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Argentina

 
Author nfmungard
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 21 Jul 2016 11:04 | Edited by: nfmungard 
Planning a trip to primarily Chile and Argentina and would love some feedback. One thread per country.

Argentina
Thu - Torres del Paine -> El Calafete (afternoon)
Fri - El Calafete (WHS)
Sat - El Calafete - El Chalten (afternoon)
Sun - El Chalten - Perito Morino (evening)
Mon - Perito Morino - Cavos Manos (WHS)
Tue - Perito Morino - Glacier - Night Bus Esquel.
Wed - Esquel - Los Alerces (TWHS)
Thu - Esquel - Night Bus Puerto Madryn
Fri - Puerto Madryn (WHS)
Sat - Puerto Madryn - Flight Buenos Aires (evening)
Sun - Buenos Aires
Mon - Fray Bentos (WHS), Sacramento
Tue - Sacramento (WHS)
Wed - Buenos Aires - Posadas <-> Trinidad (WHS)
Thu - Posadas - St Ignacio (WHS) - Iguacu
Fri - Iguacu (WHS)
Sat - Iguacu -> Hamburg

Notes:
* Again, heard similar things about Buenos Aires not being all that interesting.
* I will also skip on the North Western Argentine sites. Hope, I am not missing anything too great?

Questions:
* Can you do Fray Bentos, Sacramento in one day? There is a bus from Buenos Aires to Fray Bentos in the morning. And then it should be possible to get to Sacramento and the ferry by afternoon.
* Montevideo a great miss? They have two THWS sites (Art Deco, Diego ... Buildings), but it seems to much of a detour.
* Any TWHS I am missing out on?

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 21 Jul 2016 11:29 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Alas, I can add no info on this, but just wanted to say thanks for flagging up the Modern Architecture of Montevideo propossal, I'm sure I must have read it before but it had passed me by.

As pointed out in Assif's review it will almost certainly include Estadio Centenario which has been high on my wish list for a long time (hosted the first World Cup final), and is now even higher. I don't know if that is of any interest to you at all but I would be keen to visit just to tick of another capital as well.

Author Assif
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 21 Jul 2016 12:45 | Edited by: Assif 
nfmungard:
Notes:
* Again, heard similar things about Buenos Aires not being all that interesting.
* I will also skip on the North Western Argentine sites. Hope, I am not missing anything too great?

Questions:
* Can you do Fray Bentos, Sacramento in one day? There is a bus from Buenos Aires to Fray Bentos in the morning. And then it should be possible to get to Sacramento and the ferry by afternoon.
* Montevideo a great miss? They have two THWS sites (Art Deco, Diego ... Buildings), but it seems to much of a detour.
* Any TWHS I am missing out on?

To answer your questions one by one:

1) Buenos Aires has some nice classicist architecture, but only of local significance. Most visitors go there for the food, outings, etc. Less for OUV. When Buenos Aires was proposed Icomos concluded there was no OUV there.

2) In Western Argentina I've only been to Quebrada de Humahuaca and liked it a lot. However, I've never been to any other Andean sites which could be similar and perhaps better.

3) For Fray Bentos you would need a guided tour, at least of the factory. You can then walk around the Barrio Anglo. You would need two hours for the tour. Look ahead when it takes place and best call them and book a spot. I think it is going to be extremely tiresome to do Buenos Aires-Fray Bentos-Colonia on a single day, but it could be possible.

4) Montevideo has not two but five (!) TWHS: the parliament (palacio legislativo) which has been rejected for its lack of OUV, Isla de Flores (an island across the coast from Montevideo), the Rambla, the modern architecture surrounding Parque Batlle and Barrio PeNarol. The architecture of Eladio Dieste (Diego?) will not include any buildings in Montevideo. The most important components will be the churches in Atlantida (one hour east of Montevideo) and Durazno (2.5 hours north of Montevideo). I don't believe any of the five TWHS in Montevideo stand any real chance of inscription. I wouldn't necessarily recommend visiting Montevideo, which is architecturally reminiscent of Buenos Aires, albeit of much smaller scale. If you plan on visiting one of the two BA should definitely be your choice.

Author Khuft
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 21 Jul 2016 13:06 
nfmungard:
* Again, heard similar things about Buenos Aires not being all that interesting

Assif:
1) Buenos Aires has some nice classicist architecture, but only of local significance. Most visitors go there for the food, outings, etc. Less for OUV. When Buenos Aires was proposed Icomos concluded there was no OUV there.

