Peru, Buenos Aires or Elsewhere for a relaxing trip?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Peru, Buenos Aires or Elsewhere for a relaxing trip?

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Last Post This thread is marked as being about South America
1. Posted by bluemoon26 (Budding Member 5 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

I've had a rough past year and I finally have a month (January) between starting a new job to travel somewhere. I really need this break. I just want to go somewhere and disappear for a while so i'm looking forward to this trip. I can't decide between traveling to Lima/Cusco or Buenos Aires. I don't want to spend too much and so my plan was to stay in not more than two cities or just one area of a country, and really experience the culture there. I want to go somewhere that will be rejuvenating, relaxing and would allow me to meet tons of travelers on days I want to be social but also allows me to retreat and be alone.

Peru interests me for the scenery, machu picchu, hiking is kind of out my comfort zone but it would be cool to try it, ancient ruins, and the history. There seems to be a unique quality about Peru.Buenos Aires (I would stay at Palermo) interests me for the great architecture, cafes/coffeeshops, European-like which is cool, cosmopolitan vibe meaning lots to do maybe. I don't know which option would be more relaxing?

Cons of both. Buenos Aires, maybe just like any major city, ATM situation, too hot in January, more expensive than Peru // Peru - would be going during a rainy wet season Jan/Feb, seems Peru involves more planning once you're there for tours/hikes etc

Any suggestions about which would be a good option? If any, any itinerary planning advice? I'm in a bind because I'm trying to leave for the first week of January, so flights are getting up there if I take longer to decide. I wonder if I should go with some other place entirely. I've been to Colombia already so I wanted to try something different.

2. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1456 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

When you said Peru, I thought Lima before I thought of Machu Picchu. Lima doesn't really have a rainy season - it is very dry there. But it is a large city and I don't think it would have as many travelers to meet there. I haven't been to Buenos Aires but no big city would be my choice for relaxing.

I think if I wanted to go where I could relax and meet other travelers or not, I'd go to Bequia. But that might be too small a place for you (it is tiny) so there would not be any big city concerts or much architecture to look at. You get there from Barbados and that is a place you could easily stay for a week and still not run out of things to do.

3. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1277 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Why not take a 14-day cruise from Santiago to Buenos Aires, going by the Chilean fjords to the tip of South America to the Falkland Islands to Puerto Madryn, Montevideo and Buenos Aires? Some might even describe current fares as relative bargains. Then spend some time in Buenos Aires, or even fly to El Calafate to hike in Patagonia before going home. Some of the trails there are easy to navigate; and the scenery is spectacular. Some cruise lines do the trip in the opposite direction. You can engage with people on a cruise, or not. It certainly can be relaxing.

It might be wet in Machu Picchu around the time you want to go.

4. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1086 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

You're right to be cautious about the heat in Buenos Aires - we were there some years ago in late January and it topped 40 degrees C - far too hot for city sightseeing!

Have you considered Quito and/or Cuenca in Ecuador? Both higher up but without the altitude challenges of Cusco, and lots of culture. Cuenca is smaller but has some of the best food in the country, while Quito has loads to do and is also a good base for short trips outside the city

5. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1456 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

I think Ecuador is a good idea. Guayaquil is kind of hot but Quito is higher up. I've also been to Manta (the tuna capital) , You could also spend time in Trujillo which has a lot of pre-Columbian ruins. If you were at all interested in wildlife, you could get a ship or plane from there to the Galapagos (which is Ecuador)

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Dec-2019, 20:06 GMT by greatgrandmaR ]

6. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1277 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

I recently returned from Ponta Delgada in the Azores, about a 4.5 hour flight from Boston. Fares are reasonable on Azores Airlines. I was impressed with Sao Miguel island; and looked into renting a cottage in Caloura. I was surprised that it wasn't expensive. The Azores are part of Portugal. The flight from Boston to PDL continues to Praia, Cabo Verde (RAI), which I also visited primarily for music. Cabo Verde has several islands; and is popular with Europeans who come primarily for its beaches, such as those on Sal island.

7. Posted by bluemoon26 (Budding Member 5 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Thanks for all the insight and tips thus far. I'm kind of thinking a no go for Buenos Aires, as some mentioned it would be too hot and maybe not as friendly and welcoming as other places or a little more Anti-American than other countries.

I was thinking Peru or something else. I just wish I can find something that feels right, that is relaxing, affordable enough, friendly to tourists, has many travelers. Peru checks a lot of those but I'm worried about going during the wet season and if I'd start with Lima, it being a bigger cosmo city, not sure how relaxing. Cusco has the altitude problems.

Some of you mentioned Ecuador. I haven't thought about that option before. It does seem affordable and good weather there. I wonder if it's safe though? I don't know much about it safety wise.

Also, The Azores seem interesting as well as Sao Miguel Island. Islands are usually more expensive, but I can look into it as it sounds its actually affordable.

8. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1277 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

You've asked for suggestions; but keep in mind that every person has likes and dislikes that might be different than yours. Perhaps you should look further. If the cost of flights is of concern, just use google.com/flights, input your departure airport and leave the destination blank and you'll come up with the flights that meet your price points. Heat and humidity won't deter me from traveling to a destination. I'll be in some of the warmest places in India in February and March before traveling to the Middle East and Europe in April. Besides, the weather is changeable now more than ever; so what you think will happen might not.

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Dec-2019, 21:23 GMT by berner256 ]

9. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1456 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

YOu have been to COlumbia and that has a really bad reputation as being unsafe. How did you feel there?

Just for fun, I checked out berner256's suggestion of a cruise. There is a 14 day cruise on the Norwegian Star leaving Buenos Aires on Jan 4th and arriving in Santiago Chile on Jan 18th. The price for 14 days for one person sharing a cabin is $766.00 which includes port fees but not a single supplement or tips. Those fees would up it to about $1175 or around $84/day

There's a Costa ship leaving Marseille France on Jan 10th for a 26 day cruise which goes to Barcelona, the Canary Islands, Barbadoes, through the Panama Canal and down to Manta, Lima and Chile - with a single supplement this would be $8639 for a balcony which is about $335/day

10. Posted by bluemoon26 (Budding Member 5 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Berner: Yes I have asked for suggestions - and I realize everyone has their own interests. I explained I feel like I narrowed it down to what I was looking for and I'm pretty open to suggestions and of course I take everything in by aligning it to my interests. I don't need to look up cheap google flights, yes i'm looking for something affordable as in maybe South America region, but it's not that extreme. I'm just not trying to travel all the way to China/India if you know what I mean. " Heat and humidity won't deter me from traveling to a destination. " That may be the case for you of course but not for me and other travelers do not want to deal with heat and humidity. No need to pick things apart I said in a discouraging manner if you don't have further suggestions or helpful, positive insight.

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Dec-2019, 21:42 GMT by bluemoon26 ]