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  • Mandy 43 posts

    We went to Iguazu falls in July and would definitely recommend it. We did Brazil side in a few hours straight from flying from Sao Paolo and then crossed border and stayed in Melia Argentina side. We stayed 3 nights but would have preferred 3 to see it all at a more leisurely pace and enjoy some down time. Then flew to Buenos Aires and enjoyed that too.

    Joephe 14 posts

    We are off to Patagonia next week. Flying to Buenos Aires with BA which was booked about a year ago when it was a direct flight, which they have since changed to indirect. Annoying as we would have saved a bunch of avios if we instead went with Iberia. At least the plane has club suite.

    The plan is
    Fly to Ushuaia and spent 3 nights there mainly hiking plus a trip to see the penguins
    Fly to El Calefete for 2 nights. Hike the Perito Moreno Glacier, which can only be done with a £lol priced tour unfortunately.
    Hire car and drive to Torres Del Paine, spending 4 nights in a hotel from which we’ll do day hikes (W trail plus some others).
    Drive to El Chalten and spend 3 nights there. More day hikes
    Drive back to El Calefete and fly to Buneos Aires for 2 nights there before flying home

    HSV 33 posts

    Looking to book MAD to EZE using Avios and 2-4-1 for March 2025. See Iberia have three flights a day – there and back. Outbound 08:45, arriving 17:20, 12:00 arriving 20:35 and 23:59 arriving 08:30 next day. What are peoples perferred times based on plane/seats and jet-lag? Or does not make any difference? I assume catching the 23:39 outbound means you can travel to Madrid during the day and avoid a overnight hotel. Inbound they have 14:05, arriving 05:55, 19:05 arriving 10.55 and 22.30 arriving 14.20. Return maybe the 19:05 to get some kip and still travel during the day back to UK.

    JDB 4,643 posts

    @HSV there isn’t really a big time difference (currently three hours behind UK) so jet lag isn’t really a big issue although it’s still a long journey. People forget that Buenos Aires is east of New York!

    Therefore I would choose the flight to fit your schedule and maybe thinking about how well you do or don’t sleep on planes; it’s great to have all those options. I think the noon flight may be the least popular as it usually has the best business reward availability. I think Iberia uses the same aircraft on each flight.

    We are taking the midnight one next week as the early arrival gives us the opportunity to connect to a domestic flight from Aeroparque, getting all the travel done in one go, rather than having to unpack for a short and be tired in a city after a long trip. We will spend time in the city on the way back when relaxed and not worry about missing any return connection.

    The early morning departure means you arrive in BsAs when your hotel room will be ready, you can shower, enjoy the nightlife befire retiring to a real bed but obviously you need to arrive in Madrid the night before.

    HSV 33 posts

    @JDB – thanks for the quick response. I tend to favour the midnight out as well, meeaning no unpacking in Madrid and you naturally get some kip on the flight and hopefully be raring to go after checking into the hotel for a full day. Similiar reasons for the 19:05 back, since there should be loads of flights back to London during the day. Especially if the all the planes and seating is the same. Thanks again.

    1958 72 posts

    I am interested in flying EZE to MAD in early 2025. However, it looks like the flight from EZE with the best timing for me (7pm) has the “old” A330 some days – it alternates with the A350.
    Is the A330 noticibly worse in Business?

    yonasl 976 posts

    I am interested in flying EZE to MAD in early 2025. However, it looks like the flight from EZE with the best timing for me (7pm) has the “old” A330 some days – it alternates with the A350.
    Is the A330 noticibly worse in Business?

    I don’t think you will notice much of a difference really.

    The A330 seats are the same as those on the A350 (I wonder if there is a difference in width – maybe something to check in aerolopa). The new A350 seats have a door but other than that you won’t see much of a difference.

    jintycat 34 posts

    The ferry from BA to Colonia in Uruguay is worth the trip. It is a short journey and colonia is really nice and quaint. El Chalten and the Fitz Roy is stunning..There is no bad part of Chile if you have time to go over…valparaiso has so much character..the atacama desert is amazing if you have time

    squawk7700 84 posts

    Quick question re Iguazu Falls. Has it not been spoilt now that it’s massively on the Instagram/influencer/tourist radar? Or has it retained an element of charm and awe for the traveller?

