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> Mendoza to Patagonia - Puerto Moreno travel question
emmilyis
post Mar 7 2010, 10:32 AM
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Hello,
My husband and I want to visit Argentina next xmas, and were wondering how we could do Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Patagonia in 2 weeks. The flights seem expensive with Lan, are there any you would suggest? Is it best to leave from Buenos Aires instead of going from Mendoza? We have travelled in Peru, taking 25-35 hour bus rides and we're done with that.. so any recommendations? Are trains used? I don't see any mention in the lonely planet.
Thanks,
E & J
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mmbcross
post Mar 8 2010, 11:59 PM
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Hello E & J,

Yes indeed you can do all of this in two weeks, but bear in mind that Argentina is a huge country, through definately easier to travel than Peru.

Forget trains. Regrettably they are a thing of the past. The saddest thing is to see Retiro Station in Buenos Aires. Many years ago I had left Buenos Aires by international train to Peru, a 5-day epic journey. In those days, the magnificent Retiro Station had been thronged by crowds travelling to all parts of Argentina and the neighbouring countries of Chile, Paraguay, Brazil, and Bolivia. Now it is a shadow of itself. The bustling platforms are empty and the elegant restaurants and shops abandoned. The three impressive railway stations standing side by side now just serve suburban traffic, and bustle only at morning and afternoon rush hours. Sad, but that's progress.

Now the way to travel is by air (expensive) and by bus (inexpensive). We travelled on the luxury overnight bus to Mendoza from BA. Here was our experience:
"At the bus station we are directed to the platform our vehicle will be leaving from. The modern double-decker looks impressive and we ascend the stairs to the upper floor. We sink into our commodious seats. Surely no airline seat even faintly resembles this. We try out the reclining system and find it lies back fully to make a flat bed."

"The motor coach leaves exactly on time. Shortly afterwards our hot dinner arrives, not exactly gourmet, but of sufficient quantity and quality to satisfy. It's even served with wine, though judging by the taste, it is pure plonk, but certainly good enough for getting you drowsy."

"The DVD movie is not working well, so with such comfort, we are all soon sound asleep."

These buses run all over Argentina. From Mendoza its a long 17-hour run along the foothills of the Andes to Bariloche. Nevertheless it's a very scenic route and a very comfortable bus.

You probably want to see Valdes Peninsular. Bus from Bariloche to Trelew or Puerto Madryn to visit this amazing wildlife area, then bus from there to El Calafate for the Perito Moreno glacier.

You are now so far south that the bus back to BA would be a killer, so spring for a one-way airfare in this case back to BA.

With all this, you should still have time for a day on the pampas and a trip by ferry to Uruguay.

Enjoy


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saidademadryn
post Mar 13 2010, 06:11 PM
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QUOTE(emmilyis @ Mar 7 2010, 10:32 AM) *

Hello,
My husband and I want to visit Argentina next xmas, and were wondering how we could do Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Patagonia in 2 weeks. The flights seem expensive with Lan, are there any you would suggest? Is it best to leave from Buenos Aires instead of going from Mendoza? We have travelled in Peru, taking 25-35 hour bus rides and we're done with that.. so any recommendations? Are trains used? I don't see any mention in the lonely planet.
Thanks,
E & J



Hello , you could travel by plane by Aerolineas Argentina, but it is not cheap and also is better buy the ticket in advance. The other option is travel by bus , Andesmar have a good service but there are a lot of companies more, and of course is cheapest than by plane.

Buenos Aires and Mendoza is easy. In Patagonia you could visit Peninsula Valdes in Puerto MAdryn. This city is 24hs by bus from Mendoza or BsAs In April there are olny few penguins.

calafate is more far yet, but in this season is better than Puerto MAdryn i thing... But it is 2 days from BsAS by bus...


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semi-backpacker
post Mar 14 2010, 02:40 PM
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I traveled from Patagonia (El Calafate) to Buenos Aires with Aerolinea Argentina and I bought my ticket directly at the airlines office and it was pretty cheap. Around $200 USD. It is definitely worth it to fly.


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patrick-wa
post Aug 23 2010, 09:55 PM
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I don't disagree with what others have said but I would recommend prioritizing what you want to see (and plan on going back!). Patagonia is a very big place and while the far south can be great I would recommend the lakes district of northern Patagonia (by the Andes) for a first trip. I've been to Argentina 5 times and am heading back in October. The areas north and south of Bariloche (El Bolson to San Martin de los Andes) are amazing. The bus from Mendoza to Bariloche is long but excellent and, as indicated above, comes with meal service and very comfortable seats. I would make reservations before you leave if you can as they can become fully booked during the holidays. (There are on-line sites though some Spanish is helpful. There are different classes of busses and the fully reclining seats go fast.) But I would fly both ways across the country given your limited time—it's worth the cost. (The same is true to the far south.) There is a train from Bariloche to Viedma but it only runs twice a week.

You don't indicate how long you plan to stay in BA... it will be quite warm and humid in December. Mendoza will be hot but dry. Bariloche and environs will be somewhat more temperate. All that is in the guides but unless you are accustomed to heat and humidity, BA can be stifling in summer.

If you don't have your air tickets yet one other option is flying into BA and out of Santiago (avoiding that trip across Argentina) taking the bus from Mendoza to Santiago over the Andes. (and it's easier getting out to the airport in Santiago that in BA). Picture is taken on the circle route south of Bariloche. Renting a car in Bariloche, though not cheap, allows access to seeing much more and cheaper places to stay just outside of town. But there is public transport as well.

Enjoy Argentina!

Patrick


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nat_maygam
post Sep 16 2010, 03:36 PM
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Hello!

I've been planning on going to Argentina in october and it is easier specially if you're in a tight schedule, to use the Aerolineas Argentinas, to fly from place to place within Argentina. All the major turistic places have airport. Just in case it is cheaper to buy the airline tickets when you're in Argentina because if you buy them from elsewhere the cost increases a lot, the only thing is that if you wait til you're in Buenos Aires, because you're going during the holidays there's no guarantee of traveling the dates you want.

I would travel fros BsAs to Mendoza by bus and then by plane to Bariloche, do the "7 lakes tour" there (with a travel agency or renting a car, depending on budget) and then fly to El Calafate to see the Perito Moreno.

Good Luck in your trip

Natalie
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