Trips Around Argentina!
- April 1, 2015
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Culture
The wonderful thing about Argentina is that it is full of ever-changing landscapes. Argentina is the second largest country in South America, made up of 23 provinces with a total area of 2,780,400km²! This means that Argentina has so much more to offer than just Buenos Aires! Here is a carefully compiled list (although by no means definitive) of some other places that are a must-see during your time in Argentina.
Mendoza is one of South America’s most famous wine regions, and rightly so. The Mendoza region is responsible for producing 70% of the Argentina’s wine! And if you ever find yourself sipping on a nice glass of Malbec, chances are it was made it Mendoza.
Mendoza itself is a great example of a smaller Argentine city. Surrounded by peaceful countryside and vineyards, the vibe is a lot more tranquilo than Buenos Aires. The city is full of hostels and tour operators offering daily wine tours and visits to local bodegas. Take your time to see what is on offer, but a tour that seems to be very popular amongst travelers is Mr Hugo’s Bike & Wine Tour. The surrounding areas of Mendoza such as Maipu and Trapiche are covered in vineyards that stretch for miles and miles, and are all worth a visit. So why not spend a few days cycling through these picturesque vineyards and trying delicious local wine.
This part of the country also offers loads of outdoor activities such as trekking, white-water rafting and even sky diving! So if you’re a bit fed up of the hustle and bustle of city life, head west to Mendoza to brush up on your knowledge of wine and enjoy the outdoors!
Another extreme Argentine landscape, Patagonia is an icy paradise. This southern part of Argentina is home to jagged mountains, rare animals and giant glaciers. In Patagonia you are completely surrounded by nature – peaceful, undisturbed nature that stretches for miles and miles. Pay a visit to the beautiful Patagonian lakes, and then join a hike to see the world-famous Glaciar Perito Moreno located in the stunning El Calafate.
Then you should head down to the city of Puerto Madryn where you can organize excursions to see wild whales, penguins and other friendly marine creatures!
But don’t forget to pack your warm clothes! It may be warm in Buenos Aires, but even in summer the average temperature is around 15®C; and throughout June, July and August the average temperature is 2®C!
Simply put, the Salta province is bursting at the seams with some of the most stunning scenery I have ever seen. The province includes the charming town of Salta, as well as some typically rural Argentine towns such as Cafayate, Molinos and Cachi. Salta’s vast landscapes vary massively from lush green hills and flowing rivers, to Mars-like jagged rocks and dusty hairpin bends. If you want to do Salta correctly, you have to rent a car for a couple of days, as the driving is half the fun! While maneuvering your way through this dusty province you cover all types of terrain including freshly tarmac-ed roads as well as windy and extremely narrow dirt tracks. The Calchaqui Valley is truly breathtaking, especially once you have reached the top and realize you have to make it all the way down to the bottom!
In Cafayate, try the locally made Torrontés white wine and discover some of the highest vineyards in the world. In Cachi, admire the views and chat to some true locals while picking up a few traditional Argentine souvenirs. The best thing about this custom-made road trip is you can decide how long you go for. It is easily done in 4 days, but if you want add a few days to discover some waterfalls in Cafayate or trek around Molinos, the trip can be effortlessly lengthened to a week.
Jujuy, like its neighbor Salta, is located in the most northwestern part of Argentina. It is a province full of extreme varying landscapes and traditional Argentine towns. Similarly to Salta, I would recommend hiring a car as it is the best way to see everything Jujuy has to offer! The Quebrada de Humahuaca is a popular spot and is home to authentic market towns such as Humahuaca, Tilcara and Purmamarca. The Cerro de los Siete Colores (The Hill of Seven Colours) doesn’t have the most original name, but it explains itself quite well. Here the mountains are coloured a beautiful mixture of orange, pink, brown and even green.
One of Jujuy’s most impressive sites is the expansive Salinas Grandes. The drive to get there is quite time consuming, but completely worth it once you’re there. The Salinas Grandes, or Salt Flats, cover more than an incredible 12,000 hectares of land! The view is pretty breath-taking, and they make a great place for taking photos too!
These famous falls are now considered (unofficially) as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and with very good reason. Nothing can quite prepare you for the immensity of the extensive Iguazu Falls. Of course everyone has heard stories and seen pictures, but these waterfalls are definitely something you need to experience in person. Accessible and visible from both Argentina and Brazil, I would strongly recommend visiting the falls from both sides.
From Brazil, you are treated with panoramic vistas of the falls, and a neatly laid out path that gradually leads you closer and closer to the ominously named ‘La Garganta del Diablo’. Here you make your way out to the viewing platform that takes you into the centre of the falls. A great spot for photos if you can keep your camera out long enough – the spray from the waterfalls is pretty overwhelming!
And on the Argentine side, they offer a completely different way to experience the falls. A collection of long pathways wiggle their way through the selva, each giving you a unique view of the falls as you walk. Catch the ‘train’ up to the top of the park to see La Garganta del Diablo from a different angle. Here the platform is situated directly above the falls, just as the water begins to cascade down the 82m drop! A pretty daunting experience, but it offers a breathtaking view. At this side of the park they also offer three excursions at an extra price – Paseo Gran Aventura, Paseo Aventura Náutica and Paseo Ecológico. Depending on which one you choose you can:-
- Brave the Iguazu River downstream from the falls and tackle 2kms of rapids,
- Spend a peaceful 30 minute canoe ride admiring the beautiful flora y fauna of the area,
- Or you can jump on a boat and enjoy a good soaking from getting up close and personal with the waterfalls!
The town of Iguazu is small, but full of friendly hostels and hotels to help accommodate you during your trip up north!
So wherever you decide to go, make sure you make the most of your time in Argentina! There’s a lot more to see than just Buenos Aires…