    I (think) that I’d love to go, but equally am the kind of person that usually avoids things like the Eiffel Tower, Times Square, etc; I’d prefer to miss an attraction altogether versus making a huge effort to end up in queues of selfie-stick holding tourist groups resembling Disneyland.

    JDB 4,643 posts

    Quick question re Iguazu Falls. Has it not been spoilt now that it’s massively on the Instagram/influencer/tourist radar? Or has it retained an element of charm and awe for the traveller?

    I (think) that I’d love to go, but equally am the kind of person that usually avoids things like the Eiffel Tower, Times Square, etc; I’d prefer to miss an attraction altogether versus making a huge effort to end up in queues of selfie-stick holding tourist groups resembling Disneyland.

    This is a problem in so many places and we count ourselves lucky to have been able to have visited so many places before over-popularisation. What’s so ridiculous is that these people are so busy photographing that they don’t actually look at the sights. Iguazú is a bit mad these days, but it is truly spectacular and if you do go, it’s really worth visiting both sides as it is so different.

    We try to avoid these places but if we do go, we find getting a good private guide makes the trip so much better, using different entrances, visiting places outside hours, getting the timings exactly right etc. that the cost is really worthwhile. There are also of course helicopter trips!

    If you prefer quieter places, the NW of Argentina is very untouristy and unspoilt. We are currently in Tucumán and I don’t think we have yet seen a foreigner in two days.

    yonasl 976 posts

    On the subject of over-tourism etc. Trying to organise two weeks in Argentine (flights booked for end Oct 2024) and struggling to plan stuff.

    – There are a couple of things we want to do: glaciers, trekking, maybe horse riding and gaucho/hacienda/asado experience
    – I am Spanish so shouldn’t struggle to find those activities locally

    Unfortunately, all I find online are links to super expensive “experiences” where an hour of horse riding is $100 and a night at an hacienda $500pp. It is like some gringo is paying top dollars and Argentinians are obviously taking advantage of it.

    Any recommendations for a local contact that could help me arrange this as the internet is failing me in this case?

    Thanks!

    JDB 4,643 posts

    @yonasi – all the estancias (and I think that’s what you may be looking for more than haciendas) within striking distance of Buenos Aires are just designed for tourists wanting the ‘authentic’ experience of staying in a house where they have stuck some rusty horseshoes on the wall and can light a BBQ/asado so they are priced according to the gullibility of the clientele.

    I’m afraid I have no idea of any local contact who might be able to organise these things across Argentina as we have been organising these sort of trips there for years and I do it all myself. For both riding and asado (which really is totally standard anywhere and shouldn’t be charged extra) there’s a lot more real stuff on offer around Córdoba than there is around BsAs. Also up in the NW, riding and asado are just part of the deal and I get local guides for hiking and trips where DIY is tricky. The glaciers are always going to be expensive.

    Scott 257 posts

    Quick question re Iguazu Falls. Has it not been spoilt now that it’s massively on the Instagram/influencer/tourist radar? Or has it retained an element of charm and awe for the traveller?

    I (think) that I’d love to go, but equally am the kind of person that usually avoids things like the Eiffel Tower, Times Square, etc; I’d prefer to miss an attraction altogether versus making a huge effort to end up in queues of selfie-stick holding tourist groups resembling Disneyland.

    Although I’ve holidayed in Argentina, I haven’t visited the falls so can’t advise on them specifically.

