I'm new to this so bear with me! Have just booked flights to BA for mid October and will be returning from Rio De Janeiro in mid november. We have no plans so far other than to spend approx 4 days in BA and hopefully do some sort of trek in Patagonia. I hear Mendoza is amazing and the only other obvious thing is Iguazu as we make our way to Rio. So before we make any definite plans i'd love to get some ideas about what we should include in our trip and some ideas as to how to make our way from one place to the next.
Would really appreciate some advice!
i spent 3 months travelling in argentina in 2008 so can give you some info on there but not on brazil. argentina is a fantastic country and real easy to travel in. you will prob end up splitting your month between the 2 countries.
3/4 days is prob enough to explore B.A. espcially if you on a tight schedule. argentina is a massive country so a lot of travel will be required if you want to get to patagonia, mendoza and puerto iquazu but it can be done in 2 weeks although i would suggest a day or 2 more if possible and possibly an interbal flight if you can afford it. the bus service is really good. buses from the main station in B.A. (RETIRO) link the whole country. most services you get will be overnight buses, book a cama (bed) seat if possible, you basically get an armchair type seat that reclines nearly flat with all meals provoided. try book bus seats at least day or 2 in advance to get the most comfortable seats. be careful at retiro bus station as many gangs operate there and lots of backpackers have their bags stolen there...never leave your bag out of your site.
the best trekking in patagonia (on the argentinian side ) is around the towns of el calafatye and el chalten. you can bus from B.A. to el calafayte (at least a full days travel) from where you could spend a day at the perito moreno glacier and the bus it to el chalten ( bout 3 hours). el chalten is a new town built soley for trekkers, there are many companies which offer 2/3/4 days treks.
to get out of el calaytte and head north toward mendoza could take a few days via bariloche, this is where i flew, from calayfte to bariloche and then bused to mendoza. mendoza is in the heart of the wine country and there are great trips to the vineyards. one of the best hostels in stayed was here called hostel Lao ( was run by an english man and his argentinian wife).
after mendoza there is a bus service to puerto iquazu ( near 2 days travel). The water falls are stunning from the argentinain side ( less so from brazil). from puerto iquazu the braziallian border is 20 minutes away.
i know all this booking buses and transport can seem daunting but if you have a plan and will stick to it you could prob book everything at once from the travel desk in you hostel in B.A.. Most good hostels will have have very helpful travel desks.
hope this helps
I strongly suggest two incredible things in Buenos Aires.
The first is a unique activity that very few tourists know, which is called Estancia Day tour. This activity outside of the capital city, allow to the visitors to lived the some of the most Argentinean hours of your life. They offer a day tour which includes reception with wine and typical Argentinean empanadas, horse back ride, tango and folkloric dance show, lunch with traditional barbecue and Show of Gaucho skills, and finally will be able to take part of their gaucho day program which is see a nice way to learn more about the Argentine culture and folklore. There are some Estancias, like Don Silvano, La Alameda or Santa Susana, where you can live that incredible experience.
The second is a Tango Dinner Show, a very fantastic way to know the true passion of the country for tango music, there are several tango houses that offer this kind of service and you can choose what depending on what you want, something more traditional (La Ventana or El Viejo Alamacen) or something more innovative (Piazzolla Tango or Sr. Tango).
Hope that helps!
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
Wow, that's great advice. I've pretty much planned my trip based on that thread.
I'm also travelling between B.A and Rio for 3 weeks starting end of October until mid November. I have 3 weeks off work and am going on a last minute solo trip. Do you think it is best to go B.A to Rio? I was planning on the reverse route but now I think about it, it would be fun to built up the trip and end up in Rio for a bit of Partying.
Do you have any more tips?