| February 19th of 2018 , 16:36 hs. Argentine Time (GMT -3:00)|
Northern Argentina includes the provinces of Jujuy, Salta, Catamarca, Tucumán and Santiago del Estero, where one will find different types of scenery: jungles, “Yungas” (valleys which only exist in this part of the world), vales, dales, ravines and the “Puna” (a cold, dry, elevated tableland), with a mixture of pre-Columbine culture which is characteristic of the region.
Known all over the world for its magnificent natural scenery and for the timeless appearance of its inhabitants, this area allows travelers to go back in time to the period of Spanish colonization. The architecture of those times still prevails in the buildings of many of its towns and cities.
Tapestries, hand-woven linen, ponchos knitted with the wool of sheep, llamas or alpacas, gold and silver handicrafts and baskets woven with vegetable fibers are some of the typical handmade articles available in this region.
Salta is known as “Salta la Linda” (Beautiful Salta). As its name indicates, this city is characterized by the colonial style of its buildings, its single-storey houses, its narrow streets and pavements, and its beautiful scenic setting, surrounded by mountains.
The center of the city is full of national historical monuments: “Iglesia San Francisco” (San Francisco Church), the Cabildo, the “Convento de San Bernardo” (St Bernard’s Convent), the “Catedral Basílica” (Basilica Cathedral) and the “Monumento a Güemes” (Monument to Güemes).
On the outskirts of the city, some interesting excursions are programmed and should not be missed. The “Tren de las Nubes” (Train through the Clouds) is a railway journey that literally penetrates the clouds when it crosses the Andes Cordillera at a height of 4,220 meters.
The “Valles Chalchaquíes” (Calchaquí Valleys) are the ideal setting to become acquainted with a culture that defies the passage of time, with its stone-paved villages. In addition to this, its weather offers a special combination of temperature and humidity, creating a micro-climate which is ideal for the growth of Torrontés grape cultivars. The village of Cachi, with its colonial style combined with details of pre-Columbine art, is another place to visit.
When passing through Salta, you will no doubt want to taste the delicious “empanadas salteñas” (Salta meat pies or “pasties”) which are famous all over the world.
The province of Jujuy is situated in the north-west of Argentina. To the south, lies the capital, San Salvador de Jujuy, in the region of the “Valles Templados” (Warm Valleys).
This area offers mountains, rivers, beautiful lagoons with colorful scenery and a pleasant climate that allows visitors to enjoy activities such as trekking, sightseeing, photography safaris and cultural tourism.
Amongst the most outstanding places to visit, one must mention the small village of, Purmamarca surrounded by spectacular multi-hued mountains, with one in particular displaying rainbow-like strata and known as the “Cerro de los Siete Colores”(Mountain of the Seven Colors); the “Quebrada de Humahuaca” (Humahuaca Gorge), with its small town noted for its stone-paved narrow streets and one-story adobe houses that conserve historical features; and Tilcara which, because of its excellent hotel facilities, can be used as a base for the exploration of the whole valley.
In addition to these, La Quiaca, situated on the Argentine-Bolivian border is very favored by tourists for its mythical regional festivities that pay homage to the “Pachamama” (Mother Earth) and for its people, the Coya, dressed in their colorful clothing.
The city of San Miguel de Tucumán is the capital and the core of the province, and is popularly known as “El Jardín de la República” (The Garden of the Republic), because in spring, the parks, balconies, streets and gardens are covered with multi-colored flowers.
Land of the sugar cane and a magnificent independence scenario (where Argentina declared its national independence from Spain in 18l6), San Miguel de Tucumán offers a number of popular tourism sites like Casa del Obispo Colombres, Casa Histórica de la Independencia Argentina, the Cathedral, the Casa Padilla museum and the El Cadillal Dam.
However, the most important place to visit in Tucumán is Tafí del Valle: a villa surrounded by mountains, in the central region, west of Tucumán City. It offers an excellent choice of activities such as: walks, excursions, quad-bike drives to the Los Sasos River, trekking to the Pelao Mountain or horseback rides to the ruins of the Indian fort of the Quilmes tribe.
The capital city of Catamarca is San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca and it is one of the oldest cities in Argentina.
Its architecture, which dates back to colonial times, consists of buildings with red tile roofs and wide porticos. Up in the mountains, one can visit Cuesta del Portezuelo, La Puerta, El Rodeo, and the El Juncal and Las Pirquitas dams, where one can participate in nautical activities.
