Where to go? I want miles, gf wants passport stamp. DEN. *A. June or Aug. 4-5 days.

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by GreekDeno, May 8, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. GreekDeno

    GreekDeno Silver Member

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    I'd like to take a trip this summer. I want miles, but also want to visit a new place. So more like a MW (walk). My girlfriend wants a stamp in her passport. Must be *A for my status which limits anything direct out of DEN (Canadia, Mexico (Cabo would be nice, but I've been there), FRA on LH). Obviously can connect if need be. I'm really open to anything. Four nights max, ideally over a weekend.

    My thoughts were:
    YVR (never been and heard great things)
    YUL (Too hot without a beach?)
    EZE (Always wanted to go. More miles. Good cpm, and not tourist season. Will not be warm)
    ARN (Want to go. More miles. Summer seems like the time to visit)

    Thoughts? I'm not asking for, but certainly welcome, a complete itinerary. I'm just looking some suggestions on fun locations to see some sights, eat some good food, meet some locals, get some culture. And miles :)
     
  2. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    I really like YVR and highly recommend it during August since June is still a bit too early imo. You can always do a trip to SEA as well but YVR has some nice restaurants, a cool farmers market, and some beautiful sights nearby.
     
  3. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Does she want a fresh and new passport stamp or one from a place she's already been to?
     
  4. Santander

    Santander Silver Member

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    It's not great for miles but YYC is the closest Canadian city to DEN and is sort of Canada's equivalent to DEN. June is a good time to visit, ahead of Stampede (utterly useless event) but warm enough to spend time outside in the mountains. It may not seem too adventurous for you coming from DEN, but it's sort of interesting to see the Rockies from a Canadian perspective if you haven't before.

    I think YVR and EZE are both great ideas, I'd be inclined to lean towards the latter for the miles. ;)
     
  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Vancouver YVR is great...or fly into Calgary YYC, rent a car, and drive to Banff and Lake Louise. However, since Denver has Rocky Mountain scenery, this might not be so appealing.

    From FRA, there are lots of connections and great train service, starting in the basement of the airport. I love Munich. For a more low key trip, explore the Rhein castles and wine, maybe the Mosel too. If you rent a car, the Castle Road is stunning and requires several days to enjoy.
     
  6. AUSsie

    AUSsie Silver Member

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    Buenos Aires is big fun. Lots of culture to soak up, great food (empanadas!), muy romántico and little to no jet lag. Doing a 4 day trip in Y, the eastbound jet lag to Europe usually knocks out a day or so of enjoyment for me. Not sure about the weather then (winter), but BA is one of my favorites. Next on that list would be Van, which might not be 'exotic' enough if that's what your girlfriend is looking for.
     
  7. GreekDeno

    GreekDeno Silver Member

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    Thanks all. gf hasn't traveled overseas in a little while so anywhere is okay for her. I'm thinking other than YVR as my friends might move to Seattle and that would of course allow us to see them and YVR on a trip. EZE sounds good given her little experience on longer flights and for her jet lag. Any other ideas? Thanks again.
     
  8. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Remember that Argentina requires a sort of purchased visa on arrival for about $140 per person, but it's good for ten years. I think this is pretty far for a weekend, although I see the jet lag argument.
     
  9. GreekDeno

    GreekDeno Silver Member

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    Thanks for the info. I didn't realize that and while it won't break the bank that's reason enough to look at other places. Any other S America destinations you'd recommend for a long weekend?
     
  10. enichols22124

    enichols22124 Silver Member

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    Can it only be South America? In Central America, Costa Rica, Ecuador (not cheap if you want to go to the Galapagos, but cheap if you stay and go anywhere else in the country, Panama are great. South A I would go off the track a little (Rio being an obvious choice or South Brazil) and choose Uruguay, Paraguary, Chile, or Peru all great places. Exchange rates are good there, Everything from rustic (I've stayed in many a hostel for the equivalent of $7-$12 American a night there) to exotic and expensive. I'm flying to Peru and staying in the Amazon for $40 a night in just a few weeks with girlfriend and one child). Good mileage to pick up, and perhaps tired but not jet lagged to go that way from the US.

