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Just back report

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Edinburgh
posts: 558
reviews: 123
Just back report

First a very big thank you to all who helped plan this trip, especially the DEs, whose patience and good humour is much appreciated.

I will try to keep this brief, and highlight things I wish I had known rather than write a travelogue which has been more extensively and better written by others. I have reviewed our hotels separately.

We knew that we were trying to do a lot in a short time but Argentina is a long way from Scotland, and I wanted to see as much as possible.

Buenos Aires- We spent 5 days here, spilt between the beginning and end of our holiday. We changed money at Banco de la Nacion on arrival. We should have changed more. ATMs in the city gave good rates but several were out of service, and had long queues. The bank in BsAs had very long queues. We took an orientation tour provided free by our hotel with good advice on security. I had read the advice on the forum and would have been worried about visiting La Boca but it was good to hear about Boca Juniors and wander in Caminito on our tour, with good advice about where not to wander. We felt generally safe. The advice given again and again on the forum is that it is safe to walk in the city. To me it felt about as safe as Paris, London or Rome. I would have no hesitation in walking around Recoleta at night. Palmero was poorly lit in parts and I felt safer in a taxi, although still walked all day and sometimes at night.

We saw no "mustard on clothes scams". The taxis we took were all driven by honest drivers. Even once when we forgot to keep small change we were given the correct change from a 100 peso note.

We looked around the Recoleta craft fair and San Telmo market at the weekend. We had just arrived and bought nothing. I did not realise there would be no markets when we returned mid week.

I wish I had researched dining options better. We are not big meat eaters and found it hard to find good vegetarian and fish. The steak portions were enormous, although very good but just too much for us.

The Subte was very easy to use and very very cheap.

We split our stay between Recoleta and Palmero. When we return we are unsure where we will stay. Recoleta was very convenient and felt very safe. Palmero had more of a buzz and we enjoyed a wander but felt less safe at night. Now we know the areas we will probably get an apartment, and eat nothing for breakfast to preserve our appetite for evening and the occasional ice cream.

We did all the tourist things.- saw all the sights and had a tango lesson. We were careful not to flash wallets, expensive phones or cameras.

On to Iguazu- We stayed on the Argentinean side in the park. Iguazu is fantastic and so tasteful. We loved wandering around the trails at opening time when the park was quiet. We travelled to the Brazilian side by taxi and although I would not have missed it we preferred the Argentinean side. Iguazu is quite simply one of the best places I have seen anywhere in the world.

Bariloche next, on the oldest looking aircraft I have even seen in commercial service. However all 5 flights with Aerolineas were uneventful, except for the first which was changed from an AGP departure to EZE with less than 24hours notice. Check your email. We would have preferred LAN but their schedules didn't work out. In Bariloche we stayed at Llao Llao as a birthday treat for me. The hotel is reviewed separately but there was so much to do there and the scenery was so fantastic that we abandoned our plans to tour the area.

On to El Calafate for two nights. Mini- trekking on the glacier was a great experience. What I had not realised was that the day also included getting close to the glacier on a smallish boat and a stop at the balconies. Calafate town was probably our least favourite placein Argentina. IMO a soul-less frontier town with too many souvenir shops. We only had a day and a half there and spent the half day on a 4X4 trip to the surrounding hills which was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

Day trips from BsAs. We chose Tigre. My husband won. I wanted Colonia. The Tren de la Costa was enjoyable if only to see the Beverly Hills type houses in the area. Tigre was a disappointment. We hired a small boat with an English speaking guide. He knew nothing about wildlife. Maybe there was none, but pointed out several gas stations houses and mini markets.

So- Would we go back? Yes, and I would not be so frightened of crime. I feel I missed a lot on a whistle stop tour of the country. Next time we will try to see Salta and Mendoza.

One last thing. The Argentineans still obviously feel strongly that the Malvinas should be theirs, and they might well be right. Despite this we met nothing but courtesy when we presented our British passports.