In the winter season, the city hosts the Fiesta Nacional del Poncho, where ponchos, decorated “fajas” (typical regional sashes or girdles), tapestries, blankets, carpets and many other regional hand-woven articles are exhibited.
Tourists are recommended to visit “La Ruta del Adobe” (the Adobe Route), “Las Termas de Fiambalá” (Fiambalá Hot Springs) which is a settlement of “Diaguita” (a local indian tribe) origin. Here, you can take part in different activities such as adventure tourism, photography safaris or simple relaxation.
Other recommended spots are Copacabana, “Ruinas de Troya” (the Ruins of Troy), “Ruinas de Shinkal” (the Shinkal Ruins) and Londres (London).
SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO
Santiago del Estero is the oldest city in the country, and was a center from which many other cities were founded in north and central Argentina. The capital, Santiago del Estero, conserves a great part of its historic and artistic heritage.
One can take part in some very interesting city tours along Avenida Costanera (riverside drive) next to the “Río Dulce” (Sweet River), visit the “Catedral Basílica” (Basilica Cathedral), the “Convento Santo Domingo” (St. Dominic’s Convent) and various museums.
Amongst the most attractive tourist spots in the province is “Termas de Río Hondo” (the Río Hondo Hot Springs), famous for its water which contains rich salts and minerals that has turned it into one of the most important therapeutic water treatment centers in the world.
It is fully equipped with facilities enabling you to enjoy a new concept in tourism, the combination of health, pleasure and recreation.
In addition to this, several outings and excursions can be carried out in the city and its suburbs: nautical activities and fishing in the Lago Embalse dam, playing golf at the “Campo Municipal” (Municipal Golf Course), horse-riding and agro-tourism are some of the activities that can be combined with enjoying the natural hot-spring baths in the area.
The country’s capital, Buenos Aires, is known as the Federal District or The Autonomous City. It is the cosmopolitan center of the country and offers a large range of cultural activities.
This is the land of the “gauchos” and of tradition, but it also has a busy industrial and commercial life.
Tourism in Buenos Aires centers on its history, reflected in its architecture of French and Italian origin, with numerous museums, theaters, cultural centers and shopping malls. Rural tourism offers the chance to take part in typical cattle range and hunting activities including lodging in characteristic Argentine “estancias” (ranches), and enjoying the bracing Pampas air of the plains, whilst awaiting a chance to savor the traditional and delicious “asado criollo” (Argentine barbecue).
Other interesting options are mini-tours to towns such as Mercedes, Pilar, San Isidro, Tigre and Luján, or fishing in the local lagoons of Buenos Aires.
Adventure tourism in Tandil and Sierra de la Ventana, rounds up the tourism offer of Buenos Aires.
CAPITAL FEDERAL (FEDERAL DISTRICT)
This is an enormous city, and impossible to visit in its entirety in a short space of time, therefore it is essential for you to organize your tour itinerary carefully, so as to try to miss as little as possible.
You can start your tour in the symbolic centre of the city, “Plaza de Mayo”, and visit the different surrounding buildings such as the “Casa Rosada” ( Pink House), the Congress, the “Banco de la Nación” (National Bank) and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Crossing “Avenida de Mayo” you will find the famous and emblematic “Cabildo” (the old Town Hall). This short walk ends when you get to the neoclassical Legislature Building with its 90 meter-tall tower, its clock and its belfry.
Later, walking down “Bolivar” and “Alsina” streets, you will get to the “San Ignacio” Church, the oldest church in the city and, continuing down “Alsina” up to “Perú” street, you will come to the old University of Buenos Aires building, where you must not miss a visit to the Arts Fair.
This tour can be followed by a visit to the “Boca”. Its quintessence is the “Caminito” area, with its narrow streets and alleys and colorful corrugated tin-walled houses, almost an open-air museum. You should not miss a visit to the “Pedro de Mendoza” School Museum.
Another Buenos Aires district you must visit is “San Telmo”, a residential neighborhood since the beginning of the 19th Century, with its recycled buildings, Tango Bars, original stone-paved streets, and “Plaza Dorrego”, surrounded by antique shops. It is especially interesting on Sundays because of its Fair, where all sorts of interesting articles can be purchased.
