Through Zicasso, we were connected to the travel company, a Buenos Aires-based travel group, which is excellent, and which we highly recommend. We worked with the trip planner, on every aspect of our trip. She is outstanding; one could not ask for a better, more knowledgeable, more service-oriented, more responsive and accessible person with whom to plan and execute a trip. Working with the trip planner was a delight!
Ours' was a private tour for two; we traveled through Argentina from Nov. 1--Nov. 26, with a goal of seeing as much of the country as we could in just under a month. Our itinerary took us to very different parts of Argentina: Buenos Aires (2 days at the start and 2 days at the finish); Puerto Iguazu and Iguazu Falls; Salta; Cafayate and Cachi (the Calchaqui Valley Circuit); the Salta Salt Flats; Purmamarca; Tilcara; Humachuaca; Bariloche; El Calafate; and Ushuaia.
The arrangements made for us met and/or exceeded our expectations--4-star hotels; internal flights on Aerolineas Argentina; tours; guides; drivers; airport/hotel transfers, etc. On one occasion we had a problem with a (driving) transfer from one location to another, the travel company addressed it immediately, securing a refund for the day. On our flight from Salta to Bariloche (connecting through Cordoba), the plane could not land in Cordoba because of weather; it landed instead in Neuquén, which has no direct service to Bariloche. The only way the airline could get us to Bariloche was to fly us to Buenos Aires, then the next day to Bariloche (crisscrossing the country twice and losing two days in Bariloche). We reached out to the travel company; within a short time, the trip planner secured a car and driver to take us to Barioloche, a 5.5-hour drive with stunning scenery along the way, so our trip could stay on schedule. This is the level of service we experienced with the travel company.
Argentina is a vast, varied and stunning country. We enjoyed every moment of our trip and everywhere we traveled. Argentinians are warm, friendly, welcoming. Our entire journey was memorable and enjoyable.
The scenery everywhere we went is so beautiful it often defies description--from the Calchaqui Valley Circuit in northwestern Argentina to El Calafate and the glaciers in Patagonia. We are particularly glad we decided to visit northwestern Argentina--from Salta to Cafayate to Tilcara and everywhere in between. It's a bit off the beaten path and well worth the time spent there. For wine aficionados, it is home to some of Argentina's oldest vineyards and is known for the Torrontes grape/wine as well as for its Malbecs and other reds. Suffice to say, if you like wine, the Salta region is an interesting alternative--or addition--to Mendoza.
We returned home with wonderful memories of Argentina and its people.
In retrospect, we would shave some time from the northwestern Argentina and Patagonia legs of our trip and add Mendoza to our itinerary. We also likely would stay an extra day or two in Argentina to further explore Buenos Aires.
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