Argentina travel guide

10 Days in Argentina: Itinerary Ideas

Argentina is a vast country, offering a lot of interesting things to do and places to visit. No visit to Argentina is complete without experiencing the vibe of tango on Buenos Aires’ streets, the beauty of Patagonia and the wines of Mendoza. Ten days in Argentina can be romantic or adventurous, depending on your priorities.

Itinerary assumptions

Day 1-3 Buenos Aires

Choose one of the best areas to stay in the city: Palermo Viejo – the trendiest part of Buenos Aires – , Monserrat – easily accessible via subway- or San Telmo – the most romantic area in the city. Each offers a lot of budget hotels and hostels to choose from.

Start your stay with a free walking tour of the city , then go to Avenue 9 de Julio. Explore Plaza de Mayo with its landmarks and stop for a bite to eat . Take a photo of the Obelisco and then catch the subway to Montserrat (line A) and ride in one of the original wooden carriages.

Start the second day with a pastry and coffee, then go to Calle Caminito in La Boca. See tango being danced on the street and maybe even take some lessons. In the afternoon you can visit La Recoleta Cemetery and see Eva Perón’s mausoleum.

Spend the last day shopping in Palermo Viejo. Or spend a day in nature at Parque Tres de Febrero.

>>read more about 3 days in Buenos Aires and about the Things to do in Buenos Aires

Day 4-7 Patagonia : Bariloche , Ushuaia

While not cheap, there are daily flights from Buenos Aires into Ushuaia ($331 one way in late Oct 2012) and San Carlos De Bariloche (same price). If you have time on your hands then you can catch a bus from Buenos Aires to Bariloche (21 h, $140 one way) or Ushuaia (much harder and longer trip, though).

>>read more about Getting from Buenos Aires to Bariloche and book a cheap hotel in Bariloche

Travel to El Calafate and see the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the glaciers which are not yet retreating. There are footbridges and viewpoints so you can see the glacier in its splendor. There’s also minitrek trail on the glacier, but you’ll need to do that with a guide.

Should you fancy a bit of mountain biking or paragliding, go to Nahuel Huapi National Park, near Bariloche. You can also try rafting and kayaking here.

The entire Patagonia area is known for being a place to experience nature. In Ushuaia, you can hike on Glacier Martial and see lovely views of the area , while Tierra del Fuego National Park offers excellent hiking trails, ranging from easy to hard. Pack appropriate gear and opt for a guide if needed.

>>read more about Getting from Buenos Aires to Patagonia

Day 8-10 Mendoza

Catch a plane from Bariloche into Mendoza ($240 one way in late October 2012).

Many wineries offer wine tours . The best time for such tours is in March or April. Of course, you get to taste the wine. When you get tired of the food and wine, take a walk in Parque San Martín or do some people watching in Plaza Independencia.

Hike up to Cerro Alco for some lovely views of the city. The hike takes half a day and can be done independently. If you prefer a more challenging option, climb Alta Montaña. It can only be done as part of a group.

Those looking for an active holiday, can try horse riding. Or, if you are into more extreme options, there’s always white water rafting and paragliding.

>>read more about the Things to do in Mendoza and book a cheap hotel in Mendoza

Photo credits
:Buenos Aires , Bariloche , Mendoza

Panama travel guide

Top 7 Beaches in Panama

Although many people immediately associate Panama with either the Canal or the famous Van Halen “Panama” song, Panama is also home to many fabulous beach destinations. Still lagging behind Costa Rica and Mexico’s development of tourism and beach-side resorts, you can still find great deals, inexpensive hotels and hostels and cheap eats at many of these tropical beach destinations. However, the tourism industry in Panama is on the brink of major new developments and soon sleepy beach towns and islands will become host to mega resorts, higher prices and more gringo tourists.

Comarca Kuna Yala

This is the premiere beach destination in Panama and comprises about 350 picture-perfect beaches. The white sand, the blue water, the palm trees, everything is as it should be in a Caribbean paradise. Scuba is prohibited here and you’ll stay in rustic houses but , to be honest, you only travel here to swim , enjoy the sand and stay in the hammock.