A walk around “Plaza Francia”, crossing “Avenida Libertador” and visiting the “Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes” (National Arts Museum), is another possibility offered by this immense city. Also, walking down “Avenida 9 de Julio”- the widest street in the world - you can admire the “Obelisco” (Obelisk), the city’s original symbol.
There are neighborhoods or districts for all tastes; some are better to visit during the day and others, at night. Currently, the following areas are very much in fashion: the “Recoleta”, where you will find everything associated with art and decoration; -“Palermo Soho” and “Hollywood”, well-known for their bars; and “Puerto Madero”, which has been completely recycled, with its shops and restaurants, on the banks of the “Rio de la Plata”, (River Plate) - the widest river on earth.
There are many options, so it is very important that you plan your trip efficiently, so as to cover as much as possible.
“Tigre” is only 32 kilometers away from Buenos Aires.
In addition to all the activities available in “Tigre”, its main attraction is the “Puerto de Frutos” (Fruit Port), offering daily catamaran boat trips to the Tigre Delta.
Right at the center of the “Puerto de Frutos” is the open air market, with its shops displaying colorful, rustic, hand-woven articles. Furniture, ornaments and accessories made out of bamboo cane and wicker, delicious homemade jams and honeys, lovely plants and flowers and, naturally, a complete variety of local fruits and vegetables all live together in absolute harmony.
This is a city with history and tradition but, above all, it has a definite European air. It is known as the “City of the Diagonals” (referring to its atypical road grid), and is a model metropolis thanks to its layout and design, its public buildings, and its countless green spaces which are ideal for outdoor recreation.
Amongst its tourist attractions, La Plata is renowned for its Cathedral which has 37 stained-glass windows of French and German origin; The Natural Science Museum (the fifth most important museum of its kind in the world), and the “Ciudad de los Niños” (Children’s City) considered the most important complex specially designed for children in South America.
La Plata also offers plenty of night-life activities, with its many theaters, as well as bars and night-clubs for the younger generation.
SAN ANTONIO DE ARECO
This lively, modern and picturesque town, well-known for its “gaucho” customs, is only 110 kilometers away from the Federal Capital.
Over time, it has preserved the colonial and Renaissance architectural styles of the early 19th Century.
Tourists become acquainted with the life of the “gauchos” when they visit the “Ricardo Guiraldes” Museum, the “Usina Vieja” (Old Power Station) Cultural Center, the “Puente Viejo” (Old Bridge) and the “Carlos Merti” Flora and Fauna Park, amongst other attractions.
One of the most popular options is to visit the local “estancias” (ranches) and “chacras” (small farms) where one can experience rural and agricultural tourism, taste the typical regional dishes, do some horse riding and take part in the famous “Carreras de Sortijas” (Ring Races).
Every November, San Antonio de Areco celebrates its “Semana de la Tradición” (Tradition Week). Cavalcades, whose displays of horsemanship skills and folklore music and dancing are organized for visitors to enjoy.
This town is situated in the humid “Pampas” region and is surrounded by hills, valleys, streams and woods. The town and its surroundings constitute an ideal location for adventure tourism, made evident in the practice of paragliding, delta-wing gliding, horse riding, trekking, mountain biking, quad-biking, mountain climbing and kayaking.
Whilst in “Tandil” you must visit “Parque Independencia”, “Centinela” hill, the dam , “Sierra del Tigre” (Tiger Hill) and participate in the famous “Paseo de El Calvario” (Calvary Pilgrimage Walk).
MAR DEL PLATA
Mar del Plata, known as the “Ciudad Feliz” (Happy City), combines the enchantment and beauty of its natural resources with its infrastructure and available services. It is the most important beach resort in Argentina.
Cliffs, ravines, sand dunes and wide beaches are ideal to enjoy the sunshine or for cycling, quad-biking excursions and horse riding. You can also fully enjoy the sea by taking part in nautical sports such as windsurfing, jet skiing, sea-diving, sailing and swimming, or take short launch trips along the coast.
The most popular outings and places to visit are “Plaza Colón”, “Torreón del Monje”, “Los Troncos” residential area, the port, “Punta Mogotes”, “Barrancas de los Lobos” and “Chapadmalal” beach, in addition to the “Feria de Artesanos” (Handicrafts Fair) and the Mar del Plata Museum.
