Argentina/Patagonia

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Argentina/Patagonia

Postby Goat Boy » 16 Jan 2014, 12:58

I'm looking at a big trip this year and fancy Argentina and Patagonia.

Anybody been? Any advice or recommendations?
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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby Toby » 17 Jan 2014, 10:21

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I went two years ago.

It's fantastic but I would recommend expanding your budget a bit because Patagonia isn't cheap. Because of the sheer distances involved, most things are imported and the prices reflect the tourist economy that it has - i.e if rich foreign tourists spend x to get there, then they'll have money so even cheaper options like hostels are inflated costwise.

We went for our honeymoon so for us it was a no expenses spared trip, so I think you could probably do some aspects of things like the National Parks relatively cheaply if you stay at Refugios and the like.

In Patagonia the big things not to miss are

The Torres Del Paine national park
The Glaciers - Perito Moreno in particular
El Chalten
Tierra del Fuego/Ushaia

You can do this by flying to El Calafate and getting buses to Puerto Natales (which is in Chile) and around. I would highly recommend the Afrigonia restaurant in the latter, I had the most sublime Ceviche there. But on the whole I'd recommend being a bit circumspect with the food down there - it can be quite poor.

It is an amazing place but I warn you, it's also pretty popular. I remember my first day in the Torres Del Paine national park thinking "shit yeah we're fucking miles from anywhere" and then 5 minutes later a woman walked past us with a Waitrose bag.


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I'm no expert on the place but if you wanted to go somewhere really amazing - then the place above in Catamarca is crazy. Only around 100 or so people go here every year - it's up in the NW of the country near Bolivia and even then it's totally off the beaten track.

We stayed at a place near Salta that arranged the trip - highly recommended.

http://www.finca-valentina.com.ar/finca ... a_eng.html


Oh and Buenos Aires is great as well - go to Aramburu. El Bulli style cuisine for a fifth of the price.

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant ... trict.html

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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby Goat Boy » 17 Jan 2014, 11:05

Thanks, that's great advice!
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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby Thesiger » 17 Jan 2014, 13:32

Puerto Madryn is the capital of Welsh Patagonia and there is a settler trail of sorts which is quite interesting in tracing the Welsh cultural heritage. Many places have Welsh afternoon tea.

I did some great whale watching down there. The closest in to land that I've ever seen the species (Right Whales).
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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby Betty Denim » 19 Jan 2014, 11:52

Read Bruce Chatwin's In Patagonia. It's one of my favourite books. I can lend you a copy if you like.

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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby Goat Boy » 19 Jan 2014, 16:56

I'll check that book out, thanks.
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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby Toby » 20 Jan 2014, 15:07

Everyone was reading that in Patagonia unsurprisingly. But it is good.

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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby Betty Denim » 22 Jan 2014, 00:06

Bleep wrote:Everyone was reading that in Patagonia unsurprisingly. But it is good.


I read it about 18 years ago as part of a travel writing module for my degree. I thought the Welsh thing was utterly fascinating.

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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby Geezee » 06 Feb 2014, 16:48

I would also recommend Tierra Del Fuego/Ushuia - it's much less picturesque perhaps than Patagonia and Iguazu, but so calm, quiet, atmospheric. There's a lovely estancia there called Harberton, which is still run/owned by the original family that settled in the area. The book of the explorer - Lucas Bridges - "Uttermost Part of the Earth" is excellent as well, well worth picking up.

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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby Goat Boy » 01 Oct 2014, 10:22

Any recommendations for hotels in Buenos Aires?
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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby Rayge » 01 Oct 2014, 16:30

Goat Boy wrote:Any recommendations for hotels in Buenos Aires?

Have you tried asking algroth? He may not check out this board very often, so won't have seen this
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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby Toby » 08 Oct 2014, 21:21

Stay in Palermo if you can, it's possibly the most happening place I've been to in years. At night time you can really sense the buzz from the place.

