Last minute March/April travel to South America or Europe
March 14, 2015 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Planning a last minute trip in late March/early April - need ideas for places to go or itineraries. My criteria: 10-14 day trip in which I can visit a city and an interesting natural area nearby. Top contenders at the moment: Buenos Aires, Athens, Istanbul, Spain. Further details inside.

I'll be flying out of Toronto, solo female traveler (I've traveled in developing countries before alone briefly and with friends, but safety is a consideration), somewhere warm (ok if it's not "hot"), willing to spend a bit of cash but nothing outrageous. I'm into foodie stuff, art, wandering around neighbourhoods, hiking, cycling, "hippie sports" (for lack of a better term - yoga, surfing, etc.), wine, coffee/cafe culture, boutique-y shopping, relaxing for a couple of days.

Central America would be great but it's been my last few vacation destinations so looking to change things up.
posted by scribbler to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
Buenos Aires has everything on your list except for hiking and surfing. Amazing food and wine, lovely cafes everywhere, lots of great boutiques, and endless neighborhoods to walk around and explore. 10-14 days would be perfect for getting to know the city, and you can take a brief train trip to nearby Tigre and hop on a boat to explore the islands of the Rio de la Plata estuary.
posted by dacoit at 12:03 PM on March 14, 2015

Response by poster: My worry with Buenos Aires is that it would be Semana Santa leading up to the Easter weekend - not sure whether that would be a better/worse time to visit the city.
posted by scribbler at 12:35 PM on March 14, 2015

Many people seem to like the itinerary that entails visiting Istanbul and then making a trip to Cappadocia. Istanbul is safe, and there's a lot of really interesting history and art. Coffee and affordable shopping are also found in abundance in Istanbul. :)
posted by gemutlichkeit at 12:49 PM on March 14, 2015

Buenos Aires is not particularly affected by Semana Santa - except for the fact that in the period you are looking at there are 4 public holidays. The city will be quiet - and most vital things (local food shops, restaurants, bars etc) will be open - areas like Palermo in the evening will be largely unaffected. Out-of-town areas like Tigre and the beach towns will be very busy but the city itself will be nice and peaceful.
posted by jontyjago at 2:26 PM on March 14, 2015

Seconding BsAs, this is a great time (weather wise) to visit the city, since late March means it's heading into autumn away from the torturously hot and humid summer weather of January and February. Very cultural, very lively, gorgeous city, there's always something to do and there are tons of great cafes and restaurants of all different types. Other nice places in Argentina to visit would be Córdoba (~12 hours by bus from BsAs, second largest city in Argentina but surrounded by nature as well) and Mendoza (close to the border with Chile at the foot of the Andes, great wine). I highly recommend traveling to/from Argentina or Chile by bus at this time of the year (before it gets too cold and snow blocks up the mountain pass) across the Andes because the view/scenery is incredible, though flying over the Andes will also give you some great views from above.

I'd also recommend Uruguay (Colonia is a hop across the river from Buenos Aires and makes an excellent day trip, Montevideo I haven't visited yet, but I really want to go, I've heard it's like a calmer, smaller version of Buenos Aires though) and Chile (Santiago, though it gets a lot of hate, I really like the city, it's full of history and though not as well known culturally as BsAs, it's slowly coming into its own in that regard IMO, and Valparaíso/Viña del Mar on the coast - Valpo, in the hills at least, is covered in colorful and wonderfully intricate murals and is also a very cultural and lively city, though much smaller than Santiago or BsAs, and Viña del Mar is a nice beach town next door reminiscent of California) as other destinations good for solo female travelers in South America.
posted by lana0112 at 7:43 PM on March 21, 2015

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