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The specific promotions described in this article have now passed, but it remains online so that the resources named will be of future use to travelers.


It¿s almost annoying how people deplaning from a trip to Buenos Aires can¿t stop talking about the countless wonderful things to do, see, buy and eat. From tango to football to high fashion to great big cuts of meat to wide avenues showcasing one of South America¿s most sophisticated urban cultures, Buenos Aires delivers as diversified a travel experience as any other city in the world right now. With inexpensive travel packages combining air and lodging with sightseeing and shopping, the capital of Argentina is holding up well as one of the more exciting travel experiences in the early part of 2006.

If you book before January 19, 2005, Go-Today (tel. 800/227-3235; www.go-today.com) has a special air inclusive five-night/seven-day vacation package starting at $499 per person based on double occupancy accommodations. Travel is good from January 10 to March 15, 2006. Accommodations vary based on the price of the package. At the $499 price point, lodging is at the "budget" class Waldorf Hotel, located just off the popular pedestrian walkway Florida Street and the Galerias Pacifico. You may need Spanish language skills to stay here, or be at least a little adventurous, as there isn¿t always an English language speaker on hotel premises. But at this price, roughing it could be much worse. The hotel is within walking distance to many shops and restaurants including the Plaza St. Martin. To upgrade to a better hotel, in the same neighborhood, the "tourist" class Sheltown Hotel costs approximately $599 per person for the five days and the Hotel Impala, near the very chic Barrio Norte and Recoleta districts, costs $589. These packages all include round-trip airfare out of Boston, New York area airports and Washington, D.C. (other gateways such as Atlanta, $75, are available for an additional cost), arrival transfer from the airport to your hotel, five nights' lodging, daily breakfast, and all hotel taxes and service charges. Air security fees and departure taxes are not included. Through Go-Today, you can select daily sightseeing excursions to tango dinners, Montevideo in Uruguay, and gaucho (Argentinean cowboys) festivals. A similar six-night eight-day vacation starts at $589 with travel good within the same time period.

Not to be outdone, Gate 1Travel (tel. 800/682-3333; www.gate1travel.com) has a seven-day air/land inclusive trip to Buenos Aires starting at $729. Round-trip airfare to Buenos Aires from New York, all lodging, daily breakfast, hotel taxes and airline fuel surcharges are included in the price of the package. The above-mentioned Waldorf Hotel is available at the budget range with other lodging options including the opulent and elegant Hotel Park Chateau Kempinski available for $929 from now until February 23, 2006. The land-only portion of the trip will cost you only $109 per person with double occupancy accommodations at the budget hotel level. That¿s five nights in the hotel for only $109 per person.

For a combination trip that visits Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Go-Today is offering a seven-night/eight-day trip that spends three nights in each city with an extra night in Sao Paulo. The combination of the sophisticated city life of Buenos Aires and the sexy beach town of Rio leaves travelers reeling from too much fun and visceral stimulation. You can go from sipping a blue cocktail in a martini glass on the streets of Buenos Aires to downing rum punch on Rio beach. Now that¿s a vacation. Costing for this particular air/land deal starts at $799 with lodging choices available in a wide range of hotels including a stay at the Hotel Kempinski in Buenos Aires and the Rio Othon Palace, located directly on Rio¿s famous Copacabana Beach. (These hotels are available on the more expensive Plan A, available for starting at $1,179).

Tourlite International (tel. 800/272-7600; www.tourlite.com/specials.html), a travel provider with 34 years of experience out of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, has some highlighted specials to Buenos Aires this winter. A seven-day/five-night package to Buenos Aires starts at $779 out of Miami. A nine-day/seven-night Rio and Buenos Aires combination special costs approximately $1,129 out of Miami and New York. Call to book these one-time specials. While air, lodging and hotel taxes are included, these packages do not include fuel surcharges and government taxes and security fees totaling upwards of $135.