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Bariloche, Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aires in March

Bariloche, Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aires in March

Oct 23rd, 2016, 09:06 AM
  #1  
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Bariloche, Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aires in March

So I'm a little further deeper into planning our trip to Uruguay/Argentina in late February/early March. Thanks so much to all who replied to my earlier post - it really got me researching. Now I have a few questions that will help us nail down dates so that we can purchase tickets.

Here's what we have so far:

JFK - Montevideo around 2/20/17 (as I mentioned earlier, this leg is not negotiable, as our friends will be picking us up at the airport. We'll spend a night there under their experienced guidance, then drive back to their home in Punta del Este the next day and spend a few days there).

Punta del Este - Bariloche around 2/25/17
Here's where we need the most help. How many days here, stay in or out of the town, rent a car or not? We've read about Turiser's Puerto Blest sailing trip, riding bikes at circuito chico (20 km ride), DH may want to play golf at Llao Llao. Our friend had mentioned an area considered "little switzerland" or something like that - is that in Bariloche or a drive? Suggestions for other things to see or do? We are flexible (until we purchase our tickets...) and would love advice about this leg.

Bariloche - Iguazu Falls (around 3/2?)
Staying in Puerto Iguazu...on the fence about spending the money to acquire Brazilian visas. I've read all sorts of advice on trying to get into the Brazilian side without a visa and have to say I'm not keen on the idea. If we only see the Argentinan side, the we'll probably stay two nights so we have the one full day for the park. Think we'd stay in town somewhere near the bus station.

Iguazu Falls - Buenos Aires (around 3/4 or 5)
Would like to find an apartment somewhere in Palermo or Recolata
Have read about lots of things within the city - cemetery, San Telmo, river area, Teatro Colon tour, etc. Day trips to Colonia del Sacramento, Tigre, others?

We're relatively open-ended, so could stay till 3/13 or 14.

Any advice most welcome - I'd really like to nail down these plane tickets since we have five flights to book. Biggest question mark for me is Bariloche - how long, rent a car or not, stay in or out of town.

Thanks as always. Fodors forums are unparalleled.
caseyhen is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2016, 09:17 AM
  #2  
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And avrooster, so sad to see this link no longer works...

http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...ed-reading.cfm

Would've been educational, I'm sure!
caseyhen is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2016, 09:31 AM
  #3  
 
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" Iguazu Falls (around 3/2?)
Staying in Puerto Iguazu...on the fence about spending the money to acquire Brazilian visas. I've read all sorts of advice on trying to get into the Brazilian side without a visa and have to say I'm not keen on the idea. If we only see the Argentinan side, the we'll probably stay two nights so we have the one full day for the park. Think we'd stay in town somewhere near the bus station."

You are coming a long way and probably spending a lot of money. Don't stint on the comparatively small sum for a Brazilian visa, or miss being able to visit the side of the park where most of the iconic photos that probably attracted you to this area in the first place were taken. Also the Bird Park near the entrance to the Brazilian side of the park is well worth a visit.
While it may still be possible for a taxi driver to essentially smuggle you into Brazil to see the park, go with your gut feeling, expressed above.
You need two full days (or one full and two half, with transport the other halves) to see both sides.
SambaChula is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2016, 02:02 PM
  #4  
 
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OMG! Let's get to work!

"JFK - Montevideo around 2/20/17 (as I mentioned earlier, this leg is not negotiable, as our friends will be picking us up at the airport. We'll spend a night there under their experienced guidance, then drive back to their home in Punta del Este the next day and spend a few days there."

DISAGREE. Fly or bus it on to Punta del Este from Montevideo and ask your friends to pick you up on arrival. I assure you they'll be VERY happy you chose to do so

"Bariloche around 2/25/17 - Here's where we need the most help. How many days here, stay in or out of the town, rent a car or not? We've read about Turiser's Puerto Blest sailing trip, riding bikes at circuito chico (20 km ride), DH may want to play golf at Llao Llao. Our friend had mentioned an area considered "little switzerland" or something like that - is that in Bariloche or a drive? Suggestions for other things to see or do? We are flexible (until we purchase our tickets...) and would love advice about this leg."

