Just a little update on our trip to say thanks for all your help in my search for info on Argentina.
Arrived in BA after the worst turbulence I have ever experienced. We flew with British Airways and I couldn't fault the service even in cattle class.
We hired a remise at the airport from Manuel Tienda Leon just at arrivals. Price came to A$R85to our accomodation in Palermo. Realised at once that it really is like whacky races on the roads in BA.
We had reserved a room at Casa Palermitano for 3 nights at the start of our trip and 4 nights at the end. The B and B was great check out my review for more info.
Unfortunately for 3 days it was stormy weather so it limited us when walking around but we managed to get around using the Subte and the tour bus. At night, because of the weather we didn't travel too far to go out and stayed pretty much in Palermo mostly around Plaza Serrano.
I know it has been said many times on this site about the steak. I'm Scottish and I thought we knew a thing or 2 about meat but the steak in Argentina is outstanding! Normally I wouldn't order steak in a restaurant but the minute you walk in the aroma of the meat hypnotises you!
We did all the usual touristy sites recoleta, retiro, the Evita museum Plaza de Mayo, Congress etc. and enjoyed them.
We went to watch River Plate play Lanus while the atmosphere was good the game wasn't. The amount of rain that had fallen meant the pitch was in a terrible state, but a great experience nontheless.
We flew with AA from BA to Iguazu. We got a taxi from the airport to our accomodation (Rio Tropic). Cost A$R 90. Spent the rest of the day chilling out by the pool watching the wildlife, reading and supping a couple of cold beers. Perfect watching the sun go down.
Next day was Falls day. Remy called us a taxi who took us to the Falls National Park and returned to collect us. The falls were breathtaking and so accessible. The walk ways and the little train get you so close the them. We did the boat trip up river and then into the spray of the falls. It was outstanding we had a ball. It took the whole day to go round the park but we spent most of it spotting wildlife and shaking our heads in awe at the sight of the falls.
We ate in town at Puerto Iguazu. We found a couple of nice reasonably priced bars, but we found that compared to BA the restaurants were a bit more expensive.
We flew from Iguazu to Trelew to visit Peninsula Valdes. We had a tour guide booked for our time and the gentleman who organised it also booked my transfer from the airport A$R 35 each. We stayed at the Terrazas de Mar which to my surprise was an apartment rather than a hotel but we were happy with it as it gave us a little more freedom. The pool was really well kept but the outside temperature was pretty cold so we gave it a miss.
Our trip to the peninsula started at 7.30 am when our guide Norma picked us up at the apartment. We went to see the Elephant seals and the small penguin colony there and tried whale spotting from the shore. On the way we spotted the Guanacos, some Reas and loads of birds. In the afternoon we were booked to go whale watching from Puerto Piramides but Norma warned us that the high winds ahd stopped any whale watching that morning.
Once we arrived at Puerto Piramides we were told that the whale watching was on hold , and that if it did go ahead there was a big queue of people who had been waiting all day. However through Norma's persistance she managed to get us onto one of the boats. We had a great time, my wife was thrilled seeing the whales and their calves at such close quarters. It must have been 8pm when Norma dropped us at the apartment, we were really grateful to her for persevering so long.
Next day we went out on a boat again to see the dolphins. It was great seeing my wife beaming at the sight of these beautiful creatures especially when a couple of sea lions appeared just chilling out next to the boat as this seemed to attract the dolphins even closer. From there we headed to Punto Tombo to see the penguins.They are hilarious watching them waddle about like birds with a tuxedo on. Once we left Punto Tombe we headed for Gaiman and a lovely Welsh tea then back to Puerto Madryn. We went out for dinner both night s but we were so tired all we wanted to do was take a couple of beers back to the apartment and chill out.
We flew from Trelew to El Calafate, we took the transer minibus available at the airport. Our accomodation was Linda Vista. It was perfect, great room and great hosts. Next day we did the big ice trek. We really enjoyed the trip, the ice is really beautiful the way the light hits it. Next day we spent in El Calafate itself, we went a walk around the little nature reserve watching the Pink Flamingos and the other birds there, also we went to the little museum which I need to recommend as it was a really quirky museum, relaxed and very informative.
We travelled to Bariloche and took a cab from the airport to our hotel, the Design Suites. This was the only hotel we spent any real money on. We decided we would have a bit of luxury for once. The room had great views over the lake as well as a jacuzzi. We booked a white water rafting trip for the next day but my wife was starting to get cold feet. So i called the company (Aguas Blancas) and explained this. They convinced her to give it a try and that if she felt frightened they would let her off on the riverbank. However once in the raft there was no stopping her! It was brilliant, even when the boat capsized near the end of the route. What a laugh! The people we met on the trip were brilliant form the guides to the other tourists we all had a great laugh. Once we were out of the water we were taken back to where we started for a meal. A mountain of bbq steak, salad , wine and beers it was excellent and just when we thought we had finished another mountain of food would appear. It was my highlight of the trip.
the following day we spent in Bariloche itself, there was a festival on. Apparently their annual gaucho festival with loads of them on horseback parading through the square as well as traditional dancing going on. A lovely sight to see.
We returned to BA for the last leg of our trip. We did the free BA tours and thoroughly enjoyed them. The weather was better this time and we roamed around a bit more. We also went horseriding at the Estancia de los dos hermanos and were looked after very well again more steak.
We spent the last day/night at Puerto Madero and when we sat eating our last meal in Argentina we realised we just didn't want to come home!
We had a brilliant time in Argentina and contrary to some reports we never felt unsafe the whole time we were there. We heeded the warnings given to us by you guys. No flashy jewellery, wallet hidden out the way, bags kept close at all times.
I feel we were very lucky on this trip. When you book so many tours, flights, accomodation etc you always expect something to go wrong but on this trip it all went according to plan.
Last but certainly not least I have to say, the people we met there were great not just the proprietors of hotels or bars, the ordinary people were really helpful and kind. Also the other tourists we met were all brilliant company on the many tours we took.
I know I said it was going to be short but
Thanks a lot guys.