Help with itinerary

Dec 17th, 2013, 07:14 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,341
"My sister used to ride horses (including modest horse jumping). Would it be worthwhile stopping at an estancia?"

Definitely! We particularly enjoyed a day at Estancia El Ombú http://www.estanciaelombu.com/ They have horses you can ride.

" I think your sister would be ok at Iguazu. The walk ways are well maintained and fairly level"

I agree, and they have hand rails too.

You could easily visit Mendoza by bus. We took an Andesmar bus overnight from Mendoza to B.A. and found it comfortable and very easy to get a sound & restful sleep. Tripadvisor has a lot of information on bus travel between B.A. & Mendoza and between Santiago & Mendoza. BTW, go during the daytime . There are terrific views going over the Andes.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...an_Region.html

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...doza_Cuyo.html

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...doza_Cuyo.html

_______________________________________________
Vic's travels: http://my.flightmemory.com/vogilvie
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Dec 20th, 2013, 05:55 PM
  #22  
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What wonderful input from everyone! Thank you.

After a bit more research, I think we are settling in on a Buenos Aires and Chile combo.

Somehow the wonderful natural sights of Argentina (such as in El Calafate and Iguazu) don't seem to fit for us on this visit. Most of them are a long distance from BA and, while possible to visit the key attraction with only moderate walking/hiking, the areas are best taken advantage of by enjoying outdoor adventure activities. It seems quite expensive to fly around Argentina, so to only benefit to a modest extent from each of these spectacular locations seems a poor value proposition to us in our circumstances. We have each seen spectacular natural attractions in the past.

We looked at going to Mendoza, but there doesn't seem to be quite enough to keep us interested in the area compared to flying to Santiago (from BA), which is cheaper, or at least no more expensive than flying to Mendoza after including the reciprocity fee for Chile. There are many day trips, or overnight trips that I think we would enjoy in Chile.

So, our itinerary seems to be shaping up to include a considerable time in BA, with a possible day trip across the river to Uruguay, and then a flight to Santiago. After a couple of days in Santiago we would likely visit a winery or two in Chile and spend a couple of days in the Valparaiso area. We just seem attracted to cities and areas within easy spitting distance for short jaunts.

Am I missing something? Any more suggestions? I understand that this would mean we are missing going to jaw-dropping natural attractions in Argentina, but we really want to spend more time with Argentinians and Chileans than with tourists at those natural wonders.
geenance is offline  
Dec 20th, 2013, 06:00 PM
  #23  
 
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Well, I much preferred the scenery to the cities in Argentina and Chile but everyone is different. However, it is perfectly possible to enjoy the scenery without trekking.

I always wonder how people see themselves "spending time with the locals".
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 20th, 2013, 06:16 PM
  #24  
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"I always wonder how people see themselves "spending time with the locals"."

That's a good point thursdaysd. I guess I don't really mean "spending time with the locals" so much as watching local cityfolk and townsfolk go about their day and then see the best of their city or town. Again, this is still not the best description on my part, but wandering around streets, going to the local grocery store, finding a good bakery, watching Tango in a tiny bar, sitting in the cafe....these are all things that appeal to us (even if I know that the majority of locals don't necessarily have the luxury of strolling around and sitting the cafe!).

Maybe it's the 'social' aspects of these countries that attract us the most. I would love to have a coffee with avrooster and his wife for instance, and ask questions about local culture and thinking.

I certainly recognize that this isn't what many people would put on the top of their list, but this seems to be what gets us most excited about our trip to South America.
geenance is offline  
Dec 20th, 2013, 08:01 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 91
Wow! Lots of input, and where to begin with personal opinion?

BsAs is worth a lot of your time. Our time spent there was highly memorable. If you want to interact with residents, it's not difficult as they're nice people. Friendly, helpful…..probably much as in your country.

I think Av doesn't like Colonia because he never played there with a band!
I on the other hand.... Seriously, it's a nice visit. My reasons for going back there were different than for most people, but everyone that traveled there with me loved the place. I think it's a good day trip, and we should have stayed overnight during our last visit.