It is an ideal combination for those who are looking for peace and quiet but, at the same time, wish to enjoy the bustle of night life. Mar del Plata is fully equipped with the best theaters, pubs, discos, restaurants and its famous “Casino”.
Cordoba is one of the oldest settlements in the south of the American Continent and is known as “La Docta” (The Learned City), because it was the first city in the country to have its own university.
The settlement of Jesuits in the Cordobian capital left an extensive architectural, cultural and religious heritage. This colonial splendor can be enjoyed in the museums, churches and public buildings in the downtown area.
Starting from Plaza San Martín, one can travel on a simple circuit that will allow one to visit the most outstanding spots: the “Cabildo” (old Town Hall), the Cathedral, the “Templo de la Compañía de Jesus” (Temple of the Company of Jesus), the “Colegio de Monserrat” (Monserrat School), the “Manzana Jesuítica” (Jesuit Square), the “Cañada” (floodwater containment canal), the “Iglesia de las Carmelitas Descalzas”, the “Basílica Santo Domingo”, the “Iglesia de los Capuchinos” (Capuchin Monks´ Church) and the “Museo de Arte Emilio Caraffa” (“Emilio Caraffa” Arts Museum), ending the walk in Parque Sarmiento (Sarmiento Park) and the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (Cordoba National University).
However, along with this historical city, there is a modern and lively parallel Cordoba with shopping and commercial centers, and an ample offer of cultural and recreational activities. Nightlife has a special flavor, with a large number of bars, pubs and discos, for all ages and tastes.
Today, there are 5 universities and about 150.000 students which makes it an ideal place to study Spanish in Argentina.
A few kilometers away from the city, one can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Cordoba Hills, and the bounty of nature in its many valleys.
It is up to you to discover all that Cordoba has to offer!
VALLE DE PUNILLA
Valle de Punilla is a region of hills and valleys that embraces beautiful Cordobian cities and towns. The most famous of these is Villa Carlos Paz, in addition to La Cumbre, La Falda, Villa Giardino, Capilla del Monte, Cosquín, Los Cocos, and Tanti, amongst others.
These mountainous areas are very appropriate for hiking, climbing, horse riding and picnicking on the banks of the many streams and brooks.
VILLA CARLOS PAZ
Villa Carlos Paz is the most visited spot in this region. It is situated to the south of the Valle de Punilla and is surrounded by hills and rivers. The Lago San Roque (“San Roque” Lake) is ideal for recreational activities and water sports such as canoeing, swimming, sailing, motor-boating and windsurfing.
It is well-known for its resorts, with wide, sandy lake beaches surrounded by trees. Amongst these resorts, the most popular are San Antonio de Arredondo, Mayu Sumaj, Icho Cruz, Tala Hasi and Cuesta Blanca. In addition to these resorts, many tourists visit the Quebrada del Condorito to practice paragliding and to admire the various species of animals that live in the area, such as the famous Cóndor Andino (Andes Condor).
Villa Carlos Paz is an interesting option for people of all ages. Its night life is first class and well-known throughout the country, thanks to its many discos, theaters, cinemas, restaurants and coffee shops.
In the afternoon it is possible to ride on the chair lifts which will take you to the top of the hill that overlooks the city and the lake or on the amphibian vehicles that take you on a tour of the city and then cruise round the lake.
CAPILLA DEL MONTE
Capilla del Monte is ideal to use as a base from which tourists can go and visit all the spots close to the city. Its maximum symbol is the Cerro Uritorco Mountain, which has become both locally and internationally famous over recent years, because of the fascinating mystery indicating it as a preferred landing place for UFO´s (Unidentified Flying Objects).
The surrounding area has special spots for tourists to visit and admire the colorful, multi-shaped rocks and the crystal-clear water of its streams and rivers.
Cosquín is located right in the middle of the Valle de Punilla Valley. It has some fantastic scenery, and its climate is pleasant during the four seasons of the year. The Rio de Cosquín (Cosquín River) is the heart of the city and offers tourists well-equipped resorts with all the necessary services and infrastructure, for enjoyment of peace and quiet.
It is well-known for its artistic-cultural events, amongst which the Festival Nacional del Folklore (National Folk Music and Dance Festival) is the outstanding show of the year, and mobilizes thousands of people during nine consecutive evenings. It is a national and international emblem of native music and dancing.