How many days is a matter of taste, but I'd say AT LEAST four or five days. I'd also yell STAY OUT of town!!!, but it's also a matter of taste. A car is a must. I usually rent from Hertz's Mr. Esojo. A sailing trip (or several) is also a must when visiting Bariloche. To Puerto Blest or elsewhere is a matter of taste. I usually stay at the Llao-Llao, when I go for only a few days. Tell DH to try to play only the "old nine". Typical mountain course. Short and hilly. Unless you are there on a weekend, the course should be empty. You may enjoy doing the Circuito Chico by bike. Your friend probably meant "Colonia Suiza". You may enjoy it. It's a short drive. So many of your questions are a matter of taste. Drive to Villa La Angostura? Favorite restaurant, if you like steak: http://tinyurl.com/h7elj67

"Iguazu Falls (around 3/2?) Staying in Puerto Iguazu...on the fence about spending the money to acquire Brazilian visas. I've read all sorts of advice on trying to get into the Brazilian side without a visa and have to say I'm not keen on the idea. If we only see the Argentinan side, the we'll probably stay two nights so we have the one full day for the park. Think we'd stay in town somewhere near the bus station."

I usually suggest staying at the Sheraton and seeing both sides, but..... It will be VERY warm and humid.

"Buenos Aires (around 3/4 or 5)
Would like to find an apartment somewhere in Palermo or Recolata
Have read about lots of things within the city - cemetery, San Telmo, river area, Teatro Colon tour, etc. Day trips to Colonia del Sacramento, Tigre, others?"

An apartment in Recoleta or Palermo would be fine if you are staying for a week or longer. Most tourists enjoy touring our cemetery. San Telmo only for the Sunday fair. http://tinyurl.com/zy3cltv River area: I guess you mean Tigre. Fine. Or you mean Puerto Madero??? Touristy. A tour of our famous Teatro Colón is a must. If you are keen on Colonia (I'm not) maybe you can visit while you are in Uruguay?

"Thanks as always. Fodors forums are unparalleled."

I agree! LOL!!

The missing link was a collection of worthwhile trip reports. "Someone" had it deleted. I know who it was, but can't prove it.

Have a great time in my country and with our Uruguayan cousins.

Further questions welcome. LOL!!!!!!!
avrooster is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2016, 02:19 PM
  #5  
 
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We visited Iguazú for the second time last month and again visited both sides of the falls. Being UK citizens we didn't need Brazilian visas. Whilst we had to check in and out of Argentina, no one was manning the Brazilian immigration posts so we couldn't have shown a visa to anyone even if we did have them.

Plenty of people do cross without a visa. Is it legal? Of course not. Only you can decide whether it is worth the risk. Likewise the cost of buying a visa. Visiting the Brazilian side provides an entirely different perspective and I feel it would be a shame to go all that way and not see both sides. FWIW both sides were amazing but I found the Brazilian side to be more impressive.

I was amazed by how much puerto Iguazú had grown in te nine years since we last visited. Staying in near the bus station is a good idea for the restaurants as well as tentransport links.

If you want to extend your trip, do consider Salta and the northwest.

There is lots to see and do in and around BA but it is a huge city and you really need to decide what to see in advance. tigre is an entire day, San Telmo needs to be seen on a Sunday.

Recoleta is the posh part of BA but I prefer Palermo Soho. Always good to stay near a Subte station to provide travel options.
crellston is offline  
Oct 24th, 2016, 06:45 AM
  #6  
 
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"I usually suggest staying at the Sheraton ....."

If they are so financially strapped that they are questioning if they can afford a Brazilian visa, they certainly can't afford to stay at the Sheraton. Perhaps a nice hostel would be more suitable?


"Plenty of people do cross without a visa. Is it legal? Of course not. Only you can decide whether it is worth the risk."

The border booths are better manned these days.
If you are stopped at the Brazilian exit booth without a visa for Brazil stamped in your passport, as well as an entry stamp from entering Brazil, you will be heavily fined.
SambaChula is offline  
Oct 24th, 2016, 07:19 AM
  #7  
 
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Have to disagree with av over Bariloche. I stayed in town and did not rent a car and had a fine time (click on my name for my SA TR).

