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Planning An Argentinian Vacation!  
User currently offlinejblua320 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3179 posts, RR: 19
Posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1301 times:
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Greetings y'all!

I need a little bit of help. I'm planning on taking my family to visit Argentina for about 8 days in November. I'd like to split the time between Buenos Aires and the Mendoza region since we do love our wine! I've searched the net but that amount of information is overwhelming, so I was hoping you fine folks could help me plan a little bit.

1) How would you split the time between B.A. and Mendoza?
2) Should we rent a car in either place?
3) I understand there is a reciprocity fee of $140US for entering via EZE. If we transfer via SCL to MDZ and then fly to AEP from MDZ, would we avoid this fee? What about exit fees?
4) Any suggested must-do's our tours is much appreciated.

We are looking for a very authentic, off the beaten path trip that sees the big places, but focus more on the culture and of course the delicious food and wine.

Thank you very much !!!

-BK

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3284 posts, RR: 44
Reply 1, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1296 times:

Quoting jblua320 (Thread starter):
How would you split the time between B.A. and Mendoza?

1) I'd do 5 days in BA, 3 days in Mendoza.

2) Can't speak for Mendoza, but definitely not in BA. Subte and buses (colectivos) are more than adequate.

3) I believe so, but then you get to pay the $140 reciprocity fee with Chile! Damned if you do, damned if you don't!

4) When in BA, be sure to visit Recolta (especially the cemetery), La Boca, Puerto Madero, and Palermo. A day trip to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay is also a great use of a day, and somewhat off the beaten path. Belgrano is a great barrio to visit. Nothing particularly special about it (though Estadio El Monumental, River Plate's stadium is there), but it's a great place to visit and walk around. San Isidro is another town that's about an hour train ride from Retiro, near downtown, that is a very pretty upper-middle to upper-class neighborhood. San Telmo is a must, but you'll definitely go there anyway.

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlinejblua320 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3179 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1295 times:
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Thanks for the advice! I thought you didn't need to pay the fee in Chile if you are just transiting through? We won't stay in SCL, just fly JFK-SCL-MDZ on LAN.

User currently offlineluckyone From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 2168 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1283 times:

Quoting jblua320 (Thread starter):
1) How would you split the time between B.A. and Mendoza?
2) Should we rent a car in either place?
3) I understand there is a reciprocity fee of $140US for entering via EZE. If we transfer via SCL to MDZ and then fly to AEP from MDZ, would we avoid this fee? What about exit fees?
4) Any suggested must-do's our tours is much appreciated.

1) At least four days in BA.
2) In BA absolutely not.
3) You will indeed avoid the reciprocity fee if you avoid EZE.
4) Rent an apartment in BA if you can. It's much cheaper and you'll get a lot more space. Plus you can buy a few things, such as breakfast items.
Don't spend more than an hour at La Boca. Go there, look at the cool buildings, and say oh gee wow, and move on to more fruitful activities. It's a tourist trap. DO go to a Boca Juniors football match if possible. You will indeed pay more for it than the average Argentine, but use one of the ticket services. They will pick you up and take you there, and make sure you don't get lost or into something you don't want to be. The area isn't the best and it's a madhouse (in a good way) during game day. The fans are more of a show than the game itself, and it's a blast either way.
Puerto Madero at night is really cool. You can see much of the city lit up.
DO eat steak. No clue where you're staying, but I stayed near the Plaza Armenia in Palermo Soho, and there were at least five steakhouses in the vicinity. I tried two or three of them, Minga was outstanding, and well-priced.
I would advise also doing a hop-on-hop-off to get acquainted with the city on your first day. BA is quite large.
Eat as many empanadas as you can stand. They are delicious.
San Isidro is indeed quite nice. The river tours are very pleasant and relaxing as well.


Without being to shamelessly self-plugging, you can read about my trip there last June if you want some ideas: What's New, Buenos Aires? (by luckyone Sep 14 2011 in Trip Reports)

[Edited 2012-08-22 14:52:15]

User currently offlinejblua320 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3179 posts, RR: 19
Reply 4, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1268 times:
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Thank you!! If we fly OUT from EZE, via LIM to JFK on the return having entered through AEP, we'd just pay the departure tax right?

Any suggestions as to neighborhoods in BA where we should stay? A guesthouse/apartment sounds like a great idea but there are so many areas in BA, it's tough to know where or where not to stay.

Two of us are gluten-free - hopefully that won't be a huge issue in BA!

Keep the suggestions coming - y'all are very helpful!!!

JBLU


User currently offlineluckyone From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 2168 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1255 times:

Quoting jblua320 (Reply 4):
Any suggestions as to neighborhoods in BA where we should stay? A guesthouse/apartment sounds like a great idea but there are so many areas in BA, it's tough to know where or where not to stay.