VILLA GENERAL BELGRANO
Villa General Belgrano is a typical mountain village, known as the “town of merging cultures”. Most of its settlers belong to native communities or are of German, Swiss, Austrian, Italian, Hungarian or Spanish descent.
The “Villa” surprises visitors with its unique central European architectural style. The houses are built of wood, and have gabled roofs with red tiles, in a typical Alpine style.
One can enjoy walking, mountain-bike racing, cross-country motorcycling and also its very special traditional festivities. The most popular of these is the Fiesta Nacional de la Cerveza (National Bierfest) which takes place in the month of October.
Jesús María is a city of tradition where one can visit places of archeological and historical interest, in addition to taking part in open-air activities. Its main attractions are Estancia Jesuítica Jesús María (Jesus and Mary Jesuit Farm Complex), founded by the Jesuits in 1618, Posta Sinsacate (Sinsacate Stagecoach Post), or a visit to several nearby “Estancias” (Ranches), where it one may combine rural activities with ecological tourism.
Well-known for hosting the Fiesta Nacional de la Doma y el Folclore (National Horse-breaking and Folk Music Festival), Jesús María combines “gaucho” history and traditions, with music shows of international prestige.
The cuyo region consists of the provinces of Mendoza, San Luis and San Juan and La Rioja. This is an area of foothills, criss-crossed by streams and rivers descending from the Andes Mountains. Its resources were well exploited by settlers who transformed it into a perfect area for growing of grapevines and the production of very high quality world-famous wines.
Winter sports can be enjoyed on the mountain slopes of Valle de Las Leñas and Los Penitentes, ski-centers that attract skiers from all over the world.
The areas around the Aconcagua and Tupungato mountains with their cascading rivers are ideal for adventure tourism and mountain sports. White-water rafting, trekking, horse riding, nautical sports and fishing are some of the activities that can be enjoyed in this magnificent corner of the world. In addition, for those interested in paleontology, a visit to the Parque Natural Provincial Ischigualasto in San Juan, where one will find the “Valle de la Luna” (Valley of the Moon), is an absolute must.
The city of Mendoza is the capital of the province of the same name and is the most important city in Western Argentina. It is the center of tourism to the Andes mountain range and the Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the American continent (at 6,959 meters).
It is also famous for its immaculate cleanliness and for its very well-kept green spaces.
A land of historical tradition, Mendoza’s place names, such as Cerro de la Gloria, El Plumerillo, and Parque San Martín bring to mind memories of the numerous SanMartinian exploits (referring to General José de San Martín and there are museums that display documents of this Argentine and South American hero’s passage through the region, many years ago.
Walking through its five parks, the civic center and the foundational area, one can appreciate the culture, history and idiosyncrasy of its people.
Its nearness to the Andes mountain chain makes this the preferred center of adventure tourism such as trekking, rafting and mountain climbing. At the same time, its spectacular scenery and landscape makes it an ideal spot for photography safaris, amongst many other activities.
Other options for tourists are skiing in winter and enjoying thermal baths all year round.
Very near to Mendoza city, interesting places such as the “Ruinas del Templo San Francisco” (Saint Francis’s Temple Ruins), Maipú, El Challao and the Villavicencio, Cacheuta, Potrerillos and Vallecitos hot-springs are all worth visiting.
Another absolute must is the well-known “Ruta de los Vinos” (Wine Trail), where tourists can visit centenarian vineyards and sample excellent vintages of very carefully chosen grapes.
In addition to the city of Mendoza, there are many other touring options that must not be discarded, such as San Rafael, Las Leñas, Penitentes, Vallecito and Uspallata, amongst others.
San Rafael is in the heart of Mendoza and is certainly worth a visit.
It is the second most important city in the province, with a lot of activity and modern urban planning. The streets are very wide, with irrigation canals on both sides, and a lot of trees. This area is very appropriate for nature-related activities: trekking, rafting, mountain biking and offers a wide variety of excursions. The principal attraction, because of its magnificent scenery, is the “Cañón del Atuel” (Atuel Canyon).
It also has its traditional vineyards, which produce excellent wines and champagnes.
Las Leñas is one of the most important and internationally renowned ski resorts in Argentina, because of its incomparable quality of snow, which is a result of its very dry climate.
