What to skip in Argentina

Old Oct 13th, 2017, 02:39 PM
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What to skip in Argentina

Our flights are booked and locked in from late February to mid March. The primary purpose of this trip is to do an Antarctic cruise, but we will have a little less than two additional weeks in Argentina. We just can't fit everything we want to see and do in and still enjoy any of it. So I need some help deciding what to cut.

The Antarctic cruise is not finalized yet, but most likely our 21 days will go like this: Arrive in Buenos Aires at 9:20am on Day 1. Eight days to move about Argentina. Need to arrive in Ushuaia by mid day for embarkation and departure late afternoon on Day 9. Arrive back in Ushaia the morning of Day 19. Depart from Buenos Aires for home at 8:15pm on Day 21.

Here are the (too many) things we've narrowed to that we want to do. What should we skip?

Buenos Aires: I really only have this on our list of places we have to spend time because I just feel like you have to spend some time in a country's capital city. Also since we are flying in an out of here, it would make sense to stay either at the beginning or the end of the trip. I must admit, I'm not really sure what we'd want to do, other than a Tango show and dinner. We aren't totally interested in big cities on this trip. I just feel like we have to keep it in there, is that silly?

Iguazu Falls: I know this is spectacular and we really want to see it. Reasons it would make sense to cut it: It's in the complete opposite direction of everything else we want to do. We have loose plans to return to South America a few years in the future for a trip around Brazil, so we could add it in then?

Ranch stay at an authentic estancia: This really appeal to my husband and I. We used to be big backpacking adventure travelers in our younger days, but now we are nearly 40 with two young kids at home and every day is an adventure. The kids are staying home with grandma, and the idea of relaxing on a ranch, soaking in the beauty, eating some fantastic BBQ and taking a leisurely horse back ride just sounds like what our exhausted souls need. We don't have a location for this - I had originally picked Cordoba area because I had heard there are some great estancias in the area and it seemed easy to get to and from given our other plans. But I also see that there are some great ones just outside Buenos Aires too. Reason to drop this could be that even including it, we'd probably only have one full day and two half days to enjoy it. Is that enough time to make it worth it?

Bariloche / Lake District: The beauty of this area intrigues me, as I've been Switzerland and thought it was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. I've read that it is famous for its chocolate shops, which would be something we'd want to do tour of like a pub crawl but a chocolate crawl. Reason to drop this: it seems really hard to get to from anywhere else both by bus or plane, so we'd waste alot of time getting there and getting out.

El Calafate / Perito Moreno: Easy to get to or from Ushuaia, and it seems like any trip to Argentina should include some time in Patagonia because it's unlikely we'll ever come this far south again in our lives. Reason to drop this: If feels like I only have enough time to go north to Iguazu or south to Patagonia. We'll be seeing plenty of glaciers and wildlife in Antarctica, so maybe we should focus the rest of our trip to Argentina on other types of scenery.

Wine touring: This one is not an option for getting dropped. I work / volunteer in the wine industry where I live, so we're dedicating several days to wine touring - either in Mendoza or Salta. But I just thought I'd throw that out there as something that will take up time no matter what.

Thanks for your thoughts. I really wish we could do it all, but alas, taking three weeks off is already the extent of our vacation time this year.
kesrya is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2017, 05:58 PM
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If you aren't into big cities I would definitely put BA on the bottom of your list. The 3 days at the end of your trip before flying home seem more than enough for you there. Do you like museums? BA has some nice ones. It also has some lovely parks. But it is a HUGE city and all that includes.

With only 8 days I would go to the NW -- Start in Salta for a couple nights, drive south to el Calafate and spend time in el Calafate where you can do some wine tasting and drive back to Salta. That could easily take up your 7 days at a leisurely pace and on the 8th get yourself back to BA to fly to your cruise. I agree that seeing Puerto Merino is probably not necessary given your trip to Antartica. I did not think that Bariloche resembles Switzerland. Bariloche itself is one of my least favorite parts of BA. Lots of chocolate shops there. I did love the area around the lake though, just wasnt impressed with the town itself.

Alternately fly to IF spend a couple days there - go to the Brazil side too. Then come back to BA and go to an estancia. There are some very nice ones within a couple hours of BA.

Have a great trip.
yestravel is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2017, 07:57 PM
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Err, did you mean Cafayate, yestravel?

I was not wowed by Buenos Aires, although I understand that mine is a minority opinion. I would say that my top sights for Argentina were the Iguazu Falls, the glaciers at El Calafate plus the views from El Chalten, and Bariloche. After seeing the glaciers at El Calafate my feeling was that you couldn't see too many glaciers, but if you feel differently can you fit in the falls and Bariloche?
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Old Oct 13th, 2017, 10:57 PM
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Another vote for NW Argentina. We have visited there three times now and never get tired of it. The scenery is spectacular, the wines and vineyards superb and the food excellent. I would suggest renting a car and driving a long or short circuit of the region centred on Salta, Cafayate (definitely a vineyard stay there) Cachi, Purmamarca, Molinos, Huamahaca etc.

Bariloche, I didn’t take to but can see why others would. I preferred the much smaller San Martin de los Andes. Mendoza Also did not impress and for wine, I would definitely go with Salta.

Iguazu is amazing and can (usually) be reached by air from Salta and then in to BA.

BA divides opinions, I love it, but then I love cities as much as the great outdoors. In the context of your overall time though, I would leave it just to a few days at the end.

We have spent a lot of time in Argentina ove the years and have often considered and estancia, but there has always been something to beat it so we haven’t actually made it. The problem as an see it that it takes so long t9 get from A to B anywhere in South America that you have to be pretty focussed on what you put int9 an itinerary. As far as air travel is concerned pretty much all the routes seem to lead back to BA
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