    However, I do feel a lot of must-see touristy things are for, well, the tourists. I recall last summer being out on a mountain hike in the UK and towards the end started passing loads of foreign tourists coming the opposite way to view a waterfall (granted, nowhere near as big as Iguazu!) It was the sort of thing that wouldn’t warrant more than a few seconds of an appreciative glance during my day hike, yet here were all these tourists clambering up a valley, over rocks and fallen trees, etc. to get a glimpse of this UK ‘wonder’. I don’t reckon many UK residents would have gone out of their way to view it.

    JenT 159 posts

    When we stayed at the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas (on the Brazilian side of Iguazu), we used the early park access to wander around just after sunrise. We walked all the way along the boardwalk into the lake alone – it was really special and lovely to be in a quiet place admiring the beauty of the location. A few hours later, once the park had opened, it was full of people with selfie sticks, etc, so we were pleased we’d managed to miss that ‘over-popularisation’ feeling.

    We visited the Argentinian side during normal hours as we didn’t stay in the hotel on site – defintiely more touristic, but we still enjoyed it. I cannot recommend splashing out on the Belmond enough|

    yonasl 976 posts

    Thank you @JDB

    I have never used a local person or tour operator to book anything for me. But really struggling with Argentina as google searches of activities point to the same websites with extortionate prices.

    What would be your tips to find local stuff as we plan the trip and avoid those if any?

    To go to the glacier we will of course use a provider (I think we can book that while at the calafate) other than that I hope a car and a hotel is all I need (for the Patagonia bit).

    Thanks to you message I may try to add Cordoba if that could be a good place to enjoy the gaucho lifestyle.

    qc 243 posts

    On the subject of over-tourism etc. Trying to organise two weeks in Argentine (flights booked for end Oct 2024) and struggling to plan stuff.

    – There are a couple of things we want to do: glaciers, trekking, maybe horse riding and gaucho/hacienda/asado experience
    – I am Spanish so shouldn’t struggle to find those activities locally

    Unfortunately, all I find online are links to super expensive “experiences” where an hour of horse riding is $100 and a night at an hacienda $500pp. It is like some gringo is paying top dollars and Argentinians are obviously taking advantage of it.

    Any recommendations for a local contact that could help me arrange this as the internet is failing me in this case?

    Thanks!

    We had a lovely 2 night stay at Estancia El Ombu de Areca a couple of years. It’s a family run estancia which now offers rooms. Obviously it’s for tourists but I imagine what you see in terms of horsemanship and the asado is fairly authentic as the gauchos had been working on the property for many years. I’m sure it wasn’t £500 a night.

    We did the Iguazu falls from both sides in 2016 and although there were people with selfie sticks they weren’t intrusive but maybe that was before the instagrammers arrived. On the Argentinian side there is hotel from which you can walk to the falls early in the morning or in the evening. It used to be a Sheraton – not sure what it is now.

    JDB 4,643 posts

    @yonasi – I would decide where you want to go, rather than searching for the experience as both riding and asado are just a way of life fairly much everywhere in the country so once you have identified the area, you will more easily find suitable places. These days there are far more price insensitive and hillbilly Americans, so anywhere near Buenos Aires or around the very easy access easy places like Mendoza will charge silly prices for anything if they can get away with it. Once away from those areas you will find extraordinarily reasonable accommodation plus all the riding you want/asado you can eat at very modest prices.

    yonasl 976 posts

    @yonasi – I would decide where you want to go, rather than searching for the experience as both riding and asado are just a way of life fairly much everywhere in the country so once you have identified the area, you will more easily find suitable places. These days there are far more price insensitive and hillbilly Americans, so anywhere near Buenos Aires or around the very easy access easy places like Mendoza will charge silly prices for anything if they can get away with it. Once away from those areas you will find extraordinarily reasonable accommodation plus all the riding you want/asado you can eat at very modest prices.

    Thanks. So far plans are:
    – Land in BA, spend first night there
    – Flight to Calafate, spend almost a week in Chaflan/Calafate
    – Then fly to either Bariloche or Cordoba (later given your recommendation) do a few days there
    – Fly to BA and do a couple of nights before flying back to LHR via MAD on Saturday

    I feel like putting more would make it too much for what I want which is a more chilled pace and have some time to do things “semi” properly.