    Just thoughts.
     
  11. GreekDeno

    GreekDeno Silver Member

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    Good stuff. Thanks for the info. I'm open to anything and think she'll be open to pretty much anything. I'll look into those places too.
     
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  12. MileMonster

    MileMonster Silver Member

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    I agree with the comment on Costa Rica. You only have 4 days. You don't want to rush it. Fly into Liberia or San Jose and head towards Arenal Volcano. We stayed at the Nayara and it was one of the best resorts we have EVER stayed at. http://www.arenalnayara.com/
     
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  13. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Brazil is worse. It's about the same price, but they require that you apply for the visa in advance. I think Chile is the same as Argentina.
     
  14. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Remember that when you get into the tropical zone, you need to check on required and suggested shots (and their lead times) as well as malaria drugs. Some of the requirements only apply if you will be visiting or transiting a third country within some time period, not for the direct return to the USA, and some are specific to the region of the country being visited. The recommended precautions can also depend on whether you will be in an urban or rural area and what your lodging type will be (tent versus air conditioned luxury hotel post different risks for exposure to mosquitoes and other insects).
     
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  15. arkleseizure
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    arkleseizure Silver Member

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    To pile on MileMonster's suggestion below, I found Costa Rica to be an awesome trip, and it wouldn't be killer for 4 nights. The Arenal and Monteverde areas were both great. I actually found driving there to be one of my favorite activities, amazing sights and just enough adventure to keep it interesting!
     
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  16. MileMonster

    MileMonster Silver Member

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    Arkleseizure is spot on. We had a car rental there for two weeks. The roads were great! We spent 3 days in San Jose at the Intercontinental San Jose on PointBreaks (5000 PC per night) , 4 days in Manuel Antonio area at a little hotel called "Hidden Garden Jungle Bungalows" run by a guy named Mike from Florida, then onto Nayara for 4 nights and spent the last night in Liberia to fly out. We even brought our 6 month old daughter with us.
     
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  17. ducster
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    ducster Gold Member

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    What a dilemma! All of the suggestions above are really good. I would add back in YUL, which you mentioned in the OP. We were there in July and it was beautiful the whole time. Real foodie place, a little of the Euro vibe, great to walk around and soak in. But there aren't many bad choices here!
     
  18. GreekDeno

    GreekDeno Silver Member

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    That place looks amazing. It seems to be the same distance/price from SJO or LIR if I'm reading the site correctly. I think Costa Rica and this place might be a winner. Now to see about flights, dates, etc. Hopefully they all work out.
     
  19. MileMonster

    MileMonster Silver Member

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    The Tripadvisor ratings are all great on the place. If you do stay at Nayara spring for the Nayara suite. One thing to remember though...its rainy season in Costa Rica. If you are ok with that things are cheaper there right now. But just keep that in mind. We went at the end of April / beginning of May so it was shoulder season.
     
  20. enichols22124

    enichols22124 Silver Member

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    Sounds like we have all enjoyed Costa Rica. I spent 6 weeks hiking across that country, it was amazing. As a "starter" country (it was one of my first forays into Central/South America by myself and I was only 19) I liked it because there were no shots needed, very little in the way of dangerous animals (I hiked and slept outside often on that trip), and scenic views wherever I went. Can't go wrong with that country as a destination.
     
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  21. marathon man
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    marathon man Silver Member

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    We almost decided to go to SEZ.

    If you are Hilton Diamond they can give you I think 4 nights for 170k points and it was 60k UA miles to fly from AMS-SEZ on UA for late July flights we had checked (connecting thru Qatar on the way on LH). It's hot but it's a great spot from what I have read/heard. We are going to be in the EU so this would have been a great way to burn some low miles and points on something many think is quite valuable!

    We will try to go there in our future but it is on the exotic list.

    :)MM
     

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