Why you should add Argentina to your Indie/RTW trip
It has been written many times before that Argentina is the most European of the countries in South America. If only Europe were so cool! Argentina does offer the traveler a wonderful mix of Latin flavor and European order. It is both a developed country with excellent infrastructure and an exciting place with sites and sounds that you won't find in any other country in the world.
- It is more expensive than many parts of South America, but the savvy traveler can get by on a reasonable budget and with minimal hassles. Plan to spend about $40-$50USD per day here.
- Most people start and end in Buenos Aires, the cosmopolitan capital that seemingly has action 24 hours a day.
- The other prime destination is Patagonia, a remote and gorgeous region that will make you feel like a small pebble in an enormous universe.
- If you want to get to know the real Argentina, make a point to visit a small town that is off the beaten path. You will be greeted with a hospitality that will warm your heart.
- The culture in Argentina is super laid back - think 2-3 hour meals and truly enjoying and appreciating the company of your friends and loved ones.
- Iguazu Falls and the Lake District provide more outdoor activities and amazing scenery.
Indie travel tips for Argentina
- Rent an apartment in Buenos Aires and stay for a while - if you get one for a month, it will be the same price, or even cheaper, than staying in a hostel, and you can really get to know the city and its people.
- Check out the San Telmo flea market each Sunday in Buenos Aires - a great place for tourists and locals alike.
- If heading to Patagonia during high season (December - February), plan ahead. Buses and rooms book up quick, and prices increase.
- While Mendoza can and should be visited by any wine lover, head to the northwest and go to Cafayate. It's much smaller, has far less tourists, and the surrounding areas are dotted with wineries and great landscapes.
If already in South America, you could go overland from other parts of the continent. If that isn't your style, you can fly to Argentina. Prices on flights from North America and Europe are rarely super cheap, but from time to time you can find an excellent deal. It's best to search for flights to Argentina as early as you can, as prices tend to start low and go up as the flight draws near.
Getting around Argentina is a welcome respite from other countries in South America. The buses, while more expensive, are top notch. Think first class airfare, but with more room. Seats that fold down nearly flat, hot (and good) meals, wine and champagne, movies, and just amazing comfort, which you'll need for those 20+ hour journeys. Unfortunately prices go up and quality goes down the further south into Patagonia you get.
You'll need a place to say, and if you are on a budget you'll be happy to know there are quite a few hostels in Argentina from which to choose. f adventure is your game, there are some killer adventure trips and tours to Patagonia and other parts of the country.