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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Argentina Itinerary

Next stop on the trip : Argentina

I've already booked a flight to Buenos Aires, but it is pretty European so I want to head to wine country as soon as possible - Mendoza.

From my preliminary research, flights from BA to Mendoza are pretty frequent and often regardless of the day so I'm less worried about getting to Mendoza as I am about finding a good place to stay. Normally, I would really research the area to find the best location but since you spend most of your time on wine tours it doesn't really matter where your hotel is as long as the wine tour will pick you up from there.

Using a combination of TripAdvisor and Expedia Hotels, I narrowed it down to a few choice options. Casa Glebinias eventually won me over with its perfect scores on TripAdvisor and the fact that it is run by an old, extremely cute looking couple. I was even able to call them and had Alberto (the husband) answer the phone. He was very sweet and extremely helpful in terms of offering a car to come get us at the airport.

My Google research did mention that it was better to avoid the weekends in Mendoza because some wineries are closed, especially on Sundays. Thus, rather than book-ending Mendoza with BA like I'd originally planned I changed the itinerary:

LAX to Lima
Lima to Cusco
Cuzco (Machu Picchu)
Cuzco to Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Rio to LAX

This also means that I'll be in BA for Friday and Saturday night ensuring a couple great nights of partying.

I booked Casa and also booked my flight from Mendoza to Rio with a layover in BA. One thing to be careful of is that the BA domestic airport (AEP) and international airport (EZE) are not the same. Since we are flying domestic to BA and then international to Brazil we have to switch airports which involves taking a shuttle. On a good day it takes the shuttle about 30 minutes to get from one to the other so be careful.

Now, all that is left for Argentina is booking a hotel for Buenos Aires and the wine tours for Mendoza. For wine tours, I'm currently looking at a group called Ampora who do small tours of 2-8 people for about $135/person. There are two different wine regions you can tour. I'll be back with more information on this later.

Unlike Mendoza, it does matter where you stay in BA so I had to do some major research. I started on WikiTravel checking out the different neighborhoods. Essentially there are four main areas that are then broken up even more:
  1. San Telmo: The original wealthy neighborhood of BA that was vacated when yellow fever broke out. Thus, it still retains old world architecture and wonder. It is south of downtown.
  2. Microcentro: This is the main downtown area where a lot of the tourist attractions are but it is noisy, dirty, etc.
  3. Recoleta: North of downtown, this is the new wealthy neighborhood and where customers of the Four Seasons stay. Too expensive for me.
  4. Palermo: North of Recoleta, this area is a little bit more up-and-coming, trendy and youthful. Sounds like me!
Once you start looking into Palermo though you find even more districts which hilariously are named after famous areas of U.S. cities like Palermo Hollywood and Palermo Soho. Palermo Soho is known for its laidback style and beautiful parks but also its crazy nightlife.

Thus, I looked for a place here and found multiple great options all at a cheaper price than I anticipated going in. I finally landed on Mine Hotel Boutique because of the Expedia pictures and the, yet again, flawless reviews on TripAdvisor.

All that's left now is to figure out Rio de Janiero.

1 comment:

  1. Expedia is a scam. Source: