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violetm Jan 20th, 2018 06:26 AM

Buenos Aires and Uruguay Itinerary help
Hi all,
We are planning our first trip to Buenos Aires, flying into BA on 23rd March and out of Montevideo on Sunday 1st April (Easter Sunday). We have 9 nights in total and have never been to either place so looking for some advice in how to divide it up.

We want to have a decent amount of time in BA so weíre thinking 5 nights, with 4 nights in Uruguay, would 2 nights in Colonia and 2 nights in Montevideo work?

Ive read conflicting views on both cities. I also wondered about Carmelo but we donít really drink so not bothered about wineries, and are more about soaking up the culture, taking photos, people watching and relaxing. We decided it would be a good chance to see Uruguay as a contrast to BA.

Also is there anything that could cause us issues with our timing including Good Friday and Holy Saturday in Uruguay ie everything closed?

Are we missing a trick with Argentina? Should we spend the whole time in BA with a few day trips out instead? Is there somewhere else that we should consider instead of Uruguay? we were in Brazil last year and Iguassu Falls (both sides) so wouldnít go here.

Any help or advice woukd be reallynappreciated. Thanks

thursdaysd Jan 21st, 2018 05:40 AM

You really only need half a day for Colonia, but two nights each would work. For my time in Uruguay see:

crellston Jan 21st, 2018 06:13 AM

Colonia is small but there is a lot to see in that small area. Many will visit on a day trip from BA. We were travelling down through Uruguay and spent a few days there and really enjoyed it. In addition to the very picturesque centre and all its museums, we hire a golf cart to drive out to some of the beaches outside of town. Some very nice eating places in the town. Can’t recall it’s name but one place right by the harbour was especially good.

Montevideo was not especially entharalling but ok for a couple of days. The market down by the port area is a temple to beef! Possibly the most impressive array of BBQ I have seen anywhere in the world! Even if vegetarian, it’s worth a look!

One day we took a bus out to Punta carretas, the shopping centre built in an old prison. A little further on An you get to the beaches and malecon which is a little like being in th south of France.

5 nights is a nice amount of time for BA. More European in feel than many South American cities, it has a lot to see but is also a nice place to chill out and live the life of a PorteŮo.

I have no idea what happens over the Easter holidays but we were there over Christmas one year and everything closed down for the day.

mlgb Jan 22nd, 2018 10:24 AM

4 Attachment(s)
We arrived in BA on an Easter Sunday off of a Cape Horn cruise. My friend was staying at the Park Hyatt (Palacio Duhau) and they had a pretty amazing display of confection Easter critters. Looked like a Sunday brunch was available

We took a taxi to the Costanera Sur Nature Reserve and walked around there for a bit.

In Montevideo we enjoyed the Port Market (Mercado del Puerto) and felt the beef there was much better than at the fancy restaurant in BA. The center of MV has a more consistent Art Deco feel than BA...

We were escorted a bit around Park Rodo in MV by some locals and didn't walk around on our own. I had read that downtown MV isn't the safest but because we were there (I think it must have been a Saturday) when a cruise ship was in so both the Market and the commercial street near the cruise dock were active maybe there was more security present but I don't know.

I felt less secure in BA especially in the Palermo Soho area on that weekend. Lots of homeless and other unsavory sorts around the parks. Kind of hot and not pleasant walking. Stay in Recoleta if you can.

violetm Jan 22nd, 2018 04:00 PM

Wow thanks so much for all your help, that has been really useful.

So we have decided to stick with the 5 nights in BA But not to stay in Palermo. We have decided to go with either The Four Seasons or The Palacio Duhau (Hyatt). The outdoor pool (if itís warm enough at the end of March - although I live in Scotland where 15 degrees means itís Summer!) at the Four Seasons appeals but I get the feeling that the Hyatt is better located to walk to shops and restaurants. Am I right? Does anyone have a preference?

Weíre then going to take the morning ferry to Colonia so we can spend some time there but have decided to head to the coast for 2 nights and have booked a beachfront posada in Jose Ignacio so we can explore this area.

