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(26 Posts)
kanraven Fri 30-Aug-19 14:41:31

Hello ladies, planning a couples getaway.

Has anyone here been to Argentina? My partner is welsh and really would like to go to Patagonia to see the welsh colony there. I like cities, so Buenos Aires has been on my list for some time.

Looking at flights, we could get 12 days, so 10 full days.

Any advice?
Is it still really expensive?We were thinking of going at Easter, and staying in airbnbs as apparently they’re cheap.

OP’s posts: |
BobLobLawLLB Fri 30-Aug-19 14:46:42

I love Argentina! We have a house near Mar Del Plata. I have never been to Patagonia. Flights are pricey, with stops normally in France/Brazil. Normally between £550-700.

kanraven Fri 30-Aug-19 16:40:05

Spotted some direct flights for £500 from London, and I’m scared they’ll go !

OP’s posts: |
BobLobLawLLB Fri 30-Aug-19 19:44:37

Go for it! It's a great country with lovely people. Let me know what Patagonia is like.

BubblesBuddy Fri 30-Aug-19 23:11:39

BA fly direct to BA. It’s way better than non direct! £500 sounds too cheap for direct flights.

We went in April 2018. It’s very very late for Patagonia. So, it depends what you want to do and where exactly you want to go.

We flew to El Calafate in Patagonia. From there you can see the Glaciers NP. We had one cold very wet and windy day. Two days were ok but higher up, the snow started to fall! We saw the Perito Moreno glacier in good weather but do be aware that April is iffy down there.

No, Argentina is not expensive. It’s not ludicrously cheap either. The currency has been stabilised and inflation is not as rampant as it was.

Regarding Buenos Aires, it’s a great city. It has a good food scene and there is plenty too see and do. The Recoletta Cementry, the street art, tango shows, the Eva Peron Museum, and the lovely modern art museum are all well worth doing. Take a city tour and consider staying in Palermo Soho.

We also stayed near Mendoza and did a tour of wineries. We also did a photographic safari into the Andes. These are not budget options though. We also drove south through the Lake District. Starting at St Martin de Los Andes and ending in Baroloche.

You could also consider Córdoba and Salta. Both fine in April. I think 12 days is too short, however, and I would seriously consider March, not April if your main destination is Patagonia.

BubblesBuddy Fri 30-Aug-19 23:12:26

Sorry: assuming Easter is April! It might not be in 2020.

NowtSalamander Sun 01-Sep-19 17:13:59

I’ve just been there for a month. We got £500 flights to BA with BA.

I’ve spent quite a lot of time in arg before so I knew what I wanted to go back for - Ushuaia, iguazu falls, and Salta are my top places after BA. Internal flights are really reasonable.

You can go to Patagonia whenever you like it just depends what you want to go for - if you want to see glaciers and go trekking then you need to go outside winter. But having just been there in high winter it was lovely to see it all snowy and the winter sports are great if that’s your thing.

NowtSalamander Sun 01-Sep-19 17:15:16

Also, money wise, now is the time to go as it’s pretty cheap compared to what it was five or ten years ago. Even with the weak pound, this is the time!

thetwoshow Sun 01-Sep-19 19:20:34

Hi there ,
We went this year- loved it.
We stayed inBA had a fantastic day with a guide would really recommend him.
We were quite nervous due to all the scare stories about B A but was absolutely lovely. We stayed in recoletta easy walk to the cemetery and lovely bars and restaurants.
We then flew to salta ( fantastic) then we drove down to Mendoza stopped at fantastic places including wonderful wineries, if you are interested I can send our itinerary.
We stayed again in B A before flying home in the the newish area puerto madero it was fine but we much preferred recoletta.
The food and wine was incredible , the scenery ,the people , weather and history were fantastic, we only had 14 nights in all honesty when you're working will you ever have more?
Go go go you won't regret it.

SJane48S Mon 02-Sep-19 07:08:03

Following as Argentina is on the ‘want to go to soon’ list! The only potentially helpful thing I can add is that Norwegian are now flying directly to BA at significantly less than BA as well as operating flights within Argentina itself. BA would be the more desirable option (Norwegian’s finances for a while have been a bit precarious!) but I recently posted about Norwegian’s NY route and plenty of Mumsnetters have used Norwegian long haul pretty happily. Up to you obviously and if you have a good budget, BA likely to be better!

If you’ve not read it, ‘In Patagonia’ by Bruce Chatwin is a good read. It’s an old book but he visits the Welsh communities & it’s interesting!

Gonegrey31 Mon 02-Sep-19 07:40:16

I spent 10 days in Argentina in March before going in to Chile. If you enjoy hiking, do go to El Chalten. Some of the most beautiful walks I have ever been on. I then took a boat trip around Cape Horn to get to Chile. Perfect calm weather, extraordinary scenery. Absolutely wonderful trip, I’m busy planning a return visit. Argentina much cheaper than Chile.

