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Trip Report First time in South America

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We arrived at 9am after a long flight in EZE, not very amused of the Lufthansa Boeing 747-400, no personal screens in the seatbacks, only small ceiling screens.
After changing money at Banco nacional we ordered taxi Ezeiza to bring us to our Hotel in city center. It costs 140 pesos and was an experience of “how fast can a car drive in the second gear”
As a surprise we could check in very early (11am) in Icaro Suites Hotel in Calle Montevideo. Nice room on 6th floor, clean, with Kitchenette, air-condition and balcony to Calle Montevideo .
After relaxing and settle in we took a taxi to Olivos Golfclub. This Golf club was recommended several times (here in the forum and also in different tourist agencies and we were very much looking forward to play golf after the long flight. No reception on a Sunday, we paid at the starter desk and they requested more money because of being a foreigner. The course is reasonable but not that what we expected for that price. Sitting and eating in the restaurant after the round was good and the service was friendly.
The next day we flew to Iguazu. This was our first contact with Aerolineas Argentina and the first impression of that airline. That bad impression stayed till the end of our vacations, and I want to say that the Airline tried to destroy our holidays. We started in Newbery with a delay of at least two hours; reason was a not closing door of the plane and failure searching of passengers in such an old plane! (Seats were not in good condition). But after 8 flights with Aerolineas Argentina we knew now that the delay of two hours was nothing against coming delays and cancellations.
In Iguazu we took a taxi to the entrance of the park, paid the entrance fee and start with Garganta del Diablo, fascinating!! After having lunch in a small restaurant in the visitors area (Yacutinga) we went to Devil`s Throat, upper and lower circuit. It was the best waterfalls experience we`ve ever had! We made a lot of pictures to show this wonder of nature at home, spectacular!
After all impressions we went to Sheraton for dinner before we left Iguazu late evening back to BA. The decision not to stay overnight was right for our schedule, we saw everything what we have planned. Flight AR2737 back was delayed three hours.
The next two days we explored wonderful Buenos Aires. We went by yellow bus for a first overview; saw very nice buildings, huge streets, dog sitters and all the nice quarters which were described so often in fodors. We loved La Boca, ate at a very nice Pizzeria “La Piccola Italia” tried to make conversation with people there in the very nice shops, saw some Tango dancers on the street and felt lucky and save in that wonderful town.
Then we went to Puerto Madero, very nice for relaxing at the water and ate Helado at Freddo. We tried to visit La Recoleta but were too late, so we went back to our hotel .In Calle Lopez we found Confideria Norte. This is a “must”, a paradise if you like sweeties, cakes and cookies. Had dinner in a nice small restaurant, forgot name.
The next day after a very nice breakfast in Icaro Suites we tested subway. It was a nice experience and we felt save. Because of light raining showers we were in Galerias Pacifico first and then we visited Eva Peron`s mausoleum in La Recoleta. I did not feel very good there so we left very quickly.
We had dinner and a Tango show in La Ventana. For us as European the show satisfied, the food was ok.
On the next day we flew to El Calafate. Plane was again delayed for two hours. Nice views during the flight shortened the time of three hours. We took airport shuttle which was arranged by our hotel “La Cantera”. Had a warm welcome there and got a really nice corner room called Lago Argentino with great view to the lake. The room was cozy, we drank coffee at the terrace at the entrance and went then to El Calafate city center which took us 10 minutes downhill. The city center is busy in the afternoon when people coming back from trekking of viewing the glaciers. Then weather was warmer than expected and we made some shopping’s and relaxing things there. WE had dinner in La Cantera with a very nice bottle of Argentinean wine. Overall we can recommend that very nice hotel as well as the restaurant.
Next morning we had excellent breakfast in La Cantera, left luggage there and start a tour to Perito Moreno Glacier in a small bus with 6 other visitors. It started to rain before we entered the boat, inside of the boat there was no view, but outside the view was in spite of rain wonderful. Although sky was overclouded, glacier made us stunning, we stood outside in the cold wind but we will have that day in mind! In the afternoon we walked around the area, had different but nice views and at least sun came out and changed again the colours of the glacier. With nice impressions we went back to Hotel, collect our luggage and were brought back to Airport.
The plane was schedule for 20:30, than we were informed of the delay to 00:50! Thanks again to Aerolineas Argentinas! We landed in Newbery at 3:30 in the morning and took a taxi to our Icaro Suites Hotel where we left our bigger luggage the day before. Thanks to the receptionist, we did not pay for the reservation of the night and went back to Jorge Newbery for our flight to Bariloche. Plane was only delayed half an hour!!
In Bariloche we could check in earlier in our Hotel Villa Huinid. Nice Hotel a little bit outside of center with nice view to the lake. After having lunch we went with our rental car, a nice white GOL to Llao Llao Golf club where we played a nice and relaxing round of golf. It was good after having less sleep in the night before. The golf course is very nice, had some challenges and for the higher score we rewarded ourselves with coffee and cake in the 5* Hotel Llao Llao. Service was good but not very friendly to not Hotel guests, I would say “snobbish”.
