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Request for help with 12-14 days itinerary to Argentina in March.

Request for help with 12-14 days itinerary to Argentina in March.

Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 12:12 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 11
Request for help with 12-14 days itinerary to Argentina in March.

Hi all,

My husband and I are planning a trip to Argentina in early March to celebrate our first Anniversary.

We are hoping to spend 12-14 days. (i.e. about 2 weeks)

Our goal is to have experiences that give us a taste of Argentina's uniqueness and diversity. We are definitely planning to do the following:

Igazu Falls - 2 days

Buenos Aires - 2-3 days

El Calafate - 2 days (?)

Now need some help with deciding what fourth destination/experience. We would love to see the penguins - which destination would be better - Ushuaia or Peninsula Valdes? Would March be a good time? Another option we are toying with is the bus crossing to Torres del Paine to Chile (though heard it is currently closed - but maybe will open by March?). I have heard that the scenery is breathtaking. Alternatively considering hiking in El Chalten. We are in good shape but consider ourselves "beginner" level hikers - would the hikes be too difficult for us?

Lastly also thinking about spending a couple of days in San Carlos de Bariloche (though airport there is closed too - any other similar town?) or one of the cities in the North west - i.e. Menzoda or Salta?

Please help! There is so much to see and we'd love any tips/recommendations on what is a must-see and what we can skip. Again, we want a well rounded trip with unique and diverse experiences.

What do you recommend as a must do between all these:

- San Carlos de Bariloche

- Peninsula Valdes

- Ushuaia

- Mendoza

- Salta

- Torres del Paine

- Salta

- Mendoza

Thank you so much in advance!!!
arienas01 is offline  
Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 04:25 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 214
I've been to Bariloche, Salta and Torres del Paine (as well as Iguazu and El Calafate). Have not been to El Chalten, Peninsula Valdez or Ushaia. I really liked the northwest, but Salta city itself was only worth a day or two--I assume you know that it is the other areas that people usually mean when they say "Salta." The best sights were the salt flats to the north (along with Purmamarca and Tilcara) and the valleys to the south/west (we liked Cafayate better than Cachi, but many like Cachi). We rented a car and toured the area on our own for just over a week. If you are wiling to do that (or hire a guide) it is different from the other places, but you need to check climate regarding the rainy season. We went in November and it was lovely, warm and dry.

I do think Torres del Paine is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, and if you enjoy scenery and hiking, it is worth at least 3 or 4 days. We did mostly moderate hikes, nothing overnight. You do need to research the extent of the fire, but it sounds like it is almost under control and hasn't affected the north/east sector of the park. You could also travel on to Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas in Chile, as there are things to see there, including Magellenic penguins so you could do that instead of Peninsula Valdez. I don't know about El Chalten, others will have to answer that. It does avoid the border crossing and is probably not affected by the fire.

As to Bariloche, I found it the least interesting of these three places, although we enjoyed our time. The scenery is not as dramatic as the northwest or southern Patagonia. We stayed outside of town along the lake, and I thought the town itself was extremely touristy. Like in the Northwest, we rented a car but there were ample tours available if you don't want to drive. But again, the airport status is an unknown. We were there in March, and the weather was lovely, end of summer beginning of fall. We only made it to Villa la Angostura, but there are other areas, and if you fly to another airport that is open (like San Martin or Neuquen) and rent a car, then that might solve the problem of the Bariloche airport. If you do go to Bariloche, you can do the lake crossing into Chile which was fun, but I think that requires you either fly up to Santiago or take the bus back to Argentina to make your onward journey.

I've enjoyed Argentina (and Chile) very much, and you will have a great time whatever you chose. Let me know if you have questions.
traveler318 is offline  
Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 05:06 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 194
I really enjoyed Mendoza. We had planned to spend two nights there, but there were some issues with the airspace over Buenos Aires while we were there and all flights into and out of the city were canceled. We ended up taking an overnight CAMA bus there and back which really was pretty night. The Park Hyatt there is great...with an excellent pool. We did a day of wine tours, but ideally we would have done two days there.
universitylad is offline  
Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 11:32 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,912
We spent 3 months in Argentine (Oct-Dec 2008) and whilst we didn't get to see it all by any means, the highlights for us were:

Salta - rent a car and drive the loop around the region as traveler318 suggests. We spent a week doing this and it was THE highlight of our time in the country _ don't miss Salineras Grande and Cachi

Peninsular Valdez - is a long way south so really needs to be combined with something else to make it worth the effort. The Southern Right Whales swimming right off the beach have to be seen to be believed but do check that they are there in March.

Bariloche and Mendoza - were OK but would not be high on my list although we really enjoyed renting a car and driving from San Martin de los Andes to Bariloche through teh seven lakes area.

Here is a link to our travel blog with more info and loads of photos:

http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blo...ai/1/tpod.html

Entries 70 onwards cover Argentina.
crellston is offline  
Old Jan 4th, 2012, 07:46 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,703
Another Shout-Out for the Salta area, that is the Northwest of Argentina, the NOA. It is spectacular and the most culturally interesting part of Argentina that we have seen, thus far.

A 5-7 days in the NOA, added to a week in Buenos Aires, with a side trip to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay and/or to the Pampas for horsebackriding (and visiting, perhaps, San Antonio de Areco - just a bit more than an hour from BsAs) or even a few days in Mendoza (though here you are adding expensive flight time, most likely) would provide a memorable anniversary - so, Happy 1st. Anniversary !
MarnieWDC is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2012, 12:04 PM
  #6  
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Thank you all so much!

Thank you all so much!

So, based on the recommendations, I'm think El Chalten over TDP as it would save us some time.

Do you recommend Ushuaia over Peninsula Verdes for Penguins? Which would be easier from a travel standpoint?

Lastly, any specific recommendations for Salta? We would only have about 2-3 days.
arienas01 is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2012, 02:51 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 848
Yes, do not miss the NW of Argentina. Purmamarca - the salt flats and Humahuaca Gorge and Cafayate are the MUST!!
take at least five dasy for this area!}
Flintstones
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Old Jan 5th, 2012, 11:22 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
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2-3 days is not nearly enough for the Salta region. If it were me (and I know it is not!) I would add extra days to Salta at the expense of somewhere else
crellston is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2012, 11:25 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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I would too, definitely - and if I could not, I would save that region for my next visit to Argentina.
MarnieWDC is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2012, 01:50 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 848
It is never enough for the NW, Crellston!
LOL! Do you remember you loved it so much?
Flintstones
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