I'm Silv (19) and last year i went to Bolivia, (which i recommend) with World Challenge. As I went with World Challenge everything was organised for me, however this time I want to go it alone. I'v search the internet but i can't find cheap (reliable) tour operators I can use to plan my holiday. I want to travel the whole length of Argentina, are there any operators that do treks, transport, tours etc. Also if anyone has undergone what Im about to, could you provide me with any advice.
We travelled during 2002 through Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia by our own.
It is quite easy to move around by local transportation or to do an organized local tour like in Uyuni.
I travelled in January through whole Argentina on my own. It was not at all a problem and I met a lot of locals that way. Though it helps if you speak some spanish.
The bus system in Argentina works quite well but in high season (December/January) you have to book them fairly in advance. You can easily underestimate the distances (at least as a European) so you need to have some time to travel via bus. The "cama" or "semi-cama" buses are really good with on board services, some entertainment (videos and bingo-lotto) and you can get some hours sleep.
As for operators it is not at all a problem. Most of the youth hostels have some excursions on site or you can book at the tourist offices while you are staying at a place. In Salta at the Backpackers they have fantastic tours including River Rafting, horse-riding, visiting vineyards or driving the way of the "tren de las nubes" into the Andes. If you go to Ushuaia, there is a fantastic program to canoe in the Beagle Channel, watching penguins and trekking at the same day. A bit of a sporty thing but really worthwile. Peninsula Valdes is also very easy if you stay in Puerto Madryn. There are plenty of tour operators for animal watching so best is if you shop around for good prices. If you want to visit the penguins at Punto Tomba please be aware that the driving from Madryn to Punta Tomba is not that comfortable and takes at least 2 hours. It's better to start in Trelew.
I dont think youre going to be able to find any tour operators that would (affordably) plan a trip like that, but planning your own trip shouldnt be too complicated - as long as you have a good working knowledge of spanish. You can get pretty much anywhere with buses, but definitely plan extra time for traveling since (as tady mentioned) distances are long, and also in more remote areas buses may not be as frequent as youd like. In each of the places Id imagine you would want to go to there is some kind of tourism infrastructure set up that will be able to help you. When in doubt, ask a local - even if they dont have the answer, theyll be able to tell you who does. Argentines are great people and generally very helpful.
One specific recommendation: go to Chalten - its a north of Calafate (where the Perito Moreno glacier is), and a bit hard to get to (its a 6ish hour drive from Calafate - I rented a car with friends, but there are twice-daily buses too), but totally worth it... plan a few days to do a couple of the hikes and pray for good weather as the views of Cerro Fitzroy and Cerro Torre are truly awe-inspiring.
Good luck, and if you have any specific questions about Patagonia or Buenos Aires, just let me know!
there is no problem when you travel in argetnina. every local will help
the only thing you have to have are the plane tickets in hand. distances are usually understimated. Anyway it is good to bus the way to iguazu and/or cordoba mendoza or Bariloche. All the others in the south are very long.
This is info that i got today so it is hot. For anybody interested the plane ticket special rate to ushuaia is 200 dollars return very cheap for the tourists. Prices in good clean and confortable places but not lux in that city are around 30 dolars.
You ve got to coordinate to have a night booking or two in the destination and if you want to stay more you will have enough time to find sth while there.
Being in Argentina, an easy locomotion is bus, train and fly.
Example, one fly (return) Buenos Aires until Ushuaia really costs 200 dollars (www.stb.com.ar), one fly Buenos Aires until Santiago of Chile (Chile) cost 150 dollars (return) for the company Air France, Lan Chile... among others.
It uses to advantage the city of Buenos Aires, that does not stop (the nocturnal life more is agitated than São Paulo-Brazil) and the number of theaters and parts alone lose for the Broadway.
Other visits =
In Argentina (Perito Moreno, Ushuaia, Mar del Plata and Salta- Tren a las Nubens(www.lavelozturismo.com.ar))
In the Uruguay (Colonia del Sacramento, Punta del Este- to see the 'world' Casa Pueblo (www.carlospaezvilaro.com/casapueblo.swf) and Cabo Polonio)