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VABuckeye

Argentina Trip Advice

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It looks like we'll be going for two weeks in March.  Right now I know I want four days and nights in Uco Valley which is the primary wine region right next to the Andes.  I'm not sure if we want to include Patagonia because cold and distance.  For those that have been where do you suggest as places to visit.  At two weeks I'd think about four destinations total with side trips possibly from each.  Thanks.

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22 hours ago, VABuckeye said:

It looks like we'll be going for two weeks in March.  Right now I know I want four days and nights in Uco Valley which is the primary wine region right next to the Andes.  I'm not sure if we want to include Patagonia because cold and distance.  For those that have been where do you suggest as places to visit.  At two weeks I'd think about four destinations total with side trips possibly from each.  Thanks.

Are you considering staying at the Vines of Mendoza's Resort in Uco Valley?

Vines-of-Mendoza-Resort.png


http://www.vinesresortandspa.com


I have friends who have some acres of vines there and produce their own wine. (I also have a writer friend who has written about it a time or two.)

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http://www.vinesofmendoza.com/blog/2018/july/02/an-insiders-guide-to-the-uco-valley/


It will be the harvest ("la cosecha"), so you might want to book now to get a room. (Or it might be too late.)

I stayed in "Club Tapiz", but that is in Maipú, which is about an hour from Uco Valley, but is just across the highway from the Lujan de Cuyo area and the club is pretty sweet. (Only about 8 rooms, so you'll need to book in advance.)

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Funny you mentioned the Vines.  It’s very high on our list.  Thank you for the other info.  I’ll digest it and come back with questions. 

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Bariloche is pretty awesome in the shoulder seasons depending on your interests. Have you been to Buenos Aires before?

 

4 day keep trip through the salt flats and surrounding area in southern Bolivia was the highlight of my 3 months in South America but it’s not easy to get to. 

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8 hours ago, VABuckeye said:

First time to Argentina.  It’s been a bucket list trip for us and it’s so cheap how can we say no?

Bring dollars with you. $100s, $50s, & $20s.

With the peso going crazy, if you offer US dollars in cash, you will probably be able to get a much better deal than paying in pesos with a credit card.

It used to be "ridiculously insane" how much money you could save, now it is just "crazy".

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Travel Blogs/Articles from my writer friend Sorrel.  Her website is this: http://www.sorrelmw.com/

Uco Valley specific is here: http://www.sorrelmw.com/?s=Uco+valley

Mendoza in general is here: http://www.sorrelmw.com/?s=Mendoza

Some of the photo images aren't working at the moment, but just click on where they should be and you'll get the article/blog. Some of the articles are for travel magazines and the original image linked has been moved.

If you go to Buenos Aires, you should hit the restaurant Tegui. Sorrel writes about it plenty and it has yet again been awarded one of the Top 50 Restaurants in the World. (I think... something like that.) All of these lists are subjective, but if you're on the list, then your shit is pretty good.

Also, for strictly Buenos Aires food blog info, my amiga Allie Lazar (she's from Chicago, where as Sorrel is English) is the #1 Buenos Aires specific food blogger there is.

Her site is: http://pickupthefork.com

 

Edited by Napoleon

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13 hours ago, Napoleon said:

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im already jelly.  its been too long since ive made this trip

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Napolean (assuming the same name from Shaggy) are you no longer living in BA? 

We went to Argentina on our honeymoon and did BA, Iguazu Falls and Mendoza. 

For a two week trip, I'm sure BA is in the cards. We got a 1 on 1 walking guide for about half a day and that was a great way to get acquainted with the city and understand the background and current climate of the city/country. We didn't end up taking the ferry over to Uruguay but if we had two weeks, I'm sure we would have. We have heard great things from other friends that did. I'll have to go back and refresh myself on some of the restaurants we went. We stayed in Palermo Soho which was a great location for dining and nightlife. 

 

For Iguazu - very memorable part of the trip for the falls themselves. There is nothing else to do there so 24 hours is definitely enough. Easy flight from BA and you can get there, do the falls, stay the night at the Sheraton right there at the park and then fly back the next morning. 

Mendoza, we did 1 day in the city before heading to wine country. Lots of good restaurants and a good laid back vibe to the city. We stayed at Cavas Wine Lodge in Lujan de Cuyo. It was incredible but very pricey (Relais & Chateaux property). They did an "all inclusive" type program though and we chose to use that predominately for going to wineries. So essentially the provided the driver and set up all the wine visits, lunches, etc. Great way to do it. We did get to Uco Valley for one day but if you're focused on Uco Valley it may not be the best choice for hotel. 

