Posted by Beth | January 3, 2016
Days in the country: 20
Cities visited: Mendoza, Buenos Aires, El Calafate and El Chalten
Favorite Lodging: Park Hyatt Mendoza
Favorite food: Steak. Argentina lived up to its reputation for having great, and affordable, steak for us. We had two great asados (all-you-can-eat meat bbqs) at Argentina Polo Day as well as at a hostel in El Calafate.
What we enjoyed most: Beautiful scenery, nice buses, and empanadas
What we enjoyed least: The wind in Patagonia, stores being closed in the afternoon for “siesta,” restaurants not opening until 8 or 9 p.m., white bread overload, slow wifi, our smelly attic bedroom in Buenos Aires, and the cubierto (service charge) at almost all restaurants.
What surprised us: Nothing specific comes to mind, just that we didn’t love Argentina the way we expected to. It was our least favorite country we visited in South America on this trip.
What we would have done differently: We would have scheduled an extra day in Buenos Aires so we could have taken a day trip to Uruguay. We ended up with more than enough days in Patagonia and by the end of our time in El Chalten were definitely wishing we’d spent more time in the city.
Favorite people we met: In Mendoza we connected with another couple from the U.S., Glenn and Mary, and loved spending the day wine tasting with them and then dining together at a closed door restaurant. We didn’t do the best at reaching out to locals in Argentina, but met a lot of fun foreigners!
Currency: Argentinian Pesos. More about how we exchanged USD with the blue dolar rate here.
Hotel Points Redeemed: 28,000 points at the Park Hyatt Mendoza.
Airline Miles Redeemed: 70,000 Delta miles to fly Aerolineas Argentinas.
Flexible points spent: Citi Thank You points: 14,750 for two nights lodging. 17,400 Barclaycard Arrival points (*we are applying statement credits from our Barclaycard Arrival Plus cards toward airline taxes and fees and accommodation expenses. Full post with detailed explanation coming soon).
Total Out-of-pocket expense: $1,956.06
Daily Average: $48.90 per person/day