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Richard Kirschner
New member
Username: Richard

Post Number: 1
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 10:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My wife and I will be visiting Argentina as part of a 7 week trip that has a focus on southern Chile and Antarctica. Our visit will not do justice to Argentina’s many places of interest, but that will have to wait for another time. Our main interests are the history and culture of the places we visit and in the scenery of plants, animals, and physical features. Our current plan is to fly to Buenos Aires from El Calafate in the morning of 23 December and to leave for Bariloche and the Lake District on 28 or 29 December. Our purpose in visiting BA is to get a sense of the city, visit some museums, and to experience an authentic ranch in the Pampas (such as what the threads have described in San Antonio de Areco).

Our difficulty will be the closures that inevitably accompany important holidays. Also, the difficulties that arise when “everyone” in the country is on Holiday. We do not celebrate Christmas, and thought that being in BA area might allow for more tourism experiences than being in other areas – since it probably loses more people than gains over the holidays. Do you feel that the time we have allotted will be enough for the “taste” we hope to achieve? How would you recommend we use this time to maximize our stay? Which dates might be best to apportion to the ranch? Recognizing that all arrangements are tight during the vacation period, we hope to get most details settled in the next week, and may be contacting Travel Sur to make some of the Argentine arrangements.

Thank you.
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Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 157
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 11:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Welcome to our forums, Richard.

The purpose of this message board is to inform potential visitors to Argentina about anything that could have an impact on their trips. It has not been set up as a self-promotional tool, therefore, there is no need to contact us. You have no commitments. While there could be other travelers interested in participating and sharing their experiences, more often than not, participants are the ones who are looking for information as opposed to those who -as a result of a prior trip- have it. In other words, you may get few opinions besides mine.

According to my own Christmas experience in Buenos Aires, you do not have too many alternatives. On checking the calendar I have noticed you will be arriving on a Friday morning to leave again on the following Thrursday, at the latest. That Friday will be a hectic one for sure. Most likely, the city (downtown) itself will not be overpopulated since many won't go to work, getting busy with final Christmas arrangements (either buying presents or preparing for leaving town for a few days). Very likely, Monday will also be a somewhat quite day, since many will not return to work till Tuesday. Some argentines also take advantage of Christmas to "start" their vacationing and make it a combo with New Year. So the last week of the year is usually a "quite" one.

This means that not too many places will be open, those that are open may offer shorter hours and in addition, you will have to contend with argentines busy with their own Christmas agenda. Not that everything will be closed but possibly that the number of attractions you can chose from will be narrow. For restaurants you will have to have reservations and have them in place a couple of weeks prior to these dates. Just as a bit of information, every year, at Christmas and New Year's time we have to move our car from our private parking garage to have our car parked in the streets because the garage shuts down. You are likely to see little movement/action in the streets and at least on Sunday 25th you will have a hard time finding a cab. Getting one may take twice the usual time or even longer. Perhaps this is just how it is in every catholic nation at this time of the year...

Monday may be slow for many reasons. Besides the ones offered above, you may also experience sluggish customer service for many will be returning to work after partying heavily, and this may only mean having eaten and having drunk a little too much.

You can always try to spend that weekend in a ranch but I am afraid you may end up being mixed in the middle of something you do not care about, such as the same argentines celebrating Christmas. If you still want to consider this option the time for booking should be soon, as you mentioned. If you just want to stay in the 'half-empty' city during that weekend, then I would recommend Tuesday and/or Wednesday as your 'estancia' days. You can either make it a full day visit or even a 2 nights stay.

Whatever you do you will have a 'taste' of Buenos Aires and its 'portenio' culture. This is inevitable and it may include a wide range of experiences, from hanging out at our miriad cafes to witnessing a collective strike that will delay your flight arrangements. All in all, you will have plenty of time for walks and have the feeling that you have the city 'just for you'.

If I get any meaningful information regarding what to avoid, what to do or how best to experience Christmas while in Buenos Aires I will post it here.

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