I think it really depends on what you are looking for / expecting. I really liked the architecture of Buenos Aires, especially around the Recoleta area and in the city centre. But basically Buenos Aires is a huge European city. Think of it as a bigger and more extravagant version of Madrid. In addition to classicist architecture, you also have some Art Deco architecture which is quite nice - the Kavanagh building, for instance, was for a time the tallest skyscraper in South America.

Does it have OUV? Well, depends. It was nominated as an "urban landscape" - which ICOMOS found a weak concept. But if I remember correctly, ICOMOS kept the door open for some elements of Buenos Aires to have OUV based on individual merits.

Author Colvin
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 22 Jul 2016 00:16 | Edited by: Colvin 
I enjoyed Buenos Aires when I visited earlier this year, but I don't think it warrants too long of a stopover on such a long trip. Two days was more than enough time to see some architecture like the Teatro Colón and the Palacio Barolo, which offers a great view of the city; visit the Recoleta cemetery and government buildings; stop off at coffee shops like the Café Tortoni; and watch a tango show. About one hour outside of Buenos Aires in the city of La Plata is Casa Curutchet, which was just inscribed as part of the Le Corbusier World Heritage Site.

I'd recommend at the very least a day and a half to see both the Argentine and the Brazilian side of Puerto Iguazu. I don't know if you plan to drive or take a bus between San Ignacio de Mini and Puerto Iguazu, but be prepared for an approximately four hour tip. The Puerto Iguazu bus terminal downtown offers regular service to both the Brazilian and the Argentine side of the falls, and when I visited in March, it didn't take long to clear customs between Argentina and Brazil.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#6 | Posted: 25 Jul 2016 12:33 
Thanks all for your comments.

meltwaterfalls:
As pointed out in Assif's review it will almost certainly include Estadio Centenario which has been high on my wish list for a long time (hosted the first World Cup final), and is now even higher. I don't know if that is of any interest to you at all but I would be keen to visit just to tick of another capital as well.

You and modern architecture ... Apart from Le Corbusier I tend to appreciate these sites, too. But I will forego the pleasure for logistical reasons. And (see below) Assif judges the chances slim anyhow ;)

Assif:
3) For Fray Bentos you would need a guided tour, at least of the factory. You can then walk around the Barrio Anglo. You would need two hours for the tour. Look ahead when it takes place and best call them and book a spot. I think it is going to be extremely tiresome to do Buenos Aires-Fray Bentos-Colonia on a single day, but it could be possible.

Thanks for pointing this out. Will investigate. I will schedule two days for Fray Bentos and Sacramento, probably do both on day trips from Buenos Aires.

Assif:
I don't believe any of the five TWHS in Montevideo stand any real chance of inscription. I wouldn't necessarily recommend visiting Montevideo, which is architecturally reminiscent of Buenos Aires, albeit of much smaller scale. If you plan on visiting one of the two BA should definitely be your choice.

Thanks from preventing me from my worst impulses (cramming too much waypoints into what should still be a vacation). Montevideo is just too much of a detour, so I will trust your judgement here. And I promise not to complain if any of the sites ever get inscribed ;)

Khuft:
Does it have OUV? Well, depends. It was nominated as an "urban landscape" - which ICOMOS found a weak concept. But if I remember correctly, ICOMOS kept the door open for some elements of Buenos Aires to have OUV based on individual merits.

Will see, I will spend a few nights there in any case. And hope to see a bit of the place ;)

Colvin:
I'd recommend at the very least a day and a half to see both the Argentine and the Brazilian side of Puerto Iguazu. I don't know if you plan to drive or take a bus between San Ignacio de Mini and Puerto Iguazu, but be prepared for an approximately four hour tip. The Puerto Iguazu bus terminal downtown offers regular service to both the Brazilian and the Argentine side of the falls, and when I visited in March, it didn't take long to clear customs between Argentina and Brazil.

Yes, I plan to go by bus from Posadas with a stopover in San Ignacio. On the day before I will hire a cab in Paraguay and head to the site there. I have family in Iguacu on the Brazilean side whom I intend to visit. That I can score three WHS while doing this is an appreciated side effect. ;)

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 19 Dec 2016 04:50 
Short summary on my trip through Argentina (see my reviews for more details).

True world class sites:
* Iguacu: Counts twice if you make it to the Brazilian side. Found the Argentinian side nicer, though.
* Glaciares: Amazing and way more accessible than Torres if you only do day trips.