This leaves us 2 nights at the end (Good Friday and Saturday) as we fly out of Montevideo at lunchtime on Easter Sunday. We were thinking of staying those 2 nights in Montevideo, and I had my heart set on the Sofitel as a nice way to end the holiday. However Iíve just realized itís pretty far out of the city and we had planned on returning the car before staying in the city as we didnít want the hassle and imagined weíd walk everywhere! If we do stay at the Sofitel should we keep the car for the duration? Is it a good idea to stay there or would we be better going for the Hyatt Centric in Pocitos?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

thursdaysd Jan 22nd, 2018 04:09 PM

The Radisson is pretty central. Not sure whether it is up to your standards, I don't stay in the kind of hotels you're looking ar.

Scarlett Jan 22nd, 2018 05:34 PM

I do want to say that because they are homeless and not so clean looking, they are mostly totally harmless .. just not clean but there is no reason to be worried about them . When we were living in Recoleta, there were the same homeless people in the parks every day .. one was a very old white haired woman. She sat and fed crumbs to the pigeons .. I got into the habit of buying extra scones at our bakery and gave her one or two when we walked our dog in the park.
She never spoke to us, just nodded her head .. but she sat and ate those scones slowly and carefully .. she broke my heart.
At night, they "round up" the homeless or they just leave and go to places where they are fed, can bathe and sleep. Some are so nutty they don't want to sleep inside but they keep the parks free of homeless at night. Mounted police do that.
Now things might have changed since then but just don't be alarmed when you see homeless people in BA .. in all the years we lived there, none were ever aggressive or bothered us.
We lived in Recoleta .. our son came to visit with his bride .. (from the US) and they went to Montevideo and Colonia. He thought Colonia was interesting and was sorry he wasted the time in Montevideo because it was "a small version of any city/BA" ..
When we visited BA .. we gave ourselves a neighborhood a day .. we were there for 10 days wasn't enough time, so we moved there :)
About cars .. I feel like you are cramming too much into too little time and too many complications .. do you speak Castellano?/ Spanish?
Good Friday and Easter Sunday everything is closed.
In fact, a lot of people who live in BA, have second homes in Uruguay.
Talk to the hotels about your plans and find out what is open .. Easter is a big deal .
Good luck ! I hope you love BA as much as we did :)

thursdaysd Jan 22nd, 2018 05:40 PM

It was my understanding that there were parts of BA that were not safe, or not safe after dark. And I was warned by the owner of the place I stayed in Montevideo to stay out of the area west of the apartment building after dark. You should get up to date information.

crellston Jan 22nd, 2018 11:42 PM

I have always felt very safe in BA even wandering around late at night. We have usually stayed mostly in the Palermo’s, walking a lot sing the Subte, buses and very occasionally a taxi. Montevideo however felt a less safe than BA. Just a little edgier, a bit more run down but is was a long time ago. Much preferred Colonia though!

An attempt at posting photos



Puerto Mercardo bbq

Puerto Mercardo bbq

thursdaysd Jan 23rd, 2018 04:49 AM

Maybe things have changed in BA since I was there in 2012. But I was VERY strongly discouraged - on this very board - from staying in San Telmo. I did stay in Palermo. I was hit with the "bird poop" scam in the metro, which hasn't happened anywhere else, and met a woman who had been comprehensively pickpocketed outside the cemetery.

violetm Jan 23rd, 2018 08:06 AM

Thanks for all your replies. Iím a bit confused about all the comments on safety and homeless people - as I didnít voice any such concerns (I live in Edinburgh where we have lots - and itís a lot colder here) and as a seasoned traveler, most recently in Mexico and Brazil - I know how to behave sensibly and take the necessary precautions so this isnít the reason I havenít chosen Palermo in BA or the city in Montevideo as locations. My reasons for hotel choice were purely wanting a nice luxury hotel to relax, but with enough to be able to walk to and not feel isolated.

i really donít see how we are packing too much in, as 5 nights is a good amount of time to spend in any city, other than which we have 2 nights in the beach and 2 in Montevideo with no great driving distances involved.Granted, we wonít have time to see all of Uruguay, but weíre not trying to - just enough to get a flavour.