It has 34 square kilometers of land at 2,250 to 3,430 meters above sea-level and appropriate for skiing, ski runs for skiers at every skill level, runs for cross-country skiing and, unsurpassed practice areas for beginners, in addition to ski and snowboard schools for learners. It also has 12 ski-lifts to transport skiers to the different heights .
In addition to all of this, its lodging facilities and gastronomy offers are first-class, which converts Valle de Las Leñas into a skier’s paradise.
The capital of this province is the city of San Juan. It is well-known for its modern buildings and its wide and shady streets and avenues.
It is located in a picturesque environment of mountains, streams and rough, uneven terrain, which makes it an ideal spot for those seeking the blessings of nature.
Towards the west, the Embalse del Dique de Ullúm, the Quebrada de Zonda and the Parque Faunístico de Rivadavia offer a number of options for enjoying the scenery and practicing nautical sports.
One may also visit the famous San Juan vineyards which combine both tradition and technology, where you can learn the secrets of how to produce excellent wines.
San Juan offers spectacular and unforgettable sights of its mountain scenery which can be best appreciated in the Parque Natural Provincial Ischigualasto, “Valle de la Luna” (Valley of the Moon) and the Ruta Sanmartiniana, described above.
VALLE DE LA LUNA
The Valle de la Luna forms part of the Parque Provincial y Reserva Natural Ischigualasto which, as the name in Spanish indicates, is a nature reserve park. It is located in the Departamento del Valle Fertil, 330 kilometers away from the city of San Juan, on the border of the province of La Rioja.
This park was declared a “Patrimonio de la Humanidad” (Humanity’s Heritage Area) by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
It preserves in its soil sediments of the Mesozoic Era, dating from 200 million years ago, when plants and insects accounted for most of the terrestrial life forms on our planet. It is a paleontology reserve of great scientific value, because it reflects the complete sequence of the Triassic Period of the Mesozoic Era.
San Luis is the capital city of this province and is located at the foot of the “Sierras Grandes” (Great Hills), close to the Río Chorrillos River and its landscape is defined by hills of different shapes and heights.
It preserves a traditional colonial style, with large houses and residences combined with modern facilities which meet the requirements of visitors with different needs and tastes.
The most frequent outings in the city are to “Parque Centenario” (Centenary Park) and the thickly treed “Parque de las Naciones” (Park of the Nations),.
Because of the rivers and dams in the area, it is chosen by those who are fond of fishing and nautical activities.
From the city of San Luis, one can also arrange visits to the characteristically picturesque villages and towns in the area.
This is the second most important city in the province of San Luis and has a very important business center, with modern buildings, wide, well-shaded streets and several public parks.
It is located very close to the dam on the “Río Quinto” (Fifth River), and is a suitable venue for practicing nautical sports where national windsurf and fishing contests take place. It is also an ideal spot for relaxation and enjoying nature at its best.
Very close by, one will find the Sierras del Morro Hills, which are a so-called “Monumento Natural” (Natural Monument). This spot is a choice one for trekking, climbing and quad-bike excursions.
Merlo is located at the foot of the “Sierras de los Comechingones” Hills (named after a local Indian tribe). This national tourist spa, internationally recognized for its micro-climate, offers different and excellent options for amusement and recreation, in a completely natural environment.
It has very particular features: the peacefulness of a small village and a large number of lookout points with impressive views of the Valle del Conlara Valley. In addition to this, it is an ideal region for quad-bike excursions or for paragliding.
The city of La Rioja is the capital of the province, and is located at the foot of Sierra Velasco Mountain. It is an area of imposing beauty, of valleys, mountains, rivers and ravines, and offers interesting options for adventure tourism, sightseeing and agro-tourism in the local vineyards, where one can sample the famous “vinos riojanos” (La Rioja wines). The downtown area displays a combination of old and modern buildings.
From the city of La Rioja one can reach Las Padercitas, which is a national monument built in the 16th Century.
Another circuit which is highly recommended is to “Dique de Los Sauces” (Los Sauces Dam), a beautiful mirror of water, which is ideal for fishing “pejerrey” (silver mackerel) and for nautical sports.
In the south-west of the province of La Rioja rises the majestic “Cañón de Talampaya” (Talampaya Canyon) which safeguards 225 million year-old secrets, being the only place on our planet that has a complete sequence of continental sediments of the five stages of the Triassic Period (the first part of the Mesozoic Era).
