02 Dec 2023 00:46
Photos: Latin America: Argentina, (Chile)
Latin America: Argentina, (Chile)
11 Mar 2011 - 28 Mar 2011
A month in Latin America! A dream trip. Argentina and Peru, the main countries and a small passage from Chile and Bolivia. In Argentina except Buenos Aires, particular focus in Patagonia, in Tierra del Fuego and the Iguazu waterfalls. In Peru, the land of the Canyons (Arequipa), Titichacha lake and the land of the Incas (Cuzco and of course Machu Picchu).

Travel plan ...
We started planning the trip 5 months earlier, in September 2010. The original idea was to go to Buenos Aires by plane and then rent a car for a month and drive along the whole of Argentina, pass Chile via Tierra del Fuego and continue traversing across Chile to Peru and Bolivia. But after careful study of distance, time and especially the car rental service, the original plan quickly abandoned. The distances are enormous. Only in Argentina, we needed 3 days driving to get from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, in Tierra del Fuego. There was no possibility to use the same car in 4 countries, nor to leave the car in another city without the extra cost (enough to double the price!). In Chile the piece from Tierra del Fuego to the middle of the country was full of islands and we had to use many ships. In Peru, things were even more difficult. Uneconomic cost rental car and difficult driving, mainly because of a single lane full of trucks and buses, lack of signs, bad road conditions and aggressive driving Peruvians.

In order to accomplish the original plan, we would have to concentrate only in Argentina (and Chile bit) and let outside Peru. But how to leave Peru, when you are in Latin America? So we changed our plans. We Abandoned the idea to do it all by car (as ideally we would like) and choose domestic flights and buses. This led us to close certain dates and to make the trip more organized and tourist and loosing the complete freedom to move ourselves as we come out every time.

The organization of the trip was more demanding than ever. Endless hours of searching on the Internet, a lot of thought to pull the whole program very early on and accomplish as much as possible cheap flights. Eventually we closed a total of 12 flights (5 international and 7 domestic). The cost of the flights was 2400 Euro per person! Much more than we had calculated. Taking into account that flights and dates were fixed, we booked rooms in advance (which we usually do not do), in order to be more comfortable and not carry much money with us.

We bought the relevant Lonely Planet guides for Argentina and Peru, but something was missing ... Spanish, the language spoken in all the countries of Latin America (except Brazil where they speak Portuguese). The Spanish is a language that we always liked. This trip was an excellent opportunity to learn Spanish! Initially we rejected the idea to do lessons (due to time and cost) and we preferred to study ourselves with the help of a Spanish tutorial (in Greek). We had 4 months available to learn as much as we could.

And the journey begins ...
We started on March 11, flying from Athens to Madrid. We arrived after 3.5 hours flight at airport Barajas, which was huge with two terminals. To get from one terminal to another took us half an hour! After waiting several hours we took the plane for our first transatlantic flight from Madrid to Buenos Aires.
12 Mar 2011
We arrived at the international airport of Buenos Aires Ezeiza after one hour delay. There was heat and humidity. Our first withdrawal attempt in pesos (AR$) from ATM in the airport was failed, so we exchanged euros to pesos. The taxi from the ... »

13 Mar 2011
The day started with a visit to Plasa de Mayo and Casa Rosada. Then we continued to San Telmo market (it was every Sunday). A long pedestrian road with hundreds of local sellers, artists and street performers.

We went by
... »

14 Mar 2011
In the morning, we visited Recoleta the cemetery of Buenos Aires. Every grave is like a house, so Recoleta is a whole city of... deads, with streets, rich and poor houses. The grave of Evita Peron is located here.

After Recoleta, we
... »

15 Mar 2011
We rent a car (270 AR$/day) and drove to the Parque National Los Glaciares. We visited the glacier Perito Moreno, which is one of the greatest glaciers in the world, 30 Km length, 5 Km width and 60 m height. It was very impressive from ... »

16 Mar 2011
Today we started to climb Mount Fitz Roy, thereby starting the hike in Patagonia. The trail at first was uphill, the wind was icy with several sunny intervals. After 1.5 hours we arrived at Lake Capri and had the first view of the peaks of ... »

17 Mar 2011
We left the room and drove to the start of the city of El Chalten. We started walking the trail to the Lake Torre below the towers, the second most popular trail in the area. It was much easier than yesterday. The biggest part of it along the ... »

18 Mar 2011
We started our journey with bus to Chile at 08:30. We were the only passengers without backpacks. The rest were all backpackers. The route was again across through the steppes, like the landscapes that we encounter while driving. After 3 hours we ... »

19 Mar 2011
At 10.00, after breakfast, we began wandering through the park. It was like a safari. With the diesel jeep, through dirt roads, we saw wild horses, cows, sheep and many Guanacos. First we stop at the lake Gray, a cold lake with pieces of ... »

20 Mar 2011
We woke up very early in this dreamy place and the first thing we did was to watch the colored slopes of the mountains in different phases of sunrise. The pictures speak for themselves ... golden tops! After breakfast we continued our exploration at ... »

21 Mar 2011
This morning after breakfast we decided to visit lake Athul that was at the end of environmentalists park. There was nothing special, so we started to return. We crossed the park from other side.

After 5 hours we returned where we
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22 Mar 2011
Early in the morning we took on the couch for returning to Argentina. We started at 08:30 am and after the well known stops at the borders, both in the outpost of Chile and the Argentine counterpart, after 6 hours drive, we arrived in El Calafate, in ... »

23 Mar 2011
So here we are together at the end of the world... We decided to go to the port of Ushuaia on the local bus, as there was a bus stop in front of our hotel (Hostal Ailen). After dozens of cycles through the cobbled streets several bounce up and downs, ... »

24 Mar 2011
In the morning immediately after breakfast and after we arranged our tickets for the afternoon cruise αλονγ the canal Beagle, drove to the glacier Marsial , located above the town. In comparison with Perito Moreno, glacier Marcial seemed... ... »

25 Mar 2011
This day we will be beamed from South Argentina to North Argentina. After we delivered the car we went to the airport and took the flight to Buenos Aires at 12:10. We arrived at 16:00 and after 2 hours waiting we got a plane to Iguazu. Our aim ... »

26 Mar 2011
Early in the morning we started our journey in order to visit the waterfalls at the side of Brazil and leave the next day the side of Argentina. In fact, we decided not to do it by the easy way (a private coach), but follow the encouragement of the ... »

27 Mar 2011
This day we visited the side of the waterfalls from the Argentinian side. Argentina owns about 80% of the area. We went by bus to the park entrance Parque Nacional Iguazu, paid the entrance and boarded on the special train that took us to the ... »

28 Mar 2011
This day is all about trip. After breakfast we went by a mini bus to the airport of Iguazu. From there, after two hours flight, we arrived back in Buenos Aires. But this time we had to go from the airport for domestic flights to the international ... »