My only questions were in regards to itinerary and hotel choice.

so can anyone offer any advice as to which is better in BA in terms of location Hyatt Palacio Dulcau or Four Seasons?

And in Montevideo - Hyatt Centric In Pocitos or the Sofitel?

thanks so much

mlgb Jan 23rd, 2018 10:32 AM

I'm guessing a couple probably 'feels' safer than a single woman alone...

I actually live in a fairly rough area of Southeast LA county and we encounter homeless people all the time when out walking along the LA River. Not all of them are sober, harmless little old ladies!

Scarlett Jan 25th, 2018 06:19 PM

Oh if I needed any help in being homesick, this did it ... the colors , the flowers, the cobblestones .. Crellston, you really did it this time :)

Scarlett Jan 25th, 2018 06:22 PM

Do some more research on that , regarding staying in San Telmo .. when we lived in BA.. although we lived in Recoleta, we were in San Telmo all the time and an acquaintance visited, fell in love with the place and moved to BA, buying a home in San Telmo. These places are not like what most people are used to who live in the US but they are hugely charming and atmospheric and safe .. just different from "home" ... which is why we travel ,yes ? :)

Dukey1 Jan 27th, 2018 03:28 AM

Topping this (somewhat) as we are now "back on" for a visit to BA which we recently decided to cancel. I notice there aren't many answers regarding the two hotels but I appreciate the response regarding the Radisson (a chain we have also had good experiences with in both Stockholm and Sydney). I also appreciate the thoughts about neighborhoods, etc.

thursdaysd Jan 27th, 2018 05:21 AM

Scarlett - you were one of the ones who advised me against staying in San Telmo. - post #9

Dukey - I wound up staying at the Hotel Duque in Palermo Soho, which at the time was number one on TA (not always a recommendation, I know). I was very happy there, but it's not a Radisson or a Hyatt and certainly not a Four Seasons.

:: Duque Hotel Boutique & Spa :: Buenos Aires ‚€Ę Bed & Breakfast Buenos Aires Hotels Palermo Soho ::

mlgb Jan 27th, 2018 07:24 PM

Re the Palacio Duhau...My cruise friend stayed there. The room was spacious and modern. The service and security seemed excellent. The old mansion on site where the restaurant is located has some old world character. There's sort of an underground office/ mall connection which has a secure ATM. The neighborhood of Recoleta is a lot more secure and well maintained than Palermo Soho where I stayed, and it's closer to the cruise port.

We didn't care for the overpriced for what you get restaurant under the freeway that Marnie recommends (neither the food nor the service), so more research on restaurants is warranted if you decide on that neighborhood. Perhaps since they apparently know her, they treat her and other regulars differently. I did enjoy watching the Shiba Inu who sat nearby on the patio.

Dukey1 Jan 30th, 2018 01:51 AM

Thanks for those clarifying replies. We were considering various hotels including the Alvear Palace since we tend to enjoy those "grand" sorts of old hotels as much as we do some of the more modern ones. I'll look again at some of the other possibilities.

crellston Jan 30th, 2018 11:05 AM

The Alvear Palace is magnificent. Do try and stay over a weekend as the Sunday Brunch Buffet is one of the best we have experienced anywhere in the world ( and there have been a few!) . Thanks avrooster!

Scarlett Jan 31st, 2018 11:04 AM

There are definitely areas in BA where it is not safe to wander around, an obvious tourist especially. Who are you addressing regarding Montevideo ?
on thing you must have learned here on Fodors, you get more answers when you are nice .. Of course there are parts of BA that are not safe at night. Why would you be there though ? Stick to your area your hotel is and take taxis at night, that should keep you safer feeling.
And you should be more polite when you come on here and ask for advice.

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