The wide range of accommodation available in Argentina means there is something to suit everyone. If comfort is what you are looking for then the booming international hotel industry is not your only option. Estancias or fincas (ranches) often provide luxury combined with the opportunity to experience rural Argentine life, with farms chores such as cow-milking, sheep shearing and cattle-marking open to the guests. For the more budget conscious, hostels and camp grounds are plentiful, varying from basic to the more equipped. Hospedajes and residenciales are also cheap options. Self-catering cabaÃ±as, found in resort towns, as well as bungalows, mostly on the coast and hillsides of Patagonia, are another option, but price varies according to size and location so check with the tourist office in each province for local information. Timeshare properties are also popular in Argentina. Contact the Argentine Chamber of Timeshare Properties (CATC) for more info.
Often local tourism offices keep a list (with prices) of local lodging with families and camping options. In the winter and other slow periods, look for discounts. If staying longer term (3 days or more), ask about a possible discount. Argentina Hotels
Argentina hotels come in all shapes and sizes. Designer hotels are more common now, providing an alternative to the standard 5-star chains. Mid-range, posadas or hosterias are a better choice than most hotels at a similar price, which can be dull and lifeless. Posadas tend to offer comfort along with the charm and feel of the real Argentina, while hosterias are generally smaller and perhaps a little more up-scale. Be aware that the term B&B is not necessarily used as it is in English and is more likely to mean a mid- to high-end townhouse-hotel, extravagant but still warm and friendly. Some establishments calling themselves hotels are actually places to rent by the hour, especially near bus stations. Check the Asociacion de Hoteles de Turismo
for a list of registered hotels.Argentina Hostels
If you are counting the pennies then staying at one of many Argentina hostels is generally a safe bet. They are also a good place to meet fellow travelers, swap tips, check your email, maybe do your washing or even relax around the pool and fire-up the BBQ. Be warned that although Argentina hostels tend to be a little more upscale than other hostels throughout South America, accommodations can range in quality. A good practice is to always ask to see your room before committing for the night.
Throughout Argentine, three chains of hostels operate: Hostelling International (www.hihostels.com), minihostels (www.minihostels.com) and Ho.La Hostels (www.holahostels.com). Card-carrying members receive discounts. Argentina Luxury Hotels and Spas
With stunning backdrops, plush surroundings and original treatments, Argentina luxury hotels have the reputation as being some of the best in the world. Attracting rich, image-conscious PorteÃ±os as well as foreigners, you can expect a top-class spa experience for a fraction of what you pay back home. And the advantage of staying in a luxury hotel means that after a relaxing treatment you can retire to your room with minimal disruption to your feeling of well-being. Lay back and be pampered as you look out over the glaciers of Patagonia
or listen to the relaxing sound of the IguazÃº Falls
at the Sheraton IguazÃº Resort & Spa
, the only hotel inside the national park. Wine spas in Argentina, such as Patios de Cafayate Hotel and Spa in the CalchaquÃ Valley, use indigenous traditions to blend local herbs and grapevines (naturally abundant in anti-oxidants) to provide unique treatments.Argentina Estancias
A great way to experience the real Argentina without necessarily relinquishing any comfort, estancias vary from simple farm-homestays to vast country inns and even opulent spa-style boutique villas. In the majority of estancias guests stay in the casco (farmhouse) and are looked after by the ranch owners. Most are still working farms, the owners supplementing the meager income gained nowadays from farming, so the houses are often centuries-old and family-run.
At Argentina estancias, you can expect full-board, home-cooked meals, a warm fire and bags of history. Staying in an estancia you are able to truly appreciate the serene Argentine landscape, simple country living and you will likely learn something about the gaucho way of life. Many places organize activities, such as cattle-herding, which will help you immerse yourself into local ways, whether you are in the pampas outside Buenos Aires
or in the vineyards of Mendoza
In the north you can find places such as the Estancia Bodega ColomÃ©
, a remote and romantically rustic inn with fresh mountain air, massages and a swimming pool beneath the stars. In the southern lakes of Patagonia, Fort Chacabuco (Tel: 2944-554-148), near Bariloche
, offers cozy rooms overlooking its 5000-hectares, fly-fishing and sheep-shearing. Wherever you stay, this type of accommodation offers a truly unique experience. On the web you will find information about individual estancias, which you can contact personally, or you can go through an agency, of which there are many online and in Buenos Aires. Argentina Ecolodges
Ecolodges, while sometimes appearing quite similar to estancias, differ from the above in their raison dâ€™Ãªtre. They also offer close-to-nature lodging, â€˜cow-boyâ€™ chores for the guests and foster a homey feel, but their main focus is the expansive and diverse flora and fauna Argentina. Ecolodges are a booming industry. The idea is that, through sustainable and responsible tourism, visitors can experience a country and its bio-diversity with minimal impact.
Ecolodges, such as La Alegria
in the Gran Chaco, an area of arid sub-tropical forest and grassland to the north of Argentina, typically arrange activities and tours so that you may share an areaâ€™s impressive array of plants and animals such as anteaters, howler monkies, pumas, tapirs, yellow anacondas and over 300 species of birds and 100 species of trees. In the Ibera nature reserve, north east of Buenos Aires, the Hosteria ï¿½'andereta
arranges boat trips on the more than 60 lagoons around which you can spot the giant river otter, the manned wolf, the grassland venison and the marsh deer, four protected species declared Natural Provincial Monuments, as well as caiman alligators. Rooms are typically in private or shared wooden cabins with meals taken in a common area. Standards and prices vary, as well as the lodgesâ€™ "green policies," so it pays to do some research before you go.
Other Hotel pages in Argentina that may be of interest: Belgrano Hotels, El Huecu Hotels, Purmamarca Hotels, Trevelin Hotels, Humahuaca Hotels, Ushuaia Hotels, El ChaltÃ©n Hotels, Perito Moreno Hotels, IguazÃº National Park Hotels and BelÃ©n Hotels.