World Class for Others (= people in love with animal watching):
* Peninsula Valdes: Not sure, but I don't seem to enjoy animal spotting all that much. It also takes repeat visits to really appreciate the site to its fullest. and loads of driving.

Special:
* Casa Curutchet in La Plata: See my review. Great architecture.
* Jesuit Missions (both Argentina and Paraguay): Doing the three sites near San Ignagcio gives a nice overview of the site. Heading into Paraguay was fun.
* Cueva de los Manos: The paintings and the canyon combined make for a great experience. Unfortunately, you are not able to descend into the canyoning. Also getting there is a huge pain as it's in the middle of nowhere.

Nothing special:
* Colonia de Sacramento: There are way nicer colonial cities than this one. Only nice feature are views of the river de la plata. Go to Mexico to see a nice colonial city. Morelia, Guanjuato, Campeche, all are nicer.

Tentative Sites:
* Los Alerces: Should be inscribed. Huge fan.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#8 | Posted: 19 Dec 2016 05:06 
Itinerary

nfmungard:
Thu - Torres del Paine -> El Calafete (afternoon)
Fri - El Calafete (WHS)

Slight change: Day trip to Perito Moreno and then took the evening bus to El Chalten. You can leave the luggage at the bus station.

nfmungard:
Wed - Esquel - Los Alerces (TWHS)
Thu - Esquel - Night Bus Puerto Madryn

* Check when tours (week day) are available if you don't want to hitchhike as I had to.
* I took the night bus on the same day as visiting Los Alerces. They run at 21:30/22:00h so this is easily feasilble.

nfmungard:
Sat - Puerto Madryn - Flight Buenos Aires (evening)

See my review. Be sure that the transferpmy guys don't forget your reservation by calling them the day before.

nfmungard:
Mon - Fray Bentos (WHS), Sacramento

* Getting from Buenos Aires to Fray Bentos is not that easy with public transport.
* I made it to Fray Bentos in the afternoon and then took an evening bus to Colonia arriving around midnight.
* It may be logistically easier to do the trip the other way around.
* Check Fray Bentos opening days. I do think you can see a lot on your own even when it's closed.

nfmungard:
Wed - Buenos Aires - Posadas <-> Trinidad (WHS)

* When flying in from Buenos Aires the bus can drop you off at the bus station where you can leave your luggage (check with information where, hard to find).
* I was not able to catch a bus to the 2nd site in Paraguay. Unlike Lonely Planet claimed there were no cabs or collective in Trinidad.
* I did the trip to Trinidad and back and then continued to San Ignacio in the evening.

nfmungard:
Thu - Posadas - St Ignacio (WHS) - Iguacu

* As stated I woke up already in St Ignacio and then visited all three monasteries. This is recommended as it allows you to see different levels of preservation and reconstruction. St Ignacio was redone the most,, Loreto being the most original.
* Check the bus times if you are depending on that. Travelling between Santa Ana and St Ignacio is easy. Getting to/from Loreto is difficult. Ask and plan before. I was not able to hitch a ride from Loreto.
* The bus to Iguacu was really slow. Really check how long the bus will take and how many stops it will make. I think there are express options and I wasn't in one of them.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#9 | Posted: 19 Dec 2016 05:12 
nfmungard:
* Again, heard similar things about Buenos Aires not being all that interesting.

It isn't and I would recommend keeping it short.

nfmungard:
* Can you do Fray Bentos, Sacramento in one day?

No. Plan an overnight stay in Uruguay. I left my luggage back in Buenos Aires though.

Assif:
3) For Fray Bentos you would need a guided tour, at least of the factory. You can then walk around the Barrio Anglo. You would need two hours for the tour. Look ahead when it takes place and best call them and book a spot..

The tour would have been ice. I arrived the wrong week day (Monday?), but the gates and doors were open and left unattended, so I sneeked in ;)

Colvin:
I don't know if you plan to drive or take a bus between San Ignacio de Mini and Puerto Iguazu, but be prepared for an approximately four hour tip.

Took longer actually. Wrong bus making stops in every !"§$ village along the road. Also, engine was partially broken.

Colvin:
when I visited in March, it didn't take long to clear customs between Argentina and Brazil.

Locals don't need to clear customs so the bus just continues and drops you off. While customs and immigration went fast, the next bus took an hour to pick me up and take me to the Foz de Iguazu city center.

Author clyde
Partaker
#10 | Posted: 19 Dec 2016 13:58 
Thanks for the interesting reviews and info. I don't plan to visit Argentina next year but I'm sire I'll find your reviews and tips handy should I visit in the future :)

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