BubblesBuddy Mon 02-Sep-19 08:34:35

If you can get BA for £500 (we had a companion flight, used Avios and paid tax for business both ways) it’s a bargain. Norwegian are iffy and my DD has had serious problems with them on the NY route. They have serious debt and are having to scale down routes. I would be careful about using them. Will they cancel this route? I didn’t look at one stop routes but it depends what time you have available.

DH and I have been able to take up to 3 weeks holiday in one go and have done over Easter or after Christmas. Just depends what you do.

We are going back in 2020 before our Antarctic adventure! Can’t wait!

BubblesBuddy Mon 02-Sep-19 16:48:26

Flights are much cheaper in winter but it will curtail hiking in Patagonia.

Marinetta Mon 02-Sep-19 17:04:06

I loved Patagonia, really do your research before hand though because 10 days isn't a lot if you want to do Buenos Aires, Patagonia and the Welsh Colony. You're going to have to plan well to make the most of your time. I didn't actually go to Buenos Aires, some Argentinians I met advised me not to go, saying that it's just like any other large city and can be skipped if short on time. I did Bariloche, salta, Punto Arenas, El Chalten and Iguazu falls all of which I would reccommend.

BrioLover Mon 02-Sep-19 17:31:07

Norwegian now fly to BA, they are much cheaper.

My sister was in Argentina recently, staying in BA and Mar Del Plata. She found the Norwegian flight excellent and the buses are very good to get around if you want to avoid internal flights. AirBnB seems good too. It's not too expensive anymore but she did mention it is more expensive to eat fruits and vegetables there than she expected! The wine is obviously cheap and very nice grin

kanraven Mon 02-Sep-19 21:40:51

Thank you all so much for the advice, tips and insight cake

The flights I’m looking at are British Airways direct. Google flights tells us the average direct BA flights to BA (grin) are £775.
I think we’ll keep our avios for our summer trip which will be more relaxing than experiences.

Did any of you ladies fly within Argentina itself? I’ve seen quotes vary between £50 one way to £200 for an internal flight.

How expensive did you find Patagonia?

Apparently April is a really good time to visit there.

There are so many options and so little time to do it all. I’d even considered scrapping Patagonia and doing just the North of Argentina.

OP’s posts: |
Goostacean Mon 02-Sep-19 21:42:58

Placemarking as I lived there for a year and got back 6 months ago- will be back to answer questions. Strongly advise you check out Norwegian Air and consider going Premium Economy; decent attempt at a Business Class offering without the price tag!

BubblesBuddy Mon 02-Sep-19 23:05:58

April is not a really good time to visit Patagonia. I don’t know where you got that info from. On one day we had serious gales, driving rain and sleet. You could have several days like that and it’s not worth the risk if you want to hike or see anything! You need to go in our winter, so at least a month earlier.

It’s a huge country, so our winter timing makes other areas very hot, especially in the North. However, April is a great time for BA, Salta, Lake District, Mendoza and Iguazu.

We had already been to Iguazu Falls when we visited Brazil and also saw the Falls from Argentina, so we didn’t go back. Salta Airport was closed! If you do go in April, there is still a lot to see.

The love of Norwegian escapes me. Their finances are perilous and it’s well documented they need to reduce routes and have sold aircraft. Travellers took them to Court in 2018 as they were stranded in BA for days! However I’m lucky in that we don’t have to be cost sensitive. If I cannot lie flat and sleep, I don’t consider it business, whatever the cabin is called
We have taken several internal flights within Argentina because you more or less have to. Aerolineas/Austral have modern aircraft and the domestic airports have been modernised. LATAM might operate in some areas. We have used them in Chile and again no issues. The international airport is not the same as the domestic airport in BA but some internal flights might use it. Generally they are an hour apart by road but it can be a lot longer! The prices you have for internal flights are about right. The timetables can change on 1 April so be aware when planning an itinerary.

IdblowJonSnow Mon 02-Sep-19 23:12:48

I spent 6 weeks in Argentina. You can't go wrong really. It's a massive country so you may want to do internal flights to save on time. Otherwise you can get overnight buses which are ridiculously comfy, not like anything you'd ever encounter in the UK!
Bariloche is beautiful, BA is lively. Salta was interesting. Wish I'd gone to Mendoza. Iguazu is amazing and impressive but I visited on my way up to Brazil, otherwise it's not on your way to anywhere.
It was very cheap when I was there but that was a while ago.

Milomonster Mon 02-Sep-19 23:19:38

Just spent 3 weeks in BA. Flew economy on Norwegian, which was absolutely fine. BA is super easy to get around - buses and taxis are super cheap. You can hire bikes using the public scheme. Stay in Palermo Soho in an Airbnb - super cool place and the street art is breathtaking. I stayed in a lovely studio in that area which was amazingly cheap.