Just typing this out makes me want to get back there. Totally jealous of 2 weeks in Argentina. 

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If you go to Iguazu stay here: www.boutiquehoteldelafonte.com.  The hotel is nice but nothing fancy, but the restaurant is phenomenal for dinner. One of the best meals I've had anywhere, ever. 

Edited by Mo Horn

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Trip to Havana is over (Cuba review thread incoming) and I booked my flights from March 12-26 today for Argentina so this thread will get a lot more attention from me going forward.

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Definitely have the goat while you are there.

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And Patagonia is cant miss in my opinion.

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One more vote here for Patagonia. If you are a fan of hiking and/or natural beauty, it's an absolute must. The glacier near El Calafate and the hikes from El Chalten (like in the pic above) are amazing.

The areas around Bariloche are great (although the town itself is so-so in my opinion) and the 7 lakes drive is gorgeous.

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If you make it down to Ushuaia (the southernmost city in the world), you might want to read this article on where/what to eat.

Eating Argentina: Kalma, Ushuaia 

A foray into the flavors of the Beagle Channel with chef Jorge Monopoli.

By Sorrel Moseley-Williams | sorrelita@gmail.com | October 26, 2018 9:00am

02-Jorge-Monopoli-Centolla.jpg?w=884&ssl

Pulpo-Ph-Vale-Otero.jpg?zoom=2&resize=65

“What products can you find in Tierra del Fuego? Centolla (king or spider crab), centollón (snow crab), cachiyuyo alga, merluza negra (Patagonian toothfish), mussels, sardines, cholgas, octopus… the Beagle Channel and beyond is so rich,” says Jorge Monopoli, chef-owner of Kalma in Ushuaia. “Then there are herbs and berries that come from the forest, such as chickweed, mountain parsley and oyster mushrooms…”

While Monopoli has a lot of fun playing around with fish, bivalves, echinoderms, and algae, as well as getting his hands cold and filthy foraging in this remote wilderness that is the actual end of the world, the reality on this island province is that fresh produce such as vegetables and salad leaves are hard to come by: he really has to dig deep into his culinary creativity. Fermented products, vinegars, and aged beef feature on his eight course tasting menu at Kalma, making the best possible use of what he can get a hold of, a menu that aims to capture Tierra del Fuego’s rugged spirit...

https://www.thebubble.com/argentina-ushuaia-kalma-restaurant/?

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I'm looking to book a trip for the wife and I.  Preliminarily looking at something like May 22 - June 2, so we would likely have 10-11 nights.

Things I'm interested in:

  • Buenos Aires
  • Cordoba
  • Food and Wine
  • Patagonia
  • Iguazu Falls

We typically aim for 2-3 nights in each location, which means we can't really do it all.

What itinerary would you suggest with the time we have?  I could maybe stretch the trip another day or so, but not more than that.

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Sadly, I've had to postpone the trip.  Hence the lack of posts from me.  The good news is that business is really good right now and that's what has forced the postponement.

Thanks to all that have offered advice.

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7 hours ago, Spoosner said:

I'm looking to book a trip for the wife and I.  Preliminarily looking at something like May 22 - June 2, so we would likely have 10-11 nights.

Things I'm interested in:

  • Buenos Aires
  • Cordoba
  • Food and Wine
  • Patagonia
  • Iguazu Falls

We typically aim for 2-3 nights in each location, which means we can't really do it all.

What itinerary would you suggest with the time we have?  I could maybe stretch the trip another day or so, but not more than that.

-Buenos Aires (but keep your eyes open so that you don’t get shot and lose a leg)

-Iguazú (must go there; if you can only visit one place, that’s the one)

-Ushuaia

-Península Valdés (Puerto Madryn)

-Bariloche (not the city itself but the area, Villa la Angostura, San Martín de los Andes, etc)

-Salta/Jujuy (aka the northwest)

You wrote Córdoba. That’s a province and also a city in that province. I’m not sure which one you mean, but I don’t think I would want to visit the city. Wine country? Eh, maybe there a few small spots that are nice, but for the most part the Mendoza wine country is not very interesting.

A nice excursion from Buenos Aires is Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay). You cross by boat. You don’t need a car in Colonia. If you want to spend more days in Uruguay, you can visit Montevideo (smaller version of Buenos Aires), then Punta del Este and beyond.