Also disagree about staying IN the park at Iguazu, it doesn't take that long to get there, and you can walk to your choice of where to eat at night.
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 24th, 2016, 08:48 AM
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"The border booths are better manned these days." they weren't last month - no Brazilian immigration officials to be seen in either direction.
crellston is offline  
Oct 24th, 2016, 08:53 AM
  #9  
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Love love love checking in to find all these wonderful, info-filled responses!

SambaChula, not financially strapped and definitely not interested in a hostel. We're well-traveled and typically stay in small apartments or mid-range hotels or B and Bs. For us, there's the hassle of a trip to NYC to apply at the Brazilian embassy (can't be done by mail without a third party visa navigator for another $200 for the two of us). We might enjoy the day trip anyway, but just trying to be sure, with all of the places we're visiting, that we put our time/energy/money into the right places.

Having said all of that, I think we are now leaning toward acquiring the visa.

So...in our current itinerary we have two nights in Puerto Iguazu, which gives us one full day for the Argentina side. The next day our flight departs at 3:45...would that give us enough time to get to the Brazil side early, then get back to get to the airport (I'm doubtful) or should we go for three nights so that we have two full days? This is the one detail that's holding up our making reservations.

Thursdaysd and avrooster - We were leaning toward staying in Bariloche but are really open to either. We do want to rent a car at least for a couple of days. Is it a problem to have a car in town as it is in most larger cities? Would that be a reason to stay out of town?

Avrooster - I'm catching on to the fact that everyone seems to hate Montevideo . But our gracious hosts have pretty much set the itinerary for the Uruguayan portion of the trip and it's a little uncomfortable to dictate this change to them. In fact (
caseyhen is offline  
Oct 24th, 2016, 09:08 AM
  #10  
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Ugh, somehow that sent...

In fact (cringing here), due to an issue with the flight down, we're thinking now that we'll get into MVD the afternoon before we meet them, take it easy, and get to bed on the early side, as neither of us is keen on being dragged around a city when we're exhausted. It will in essence be a 24-hour journey (drive Albany NY to JFK, fly to BA with a 6 1/2 hour layover - can't be avoided - then on to MVD, arriving around noon).

So we'll have one day with them in MVD, then drive back to Punta the next morning. I think we can suffer through... I'll keep you posted.

Random flow of ideas here, so back to Thursdaysd - your thoughts on Puerto Iguazu are ours exactly...bus it into the park and will enjoy having somewhere to stroll for restaurants, etc., at night.

avrooster - I think I did mean Puerto Madero, LOL. You can tell I'm spreading myself thin with the research at this stage, trying to figure out transportation etc. for essentially five locations. Sorry to be such a novice. I'll learn. You've confirmed what I'd already thought about Bariloche...I think we'll spend five nights there. It's funny how differently people travel - our Uruguayan friends who raved about it then told use we should only stay three nights. I knew that would never do it for us.

The more answers I get the more questions I have :/.
caseyhen is offline  
Oct 24th, 2016, 09:13 AM
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The Brazilian side takes about 3 hours. You are going to want to stop for a lot of photos. You can go out on a walkway into a plateau in the middle of the river. And there is one place to stand right next to a powerful fall of water.
There is a bird park in which you could spend a couple of hours. They have house sized "cages". I had a flock of macaws and parrots trying to eat (plants I had picked from the ground) out of my hand in one house, a most amazing and also terrifying (big claws and beaks) experience.

I wasn't that impressed on the Argentine side by the walkway over the falls. I only spent half a day on that side of the park and was satisfied.
I did find a little stream under on little falls there where people were swimming. Very pleasant in the heat/humidity.

And take the boat ride under the falls.
If you think you need more time, plan for it.
SambaChula is offline  
Oct 24th, 2016, 11:13 AM
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Avrooster: the more I read about Buenos Aires here, the more I want to meet you when we are in your city. You appear to be the main attraction there!

Seriously, this is my very favorite part of Fodors. I can tell you from our trips all over Europe and the US who the expert is in each area. One gentleman sent us an 18-page itinerary complete with detailed driving and walking directions for San Francisco...he may have been the same person who sent a similar doc to guide our drive through the Languedoc region of France.

I could not, would not plan a trip without this forum.