I found internal flights to be expensive but I booked last minute (around 300 return). Do book in advance.

I didn’t visit Patagonia as I think that’s a trip in itself and requires time. As others have mentioned, visit Iguazu and also from the Brazilian side. I went to a spectacular area in the Jujuy province and stayed in a village called Tilcara. The area is well known for its colorful mountains - one of the most spectacular sights I’ve ever seen. Visit Purmamarca and Salinas Grandes - the latter is the second largest salt flat in the world. The drive there from Purmamarca was the most incredible as it’s so high in the mountains. If you don’t go to Patagonia, fly to Salta or Jujuy to see these mountains.

Goostacean Fri 06-Sep-19 16:06:38

Hello, finally found time to come back.

Regarding flights: Norwegian have been documented as being in financial peril for ages now, so who knows what the truth is. Obviously it's up to you, but we used them several times in 2018/early 2019 (we were living in BA) and as I said, the Premium Economy was only marginally more expensive than BA Economy (if at all) and significantly more comfortable.

We flew from BA to Salta in Sept, and BA to Ushuaia around the same time. I think the flights were quite expensive £150-300pp - but I was quite fussy about flight times as we were going with a baby and I wanted to make life easier. Latam btw are appalling. Travel with them only if you HAVE to, and expect delays. Hate that airline. Aerolineas Argentinas are fine.

In BA, if you don't speak Spanish, stay in Recoleta or in Palermo Soho as people have mentioned. Puerto Madero is the financial district, all high rises and modern buildings, and poorly connected. Other parts of the city are actually quite dangerous, so do be careful. (Read up on the usual scams, esp with taxi drivers who are practically a mafia. I used Uber a lot, despite it not being legal at the time, because the drivers were more honest - I never had an issue, unlike in a taxi. Taxis do things like accelerating the meter, claiming prices are in dollars not pesos etc.)

The Evita museum is very good and amusing propaganda. The Museo de Bellas Artes has impressive exhibits and a permanent collection of Rodin, as well as modern art. MALBA and MAMBA are good galleries if you want modern art, and there's a beautiful collection from a private philanthropist in Puerto Madero - I've forgotten her name unfortunately. The Xul Solar museum is a bit trippy and a great example of Argentine work from the last century. I highly recommend the hop on, hop off buses; buy the 24h ticket around 3pm and then you can do 1/3 routes at 3pm before dinner, and the other two the next morning before your ticket runs out. It's a big city, so save your poor feet!

With food in BA, you've got to go to Don Julio's steak house. You're not vegetarian, are you? The beef in Arg is to die for, but there are a number of vegetarian and vegan places popping up, if so; BA is pretty "cool" and trendy.

AirBnB would give you some great places to stay, I'm sure! We never used them, but I happily would in your position. It's not a cheap place to visit, but the metro and bus are extremely good value and eating out is very acceptable too.

Goostacean Fri 06-Sep-19 16:14:50

Can't say a huge amount about Patagonia as we went to Ushuaia and couldn't do much as the baby was quite restrictive...! There are a bunch of not-cheap standard tours/day trips there, from sailing the Beagle Channel to exploring the local lakes, and walking with penguins. I don't know much about the trekking side of things, I'm afraid, but the Tierra del Fuego National Park is a treasure.

Salta was amazing. Highlight of a year out there, I'd say. We did a six day trip with a driver (I can give contact details if you want), going from Salta (not much to see) to Cachi, to Cafayate where we did a wine tour, back to Salta through the impressive Calchaqui Valleys, then north to the Hill of Seven Colours (Cerro de Siete Colores), and explored pre-Incan ruins. Plenty of places to stop off and see ancient sites, small local towns, impressive geology... And taste wine, as it's the region for Argentina's Torrontes variety! Would highly recommend.

Also recommend Bariloche, which is one of the most beautiful places I've been in my life.

OK, I'll stop now. Appreciate I've probably not answered your questions but just gone on about Argentina generally...!

kanraven Fri 06-Sep-19 19:17:09

Thank you ALL so much for this information! Going to write it down in my travel diary so I won't forget things to do.

Just booked, and stretched it to 12 full days. Super excited ! Ended up booking premium economy too, so glad to hear that it's significantly more comfortable.

I have been significantly cutting down on meat consumption lately, but I think that will go on hiatus in Argentina grin Can't wait for the red wines wine blush

OP’s posts: |
Goostacean Fri 06-Sep-19 19:34:40

Enjoy! Can talk about it for hours, it's such a friendly place despite all their economic and social issues. You'll have a great time!

BubblesBuddy Sun 08-Sep-19 23:14:02

Where are you heading for in Argentina now you have booked international flights?

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