Ten airlines now fly jets to South America from the U.S.A. 45-day first-class excursion ticket costs $950 from New York, and first-class passengers are truly pampered on the 12-hour flights to Buenos Aires. Less luxurious, but one of the best buys in travel, is the round-South-America economy flight to B.A. ($599). On this ticket one can visit every major capital on the continent, traveling 12,240 miles. Pan Am jets fly along the east coast from New York to B.A. three times a week. Panagra flies the western route to B.A. six days a week. BOAC has three weekly flights to Lima, stopping in either Nassau or Jamaica. KLM flies three times a week from New York into Caracas via Cura�ao. Varig has jet flights to Buenos Aires from New York three times a week, from Los Angeles twice a week. The round-trip Los Angeles flight costs $1,336 first class, $736 economy. Aerolineas Argentinas jets fly from New York to B.A. three times a week via Trinidad and Rio. Braniff goes down the west coast of South America and back up the east five times a week; Delta flies from New Orleans to Caracas twice a week, stopping in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Viasa flies to its home port, Caracas, and Avianca to Bogot� four times a week from New York.
Grace Line, Delta, Moore-McCormack, Argentine and Swedish-American all have cruises to South America. Moore-McCormack's "Carnival in Rio" cruise on the S.S. Brasil sails 13,898 miles starting Feb. 1 for 38 days, $1,620 minimum. The new
has a Caribbean cruise that touches Rio at carnival time (Feb. 23-26 this summer). Minimum rate is $1,080 for 25 days starting Feb. 15. Swedish-American's Gripsholm will make the complete circle of South America on a 45-day cruise leaving New York Jan. 18. Minimum rate is $1,525, double occupancy. Cruising can be cheaper. Alcoa Steamship Co. has a jungle cruise from Trinidad through the rivers of Surinam (six days for $125) which can be taken in conjunction with their freighter cruises from U.S. ports, and indeed by anybody who happens to be in Trinidad on the right day. Travel agents have all cruise and flight schedules.
The Plaza Hotel in Buenos Aires is well located and luxurious ($11-$12.50, double room with bath, without meals, plus the high 24% service charge imposed by all hotels and restaurants).
Sports: In Argentina the horse is king, and in addition to flat racing there are gaucho rodeos, polo and pato (a kind of basketball on horseback). For personal riding. El Salto Riding School near Palermo Park rents horses for a minimum charge of $1.10 per hour; for golf there are half a dozen good courses (see page 66). Panagra's office will help you acquire guest cards.
In Mar del Plata, the gambling and beach resort 250 miles south of B.A., there are more than 200 hotels. The Provincial (from $7.20 double, European plan) is right next to the casino but fronts on the most crowded beach in the southern hemisphere. The Tourbillon and the Hermitage ($10.70 and $15.70 respectively for a double room with meals) are more attractively situated. One can make a trip to the ranches at Chapadmalal and Ojo de Agua, where these two famous breeds of Argentine racehorses originated. Near Bariloche on Lake Nahuel Huap� 820 miles southwest of B.A., the well-known Llao-Llao Hotel ($15.70 double, with meals) has charming rooms, rather pretentious food. The Tunquelen is also recommended ($12:80 double, American plan). The Cumelen Country Club on the other side of the lake takes nonmembers ($11.30 double, American plan) in November, March and April—the best fishing months anyway. To taste the local trout and salmon one must catch them—the hotels are not allowed to buy them commercially. Bariloche is in the mountains and cold; take a heavy sweater and a raincoat.
Restaurants: Beef is the staple, and it is eaten fresh, not aged. In B.A. less than $2 will buy a steak-salad-red-wine lunch at La G�eya, a typical Argentine restaurant. There is a pleasant place in Palermo Park called El Rosedal del Lago. Try baby beef at La Tablita or Corrientes Once (dinner for two, with wine, $5-$7). The word parillada on a menu means broiled meat, and it comes with chimichurri, a sauce composed chiefly of hot red peppers and garlic. Achura includes, among other innards, the intestines of the cow, interesting fare for the adventurous. When you tire of steak, there are satisfactory French restaurants (Le Coq d'Or, Le Bec Fin, Goyo—about $6 for a meal for two, with wine). A pleasant Italian restaurant is called Spadavecchia. The Plaza Grill, one of the most fashionable restaurants in the whole of South America, serves a superlative egg dish called Huevo Poparisky and excellent pepper steak.
Night life: The nightclubs in the Olivos quarter have gardens stretching down to the River Plate. An evening at the Atelier (dinner with wine followed by three Scotches) will cost about $6 per person.
Liquids: Tap water is drinkable in B.A., but watch what goes into a San Martin (Martini); locally brewed gin is dreadful. Argentine wines tend to the rough and earthy, and Argentinians drink Chilean wines when they get the chance. But Vi�as de Orfina, a red Cabernet, is quite all right and so is Bianchi's Chablis, both local products.
Shopping: Pedro Mayorga is good for handbags of caiman and jacar� (two relatives of the crocodile) ranging from $30 to $90. Vicu�a and guanaco throws that will adequately cover a queen-size bed ($130-$170 for vicu�a, $50 for guanaco) can be found at Lopez, who will ship.