Edited by XYZ

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57 minutes ago, XYZ said:

1) -Buenos Aires (but keep your eyes open so that you don’t get shot and lose a leg)

2) -Iguazú (must go there; if you can only visit one place, that’s the one)

3) -Ushuaia

4) -Península Valdés (Puerto Madryn)

5) -Bariloche (not the city itself but the area, Villa la Angostura, San Martín de los Andes, etc)

6) -Salta/Jujuy (aka the northwest)

7) You wrote Córdoba. That’s a province and also a city in that province. I’m not sure which one you mean, but I don’t think I would want to visit the city. Wine country? Eh, maybe there a few small spots that are nice, but for the most part the Mendoza wine country is not very interesting.

😎 A nice excursion from Buenos Aires is Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay). You cross by boat. You don’t need a car in Colonia. If you want to spend more days in Uruguay, you can visit Montevideo (smaller version of Buenos Aires), then Punta del Este and beyond.


1) Just don't be Swedish and don't argue with anyone who tries to mug you.

2) You would FLY to this and you would not need 3 days. Two days would suffice, especially if you stay IN the park and fly up early and then back late the 2nd day/early the 3rd.

3) Interesting trip as you are getting into the shortest days of the year. Past summer time, so no visit to Antarctica, but not quite ski season. I'm not sure how popular going there in May is.

4) The time to visit Puerto Mardyn is September/October when the whales are mating. I don't know if there are any whales around in May, but you'll probably be able to photograph some penguins.

5) Bariloche should be fine any time of year, so this is nice. If you're rich, then stay at Llao Llao (pronounced "Sha'oh Sha'oh" in Buenos Aires, but maybe pronounced "Ya'oh Ya'oh" in Bariloche), but if you're not rich, it should still be nice. Never been.

6) If you like wine, you should visit Cafayate in the Salta Province. While the Etchart Bodega (winery) makes some nice Cabernet-Sauvignon & Malbecs, this region is the #1 spot for Torrontés white wine... in the world. You can also hire a car and visit two cool mini-canyons(?) 49 & 50 kms north of town toward the capital. The capital city is nice as well, but going up to the Jujuy province you'd want to visit Pumamarca, (and then "Las Salinas" the salt flats near the Bolivican border) and then back down and east you would want to visit Tilcara, Humauaca... probably.

7) Córdoba city is nice, but going south/southwest from the capital city takes you to the areas that you'd want to visit. From the Nazi town of La Cumbrecita to Alta Gracia, where Ernesto "Che" Guevara was born (or lived when he was young), to Villa General Belgrano (a German town that hosts one of the Top 5 largest Oktoberfests in the world each year) that has several locally brewed beers (cervezas artesenales), to the series of damned lakes with the salame ("salami" in Italian) vendors along the road with dozens of delicious salames just hanging there for you to pick out along with buying mediocre cheese (queso artesenal) to go with it. Getting out of the capital city is the key.

8 ) Visiting Uruguay is cool, because you get an extra stamp on your passport, but I wouldn't recommend going to Montevideo, because it is kind of waste of your time. And don't even think about going to Punta del Este as winter is starting. It would be like visiting The Hamptons in December. It would be dead, gray, and blustery. If you really need to go to Uruguay, take the early fast ferry over in the morning and walk around the colonial old village. Maybe even set up a guided tour. You might rent mopeds to check out the old bull fighting ring (you'll be insanely disappointed) or risk your life on the highway to Montevideo heading east out of town that takes you to a small winery that had extremely unimpressive wines back in ~2008/2009, but might have improved over the last decade. (Wine tasting is always fun.)

 

NOTE: You will need about 3 weeks to do the 8 things listed here.

There are hardly any flights in the country that go from one city to another, though they may have increased since I was there. (In the past EVERY flight went into and out of Buenos Aires. It was like the hub of a bicycle wheel. You could go from Córdoba to Bariloche or Bariloche to Puerto Madryn, you had to fly from Bariloche to Buenos Aires (Aeroparque Newberry... "BUE") and then Buenos Aires to Puerto Madryn, and the same for everywhere else... EDIT...

Just checked, using https://flybondi.com (Fly Bondi) ... which basically means "Flying City Bus", you can now fly to various locations without necessarily going through Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires
Salta
Jujuy
Bariloche (a.k.a. "San Carlos de Bariloche")
Puerto Madryn (Peninsula Valdez... via "Trelew")
Puerto Iguazú
Córdoba
Mendoza

...are all serviced by Fly Bondi. You'll have to click around to figure out a route, because most airports outside of Buenos Aires airport only have about 2 to 4 destinations.