I won't offer an opinion regarding the South of Argentina because I've not yet been there. I'm thinking Av just doesn't like high temps in BsAs during summer. (He & dw need to visit us in Minnesota about now)

Iguazu is well worth a visit. I know there are times of the year when the water is not running well, but don't remember what that/those times are. If you're from "down east" Canada, you know Niagara Falls, but remember that Eleanor Roosevelt said "Poor Niagara" upon seeing Iguazu. We had a very enjoyable time at iguazu, and a falls visit is swell worth the trip. The train to the falls on the Arg side will be helpful for this visit.

Ah, I ramble, but you'll love BsAs.
tptr

btw Happy Holidays to all.
tptr is offline  
Dec 20th, 2013, 09:15 PM
  #26  
 
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WRT to actually meeting locals, BsAs has a greeter system - http://www.globalgreeternetwork.info/index.php?id=151 - but be clear up front about what you want, my greeter had me doing a LOT of walking.

I also recommend http://graffitimundo.com/ - although my guide was an expat rather than an indigenous local.

Don't knock tourists, I met quite a few South Americans on day tours - didn't seem to be a lot of Anglo tourists around, but I was traveling ahead of high season.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 21st, 2013, 07:01 AM
  #27  
 
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geenance:

You say above: "I would love to have a coffee with avrooster and his wife..."

If after reading this:

http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...ant-refuse.cfm

you haven't changed your mind, e-mail me. My address is all over this forum.

Happy Holidays to all.
avrooster is offline  
Dec 21st, 2013, 05:20 PM
  #28  
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What a wonderful group of poster here!
Thank you so much.

I love to hear your views and everyone's views give me something new to think about.

Sorry av, but I'm still thinking that Colonia is worth at least a day visit, based on what others have said.

I appreciated the quote about Niagara Falls versus Iguazu....I have no doubt that Eleanor R. had it right.

I will definitely line up a 'greeter' and want to book a tour with grafittimundo. Those ideas sound right up our alley.

And, AV, I had already read that thread about a 'certain' Porteno and his 'terrible treatment' of those tourists. Ha ha...that clearly doesn't throw me off.

I am definitely getting excited about our trip and all of you have made it so much easier to plan a trip that fits us best. But first I have to focus on family and Christmas season. Nothing is more important than the people that we love.

While I may sneak in a few posts, I would like to take this opportunity wish you good health and warmth over the holiday season!
geenance is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2013, 01:37 AM
  #29  
 
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http://tinyurl.com/c2d7wr

http://www.bafreetour.com/english-home

However, the above offers WALKING free tours.

Furthermore:

http://cicerones.org.ar/index.php/news

Have a great time in our country.
avrooster is offline  
Dec 26th, 2013, 01:37 PM
  #30  
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Whew! I'm stuffed!! I definitely ate too much over Christmas!

Now, we have to get going with some bookings, so we want to nail down the broad timing of our travels.

I spoke to my sister over turkey dinner, and we agree that our itinerary will include BsAs and Chile. So far we are thinking of Santiago and Valpo. Not sure about an extra side trip in Chile to either Valle de Elqui or Santa Cruz. It's probably best for me to pose this question in a separate thread on the Chile board.


Regarding time in BA, we will likely spend at least a day in Colonia and do a day tour to San Antonio de Areco (stopping at Estancia el Ombu...thanks Orlando-Vic!)

Tower made a comment up-thread about cheaper ways to see tango and travel about in the country. How do I find out more about this?

Regarding a flight between BA and Santiago, well I am definitely befuddled. When I go to various cheap flights websites I find a reasonable flight price, but when I click on the details then the price jumps considerably. Seems like false advertising to me, but is it really related to the fact that foreigners are charged more for flights than locals? Help!! How can we get a reasonable price on a flight?

From all accounts, LAN is a much better airline to fly on that Aerolineas. Is there a reasonably priced way to book on LAN?

On a different topic...Crellston and MarnieWDC mentioned golf carts in Colonia. How/where do we find these? Are they simply rented at storefronts in Colonia?

Finally, I would love to go to a soccer (futball) game to experience the atmosphere. Are the crowds too violent in La Boca? What would any of you suggest? Polo caught my attention, but I presume that during late February and early March, that this would be low season for polo due to the heat. Is there anything worth watching during that timeframe?

Thanks again to all of you!!!
geenance is offline  
Dec 26th, 2013, 04:19 PM
  #31  
 
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Tower made a comment up-thread about cheaper ways to see tango and travel about in the country. How do I find out more about this?

