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Flying this week! Adv fr 15 day (approx) Argentina Brazil itinerary in April please

Flying this week! Adv fr 15 day (approx) Argentina Brazil itinerary in April please

Old Apr 9th, 2024, 09:04 AM
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Flying this week! Adv fr 15 day (approx) Argentina Brazil itinerary in April please

Hi folks ,

Had to plan last minute for a trip always wanted to do for long. Was considering options but settled for a fortnight in South America and will be flying after deciding itinersry and bookings.
Would appreciate your advice re itinerary including any specific recommendations.
Am in my mid fifties , not fit so not for long strenuous walks/hikes .Never been to South America and always wanted to go.
I am looking at flying to BA and flying out of Rio or Sao Paulo as spotted a cheap direct flight back.
My initial thoughts(feel free to correct/add)

3-4 days in BA
3 days incl flight to El Calafate El Chalten
3 days incl flight to Iguazu
4 days incl flight to Rio
2 days inclflight to Sao Paolo

My questions :
Where should I look to stay in BA ? I had a friend who was mugged twice in BA am a bit apprehensive if I should choose any area. Any suggestion appreciated. In fact this applies for Rio too.

Considering am not fit to do hikes ,can I still visit and enjoy El Calafate and El Chalten by doing short walks and boat trip by Calafate and then El Chalten? It is so spectacular I feel loathe to leave it out of my itinerary. Your guidance will be helpful.

Should I leave out Sao Paolo and fit something else and fly out from Rio even if the ticket is a bit more expensive with a stopover. I am quite happy to change.

Where to stay in Rio?
Any day trips from BA or Rio within that admittedly short time?

Is it better to do guided tours once am there particularly El Calafate and Iguazu ? Is it necessary to do guided tour in the cities?

Thank you!

Last edited by mister_e; Apr 9th, 2024 at 09:06 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old Apr 10th, 2024, 01:40 AM
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I have spent a fair amount of time in BA and can't say I found it especially dangerous or threatening. Indeed I encountered more problems in LA and San Francisco a couple of years ago. For places to stay I would look at Palermo Soho or Recoleta. The later being a bit more upmarket though that doesn't necessarily make it safer. Your friend was extremely unlucky to have been mugged twice. Just take the usual precautions you would in any big city i.e. dont make yourself a target by flashing jewellery, watches, cameras or phones etc , don't walk in deserted areas.

As for your itinerary, it does seem very busy but it is difficult to be certain as I tend to think in terms of nights in a place rather than days e.g. 3 nights will give you 2 full days exploring. Every time you change location you waste at least half a day in transit. In South America this could well be more as distances are vast and airlines are not the most reliable.

I have only ever stopped briefly in Sao Paulo but it wouldn't be high on my list and could easily be dropped. In Iguazu you need to see both sides of the falls, maybe two nights in Puerto Iguazu to visit both sides and then transfer to For de Iguazu for your flight to Rio.

El Calafate is great but it is at the other end of the country from El Calafate and you would almost certainly have to transit via BA which could make for a very long day even if transport works smoothly.

I regret not visiting more of Patagoni when we have been in Argentina but as an alternative and perhaps more convenient place would be Salta and the NW which would fit nicely into an itinerary as you can fly from there to Iguazu. Some photos from one of our trips there @ https://accidentalnomads.com/categor...ica/argentina/

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Old Apr 10th, 2024, 06:10 AM
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Lovely snaps Crellston and thank you!
Yes so taking El Calafate and Sao Paulo out of my schedule. The idea to go to Salta sounds very interesting but some reviews state there is not much to see? Of course I am yet to research and you or someone else can advise . I always wanted to go to Salar de Uyuni and seems one can do that from Salta. Question is if I will be troubled by altitude sickness as am not very fit. Else had thought of first going to La Paz then the salt flats , then Atacama then go to Iguazu to Rio leaving BA to club with Patagonia when am a bit more fit next time.

What would your advice be to spend a few days in Salta ? Or should I perhaps choose a more interesting part of Brazil than Sao Paulo like Salvador or Buhios.
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Old Apr 10th, 2024, 10:43 AM
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"Salta sounds very interesting but some reviews state there is not much to see? " Can't think where you read those reviews! The northwest of Argentina has some of the most stunning scenery I have seen anywhere in the world!

Whether or not you willl be troubled by altitude sickness has very little to do with fitness levels. Indeed there is some evidence to suggest that younger people are more affected by altitude than older. I remember climbing Mount Kinabalu in Borneo in my 40s and made it to the summit at 4400m . Many fellow hikers 20 years younger were turning back because of AMS.

Read up on altitude issues before deciding. In reality there is very little to no hiking needed so fitness isn't and issue.Ascend gradually an follow advice and most people will be fine.

It is possible to to visit Salar de Uuyni from Salta. You would need to get a bus (Pullman I think) from Salta to San Pedro de Atacama and pick up a tour from there . The tours take three nights and end in Uyuni town (dont stick around there as it is a dump!) Tfrom there you would fly to La Paz. Not sure how your would get from there to Rio or BA as LP airport is a bit of a backwater with few international flights.

