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sielya
New member
Username: Sielya

Post Number: 1
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - 1:36 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello,
We are a family of 5 (3 kids ages 8,12,13) wanting to visit Argentina for the months of Feb. & March 2011.
I have been look for a small quaint town with not too many foreigners. Bariloche sounded and looked perfect until we realized how big it was. We want to stay in one town the whole time. We want to get to know the people and the culture.
I love the Mts. (we are from Colorado USA) and my husband loves the beach. The kids want to see the penguins and sea life. I am looking for a cute little locals town with water activities. I am really at a loss. We really cant' afford to stay in Bariloche for 2 months.
If you could please give me some ideas I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks so much,
Sielya
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2023
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - 1:52 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sielya, welcome to the forum!

I have 2 names you can explore:

a) San Martin de los Andes
b) Puerto Madryn

They are much smaller than Bariloche and each of them offer different alternatives. One thing you may not get by choosing only one place is mountains + penguins. These two are geographically opposed. You will find penguins in Chubut, on the atlantic ocean and also in Tierra del Fuego in southern Argentina. Mountains are going to be located throughout the Andes, to the west of Argentina.

If budget is a concern, San Martin de los Andes may prove to be as expensive as Bariloche but will probably fit your ideal size of town and have the feeling you are after. Alternatively, and in the same area, you can explore "Junin de los Andes", smaller and perhaps cheaper.

Puerto Madryn will have the size and the penguins (and much more at Peninsula Valdes > sea lions, whales, orcas, bird watching). And not too far away, a beach called Las grutas with warm water. But no mountains.

If the above doesn't work, I will come up with other ideas...
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Tom
Senior Member
Username: Diverdown48

Post Number: 533
Registered: 6-2006


Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - 3:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Here are a couple on the east coast, beautiful and small.
Beaches.
Pinamar, Villa Gesell, Mar Azul basically from San Clemente Del Tuyu near General Lavalle southward down below Bahia Blanca. Mar Del Plata and Bahia Blanca are medium size cities.
You can go further inland toward a range of mountains near Pique or Coronel Suarez
A great place to visit that has a couple of really good eating places and is definitely down home Argentina are
General Juan Madanaga or Puan.
All are in Buenos Aires province which I have found to be safe and friendly in my many travels in this beautiful province.
February and March are summer so school is out. The availability is less.
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Robert Gisborn
Intermediate Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 113
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - 7:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

From its reputation San Martin de Los Andes is a jewel not to be missed at any price. It is world famous. But Chubut I wonder about for the tourist. It is important for Argentina's petroleum industry, i.e., oil rigs. Oil rig workers-and miners- are some of the best paid in Argentina. Prices are not necessarily low. However, Chubut is one of my travel desires because it has some of Argentina's indigenous peoples (Tehuelche)who many anthropologists believe are closely related to the very first settlers of the America's (30,000 BC). These are the people who inspired the names Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. I'm particularly interested in Anthropology. Possibly you are too.
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sielya
New member
Username: Sielya

Post Number: 2
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - 9:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wow!
You guys have given us some great information. As I am checking out the towns and areas you have suggested I'm realizing we can't really have both at all (Mtns. & sea life).
If we stay in the Mts. like San Martin de Los Andes it is like an 8hr. drive or more to the coast to see the wild life, I was hoping more like 3 or 4 hr drive. I thought we could make a few week-end trips but 8hr drive is like all day.
What about driving over to Chile from the Lake District area. It looks a lot closer but is that really an option being a foreigner? We planned on buying a car when we get there and selling it before we leave. I think I read somewhere that a foreigner can't take a vehicle out of the country?
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2025
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2010 - 1:07 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Crossing into Chile will not be like a walk in the park. Although you might save a few hours getting to the border, driving to a beach -which are typically north of Santiago- will add them back making it also a long journey. Not to mention possible delays because of customs as well as driving in high altitude. The trip may well be worth it, but I doubt it will be a quickie.

Then, I would suggest 2 other smaller towns that are closer to where the real sea+life is in Argentina while still near the Andes. Check:

a) El Bolson
b) Esquel

El Bolson is probably the most bohemian village in the country. Not too far from great landscapes. Specialty gardens and very interesting people. Esquel, on the other hand, is the closest to Puerto Madryn/Trelew in almost a straight line west-east. Lakes and forests out of this world, including some of the best places in the world for flyfishing (trouts) like in Trevelin. I believe you can be in Trelew in 5 hours. Locals may do it in less.

Between the coast and the Andes, there isn't too much civilization so you are stuck with either/or. But by staying in Esquel you will also be close to the archeology thingy mentioned by Robert, which is really interesting. There could be other choices half way, in the middle of the state but I would not consider any town here for a 2 month family vacation.
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Robert Gisborn
Intermediate Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 115
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2010 - 1:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

http://www.unl.edu/rhames/monte_verde/monte_verde1.htm

(Message edited by admin on November 04, 2010)
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dan arrowood
New member
Username: Mtnhombre

Post Number: 3
Registered: 8-2010
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 10:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

dear fellow coloradans,
you know by now that you posed a very difficult challenge, hence all the disparate responses. even though i am also from colorado, i still marvel at the argentine andes as no too mountain ranges are the same.
i am most in agreement with roberto about el bolson or esquel. another one i would add is Uspallata, near mendoza.

the other towns mentioned are also very nice, but they are somewhat touristy and won't give you a real flavor of the real argentina. if you can postpone your marine adventure, i am certain that you fall in love with argentina and be back again for other regions.
buen viaje,
dan
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Robert Gisborn
Intermediate Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 116
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 6:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Please remember that Argentina is almost four times larger than Texas. It shares the longest and highest cordillera apart from the Himalayan Mountains. It extends from the tropics-tropic of Capricorn-to Antarctica. A bit much for a couple of weeks.
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Robert Gisborn
Intermediate Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 122
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - 9:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

If BA is your goal you may wish to learn the lyrics of a song which you will hear while you are there. The English translation given is very literate and in part not correct but it gives you an idea of the meaning- not the poetry.

http://www.planet-tango.com/lyrics/mibuenos.htm

(Message edited by admin on November 10, 2010)

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