Greenance:
Yes, there's plenty of free tango-ing going in around BA..San Telmo being the best place to catch a lot of tango on Sundays. Just take a cab to San Telmo and it will be all spread out for your enjoyment.

Cafe Tortoni's famous restaurant/bar has tango at nothing more than the cost of your food or drink. At least they did have a few years ago.

I don't agree with your flying from BA to Santiago and take in Valpo which is 75 miles from Santiago. Doesn't make sense. I suggested that you take in Bariloche and the lake crossing overnighter to Puerto Varas in Chile..then rent a car and drive into the lake district, north on the Pan Am Highway...places like delightful Frutillar, bustling Temuco, German Puerto Octay, Panguipulli, Pucon on Lago Villa Rica,(stay overnight at Hotel Antumulal for a treat..no need to go all the way to Santiago/Valpo, etc. See my pics again and you'll get the idea. Don't try to do so much.
stu
tower is offline  
Dec 27th, 2013, 11:52 PM
  #32  
 
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There are several places to rent golf carts in Colonia. Just wander around the centre of town ( not very big!) until you see a bunch of them them parked outside a storefront in the street. No need to reserve as there were lots of them around.

I second towers suggestion of cafe Tortoni although, as I recall we did have to reserve a day or two in advance and we did have to pay although it was not expensive. We opted for the smaller upstairs bar and were VERY close to the dancers - a great night out,


Here is a link to our blog with more info and photos of Colonia , BA, Cafeteria Tortonii etc ( the last three entries).

I also tend to agree with towers re Santiago etc. I really enjoyed Valparaiso but it is a long way to go for a couple of days.. Of the places mentioned above, I loved Pucon. Amazing scenery and great food.
crellston is offline  
Dec 28th, 2013, 02:39 AM
  #33  
 
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Top poster crellston: in your post above you mention a link, which seems to be MIA??????? LOL!!!
avrooster is offline  
Dec 30th, 2013, 07:05 AM
  #35  
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crellston, your link takes me to your other trip to South America (Peru, etc.)...but I did end up navigating to your other trip, including the posts you mentioned. They were very helpful!

Thanks again to everyone for your input. Our plans are gradually falling into place.

We will spend our first week in BA (last week of Feb.) We are close to booking an apartment for the last week of February in Recoleta via airbnb.

We will spend our second week in central Chile (sorry tower! and everyone else who tried to convince us to go south. I guess this means I will have to come back for a second trip...with my husband.) We have lined up some reasonably priced custom tailored tours inland and along the coast and will divided our time between Santiago and Valparaiso.

We ended up getting a cheap flight from BA to Santiago that is a code share with Air Canada. It was less than half the price of a flight booked through LAN. Even once we tack the reciprocity fee onto that, it's still reasonable and cheaper than flying to most other places within Argentina itself.

So, the trip is starting to feel 'real' now. We look forward to having a great time in avRooster's country!
geenance is offline  
Dec 30th, 2013, 09:47 PM
  #36  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Glad to hear your plans are coming together greenance. Sorry about the incorrect link I don't seem to be doing well on that front lately. I think I am suffering from PTSD ( Post Travel Stress Disorder) maybe I need another trip to Avrooster's country...
crellston is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 01:25 AM
  #37  
 
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That's just what the doctor ordered!
avrooster is offline  
Jan 1st, 2014, 06:05 AM
  #38  
 
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OK, Greenance...will let you off the hook on sotuhern Chile if you promise to go back and do the lakes as suggested. In the meantime, you and sis will have a gerat time no matter you go in Chile or Argentina, Have a fun, wonderful visit to SA...Rooster is going to take you out to dinner in BA...at least that's what he promised. Hold him too it!

stu tower
tower is offline  
Jan 1st, 2014, 06:06 AM
  #39  
 
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more typos...so what? You get the gist. I'm old and eyesight ain't so good..and that's my excuse.
tower is offline  
Jan 1st, 2014, 09:49 AM
  #40  
 
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Hi, tower!

I'm old too, but I do NOT recollect having formally promised to take the OP and her sis out for dinner in BA. Maybe just some rather vague noises to that effect. LOL!!!

However, as geenance jokingly calls me the "Fodors Honourary Ambassador, His Excellency, avrooster", I'll see what we can do about THAT, when the time comes, in a couple of months or so.

Happy New Year to all and, obviously, have a great time in my country!
avrooster is offline  

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