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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby Copehead » 24 Oct 2014, 23:32

Punta Arenas is a shit hole
Although I was severely hungover after over indulging in Pisco Sours at Santiago airport
I remember we went to a restaurant where they roasted a whole sheep over an open fire
But I was too hungover to enjoy it at 7pm in the evening, terrible state of affairs.
But I'd walked around town previously and it was grim
And it is in Chile anyway so probably outside the remit of this thread.

Was the gateway to the Falkland Islands in the late noughties though

The restaurant was a meaty place called San Telmo, I would recommend that, it wasn't their fault I was a twat with the Pisco Sours at lunch time
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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby never/ever » 27 Jun 2016, 06:01

Goat Boy- did you end up going?

I'm planning touring there mid-February next year. I'm looking at assorted guided tours as I'm not in possession of a drivers' license. I'll take in the recommendations here for starters.
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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby Goat Boy » 27 Jun 2016, 09:56

Yes I did.

What are you planning on doing?
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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby never/ever » 27 Jun 2016, 10:02

So far I'm planning a tour starting and ending on Buenos Aires, traveling to Ushuaia, Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales, Torres Del Paine, El Calefate and El Chalten, which includes quite a bit of hiking.
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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby Goat Boy » 27 Jun 2016, 10:43

You have to go to a Boca game. It is a must. I used LandingPadBA for that but book well in advance. If you the dates are flexible I would highly recommend you try and get to tickets for the derby with River Plate at the bombonera as the atmosphere must be incredible. Tickets aren’t cheap for the derby, if I recall they were £150 and above when I was there but I’d pay every penny to experience that atmosphere. Also do a stadium tour.

Bleep is right about Aramburu – see above. Top place with michelin level food but significantly cheaper. If you want a special meal and want to pay a bit I highly recommend it.

If you want a really good steak I can recommend Don Julio.

Sadly I didn’t make it to El Chalten because of some money problems so I can’t recommend anything there.

I presume you are going to the Perito Moreno glacier? I did a glacier walk tour but I can’t remember which company. I’ve searched my inbox hoping I’d kept the booking emails but sadly I’ve deleted them I’m afraid. There’s a lot of competition though so pick carefully.

Puerto Natales is a windswept, barren shithole. I didn’t visit the restaurant Bleep recommended above, I sadly forgot, but I did have a really good pizza at Pizzeria Mesita Grande. It sounds funny considering the Italian influence in Argentina but I couldn’t find a decent thin based pizza in Argentina but I did here, in desolate Chile. Accommodation is hit and miss here, some of it is really quite old fashioned. I stayed in a really nice, cosy hostel called Yaganhouse which has very good reviews. I can recommend it if you want a cheaper option than a hotel.
Obviously you don’t need to do a tour of Torres Del Paine as you can do this all yourself. I guess all you need are permits etc and transport which you get in Puerto Natales. Food isn’t cheap in the hostels around the trek but the standard of accommodation is pretty high but take plenty cash for the trek.

I didn't visit the other places I'm afraid but that sounds like a hell of a trip.
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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby never/ever » 27 Jun 2016, 11:10

I certainly intend to catch a game when I'm overseas! I missed out when I was in Brazil two years ago, having the home teams in Sao Paulo and Rio playing away at the time (made up for it by playing beach volleyball on the white sand of Ipanema) but Boca is definitely on the bucket list.

The trip I'm intend on booking is 19 days with lots of hiking trips, including the Perito Moreno-glacier. We'll camp in several sports including the national park at Torres Del Plaine which looks absolutely spectacular. I hear you about the pricing and will keep options open! Thanks very much for your input, I'm working out the itinerary at the moment!
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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby Goat Boy » 27 Jun 2016, 11:37

Let me know if you need any more advice.
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Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby never/ever » 27 Jun 2016, 11:46

I will, thanks bery much for the offer. Chasing up a copy of the Chatwin-novel now. Initially it was a Jules Verne-novel that put me onto this path.
Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?."

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