New travel adventure: Argentina

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Chip NoVaMac, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #1
    Looking for tips and advice from my friends here on MR.

    Been tempted by this article in the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/21/AR2006042100585.html

    Looks like I might be able to take 2 to 4 weeks off in January or February next year for an extended stay in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    My thoughts are that up to 4 weeks would give me time to see a lot in Argentina, using Buenos Aires as my base. Also would allow me to do side trips to the likes of Uruguay. Chile, and Easter Island.

    Some initial questions I have are:

    - My Spanish is VERY limited. If I decide to do this trip, I will try to learn more of the Spanish language, but never have been good in learning other languages. So outside of trips out in to the country side, can basic Span-glish work?

    - I know that my trip is planned for South America's "summer". Just how hot and humid does it get down there at that time of year? Humidity is the factor that kills me.

    - Is Buenos Aires a good base of operation to further explore South America on 2 to 3 day "day trips"? I have heard of an "air pass" that allows for something like 10 trip segments for like under $400US. That includes IIRC flights to Easter Island (a total of 4 flight segments IIRC)

    - Any "must sees" while I am down there? Does not have to be in Argentina specifically. Just an easy drive or easy flight away would be cool.

    I know I might have more questions based on the responses here.

    Thanks for your time in answering some of my questions.

    Regards,
    Chip
     
  2. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    visiting from downstream
    #2
    An art dealer friend of mine makes frequent trips to Cordoba, Argentina (two of the artists he represents, Raul Diaz and Ernesto Berra, live there)... according to him, it's a very nice place to visit. You might want to check out what's there to see.
     
  3. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #3
    Thanks for the heads up.

    I am sure there are plenty of things to see. But after my Iceland trip last February, I saw little out side of Reykjavik - but loved spending time meeting the people - so my initial thoughts are to "feeL' more of Buenos Aires and the country, rather than just be a tourist. I will save that for my quick trips in and out of Buenos Aires perhaps.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #4
    Always bring a map of where you're staying, and possibly the address of the hotel/hostel in Spanish as well. If you don't know the language or what to see, I honestly think that hostels are better because you'll meet lots of new people there who speak english, and can give an honest suggest on what to see, and what's worth seeing in terms of time and money. You don't know how much time and money talking to backpackers has saved me.

    Anyway, if you stay in a hotel, at least stay or hang out at a hostel once in a while and talk to people. Hotels are very inducive to good travelling conversations if you're willing to start one up, or meet the right group of people. ;)
     
  5. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #5
    For this trip I would not be staying at any hotels, other than for my 2-3 day trips out of country.

    As a fellow photographer, I have reservations about hostels from a security stand point. I prefer B&B's over hostels, for the same feel.

    I may a bit older than you at 47yo. So some comfort is desired. For the 2 to 4 weeks I plan on spending down there, having a place that "feels" like home may mean something.

    If you can't tell. I am leaning towards a 4 week stay, over a 2 week stay. The major reason is the distance, but also to perhaps learn more of the Spanish language. Also to be able to explore the likes of Easter Island.

    I am glad for my Iceland experience. It taught me a lot about reading maps and the such. Never drove their thankfully due to Icelandic names and the English names. It was a challenge at times to ride the bus in Iceland.
     
  6. AJ Muni macrumors 65816

    AJ Muni

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Location:
    Miami
    #6
    Make sure you wear an Argentina soccer jersey, you'll be loved, even more if they win the world cup. If the economy is anything like Colombia's (which I think it is, maybe less) You can probably eat at a 5 star restaurant for about $15-20 for 2 people.
     
  7. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #7
    From the Washington Post article I mentioned above, in Buenos Aires seems to be cheap. A steak dinner with wine for 2 is under $25 for two.

    The lack luster economy is one of the reason that I am looking to spend some time in Argentina and other countries near by on an extended stay.
     
  8. maxi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    #8
    Dude, sorry I completely missed you on the other thread we had going.

    Argentina is indeed an amazing place to visit. Summer in Bs As can get pretty hot, up to 85-90 degrees here in the city. Sadly I don't know as much of my country as I would like, but the places I've been to are amazing.
    Geographycally, you have the atlantic on the east and the andes on the west (covering the whole extension from north to south). As you are from the US, everything is reversed here, the further south you travel, the colder it gets...

    From Bs As you are about 2hs-2.5hs by plane away from any other city in the country, so it is a good base of operations.
    Here's a quick summary of what you can find:

    The north (salta / jujuy) is a very dry and beatiful place, I haven't been there but everyone that has says it's amazing. you can do the "tren de las nubes" (train of the clouds) that's like an old train that goes through the mountains with some breathtaking views.

    To the North east, and limiting with Brasil and Paraguay, you have Misiones... very hot and humid tropical climate. What you got there is the "cataratas del iguazu" (The Iguazu falls) which are breathtaking (see pics below), there you can also cross to Brasil and Paraguay it's a place known as the "triple border" where smuggling of anything from drugs to cars is common knowledge, you can get stolen electronics cheaper than anywhere in the world here.

    in the middle, you have Bs As. My city. I adore it.
    4 hs away by car, you have the whole "atlantic coast", Pinamar, Carilo and Mar del Plata, which are the most famous places people in the city go to spend their summers at the beach. Pinamar is my favorite, too bad it's full of people during the summer. Specially kids in their late teens early 20's (I'm 24 BTW so I shouldn't be calling them kids :p )

    At around the same latitude as Bs As but by the andes, you have mendoza... a province I visited a couple of months ago. Gorgeous place to go and visit, Mountains, dams and wine are what Mendoza is all about. It's full of wine makers which offer tours every day, if you like wine, you have to go to Mendoza.

