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Jeff
Portland

Jeff from Portland asked

14 days - what can I do in South America?

Hey all, I have a question as I have a bit of analysis paralysis on this and hoping to get some help prioritizing what to do and for how long. Next September October or November (still fluid) I am looking at two weeks in South America but because it is such a big area and so much to see, I need help narrowing it down. Some of my priorities:

  • Really good food and drink - from street food to Top 50 restaurants, this is sort of core to traveling.
  • We need a good drinking culture -  pub and a lively atmosphere or wine tasting with quality producers.
  • The ability to mix up downtime (hiking, walking around, etc.) and lively culture is a good thing. 
  • Cities we love - Prague, Munich, London, Lauterbrunnen/Murren, San Sebastian, Madrid, Lisbon, Mexico City

Some of the things I think I really want to do, but I need to know what is honestly obtainable in 2 weeks:

  • Lima
  • Machu picchu 
  • Mendoza
  • Buenos Aires
  • Patagonia

Any direction would be fantastic.

Argentina   Chile   Peru

2 Answers
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answered by
Laura from Buenos Aires

Argentina with a visit to Buenos AiresMendoza and some place in the Patagonia (Argentina), has all the qualities you are looking for and more. I'm not saying it because it´s my home but is really a wonderful country. 

In Peru I've only been to Cusco, which is wonderful, but I've heard very good things about Lima and other places like Trujillo and Mancora.

And, of course, Brazil is always a great destination with incredible cities like Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo and lots of beaches. 


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Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Argentina (attraction)
  2. Buenos Aires (city)
  3. Mendoza (attraction)
  4. Patagonia (Argentina) (metro area)
  5. Peru (attraction)
  6. Cusco (city)
  7. Lima (attraction)
  8. Trujillo (city)
  9. Mancora (city)
  10. Brazil (country)
  11. Rio de Janeiro (city)
  12. Sao Paulo (city)
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answered first by
Polly from Washington, DC

I would go with either Peru or Argentina for a two week trip, but wouldn't attempt both. Between your priorities and your allotted time, I'd pick Argentina. I've heard Peru is better for food than Argentina, but I enjoyed almost every meal I ate in Buenos Aires and Puerto Iguazu. Buenos Aires fits in well with the cities you've listed.

I'd split the two weeks equally between the three places you mentioned, with maybe a little less time given to Mendoza and a little more to Patagonia.  If you did decide to visit Peru instead, adding on Iquitos and seeing a bit of the Amazon might be a good way to round out your two weeks there.


Comments (2)

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Jeff
This is great. a few solid ideas. I appreciate it. Anywhere in either of those cities you recommend eating/drinking?
 

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Polly
In Buenos Aires, I loved the pizza and empanadas at El Cuartito. They have funny hours, so look them up before going. Cafe Tortoni is more enjoyable for the ambiance than the food, but is not a bad place to sit and have churros and coffee or hot chocolate for breakfast if you're walking around the city center. I did a wine-tasting that I enjoyed but wouldn't recommend if you're headed out to Mendoza anyway. Next time, I really want to try out 'Steaks by Luis' - I've only heard and read good things! Also, it occurs to me that spring would be the perfect time to visit Argentina - you might even catch the jacaranda trees in bloom in BA if you shoot for November.
 
 
 

Mentioned in this answer:

map
VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Peru (attraction)
  2. Argentina (attraction)
  3. Buenos Aires (city)
  4. Puerto Iguazu (city)
  5. Iquitos (city)
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