19 Mar 08
How to get there
How to get there
Villa Carlos Paz is undoubtedly the best place to base yourself for Rally Argentina - it's the host town, and many of the teams stay here. As it's an Argentinean holiday resort, it's always lively.
If you're travelling from outside Argentina make sure you prepare yourself for a long and expensive journey, however, and you'll almost certainly need to add a connecting flight as direct flights to nearby Cordoba are rare. Most major airlines will fly you to Buenos Aires or Sao Paulo, before you change to a local airline.
European hire cars can be extremely expensive, but driving is pretty easy, thanks to a decent motorway network. There are tolls, though, so keep a few pesos handy. Don't forget that European GSM and American Tri-band phone coverage in Argentina is patchy, so budget for a rental phone from the airport if you need to stay in touch.
Where to stay
Hotel beds are invariably snapped up quickly in Villa Carlos Paz. But the city of Cordoba is within easy travelling distance of the town and offers a wider choice. Try the Sheraton, the Holiday Inn or the Plaza for five star accommodation. If you fancy something a little cheaper - and with a bit of local colour - then there are plenty of three or two-star hotels, guest houses and inns at La Cumbre, Santa Rosa de Calamuchita and Mina Clavero, all of which are close to the stages.
For the uber-rich, the Portal del Lago, on the shores of Lago San Roque is probably one of Carlos Paz's best hotels www.portal-del-lago.com it's right next door to the service area too, so you might meet Sebastien Loeb or Mikko Hirvonen over the breakfast buffet. There are other four-star establishments, but this one's top of the list. Expect to pay $150 US dollars for a single or $200 for a double. If you're on a tight budget, the Santa Cecilia or the Holiday Inn are your best bets in Carlos Paz, with rooms available for under $100.
If you need some help putting together a travel itinerary, the organisers of Rally Argentina recommend a tourism company called Passerini Viajes www.passeriniviajes.com.ar who should be able to assist. Organisers have also done a deal with a company to offer hospitality facilities out on the stages. Further details can be found at www.fanaticrally.com
Food and drink
Villa Carlos Paz is the place to be during Rally Argentina, but even though it has a hotel called the Monaco, this is where comparisons with French Riviera sophistication end. Instead it's geared up for mass tourism and the tens of thousands of visitors who flood in for their summer holidays. It's a friendly place, however, and there are plenty of bars, restaurants and nightclubs to keep you amused.