About to purchase our tickets and make a trip to yet another continent for the two of us a reality! (I spent the summer of 1971 in Guayaquil, Ecuador as an exchange student - giving away my age here - but that doesn't count on the map of "our" travels).
caseyhen is offline  
Oct 24th, 2016, 12:39 PM
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Good reply from caseyhen: "SambaChula, not financially strapped and definitely not interested in a hostel".

To me, it was obvious you were NOT "financially strapped", but I felt it was none of my business.

So, I suggested what I felt was best and it was up to you to decide whether on not it suited your budget.

I also suggest you further research the Sheraton vs. Puerto Iguazú hotel thing. Do you know, for instance, that, if you are staying at the Sheraton, you can enter the park before the crowds coming from Puerto Iguazú arrive?

If, come dinner time, you are so keen (I know I wouldn't be) on having dinner in Puerto Iguazú, hop on a cab.

I'm "somewhat" stubborn and stick by my advice to sleep in Montevideo and bus it to Punta del Este in the morning, saving your friends the trip into Montevideo. They'll be forever grateful both to you and yours truly.

I'll go even further: You could tell your friends you'll arrive in Punta del Este on the afternoon of the day before the day when they were supposed to meet you in Montevideo. This way, you'd skip Montevideo altogether.

BTW, caseyhen, I'm a good friend of an American couple who have a home in Punta del Este. He is a well-known Destination Expert on Trip Advisor. Could we be talking about the same couple? Her first name starts with a G and his first name starts with a P.

Don't worry so much. You are coming when the locals' holiday season is about over, which means everything will be easier. No crowds, particularly in Bariloche.
avrooster is offline  
Oct 24th, 2016, 12:53 PM
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caseyhen: on second thought, I don't think we are talking about the same couple.
avrooster is offline  
Oct 24th, 2016, 01:31 PM
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"SambaChula, not financially strapped and definitely not interested in a hostel.
For us, there's the hassle of a trip to NYC to apply at the Brazilian embassy (can't be done by mail without a third party visa navigator for another $200 for the two of us). We might enjoy the day trip anyway, but just trying to be sure, with all of the places we're visiting, that we put our time/energy/money into the right places."

Didn't think you were either. However, I get tired of all the widespread whining online about the visa process.
The "hassle" is only that if you make it so. Just enjoy a short trip to NYC. Consider it as part of the vacation.

Take a look at some of the videos of the Brazilian side of the falls on YouTube and then tell us you're still not sure you're putting your "time/energy/money into the right places."
SambaChula is offline  
Oct 24th, 2016, 03:02 PM
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I didn't find Montevideo that bad. Not on my go back to list, and stay out of the old city at night, but certainly worth a look.

See: https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com/tag/montevideo/

I also preferred the Argentinian side to the Brazilian at Iguazu, not that I didn't thoroughly enjoy the Brazilian side, but if I had to choose one it would be the Argentinian (no doubt the aggressively pro-Brazilian SC will now attack me as well as av).

Photos here: https://kwilhelm.smugmug.com/Travel/South-America-2012
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 25th, 2016, 01:59 AM
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Caseyhen: this may help for the Iguazú Falls leg of your trip: http://tinyurl.com/gktdne8
avrooster is offline  
Oct 25th, 2016, 11:46 AM
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Well, I Googled "Iguazu falls" (even spelling it in the Spanish manner, not the Portuguese "Iguacu"), and the photos that came up were from the Brazilian side! That certainly says something about which side is considered the more iconic.
The difference is in looking at water mostly going over a cliff under your feet (Argentina), or looking at a panorama of falls (Brazil) to take epic photos of.
--------------------
And yes, thursdaysd, I don't agree with much that you've posted on any topic.
SambaChula is offline  
Oct 25th, 2016, 11:51 AM
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"Caseyhen: this may help for the Iguazú Falls leg of your trip: http://tinyurl.com/gktdne8"

This is mainly logistical info. Not much description of the park itself, either side.
SambaChula is offline  
Oct 25th, 2016, 12:11 PM
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I believe the forums are about disagreeing, while agreeing to disagree.

As I'm old and feeble (LOL) and by now getting a little fed up with this, I'll only point out I never said the link I provided included any "description of the park itself". I just told the OP "it may help for the Iguazú Falls leg of your trip".

Have a great time in my country.
avrooster is offline  

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