    Further south, you got the Patagonia, there you have basically gorgeus landscapes, lakes, mountains, snow, even Glaciars. a couple of my friends spent 2 weeks there last summer... they took a car and just drove with a map, going from city to city. Lots of tourists, very good mood in general (the people there are good hosts :) ), very fine microbreweries and AMAZING food.

    I'll post pics in the following posts.
    As I said before, ask me anything you want!!!! :)
     
  9. maxi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    #9
    Ok, here I have some pics. Quality is not excellent in some of the pics (too compressed...)but still... These are all taken with my D70 and stock lens or a coolpix 4600 (my gf's).
    Those houses down there are actually a private country club... imagine going over the weekends to your house and waking up to that view :)
    [​IMG]

    One of the many dams in San Rafael (the soil is very arid, they rely on the multiple dams to provide water for the wineyards and all the agriculture).
    [​IMG]

    The sign speaks for itself
    [​IMG]

    A wineyard, I visited when the grapes were already collected and the wine was being made... they used this time of the year to produce dry fruit. Those are plums getting dried there.
    [​IMG]

    Horseback riding... (don't try it if you are afraid of heights)
    [​IMG]

    This is part of a tiny tiny town at the top of one of the highest dams. It was actually built to house the people working during the construction of the dam, and some people stayed.
    [​IMG]

    This girl went inside as soon as she saw me, I couldn't get a clear shot... she was spying me through a semi-closed window afterwards
    [​IMG]

    And finally, that's me! and the mandatory self portrait :cool:
    [​IMG]

    I hope I haven't clogged the forum.
    I have tons more pics from different parts I can post too..
     
  10. mlw1235 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #10
    I hosted a student from Argentina in high school for a month. Before that I was asked (read: told) to read this book. It doesn't look like amazon has it but look around. It became an invaluable resource for me when he came to visit.
     
  11. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #11
    No sweat. Sometimes it is hard to keep up in the forums.

    Thanks for a better geography lesson than some I found on the web. Your pictures also helped.

    When you say Summer, I assume you mean our US winter time. :D Heat does not bother me as much as humidity does. So how humid are Summers in "Bs As" - btw, love the short hand :) ?

    From what you are telling me, 2 to 4 weeks could be filled with enough places to see just in Argentina. I would hope at least to try to get to Easter Island if I make this journey.

    Would love to make some 2 to 3 day jaunts to other countries nearby. For I am really trying to make this a 4 week trip. Only because I am not sure that I could make it back for a re-visit. I recently gave up on re-visiting SF, in order to see more of the US and the world.

    It is great to go back to a place that one loves, but my trip in February to Reykjavik and London showed me there is much more to see in this great planet. Other places that I have on my must see list: Tokyo, Australia, Venice at Carnival, Rome, Amsterdam, Frankfort Germany (my birth city), Alaska, New Mexico, and so many more.

    Thanks for the tip. Looks like an eBay hunt for me. :D Sounds like a great series of books.
     
  12. maxi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    #12
    About the heat.... Bs As in summer is no dry heat... that's for sure :)
    It's not a rainforest though... I don't know where you are from, but I would equate it to a NY summer day (I don't know how humid is too humid for you... Bs As is definitely not as humid as say Miami). It can get very hot. However, once you leave Bs As it's another story, the beaches are (obviously) not humid at all and the "cordillera" (that's the places near the andes... aka the west side) and the whole of the patagonia are also dry. In fact I'd say the only really humid place is misiones and the north eastern part, bordering Brasil. The north is very dry too (sort of like las vegas weather).

    From what I understand, we Argentinians are more like Italians than anything else in our manners. ie: we really enjoy those family gatherings each week (Pasta or "asado" (BBQ) on sundays is almost a ritual in most families), we are more "touchy" than Americans too, when friends meet, whe greet with a kiss (on the cheek ;)) both male and female, etc. I know Americans may feel a bit overwhelmed by this, but it's all good!

    As far as transportation goes, as I said before, almost everything is at around 2-3hs away by plane. I think the northernmost and southernmost points may be a bit more, Usuahia (the worlds southernmost city is about 4,5 hs away I think). And fares will be cheap for you if you have US currency (I think it's around 60USD to go to Montevideo, Uruguay by plane). Eating will definitely be cheap (though prices are going up almost every week :mad: ). Easter Island has to be an amazing destination, I think you have to go to Chile to go there. Chile is very nice. Santiago is similar to Mendoza climate wise, they are almost on the same spot but the other side of the andes. There are nice beaches in chile too (valparaiso is one) where you can eat amazing fish and king crabs, it's quite a bit more colder than here though, being in the pacific and all.

    I think I haven't forgotten anything, PM me or keep on asking! I'll be glad to answer.
     

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