*Origin of the word "Bondi"... The British were building the local streetcar system in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (or São Paulo, but I think Rio) and the construction project was being paid for with bonds. So the term "bondi" emerged. The British also built the railroads and then street cars and then subways in Buenos Aires (Argentina) as well, before the street cars started being replaced with buses and I believe that they were also paid for with bonds. Whether that is how they were funded or not, the term "bondi" made its way to Buenos Aires and is the frequently used term for "colectivo"... or "city bus". If you say "un bus", then people think that you mean "un omnibus" which is a nicer bus that is used to travel from city to city. The British would use the term "coach".

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Anyone on here been on South American cruise which originates either in Buenos Aires or Santiago and ends in either of those two cities?  

I'm not the biggest fan of cruises, but I can see their value in places like South America, Asia and Australia/New Zealand where you can hit multiple countries/ regions  and actually spend some time there with some multi night ports of call.   I've been looking at some of the cruises offered by the more  higher end cruise lines and I'm very intrigued with some of the  South American cruises which take in Patagonia, and overnights in cities like Santiago and Buenos Aires among other ports.  

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13 hours ago, Napoleon said:

3) Interesting trip as you are getting into the shortest days of the year. Past summer time, so no visit to Antarctica, but not quite ski season. I'm not sure how popular going there in May is.

This is part of the reason I was targeting the dates.  Read that it's decent Fall type weather, less crowded from a tourist standpoint, and cheaper.  That being said, I would not want the negatives to outweigh those positives.

Could probably move a month earlier, will have to look at flights.

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10 hours ago, Spoosner said:

This is part of the reason I was targeting the dates.  Read that it's decent Fall type weather, less crowded from a tourist standpoint, and cheaper.  That being said, I would not want the negatives to outweigh those positives.

Could probably move a month earlier, will have to look at flights.

Full Disclosure:
I've never been to Ushuaia at ANY time of year.

I gave plenty of city tours to people who were going to go on down to Ushuaia and then take a boat to Antarctica, but because the High Season for Buenos Aires City Tours is also the High Season for visiting Antarctica, I was always too busy to go. (Also, because running a small tour company in Argentina and giving some of the tours yourself doesn't exactly make a person wealthy, the ~US$5,000 for the boat trip (not counting the flight to/from Ushuaia, the money for cold weather gear, the cost of my stay in Ushuaia before/after, and being incommunicado from the internet for over a week while trying to run the company remotely... well, it just wasn't feasible.)


I've never been to Puerto Madryn either, but had various friends who went. Nor have I ever been to (San Carlos de) Bariloche.


Places I have been that were mentioned:

I've been to Mendoza (city, wine areas just south of the city, and Uco Valley which is about an hour+ south of those areas).
I've been to Cafayate in Salta + the capital, I've been to Pumamarca, Las Salinas, Ticara, & Humahuaca in the Jujuy province. 
I've been to Córdoba (capital & province), including Villa Carlos Paz (didn't mention before, but don't go... unless they are holding the World Rally Championships race there at that time), Alta Gracia, La Cumbrecita, Villa General Belgrano (at least twice), La Embalse (Lake District from a series of dams on the Rio Tercero).
I've been to Las Cataratas de Iguazú (Iguazú Falls... but "Foz de Iguaçu" on the Brazilian side).
I've been to Montevideo (~3-4 times), Punta del Este (1 time), further up the Uruguayan coast toward Brazil (2 times), and just across the Rio de la Plata to Colonia (about 6 times... for visa renewal runs).

So I know some stuff, but not everything.

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I have been 11 times to Argentina and absolutely love it.  My favorite combo:

Fly from DFW or Houston to Santiago.  Arrive in the morning and take bags to Hotel Aubrey.   Have a driver take you on tours/lunch for the day.  Dinner reservations at Como Agua Para Chocolate.  Fly next morning to BA.  Stay for a day.  Shop on Florida Avenue, eat at a steakhouse that serves grilled cheese and a nice hotel(I like Four Seasons)   Travel over to regional airport for trip to Bariloche.  Stay at LLao LLao resort. Spend a day or two shopping, hiking, etc..  Then drive north thru the lakes to San Martin.  Stay at Tipiliuke ranch for a few days of fly fishing, hiking, red stag and quail hunting, etc....  Airport in San Martin will get you back to BA.

