Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Take dollars – can exchange readily. We got some Argentinean and Chilean currency from M&S before we left at a good exchange rate. In Chile 19% tax is added if you pay for a meal in pesos rather than dollars.
Safe airport taxi system –Taxi Ezeiza – in the middle of the airport lobby. You pay at the desk (can pay in dollars) and then wait till escorted outside to your taxi. We also used this system back to airport- our group leader booked for us, told us the price and we paid the driver (try to have right amount or round up).
Be aware of pickpocket scam in Buenos Aires – walking up Belgrano we were sprayed by something that looked like birdshit from behind. A nice middle aged lady offered me paper/water to clean up. She had some mates. As you clean up however your gear is stolen. Fortunately my husband was wise to the scam (I’d forgotten about it) and shouted to me to walk on. We cleaned up at the Hotel Dazzler where they told us a client had had his wallet stolen by this method the previous week. It’s not an urban myth.
Pack for Scottish winter walking in the Cairngorm using a layered system (so if its warmer than what we experienced you’re covered). We had beautiful weather in general (plus one snowstorm that was actually fun) but were grateful for warm gear. Buenos Aires was variable (windy and wet when arrived, sunny and warm when left).
Trekking poles are really useful.
Wi-Fi was available at the hotels we stayed at throughout the trip but was slow. If you don’t already use What’s App get it for texts and photos (free under wifi).
Most of the museums in Buenos Aires only have Spanish captions. Subway system good and cheap though told to wear backpack to front on it.
If you have extra time in Buenos Aires, a day trip to Colonia in Uruguay by ferry is enjoyable. We went by Busquebus, booking on a Sat for a day trip on the Sunday. We also went a day trip to the Tigre Delta which was interesting. Train from Retiro Station then commuter bus to Tres Bocas. Some short walks there and two restaurants. Tigre has an Art Museum housed in a beautiful French Style Building – worth seeing.
At El Calafate Laguna Nimez Bird Reserve is worth visiting. However if you are into walking try to do the Cerro de los Cristales climb at Lago Roca (CalTur bus at 8.30 am returns at 6pm 200 pesos). Quite hard going but worth it for the views if weather kind to you. From Lago Roca private campsite walk up to junction turn left, walk by path to Rock Paintings on right then just before a road leading off on the left to the lake there are two posts (minus the signboard) on the right that mark the start of the route. About 40 yds from these into the walk you’ll see another marked signpost. Route is obvious till near top where there can be snow. Scree at top but it is ok especially if you have poles. Allow 7 hrs round trip. Watch the weather especially winds at the top.
Foodwise: difficult for vegetarians but if you can eat fish its fantastic. Really enjoyed Ayres Patagonicos El Chalten (informal, good food good music), La Tablita, el Calafate and Hotel Las Torres in Torres del Paine.