    JDB 4,643 posts

    @yonasi – it all depends on what you like or want for a trip. A week sounds a bit long around Calafate. I would choose Bariloche over Córdoba, particularly for a first trip. It’s one of the most naturally beautiful parts of Argentina and there’s lots to do in the area and direct flight from El Calafate.

    Scott 257 posts

    I second Bariloche, best scenery in the lake district IMO. Although as mentioned it’s a ski resort, think you’re going in their early spring? so not sure about weather then.

    Don’t base yourself in the town, it’s busy and touristy. Not necessary to lodge as far out as Llao Llao though, anywhere along the lake, but a few streets back from the highway to ensure you have lake views.

    JDB 4,643 posts

    @Scott makes a very good point about the weather, although it can be quite unpredictable anyway. The first time we went to Bariloche it snowed in December and was much colder than normal. The weather in the country is generally a bit unpredictable which makes overly ambitious trips a bit risky. There was torrential rain in Buenos Aires when we arrived on Monday and there had been bad flooding a couple of weeks earlier. The forecasts often aren’t much good as the weather can be incredibly localised.

    cin3 168 posts

    @yonasi – it all depends on what you like or want for a trip. A week sounds a bit long around Calafate. I would choose Bariloche over Córdoba, particularly for a first trip. It’s one of the most naturally beautiful parts of Argentina and there’s lots to do in the area and direct flight from El Calafate.

    They didn’t say a week in Calafate, they said a week in Calafate/Chalten.

    Frankly even one day is probably too long in Calafate. However, if you’re into hiking at all a week is the bare minimum to see the best sights in Chalten.

    Bariloche is very nice and you can easily amuse yourself there for a week too. More if you want to do hiking or climbing.

    jumpersforgoalposts 53 posts

    Hi team as per my message above, we’ve now pulled together a tentative itinerary for Argentina in August 2024. Welcome thoughts from seasoned Argentina visitors:

    August 12-16; Buenos Aires. Relaxing, and some of the parks, sites, nice places to eat. Soaking in the city.
    August 16-19; Iguazu. Brazil and Argentina side.
    August 19-23; Buenos Aires. Day trips, museums, more sites/food etc.
    August 23-26; El Calafete. El Chatain, glaciers, some walking/landscapes.

    To be honest, there seems so much to do in BA we’d quite happily stay there the whole time but given we’re travelling so far, we want to try and get at least 3 destinations in.

    The internal flights (BA-Iguazu return and BA-El Calafete return) are costing £800 with bags for 2 adults and 1 infant)

    JDB 4,643 posts

    @jumpersforgoalposts – a previous poster was thinking of a week in Calafate which seemed a lot and the three full days you suggest seems more sensible but personally I wouldn’t be going there in August. It will still be very cold, possibly rainy/sleety and generally a bit grey so the landscapes won’t be at their best and it complicates the packing! It would also be the wrong time of year for Bariloche/lake district. However, this really depends what you want to do and see. At that time of year, the northwest, potentially flying to Salta from Iguazú (to save one domestic flight and a lot of time) to see Salta/Molinos/Cafayate – it will involve a fair bit of driving, some being on unmade roads unless you choose to base yourself in one place, but it will be much warmer, fantastic and varied landscapes, unspoilt, good hiking/walking and great wines and as it is really more focussed on domestic tourism, cheaper.

    MGOR 17 posts

    This thread has wetted my appetite to consider Argentina in late 2025 / early 2026 after I retire. This would allow me to have 3/4 weeks away. In the past when I’ve visited South America but not Argentina I’ve used Journey Latin America to organise as I’ve not had the time both to arrange or visit. Once retired I will have both! Question is then how easy is it to organise everything myself without using a travel agent and is it so much cheaper? I don’t speak Spanish which makes me a bit wary. There is a value to having someone doing the heavy lifting and to fall back on if there’s issues. Thanks

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