Our vacation to Argentina was the longest and one of the most logistically challenging vacations we’ve taken.
We changed locations every couple of days and covered almost the entire length of the country, from Puerto Iguazu in the north to El Calafate in the south.
Our itinerary was made more intense by random misfortune in the days leading up to our departure. Four days before departure, Peter was diagnosed with a herniated disc, and two days before departure, I fractured my toe on the steel leg of our coffee table.
I was told by the doctor that I was lucky the fracture “missed the joint” and that “hiking would be very painful,” and he was right. Hiking was very painful – tears painful at times.
The vacation began with a flight from Seattle to Dallas, where we stayed overnight at a hotel.
There are no direct flights from Seattle to Buenos Aires, and instead of pushing through an 18-25 hour travel day, we decided to split our outbound journey into two segments: Seattle to Dallas and then the following morning, Dallas to Buenos Aires.
We arrived in Buenos Aires the day after the 2016 US Presidential election. On our descent into Buenos Aires, we were told that Donald Trump had won the election.
We visited four regions in Argentina, traveling from from north to south: Puerto Iguazu, Buenos Aires, San Carlos de Bariloche, and Patagonia (El Chalten and El Calafate).
Argentina is the eighth biggest country in the world, and Patagonia, which encompasses the southern tips of Argentina and Chile, is a vast area of natural beauty. At 403,000 square miles, Patagonia is the size of two Spains or the size of Texas and California combined.
Our itinerary was hectic and intense. Some we got right, some we definitely got wrong.
|Day||Where we stayed||Details||Related post|
|1||Puerto Iguazu||-Landed in Buenos Aires (EZE)|
-Taxied to the other airport (AEP)
-Flew to Puerto Iguazu (IGR)
|2||Puerto Iguazu||Visited Iguazu Falls||Link|
|3||Buenos Aires||Flew to Buenos Aires (AEP)|
|4||Buenos Aires||Explored Buenos Aires (Palermo neighborhood)|
|5||San Carlos de Bariloche||-Flew to San Carlos de Bariloche (BRC)|
-Hiked Cerro Campanario
|6||San Carlos de Bariloche||Spent the day mostly confined to the hotel due to poor weather but managed to take part in the Blue Dollar Market||Link|
|7||El Chalten||-Flew to El Calafate (FTE)|
-Collected rental car at El Calafate airport and drove to El Chalten (3 hours)
|8||El Chalten||Hiked Laguna Torre||Link|
|9||El Chalten||Hiked Laguna De los Tres (Fitz Roy)||Link|
|10||El Calafate||Drove from El Chalten to El Calafate (3 hours)||Link|
|11||El Calafate||Kayaked near Upsala Glacier||Link|
|12||El Calafate||Trekked on Perito Moreno Glacier||Link|
|13||El Calafate||-Extra/unplanned day|
-Drove to Perito Moreno Glacier (90 minutes) for a revisit
|14||Buenos Aires||Flew to Buenos Aires (AEP)|
|15||–||-Toured street art in Buenos Aires|
-Departed Buenos Aires for the USA (9pm departure)
What we’d do differently
What would we do differently if we were to do our trip to Argentina over again?
First, we’d consider skipping Puerto Iguazu and Iguazu Falls, or at a minimum, reduce our time in Puerto Iguazu from two nights to one night.
Second, we’d visit Mendoza instead of San Carlos de Bariloche and increase that segment from two to three nights.
Third, we’d combine the two Buenos Aires segments (two nights and 1 night, respectively) into one segment of three nights.
Here is what our “do-over” itinerary would look like.
|Day||Where we would stay||Details||Related post|
|1||Puerto Iguazu||-Land in Buenos Aires (EZE)|
-Taxi to the other airport (AEP)
-Fly to Puerto Iguazu (IGR)
|2||Buenos Aires||-Visit Iguazu Falls|
-Fly to Buenos Aires
|3||Buenos Aires||Explore Buenos Aires|
|4||Buenos Aires||Street art walking tour||Link|
|5||Mendoza||Fly to Mendoza (MDZ)|
|8||El Chalten||-Fly to El Calafate (FTE via AEP)|
-Drive from El Calafate to El Chalten (3 hours)
|9||El Chalten||Hike Laguna De los Tres (Fitz Roy)||Link|
|10||El Chalten||Hike Laguna Torre||Link|
|11||El Calafate||Drive from El Chalten to El Calafate (3 hours)||Link|
|12||El Calafate||Kayak Upsala Glacier||Link|
|13||El Calafate||Trek on Perito Moreno Glacier||Link|
|14||El Calafate||Extra/unplanned day, revisit Perito Moreno Glacier||Link|
|15||–||-Fly to Buenos Aires|
-Depart Buenos Aires for the USA (9pm departure)
The next post on Argentina is here.