November 25th, 2012
Update, 10AM: DEAD!
This fare is valid on Star Alliance carrier TAM and the flight is via Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo. You will earn 100% miles (12,053 from JFK via Rio) when credited to United.
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I went to Buenos Aires with my wife and son in May. If you are a foodie there are tons of kosher restaurants. While I wasn’t enamored of the kosher McDonalds (though it’s still worth trying out yourself so that you can bad-mouth it as well), I thought that Asian was one of the best kosher restaurants in the world and we went to eat there 3 times in 6 days. There are dozens of places for incredible kosher Ice Cream as well, and it will also be some of the best and more unique that you’ve ever tried. Kosher bakeries churn out all kinds of delicious dulce de leche treats as well as churros and other goodies.
The local markets are very fun, we got stunning pictures from a 2 hour photo shoot on the cheap from local photographers, and we had a blast just exploring a very happening foreign city.
The city feels very European, much more so than other South American cities. Best of all, unlike Europe, the dollar goes extremely far in Argentina. Everyone there is desperate for dollars and will often pay massive premiums over the regular exchange rate to buy dollars off of you. You will laugh at just how cheap a taxi ride can be when you trade your dollars in for Pesos at favorable rates.
The Park Hyatt Buenos Aires is a fantastic hotel in the Parisian inspired neighborhood of Recoleta, we got a humungous suite when using our free nights from the Hyatt credit card, and received a massive comped kosher breakfast each morning as well for being diamond at the time that we made the reservation. There are also kosher restaurants and shuls within walking distance of the hotel, though it’s not in the main (rundown) section of Jewish community. Additional nights cost 18K Chase Ultimate Rewards or Hyatt points per night.
Beware that there is a $160 reciprocity fee that needs to be paid when you land in Buenos Aires if you only have an American passport. That fee covers you for the next 10 years. They’ll be happy to take any credit card though, so at least you earn the miles
While you’re down there you should definitely consider using 15,000 Avios to fly round-trip to Iguazu Falls for a couple days to see it from the Brazilian and Argentine sides. Iguazu is fantastic beyond words, one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. It literally makes Niagara look like a leaky faucet. There’s even a Sheraton inside the national park so you’ll get a head start over everyone else and be able to use your Starpoints.
HT: FT and Aussiebochur