to see the Brazilian side requires an expensive visa (and time), so keep that in mind.
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Jan 30th, 2012, 07:10 AM
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xyz - I'm with you, not a big fan of BA either, much prefer Patagonia and Salta regions. I usually spend around 3 nights there, mainly for flight connections and layovers.

However, I did love Feria de Mataderos because it was totally different from anything else in the city!
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Jan 30th, 2012, 07:23 AM
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Buenos Aires is not Paris.

But, for me, it has its own charm with fascinating neighborhoods, wonderful parks, small appealing museums, beautiful trees and flowering bushes, music and dance....

And yes,it is very noisy and too many sidewalks are uneven - that dog poo is not a big selling point either...but I find it to have a tempo, and a people and a weather that appeals and brings us back for longer visits every year. And each year we discover more interesting corners and barrios and restaurants and....well, you get the point.
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Jan 30th, 2012, 10:23 AM
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Marnie,
I agree with everything you say – I just wanted to make sure the OP goes in with realistic expectations. I didn’t, and it was my fault.

I loved our walk in Costanera Sur, but we are more ‘nature/small town’ people than ‘city’ people. And LOVED the purple trees everywhere…can’t remember their names. Just for them, I would go back to BA
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Jan 30th, 2012, 02:31 PM
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xyz99 - I believe that you are referring to Jacaranda trees ?

And I do agree with everything you say, too - better to have a realistic picture of a destination than an inflated idea coming from advertisements or the opinion of someone with different likes/dislikes (or someone who happened to fall in love in that destination
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