We had dinner in El Boliche de Alberto (of course!), it was very good meat what they offered. We drank a bottle of vine “Intimo” and then we felt asleep immediately in Hotel.
Breakfast was good in Villa Huinid, but the breakfast room is too clinical. After breakfast we went to Arelauquen Golf course – thanks to reception desk – they were very helpful in making tee times and suggestions. The golf course is the better one in the area of Bariloche, not so many loud US-Americans (I am sorry!) on the course with beer bottles in hand, and very, very nice and quite fairways. After the round we relaxed on the sunny terrace, had lunch and very good icecream.
In the afternoon we explored the area, visited Lago Nahuel Huapi and Lago Gutierrez on route 40. We tried to swim, water was too cold for me but not for my husband. Had great dinner in Restaurant Weiss – was recommended in fodors.
Next day we played a not planned round of golf, because of that exceptional course and drove then directly to the airport to fly back to BA and Mendoza.
We checked in at 2pm, at 4pm Aerolineas Argentina cancelled the flight and a group of 100 or more persons were brought back after some discussions and confusions to Bariloche. Information was less, sometimes only in Spanish, everybody was nervous – that was a very worse experience. We checked in Hotel PANAMERICANA, first they gave us a poor old room at the first floor with view to the street, no air condition and no window to open. After request of my very polite husband we got a room with view to the lake and balcony. We met nice people from Canada, spend time on the balcony, drank vine and had nice dinner in Restaurant SANTOS. Good meal, good drinks, that`s what we needed!
Next morning we got information at 11am, that plane is maybe bringing us back to BA EZE (instead of Newbery) at 11pm! We went immediately to the office of Aerolineas Argentina in city center and ohh wonder !! with the help of a cooperative and understanding English spoken lady Aerolineas Argentina confirmed an earlier flight to EZE and Mendoza. We spent some time in city center and then we took a taxi to airport.
Short note to Hotel Panamericana: at least we had a nice quite and clean room, employees did good work to support us, they made stopover as good as possible in that situation.
Plane to BA was relatively on schedule and the second wonder on that day: Plane to Mendoza on time too. We arrived in Mendoza at 11:30pm and hat the next surprise with our nice carrier, they lost our luggage. We went by taxi to Sheraton Mendoza and felt asleep in our very nice room in 17th floor.
We spent next day with discussions with Aerolineas Argentina, got at least USD 200 to buy important things and clothes and the rest of the day we explored Mendoza and drank a lot of Argentinean vine to forget all. Had dinner in Jesus Maria, recommended from reception desk, sat in the garden and ate Steak. It was good but not to compare with Alberto.
Next morning they brought our luggage and we started our tour to Tupingato wineland. First we did not find the golf club, at least we know why, they are already building it. The manager there was very friendly and we could play 9 holes but the course was not open to public. We played nice 9 holes alone we met only some workers, the course will be very difficult in the future and we will be back to play also the other 9 holes.
After that relaxing round of golf we drove to Uspallata on route 7. It was a long drive into the mountains, no traffic in the afternoon. After arrival in our Hotel Los Condores we drank coffee in the small shop Casita Suiza and ate very good chocolate cookies there. The room in the Hotel was basic but clean, the windows not sealed but at night the street was calm. For dinner we went to the Pizzeria 2 blocks further of the Hotel.
After having good breakfast we started very early with our trip to Parque Provincial Aconcagua and Cristo Redentor at Chiles boarder. First we thought we will not see Aconcagua because of bad weather but after some miles the sun came out. We bought tickets at the entrance to the parquet, drove to the parking area and walked to the lookout for Aconcagua. We had a fabulous view to Aconcagua, made a lot of pictures, saw Laguna de Horcones and the best was to be alone in this area because we started very early in Uspallata.
With our white Gol we started then the one hour trip to Chiles boarder at an altitude of 4000 meters. The street was unsecured but not so bad, not a lot of traffic. A lot of curves, red rocks and dust, an adventure but not really dangerous. Met some other people at the top, funny to drink a cup of coffee in that windy area, breathe the air, took some photos of the monument and start with our trip back to Mendoza with a lot of memories. We stopped at Puente del Inca, this old bridge in the Andes. It is not allowed to walk across it but also from our side it was a wonderful view. The rest of the tour back to Mendoza we had the feeling of being in Grand Canyon.
The last night in Mendoza area we spent in Chacras de Coria in Posada El Encuentro
We had a very nice, cozy suite. Next time in Mendoza area we will stay longer in that Hotel. We had very good service from owner’s family, free internet access and good breakfast.
Next day we played out last round of golf in Club de campo Mendoza. The course is ok but again not that what we expected. Helpful service from the lady at reception desk, but not worth the money and they did not accept credit cards.
In the afternoon we went to the airport and we had a almost on-time flight to Buenos Aires. The last night in BA we spent in Sheraton Park Tower, a luxury hotel in the city center. Our flight back to Europa was in the evening so we had time to relax at the hotel pool.

Argentina is a wonderful country, we loved to be there. Only the situation with Aerolineas Argentina made us a little bit crazy. Next time we will organize flights with TAM, LAN or Andes if it is possible. We cannot recommend Aerolineas Argentina!!

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