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Argentina Planning Update: Completing the Itinerary and Hotel Bookings

It is now less than two months before we travel to Argentina and surrounding area for two weeks. After much give and take, the itinerary has been finalized. We ended up cutting down the number of destinations to make sure we don’t overdo it during the time we are there. We still plan to visit four countries: Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil and Uruguay but cut out the additional city (and train trip) to Cordoba, Argentina and an overnight stay in Asuncion, Paraguay, which allows us a little more time in the other destinations.

With things now set we booked two internal plane flights from Iguazu Falls to Buenos Aires, just prior to taking a ferry across to Uruguay, and a flight from Montevideo back to Buenos Aires to connect to our travel home. So we will have a nice combination of bus, ferry and plane travel as we move about the region.

The last major thing to do at this point was to explore hotel options. We tend to book hotels where possible and now have reservations every night except the two that we will be staying in southern Paraguay. Short of making phone calls in Spanish, there is no easy way to make advance plans there, and since we will be arriving in Paraguay in the morning, after an all-night bus trip, we should be able to get a room without any problems.

To book the hotels, I used the guide book I had purchased as a baseline and then searched by location on the Internet, using,,, and and whatever other sites I was referred by them. I was trying to stay mid-range in price so looked at options in that category, paying attention to the guidebook impressions and the reviews on the sites.

After reconciling all the information, noting the location relative to public transportation and the potential amenities, such as free breakfast and non smoking rooms, I looked for the best deal on each site. I ended up booking rooms on several different sites, since no one site had the best deals in each place. However, I was able to get free breakfast in one city and free internet in another, using this method. I also ended up getting a much better price in one case by booking straight on that hotel’s website so truly there is not a ‘one size fits all’ in this case.

Now that this is done, the next step is visas. We need formal visas for Paraguay ($45 apiece) and Brazil ($130 each), which are best obtained before leaving home. So the rest of this month will be getting that accomplished. Argentina has just started charging a processing fee to enter the country of $130 each for US citizens (for reciprocity reasons) so between all three of these fees, it will add up and the budget has been modified to include that as well.

During the last month leading up to the trip we will be outlining our day-to-day activities and noting restaurants / other places of interest to visit. More about that in the next planning installment.