To be frank, if this is your first time to South America, it may not be the best choice. Yes it is stunning but the travelling is somewhat travelling. Have you considered Peru? may be worth a look.

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Old Apr 10th, 2024, 04:09 PM
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Thanks much for the replies crellston. I am wondering if it may be toomuch. It is just that I read April is a very good time to see Uyuni and Atacama and who knows when I might be free this time.
Your suggestion of Peru did cross my mind, specifically MP . But again I entertain the hope I might be in a better shape to do the other bits apart from MP , Sacsahuaman etc which I definitely would struggle. Otherwise one possibiliy cd be fly to Lima then Cuzco do MP then go to Uyuni then come to Salta to BA.

Also were you suggesting going from Salta to Lima?
If I do not head to Uyuni which areas around Salta would you recommend I go to Also should I do PDAt without Uyuni considering the time it may take to do both?
Have managed to navigate your extensive NW road trip blog. Amazing! Will take ages but will read it all some time. What photos!

kr

Last edited by mister_e; Apr 10th, 2024 at 04:22 PM.
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Old Apr 10th, 2024, 11:23 PM
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No, I wasn't suggesting Salta to Lima. In the time you have that would be too much travelling and probably involving a lot of connecting flights which can be an issue in South America given the relative unreliability of airlines in SA. I was rather suggesting Peru as a replacement and an easier country in which to travel with a well developed tourist trail. Very easy to travel independently there. In 15 days you could fit in a lot; Cusco and the Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca , the Amazon or maybe switch one of those for say Arequipa and the Colca Canyon. Weather wise , April is on the cusp of the rainy season but friends have just returned a couple of days ago and had a great time.

I wouldn't go all the way to San Pedro just for the town. It is nice enough and has a lot going on and shares the same altiplano as Uyuni but it is a lot more expensive. If you really want Uyuni I would go via Tupiza as I suggested earlier. Alternatively, the Salinas Grande close to Purmamarca is like a mini Salar de Uyuni and whilst not as big is arguably even more stunning.

To do a circuit of the main sites in NW Argentina requires driving a sort of figure of 8 from Salta;

Salta - Cachi - Cafayate - Salta

then

Salta - Purmamarca - Huamhuaca - Salinas Grande-Salta

You really need at least a week for both circuits or you could just do one. .

BA + Salta & the NW + Iguazu would make a nice trip and should be possible in the time you have.

In terms of fitness, I wouldn't worry overly about this. Whether you choose Argentina or Peru, hiking is not obligatory, indeed virtually all of the ket sights can be listed by car with a short walk. Even those with mobility issues seem to get by OK. I have seen 80 year olds walking around Machu Picchu albeit with the aid of sticks.

As long as you are sensible and flow the guidance, altitude sickness should not be a problem. The majority of people in place like Cusco just get a mild headache and experience breathless ness when walking uphill for the first few days. Uyuni is different as it is much higher, the accommodation is mostly in unheated communal rooms (it was -20c one night on one of our trips there!). We have always gone after being at altitude for several months but have seen people getting very sick if visiting after ajust a couple of days in La Paz. The problem is that Uyuni is a very long way form any medical facility so it is unwise to go unless you have had decent amount of time at altitude. (you should be ok going via Tupiza or San Pedro after Salta.
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Old Apr 11th, 2024, 08:55 AM
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Blue rate GBP USD and Pesos

Thanks Crellston. Have already bought my ticket to BA before I read your post . As I flybom Sunday I better not change countries though your idea sounds great . I will fo Peru Bolivia snd Chike in ine trip and Patagonia in another.

I had a query regarding the currency exchange. Reading a lot about the follars and blue rates so things can be bought for much cheaper in pesos with a better exchange rare. However they mention it is USD that best benefits from and not much with GBP.
I wss also reading this can be exchanged by Western Union.
However all the videos write ups are a year old snd the pesos are a different rate now and dome say not much difference between blue rate and official rate.
What should one do? Is it better to get blue rates and even carry dollars after exchanging from GBP? Is ur better to carry USD anyway?

Also on a separate note following your advice on Salta , which trip between the two loops would you recommend please ?



Last edited by mister_e; Apr 11th, 2024 at 09:04 AM.
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Old Apr 11th, 2024, 10:04 AM
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Thanks Crellston. Have already bought my ticket to BA before I read your post . As I flybom Sunday I better not change countries though your idea sounds great . I will fo Peru Bolivia snd Chike in ine trip and Patagonia in another.

Confused after reading regarding the currency exchange in Argentina. Reading a lot about the dollars and blue rates so things can be bought for much cheaper in pesos with a better exchange rate. However they mention it is USD that best benefits from and not much with GBP.

I wss also reading this can be exchanged by using Western Union app.
However all the videos write ups are a year old snd the pesos are a different rate now and some recent reports say not much difference between blue rate and official rate so not worth it.

