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argentina chile
argentina chile
09.06.12

Get the most from your trip to South America. Our Travel Tips will keep you on the right track when it comes to finding the best art, culture and cuisine that Argentina and Chile have to offer.

Argentina

Attend a Milonga without Being a Wallflower

The countless milongas (tango salons) of Buenos Aires are diverse: simple and informal, elegant and traditional, indoor and outdoor. Many milongas have complex and subtle codes of dance, making them somewhat intimidating to visitors. Enlist a service such as Tango Taxi Dancers and let locals lead the way. The agency provides experienced dance partners to accompany visitors to milongas or private or group classes. It even offers a custom tango itinerary based on your preferences and skill level.

Visiting Iguazú Falls

The mighty Iguazú Falls and surrounding park are vast. Keep the following in mind to maximize your visit:

  • Plan for a full day or two to see the park.
  • Get a 50% discount on your second day in the park if you get your ticket stamped on your way out on the first day. Find out more about 2nd-day discounts.
  • The falls are viewable from both Argentina and Brazil. To see them from the Brazilian side, you’ll need to get a visa at least one month in advance. Contact your closest consulate for more information.
  • If you want to visit Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) falls, take the train first thing in the morning to avoid crowds.
  • Bring water, a hat, walking shoes, sunscreen and fast-drying clothes.

Argentine Estancias

Traditional inns and rural estancias (estates) are strongly connected to Argentine culture and history. Grand European houses on the pampas (plains), northern sugarcane plantations and Patagonian ranches all capture the romance of the countryside. Scattered from the mountains to the coast, estancias offer a wonderful way to experience Argentina. Learn more about finding an estancia.

Parillas & Carne Asada

Small parrillas (grills) exist on almost every block in the barrios of Buenos Aires. These clean and brightly lit no-frills establishments serve up Argentinean fare cooked over a wood-fired or charcoal-fired grill, with an emphasis on carne asada (grilled meat). Flavors are simple and bold. A bife de chorizo, a juicy sirloin of grass-fed beef raised on the pampa, is a parrilla classic. Beyond that, you’ll find every part of the cow, chicken and pig, as well as a variety of sausages. Order the parrillada mixta (mixed grill) to sample a bit of everything. Salad bars and an array of vegetables provide color and nutrition. Whatever you choose, be sure to slather it with a healthy spoonful of chimichurri, the addictive red or green salsa that’s an Argentinean favorite.

Cowboy Fair

To find Argentine handicrafts in an authentic atmosphere, head to the Feria de Mataderos (Mataderos Fair) in Buenos Aires. Staged in the former slaughterhouse district of Mataderos, the fair celebrates the gaucho (Argentinean cowboy) tradition with displays of horsemanship, live folklore (Argentinean folk music) and dancing; affordable native handicrafts; and free arts and crafts workshops. Be sure to bring your appetite—you’ll find plenty of grilled meat and homemade regional foods like empanadas, stews and tamales. The fair runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every Sunday from April to December.

Chile

When to Go – Seasons in Chile

The longest country in the world, Chile extends from the tropics to Antarctica, so its seasons are quite varied. If you plan to visit, decide where you want to go before deciding when. Chile’s spring and summer (November to March) are generally the best times to visit unless you plan on hitting the ski slopes in the central and southern regions, where August and September are ideal. Southern Chile’s peak travel season is October to April. Easter Island enjoys a pleasant sub-tropical Pacific climate with sporadic rain showers year-round; the heaviest rains fall in May.

Wine Tastings & Tours

Drop-in tastings are not the norm in Chile. Typically, bodegas (wineries) sell tours that include tastings. If you plan to explore on your own, get a map of wineries from a hotel or tourist office, and call ahead (a day or two in advance is best) to find out when tours are offered. Professionally guided full-day, half-day and multiple-day wine tours will save you time—and some even include meals. Hundreds are available in the main wine valleys of Maipo, Casablanca and Colchagua—all close to Santiago. For more information, visit:
www.visitchile.com/en/tours/wine-tours-tours.htm www.rutadelvino.cl/English/winetours.html

Getting to Easter Island

LAN Airlines— Chile’s national air carrier—is the only airline that flies to Easter Island, making it easy to research timetables. Besides daily flights from Santiago, LAN offers twice-weekly direct flights from Lima, Peru, and once-weekly flights from Tahiti, for those hoping to combine travel destinations. The minimum flight time from anywhere is 5 1/2 hours. Several cruise lines—such as Crystal, Holland America and Princess—include Easter Island on their itineraries.

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