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Northwest Argentina - Specific Itinerary Questions

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Thanks so much for the initial comments on our 3 week Argentina itinerary (upcoming August 18 - Sept 9, 2017 - yay!). It is proving painfully difficult but necessary to limit where we are going and for how long to retain our desire to travel slowly to absorb what we can (during our sadly short vacation time!). After some reading, research, and lots of confusion, I have some questions/concerns about the itinerary listed below, and would love to hear some comments, discussion for any changes.

Specifically 1) Are we shortchanging our time in BA - I know weeks, months, lives, could be spent exploring and living in BA, but given what we have allocated in terms of days relative to the other areas, should we add any time?

2) We gave an initial pass on Cordoba. Why? No specific reason other than it was an extra flight and we weren't sure what would draw us. But it seems like we have extra time (see below). Should it be added - instead of adding more time to BA, or regardless, add it in. Cost of the flight will not deter our plan one way or another.

Aug 19 - Arrive BA early day - Stay in San Telmo or Recoleta)
Aug 20 - BA (San Telmo or Recoleta))
Aug 21 - BA (San Telmo or Recoleta)
Aug 22 - BA (San Telmo or Recoleta) Fly to Salta
Aug 23 - Salta
Aug 24 - Salta, Pick up rental car in Salta, drive to Pumamarca,
Aug 25 - Pumamarca, Salinas Grandes, drive to Cachi
Aug 26 - Cachi, Drive to Cafayate
Aug 27 - Cafayate
Aug 28 - Cafayate
Aug 29 - Cafayate, drive to Salta, drop off car and fly to Mendoza OR??
Aug 30 ?
Aug 31 ?
Sept 1 ?
Sept 2 Mendoza winery (note these three nights are for some real down time, not specifically winery touring)
Sept 3 Mendoza winery (note these three nights are for some real down time, not specifically winery touring)
4 Mendoza winery (note these three nights are for some real down time, not specifically winery touring)
Sept 5 Mendoza - city (Fly to Puerto Iguazu)
Sept 6 Puerto Iguazu
Sept 7 Puerto Iguazu (Fly to BA)
Sept 8 BA
Sept 9 Fly to Canada

As per above, there are three (3) nights that are unaccounted for. A luxury (perhaps) but as we are already limiting our trip to Northern Argentina (not a hardship I know!), where should we put these nights to best use? I had originally thought to fly to Salta, and take 11 days to drive to Mendoza, but the overall car rental cost (with drop off in different town) was prohibitive. We are not necessarily looking to budget our trip...we know the flights domestically are pricey, but we can balance that with our vacation time value.

I appreciate any and all comments...this forum area of Fodors isn't as popular as others and so all time spent commenting I feel is so generous and kind

Sincerely,
Jenn

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