A 10-hour flight time with just a one-hour time difference, New York to Buenos Aires, Argentina is not such a difficult trip. You don't get jet-lagged, and if you sleep on the flight the wear and tear feels like little more than an itch. Same goes for departures from other U.S. gateways such as Atlanta, Houston, Miami (an even closer flight), Washington, D.C., or Chicago. Once you arrive, you feel fresh enough to enjoy the splendor that is Argentina. Buenos Aires is an exciting capital city that travelers have long called the "Paris of South America." The steaks are incredibly high-quality and low-priced (as in $8 for a 22-ounce tenderloin). And last but not least, the countryside rivals the American West.
Intratours (tel. 800/334-8069; www.intratours.com) has fall and winter specials to several Argentina arrival points from a variety of U.S. cities. Fall fares last until December 9, 2005 with winter fares last from January 14 to March 31, 2006. In this case, however, fall and winter sales are the same. Cordoba, the other destination in Argentina, was the country's first capital during colonial times and is considered the heartland of the country. North of Buenos Aires, Cordoba's interior beauty is marked by rivers, waterfalls and plains filled with gauchos, Argentina's version of the cowboy. Here are some sample winter fares to Argentina currently available:
- Atlanta to Buenos Aires $860; to Cordoba $809
- Boston $720; $789
- Chicago $885; $813
- Dallas $860; $829
- Los Angeles $698; $831
- New York $670; $640
- Miami $499; $640
- Philadelphia $681; $799
These prices are for mid-week departures with an obligatory Saturday-night stay. Weekend surcharges will apply. Prices are for roundtrip travel based on availability and do not include airplane fuel charges or security taxes.
For horseback riders wanting to learn more about Cordoba and see more of Argentina's landscape, Riding Holidays (tel. 888/299-5102; www.ridingholidays.com), a group focusing on delivering travelers tours of the world via the top of a horse, has trips to Cordoba and other Argentinean regions. The eight-day/seven-night land-only equestrian packages start at $1,240 and include riding, all accommodations and all meals and table wine. The riding is an intermediate level with an English tack and sheepskins over the saddle. Horses are included. The trails are historical tours of farmlands and villages all over the countryside. Accommodations are at the Estancia Los Potreros, a 6,000 square foot working cattle ranch located at an altitude of more than 3,000 feet run by a fourth generation Anglo-Argentinean family. Expect to see wild fauna and animals on your rides including partridges, eagles and vultures, foxes and hare and the occasional wild boar. Weather-wise, Cordoba is known for its healthy climate "always in season." Don't forget the Argentina winter takes place in June, July and August, meaning any trip from November to April will be warm, dry and likely sun-filled.
To tango, Tourlite (tel. 800/272-7600; www.tourlite.com) offers a seven-day/five-night dancing delight that includes roundtrip airfare from Miami to Buenos Aires, accommodations at the hotel of your choice, daily breakfast, a half-day tour of Buenos Aires, airport transfers and hotel service charges and taxes. Visit La Bocca, the harbor docks where the tango was first danced. See the tango danced en masse in a ballroom setting. The "Traditional" package gives an overview of Argentina's tango scene, gaucho way of life and even visits nearby Uruguay. The "Enhanced" tour allows for a more comprehensive viewing of Argentina's national dance. Add $220 for the Enhanced version of this trip that starts at $889 for the Traditional trip that departs until December 9, 2005. While 2006 prices and departure times haven't been posted yet, according to a Tourlite rep you can add about 8 percent to the price listed on the website to approximate future prices. The tango trip typically departs on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.
LAN Vacations (tel. 800/435-3593; www.lanvacations.com) is offering a special $1,399 price for a six-night tour visiting Buenos Aires and Argentina's lake district. Travel is good from January 4, 2006 to March 31, 2006 with a purchase deadline of December 15, 2005. The price of the package includes round trip airfare out of Miami (other U.S. gateways are available fro an additional fee), three nights in Buenos Aires, roundtrip airfare to Bariloche in the lake district, three nights in Bariloche, half day tours of Buenos Aries and Bariloche, airport transfers in Argentina, daily breakfast and all hotel taxes and service charges. Air security fees and departure taxes are not included in the package price. LAN Vacations also has a Buenos Aires Special starting at $799 with travel good from the same dates as above with a similar December 15, 2005 purchase deadline.