Bocas del Toro

A group of small islands situated on the Caribbean close to the Costa Rica border, this beach destination has long been discovered by backpackers and is on its way to more major outside tourist development. Although slightly more expensive and touristy than the rest of Panama, the island is still home to a plethora cheap hostels and inexpensive hotels. Drawing mostly a younger crowd, many travel here to bask in the sun during the day and party at night. Just a short boat taxi ride away is Isla Bastimentos, where you will find Red Frog Beach and Wizard Beach. It is also definitely worth shelling out the extra bucks to take a boat out to the National Park located on Isla Zapatilla, where you will find a pristine white-sand beach, clear blue waters.

Isla Bastimentos National Park offers excellent beaches, such as Red Frog Beach, Wizard Beach, and Playa Larga, which can be reached by a short walk or hike.

Santa Catalina

This rather remote surfer’s haven on the Pacific Coast will not disappoint. Still a sleepy fishing village (though much beach front property has recently been snatched up by foreign investors for development), Santa Catalina offers spectacular views of green, jungle covered bluffs dropping into the ocean, a huge black sand beach, and great breaks for surfers.

For divers, a boat ride to the nearby Isla Coiba will take you to an amazing marine preserve and provide for an amazing dive where you can see dolphins, whale and bull sharks, coral and a plethora of tropical fish. Isla Coiba is often compared to the Galapagos because of the unique eco-system.

Las Perlas Archipelago

This location offers excellent snorkeling spots, calm water for swimming and white beaches. Outside of the holidays and the high season you won’t find crowds here, so it’s excellent place to allow the time to stand still for a while.

Las Lajas

It may not be the most beautiful beach in Panama, but the swimming is excellent and the long (13km) beaches allows for plenty of walking…or jogging. Bring your own snacks. If you look for something closer to Boquete , visit La Barqueta but keep in mind it’s not a good option for swimming (strong currents). But it’s good for walking.

Azuero Peninsula

It offers a lot of beaches but the cleanest are Playa Los Destiladores and Playa Venado. They are also the most attractive but are less tropical (due to the deforestation in the region).

The Pacific Beaches

Playa Blanca and Santa Clara , although not very impressive, are a good option for a day trip from Panama City. However, these are the beaches which include full service, complete with all-inclusive resort, exactly the opposite the ones mentioned above.

Photo credits: Kuna Yala , Red Frog beach , Isla Coiba , Las Perlas Archipelago , Las Lajas , Playa Los Destiladores , Playa Blanca

Sweden Things to Do

Top 7 beaches in Sweden

While Swedes are known to escape to winter sun destinations, during summer they often decide to stay put and enjoy the sun in their own back yard. Prices can be cheaper than in the Mediterranean and best of all, you won’t see exclusive five star resorts here.

Sweden offers a lot of sandy beaches and there are many activities available for everyone. Do remember though that pets aren’t allowed on all beaches in Sweden.

1. Böda Beach , Öland

The beach stretches for 20 km and has plenty of facilities. It’s one of the beaches which welcome pets. Watersports, cycling and golfing are available for those into more active days at the beach. Others might just love the saunas.

2. Långholmsbadet Beach, Stockholm

If you don’t plan to leave the capital, then the popular Långholmsbadet Beach is a good option for a day of soaking up the sun. There are facilities for swimmers, there are places to eat and recreational areas, but the beach tends to get crowded in the summer.

3. Smedsuddsbadet Beach, Stockholm

Also in Stockholm, Smedsuddsbadet Beach offers recreational areas , places to eat and facilities for those who want to swim. Just like the other beach in the capital, it gets crowded during summer.

4. Ribersborg Beach, Malmö

This is a real city beach with shallow water, ideal for families with children. You can eat in restaurants or make your own BBQ (in specialized areas). The beach has a nude section and welcomes pets.

5. The Sudersand Beaches, Gotland

It is the most popular and most beautiful beach in Gotland. There are plenty of recreational activities to try, including a mini golf course, there are restaurants and a kiosk.

6. Varamon Beach , Östergötland

It is the “Pearl of Vättern” and is blessed with 80 more hours of sun per year than the rest of Sweden. You can play various sports – windsurfing, volleyball -, and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants. It’s a good option for families with children.

7. Skutberget Beach, Karlstad

It is located on the northern shore of Lake Vänern and includes a campground. There is a playground for children and the activities you can try here range from hiking to mountain biking and playing football. There are restaurants and cafes available, too.

Photo credits: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 ,7- A beach on Lake Vänern