Thanks again to everyone who helped

Argentina
posts: 3,241
reviews: 23
1. Re: Just back report

Dear Edimburgtravellers; Thank you for sharing your report... adn YES, you still have to see the best of Argentina, the NW of Argentina. Salta, the NW is very different to what you have already seen of Argentina. YOu still ahve to taste the Best empanadas, the great wines in Cafayate, the best colourful mountains in Purmamarca, the best of the best... OF course, you should come back, here it is quite, no crimes, late dinners also, but people are friendly and polite.

Sure you have to come back to Argentina there is still a lot to see in the NW!

And this is a promise... you will not regret.

Angie/Giena

Edinburgh
posts: 558
reviews: 123
2. Re: Just back report

Hi Giena

I'm very much looking forward to seeing the rest of your lovely country

Buenos Aires...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 16,495
reviews: 14
3. Re: Just back report

Wow, you really did see a lot in your time here !

I am glad that you enjoyed it and that you would like to come back and your remarks regarding the people here ... I have rarely met so many nice people in such a huge place, consistently :)

In the years we have lived here, I don't think I could count on one hand, the people who have been less than lovely here.

I hope you do come back !

Edinburgh
posts: 558
reviews: 123
4. Re: Just back report

Yes Scarlett. The people were fantastic. We were approached at a traffic junction by a man on Florida, and having read about pickpockets were slightly nervous. He only wanted to give us directions- and to practice his English. When I come back I will speak better Spanish. I had learned a little but definitely not enough, and it really does help.

Vancouver, B.C...
posts: 93
reviews: 103
5. Re: Just back report

I liked your response to the Edinburg travellers. I didn't catch how long they were in the country but we need some advice. How many weeks would you recommend and what time of year? We like to travel slowly with lots of time for hiking and birding. We don't need to see everything.

Thanks.

Edinburgh
posts: 558
reviews: 123
6. Re: Just back report

I thought early- mid March was a great time to travel But I think we we were lucky with the weather. Argentina is such a big country there is no right time to travel. I have heard a lot closes in southern Patagonia in their winter but that might be a good time for the north. March was allegedly the rainy month in BsAs but we got 5 days of warm sunshine.

If you are a slow traveller what we did won't suit you. We took 9 flights in 2 weeks, and spent precious holiday time in airports, but we did what we wanted, a whistle stop tour of the country, and enough time in each place to decide what we will see next time.

IMO 2 days is enough for Iguazu, although I loved it, and although I know many will disagree 2 days was enough for me in Calafate. Why, well we have enough cold weather in this part of the world and when I go away I prefer warmth and wall to wall sunshine.

If I could get 2 months off work I could slow down and see the whole country but until then my whistle stop tours will continue as I work my way through the bucket list..

Toledo, OH
posts: 852
reviews: 256
7. Re: Just back report

Great trip report! Any advice for someone who going in June, July, or August?

Edinburgh
posts: 558
reviews: 123
8. Re: Just back report

I really don't know. Argentina is such a big country I'm sure you will find something great to do, but have never been in winter so don't feel qualified to say.

singapore
posts: 284
reviews: 25
9. Re: Just back report

Enjoyed reading your report as I am planning to go on a once in a lifetime trip to South America. I think Singapore is further away as I have to travel 2 days to arrive in Sao Paolo. Would you mind sharing your itinerary eg how many days you stayed and the mode of transportation to give me an idea how to plan for my South America trip in this Sept.

Regards.....

Edinburgh
posts: 558
reviews: 123
10. Re: Just back report

hi Soohiang. We travelled air France through Paris to get to Argentina. Started with 3 nights in BsAs, morning flight to Iguazu. 2 nights in Iguazu, left around 10am for Bariloche but had a stopover in Aeroparque. We decided to allow 3 hours as had heard a lot of discussion about unreliability of internal flights, arrived in Bariloche around 5pm. That was a long day travelling, but there was no direct flight. We had 3 nights in Bariloche and then were able to fly direct to El Calafate, for 2 nights, then back to BsAs for a final 2 nights. We booked all of our flights direct on the Aerolineas website. I had originally booked the first three flights with LAN as I had heard they were more reliable, and I would have been able to get One World airmiles, but they changed their schedule, making our route impossible, after I had booked the hotels. I booked all the hotels direct on their own websites. Most were happy to arrange pick up from the airport, and only one of the 5 hotels overcharged.