I found Palermo to have the best mix of good/affordable restaurants and shops. Microcenter, I thought, wasn't the best place to stay since it becomes deserted after work hours. Puerto Madero would be fine. Recoleta is pricy, and the restaurants were more expensive.


User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3284 posts, RR: 44
Reply 6, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1254 times:

Quoting luckyone (Reply 5):
Palermo

  

Quoting luckyone (Reply 5):
Microcenter, I thought, wasn't the best place to stay since it becomes deserted after work hours.

  

Quoting luckyone (Reply 5):
Recoleta is pricy, and the restaurants were more expensive

   Though it's not egregious.

Quoting luckyone (Reply 5):
Puerto Madero would be fine

  

I'd go with Palermo, if you're really looking to get at the heart/pulse of BA.

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlinecorocks From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1213 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1238 times:

Quoting jblua320 (Thread starter):
1) How would you split the time between B.A. and Mendoza?
2) Should we rent a car in either place?
3) I understand there is a reciprocity fee of $140US for entering via EZE. If we transfer via SCL to MDZ and then fly to AEP from MDZ, would we avoid this fee? What about exit fees?
4) Any suggested must-do's our tours is much appreciated.

We just went to Mendoza and BA about 6 months ago. Having said that - I am a huge wine fan and felt BA was over rated. If you are a HUGE fan of wine, then I would go 50/50 split for the two cities.

No car in BA for sure. In Mendoza, the wineries are nowhere near the city center. We found it much easier to go on a wine tour, but they are pretty expensive. Tasting down there is different than the US. Everything is by reservation, and you are expected to take a full tour at everyplace. Trying to do it yourself is difficult because of the language barrier and no knowing how much time to allow for the reservations makes it hard. The tasting are much more expensive than the US as well. We used a company called Trout and Wine, and were very pleased with them.

Flying from MDZ should miss the reciprocity fee. Even if you are "supposed" to pay for it in SCL, there was no one checking to see if you actually paid. You were never forced to go to the reciprocity line when we were there.

I thought BA was nice, but no where the Paris or NY of South America that everyone says it is. Expectations were set too high. Steak was the most overated thing in BA. It was a big hunk of meat, of which you could not even tell what cut it was, and cooked well done, no matter what temperature you order it. We tried it at some of the best places, and it was always that way.

Have a great trip! Enjoy the wine!


User currently onlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6177 posts, RR: 30
Reply 8, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1211 times:
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MDZ is a wonderful city in itself. Quaint, nice and very pretty. Wine tours are available for every budget. You can get the cheapest one which is sort of a bus that picks different people at their hoels and takes them to two wineries and one other local food factory, usually olive oil. That one costs about 6 USD per person and all the tastings at the wineries are for free.

You will not find a language barrier issue at the wineries.

Then there are the more expensive ones which can go up to 200 USD per person but they include a personal guide, and a car with a driver for you and your family only. It also includes a meal at one of the wineries you visit.

My suggestion is that as soon as you arrive in MDZ go to the building of the "Dirección Provincial de Turismo" which is hard to miss. It is on San Martín avenue a few blocks from "La peatonal" Ask anyone for directions to it. There, they will tell you all sorts of available activities and will advise you on tours, prices, reputable providers, give you maps etc. Whatever you need. They are pretty good and should point you in the right direction.

Do visit the "Parque General San Martín", the "Plaza Independencia" and if you are into pasta (MDZ is not the place for beef) go to "La Marchigiana" It´s pricey, but excellent. That´s off on a street from Avenida Las Heras. Again, ask. Another excellent pasta place is the "Montecatini". Not so pricey, but very traditional.

For mid-afternoon coffee go to "La Peatonal" It´s a street lined with good shopping and cafés. For shopping, in MDZ, definitely do not go to the malls. Waste of time and budget.

Business closes at 12 noon and opens at 16:00 hrs, and the city pretty much dies. So don´t be surprised by this. Find a good café and catch up on your e-mails.

For night life, you have two choices. Go to "Arístedes Vellanueva" street. That´s where all the trendy clubs and bars within the city are located. The good ones at least. Now if you really want to hit the night scene you´ll have to go outside the city to a suburb called "Chacras" which is about a 20 min. drive by taxi. You´ll find clubs there to suit all your tastes.

When you get into a cab: 1) Have an idea of the general direction you are going, because it might give you the "long tour" 2) Be sure he starts the meter. A common trick is that they don´t and when you arrive at your destination the cabbie will apologize profusely, but will tell you what he "usually charges for that ride" If you find yourself in that situation, just give him half of what he is asking.

If you want more info. PM me.

[Edited 2012-08-23 01:14:50]


MGGS
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5925 posts, RR: 40
Reply 9, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1189 times:

what I can recommend bring alongside your credit card, USD in cash with you in order to pay all including hotels etc in cash... just google USD in Argentina... and you will know why it should be better to pay in cash.

cheers
Avianca



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