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Say Hueque? Or another company to help with independent travel?

Say Hueque? Or another company to help with independent travel?

Aug 25th, 2013, 04:12 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,237
Say Hueque? Or another company to help with independent travel?

My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to South America probably in March. We're on a fairly tight budget and would prefer to go on our own, but would consider a small group tour if we could find the right itinerary. We're thinking about two weeks and would like to hit Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Rio, and either Bariloche or El Calafate (or both if time permits).

We'd welcome all ideas in helping us to arrange this as reasonably priced as possible and are thinking about using a company to help us work out the details. Has anybody used Say Hueque? I'm feeling a little overwhelmed on how to arrange the Iguazu part (want to do both sides) and also the Bariloche or El Calafate sections.
althom1122 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2013, 10:32 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,738
Say Hueque posts often on the Buenos Aires TripAdvisor forums.

It is nice to have someone help you when you have so many choices and not sure how to go about it.
I always asked a friend named Sandra .. she is not a tour operator or guide or agent.
But she is extremely helpful and giving of her time.
BASandy ... look her up on TripAdvisor Buenos Aires forums.
Scarlett is offline  
Aug 26th, 2013, 04:30 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 72
The Rio-falls-BsAs piece is not difficult.
Rio 4-5 days, falls 1 full and 2 half-tour/half travel days---that's one full week right there--- BsAs and the other Argentine sights, the rest of your time (so 2 weeks doesn't seem quite long enough).
For things Rio, the site www.ipanema.com is a good orientation. Modest accomodations are hard to find, but many hostels have private ensuite rooms.
Check schedules for airlines TAM, GOL, Azul, Avianca into IGU airport in Foz do Iguacu. Not much to see enroute, it's a looooong trip, and bus fares are often around the same as plane. Local bus transportation gets you to the park in Brazil and over the border and then to the Argentine side of the park. You just walk around on your own, like everybody else. Fly to BsAs from the airport in Puerto Iguazu (cheaper than from Brazil), or take the bus. Lots of modest accomodations in the area, both towns.
IsabelaS is offline  
Aug 26th, 2013, 05:59 AM
  #4  
 
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As Isabella says, Iguazu is not difficult. You can fly (more expensive, book early) or take a bus (cheaper but slower, but saves a night in a hotel).

This whole trip would be easy without suppport from a TA. Click on my name for my TR from last year that covered the same places. Also look for crellston's reports.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 26th, 2013, 07:48 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 72
From Rio to Foz (IGU), for a random date in mid-March AFTER Carnaval (one way):

GOL R$192 (cheapest) up to R$287 (most expensive)
Pluma and Kiowa: R$185, R$246 or R$252

So how can you say that flying is more expensive? In fact, if you don't wait until the last minute, it can be about equal or even less expensive, as noted. Book flights as soon as possible to take advantage of these good fare prices.
If they are on a tight budget, they might think about a private room in a hostel, a negligible "savings" for spending a 22 hour overnight on a bus (vs. 2 hours or so on a plane), however comfortable (and I do not see leito or semi-leito sleeper service on this route, just convencional and executivo, although I have seen posts that led me to believe there was leito sleeper service).
btw the best bus site to use for info is: www.buscaonibus.com.br
IsabelaS is offline  
Aug 26th, 2013, 05:24 PM
  #6  
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Thanks for the responses. Will definitely fly to Foz. I'm not too worried about the Rio, Falls, Buenos Aires portion. It's adding the Bariloche or El Calafate section that I'm less certain about. It seems to me we could do one of them with two full weeks. How to get there? Which to choose? Any thoughts?
althom1122 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2013, 05:31 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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1. Fly.

2. El Calafate - the views at Bariloche are stellar, but the glaciers are even better, plus you could go up to El Chalten (bus). But you should check the weather for March (http://www.wunderground.com/) it will be warmer in Bariloche.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 27th, 2013, 06:01 PM
  #8  
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Thanks, thursdaysd. I'd really like to get to Torres del Paine, but the transportation connections seem daunting. And I'm not sure there's enough time.
althom1122 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2013, 06:46 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Well, there's a bus from El Calafate to Puerto Natales, and you can easily get to TdP from there. Problem isn't the transport, it's the time. Easier to go to El Chalten for Mt. Fitzroy, which is a reasonable substitute.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 27th, 2013, 07:09 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Unless things have changed this year flights in Argentina are expensive as there is a two tier pricing system. You can avoid this by flying to the Southern parts of South America from Santiago, Chile.

Maybe you could do US - Rio - Foz (flight) - Puerto Iguzu (very easy to do independently) - BsAs (overnight bus if you're trying to minimize your costs) - Mendoza (overnight bus) - Santiago (bus) - Punta Arenas (flight) - Santiago (flight) - US.

TdP and Calafate are easy to visit from Punta Arenas. A return ticket from Santiago to Punta Arenas is much much cheaper than a ticket from BsAs to Calafate.

I recommend Isabel at Buenos Aires Tours, her fees are reasonable, you could save $ by utilizing her contacts/knowledge and she will work with you to customize the trip based on your needs. She doesn't sell packages or tours but assists in itinerary/trip planning and charges a flat fee for her service.
RJames is offline  
Jan 15th, 2014, 03:13 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY! I booked two separate trips with them, and they seriously messed things up on both trips! All in all, their customer service was atrocious, they were completely disorganized with all of the details and they had a “we don’t really care” attitude about everything.
During the first trip, nobody ever came to pick us up for the City Tour, even though I had confirmed the address with the agent the day before. Apparently he never talked to the driver. And because it was a Sunday, nobody ever answered the phone.
On the second trip, things only got worse. For whatever reasons, our domestic flight from Buenos Aires to Patagonia was moved 3 times. The tour agent from Say Hueque never called to notify me of the change, instead she called my jet-lagged, elderly parents while they were asleep. My mom was so confused and worried! When I called Say Hueque the next morning to see what was going on, they told me that they had moved the flight so that we missed an entire day in Patagonia! When I tried to talk to them about changing it, I was told, “We don’t work on weekends.” How can a tourism company not work on the weekends?! Their complete lack of caring was astonishing!
And then when we were picked up to go to the airport for our changed flight, the driver made us wait 20 minutes at a gas station and then he didn’t even know which airport he was taking us to! We had to sit on the side of road for 10 minutes while he called various people to try and get an answer.
On our transfer back from the airport in Buenos Aires, the driver showed up an hour late. He claimed there was traffic, but it was 1 o’clock in the morning!
DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!
REB11 is offline  

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