Any of you have recent experuence/knowledge ? What should one do? Hailing rrom UK. Is it better to get blue rates and even carry dollars after exchanging USD from GBP ? Is it better to carry USD anyway?
Thank you
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Old Apr 12th, 2024, 11:22 AM
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Post Buenos Aires via Peru ?

Hi Crellston or anyone who would help



Firstly heading first time do apologise for vacillating and bothering with more questions. Following your suggestion of Peru this has stuck also as flights from Salta seem expensive and not going to Uyuni makes it less important than Peru.Then stumbled upon an itinerary by some tour organising website and thought would you advise this as a good idea ? (My other option is doing days elsewhere in Brazil like Salvador. )



20 .4 Fly from BA to Lima (Can stay or fly to Cusco

21.4 Fly to Cusco and stay to acclimatise

22.4 Cusco to sacred valley overnight MachhuPichhu

23.4 Machupichhu tour then ? go back to Cusco

24.4 Cusco

25.4Fly to Iguazu Arg

26.4 Arg side

27.4 Brazil side

28.4 Fly to Rio

30.4-3.5 Rio

4.5 Fly back



The alternative I thought was flying from BA to Iguazu to Salvador to Rio.



Thank you

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Old Apr 12th, 2024, 11:05 PM
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Firstly, Blue Dollar issues. The new president has declared his intent to adopt the US $ as Argentinas currency and has allowed the Argentina Peso to float (to and extent. The result is is that the differential between the official rate and the blue rate has narrowed markedly. In addition all major banks now apply the BD rate , albeit in a convoluted way . Essentially it is no longer the big deal it once was. If you want chapter and verse , go to the Tripadvisor forum .

My suggest of Peru was as an alternative to Argentina NOT in addition! If you spend some time on google maps, rome2rio or similar to work out how long it will take to get between those places you will soon see how insanely busy and expensive that itinerary is. Getting from Cusco to to Iguazu will likely take at least 24 hours , probably closer to 36 with 2 or 3 changes IF all goes smoothly. Every time you change location you need to think not only of the flight time bu also transfers to and from airports, check in times etc. At a rough guess I would think you end up spending 50% of your waking time looking out of the windows of planes , trains, buses and taxis.

I recognise that some people choose to pack in as many destinations as they can but the reality is that you end up barely scratching the surface without really appreciating each one. You seem to be trying to put yoghurt destinations that don't really fit into a logical route.

As you have already booked your flights then you have to design and itinerary that works with those flights and incorporates place you want to see. Purely from a geographical perspective for Argentina a logical route would be ;
BA
Salta
Iguazu
from Iguazu to would cross to Brazil, not a place I know well , so you are on your own on that one! Those destination alone require 10 nights which would leave 4/5 for Brazil. An alternative would eb to spend all your time in Argentina and then just fly to Rio for your flight home
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Old Apr 13th, 2024, 03:44 AM
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El Calafate

Thanks Crellston

Peru is out as you logically explained.
In that case instead of Salta am thinking going El Calafate but not El Chalten as I cannot hike and at least see Perito Morino. The round trip is costing a bit more than a solo trip from Salta to Iguazu.
Am wondering how many days I might give for EC ? 2 or 3? Any suggestions for activities ? Will do the boardwalk and the boat trip.
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Old Apr 13th, 2024, 02:09 PM
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Flights too expensive now to EC .Will head to Brazil
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Old Apr 14th, 2024, 10:15 AM
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Sorry, canít help with either. Havenít made it to that part of Patagonia and have only briefly visited Brazil.
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Old Apr 20th, 2024, 05:25 AM
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Crellston has more experience in Argentina. But I was recently there just after the new President took office. As a (former) Buenos Aires-hater, I would still recommend spending several days there, with a hotel in Recioleta. Look for "A Hotel" at Azcuenaga 1268...reasonable for the location. I didn't care for my hotel in a less desirable part of Palermo.

Most official taxis don't have ability to take credit cards. They are quite safe (unlike most SA countries) and can be flagged if you have cash. If you can pay with credit card you should get close to the blue rate.
Private Transfers from EZE into the city are not inexpensive (maybe $25 to $30 US). I did hear some English speakers about to use Uber in so that's also a possibility.

If it was me, I'd go to Buenos Aires and Iguazu and then the third location whatever works with your prebooked flights.
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Old Apr 21st, 2024, 02:16 AM
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Uber

Thank you mlgb. I did use the uber. And it was much cheaper. Very easy to get too. Loved buenos aires and would be tempted to go back again. I stayed at an airbnb in palermo which was very good.
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Old Apr 21st, 2024, 12:12 PM
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Hope the rest of your trip continues to go well. Palermo is a bit confusing to me, there are sub-sections and I think I got unlucky with my choice. That, plus the barking dogs outside!!

The favorable exchange rates and ability to get (near) blue rates when using credit cards was also an improvement from my first trip.
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