Have also flown into Delores/Merlo from BA and pigeon hunted and winery thing.  Chartered a plane from there to Cafayate and spent a week visiting vineyards, desert, acoustical chamber, and stayed at some really nice resorts.  Flew back to BA via Salta.  Beautiful country.  

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Bump.

Might hop down to Buenos Aires with my pops this weekend, I haven't been since 2015 and he's retiring next month.  Is dólar blue still a thing?...the exchange Twitter remains active, but I feel like I remember the government trying to clamp down on the market.  If so, and anyone knows a reputable (heh) casa de cambio in the Monserrat area, I can reward you handsomely with internet reputations and Best Buy coupons.

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27 minutes ago, SuperSport said:

Bump.

Might hop down to Buenos Aires with my pops this weekend, I haven't been since 2015 and he's retiring next month.  Is dólar blue still a thing?...the exchange Twitter remains active, but I feel like I remember the government trying to clamp down on the market.  If so, and anyone knows a reputable (heh) casa de cambio in the Monserrat area, I can reward you handsomely with internet reputations and Best Buy coupons.

Let me find out about the Dollar Blue and shit.

It kind of disappeared, but the old crew is back in power and it might have started up again.

Will report back with what I find out.

PS- Illegal "casa de cambio" locations are referred to as cuevas.


EDIT: The Dollar Blue is BACK

I just looked at Argentina's national bank exchange rate:  https://www.bna.com.ar/Personas 

   -they buy dollars for AR$58 & "sell them" for AR$63... except that on a Facebook expat group, people are offering USDs for AR$77 per dollar if people are interested.

You might have to join the Facebook group, put out a post on the Exchange thread for what you want to sell and for how much and then someone will probably PM you. I'd would try to join the group today or tomorrow, so that you can be approved by a moderator in advance of going down there. A 35% premium by changing person-to-person is nothing to sneeze at.

FB Group: Buenos Aires Expat Hub

Edited by Napoleon

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NOTE: If you are going to take dollars down and exchange them, you want to take US$100 notes that are untorn and preferably new from a bank. At least don't take marked up bills with writing and shit on them.

The US$100 notes get the top rate.

Frequently the US$50 notes (also close to pristine condition) will get the the same rate as the US$100 notes, but not guaranteed.

Once you try to trade US$20 bills, your exchange rate will take a hit.

And US$10s may earn a lower exchange than the US$20s. Below that, you should probably just use for tipping or something. (I wouldn't take anything below a US$20 and only up to 5 of those for the end of the trip if you're in a bind for one more day of fun/last minute purchases.

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Thanks for the quick response, I'll def check out the bookface group.  And yeah, we were profiting ~50% last time I went, but 35% is still living the good life.

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Los arbolitos se vuelven

Argentina's 'little trees' blossom as forex controls fuel black market

By Joan Manuel Santiago Lopez
ReutersFebruary 5, 2020, 5:23 AM CST
 

By Joan Manuel Santiago Lopez

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - On the streets of Buenos Aires, money changers known as "arbolitos" or "little trees" are taking advantage of Argentina's capital controls to take a slice of a booming black market trade in U.S. dollars.

One of the arbolitos, Martin, 47, spends his days shouting "cambio" to passersby, offering dollars outside the formal banking channels that currently limit purchases of the U.S. currency to $200 per month...

 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/argentinas-little-trees-blossom-forex-112344286.html

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Some of friends of mine went last year to visit family and everyone asked them to bring as many $100’s as they could. 

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On 2/6/2020 at 7:36 PM, tx 3 putt said:

Some of friends of mine went last year to visit family and everyone asked them to bring as many $100’s as they could. 

I used to take down US$1K to US$2K per trip and an English friend would then have me bring down the difference up to the amount that doesn’t have to be declared.

So I would fly with about US$10K in brand new bills from the bank.

 

Viva la patria!

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One of Mrs Idahorn's law school classmates spent several years in Argentina (not on a Mormon mission) and he raved repeatedly about grilled Argentine steaks with a peanut butter sauce.

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Flight crew wasn’t the most outgoing bunch, still managed to score some excellent food and wine though.

Also, Boca Juniors were staying at our hotel, which was pretty cool.

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Totally forgot about Allie Lazar and her food blog.  She has a great video of her as a kid getting ready to eat.

I miss BsAs.  Such a great city.  Can definitely recommend heading down to Bariloche, too.  Just watch out for ldogg's recommendations - no guarantees you'll come back .

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