As already mentioned, the Parque Ischigualasto in San Juan looks very like the moon; whereas Talampaya in La Rioja, resembles Mars. They are both considered to be “Patrimonio de la Humanidad” (Humanity’s Heritage) areas.
In the valley of Talampaya one can admire its 150 meter-high rock walls, covered with pictographs dating back to prehistoric times, which represent human beings, animals and geometrical figures.
This region consists of the provinces of Misiones, Corrientes, Entre Ríos, Formosa and part of the plains of Chaco and Santa Fé.
Three great rivers surround this large area: the Iguazú, Paraná and Uruguay. It is a region of red soil and virgin forests, landscapes of exuberant beauty such as “Cataratas del Iguazú” (Iguazu Falls) , “Saltos del Moconá” (Moconá Falls), “Palmares de Colón (Colón Palm Groves) and “Esteros del Iberá” (Iberá Marshes).
Tourists can take part in agricultural activities such as visiting “Yerba Mate” (Maté Tea), cotton and citrus tree plantations. Amongst others, one of the most characteristic and fascinating activities of the area is fishing in its abundant rivers.
In addition to this, the Gualeguay and Guleguaychú carnival celebrations, in the month of February, enable tourists to feel the influence of neighboring Brazil by way of the music and colors and the rhythm of the dancing bodies.
The city of Posadas is the capital of the province of Misiones, and is located on the left bank of the Paraná river. Its urban architecture presents old constructions dating back to the time of the Jesuit missions.
To the north of Posadas, on the border with Brazil and Paraguay, lies Puerto Iguazú, where you will find the majestic “Cataratas del Iguazú” (Iguazu Falls), the most spectacular show combining waterfalls and jungle that exists on the face of the earth.
These falls have been declared part of Humanity’s “Patrimonio Universal” (Universal Heritage) by the UNESCO and are considered to be one of the most wonderful natural beauties on the planet.
Two National Parks have been created, embracing the jungles that surround the Cataratas del Iguazú: on the Argentine side, the Parque Nacional de Iguazú and, on the Brazilian side, the Parque Nacional do Iguaçu. One can enjoy the falls from either side, and some fantastic postcard photographs can be taken.
Another of the most visited areas in the province is the “Ruinas de San Ignacio Miné” (Saint Ignatius Miné Ruins), a construction designed by Jesuits and constructed by Guaraní Indians, more than 400 years ago.
This province is located in the northeastern part of Argentina, on the banks of the Paraná River. An excellent activity is fishing “Dorados” and “Surubíes” (typical fish species found in this area), on the islands or in the rivers and streams. Many lovers of Dorado fishing go to the town of Esquina, where they find the ideal facilities and services to combine relaxation and fishing, all in one place.
The “Estero del Iberá” (Iberá Marsh) is one of the largest ecological fresh-water reserves in America. It occupies one third of the province of Corrientes and is famous for clear, pure waters. It is an area composed of lagoons which, combined with marshes, streams and rivers, produce a humid climate which is ideal as a natural habitat for animals and plants. When navigating down the rivers, you can see Caraya monkeys, swamp deer, carpinchos, alligators and hundreds of different species of birds.
Every year, during the month of February, Corrientes dresses up for its Carnival which has an identity of its own: the combination of colorful costume designs, embroidery and carriages creates an unforgettable dream world for spectators that lasts a whole month.
Paraná city is the capital of the province of “Entre Ríos” (Between Rivers) and is located on the banks of the Paraná river. It is well-known for its architecture which combines old and modern constructions.
There are many towns in Entre Ríos that must not be overlooked by visitors. One of these is Colón. It is a special place for those who love the sunshine, because of its beaches of white sand, and ideal for relaxation and the enjoyment of fresh air and beautiful scenery. The city of Concepción del Uruguay located on the banks of the Itapé rivulet – a tributary of the “Río Uruguay” (Uruguay River) – is also an outstanding and beautiful place, suitable for practicing all kinds of sports such as water-skiing, sailing, rowing, wind-surfing, jet-skiing, fishing and swimming.
Every summer, the cities of Gualeguay and Gualeguaychú dress up for their Carnival festivities, which are the most important in the whole country. A real show of creativity and fantasy with fancy dress parades, carriage processions and colorful choreography, takes place.
Formosa is a modern and dynamic city, with wide avenues and dense groves that accompany visitors wherever they go. Stretched out along the Paraná river, it offers a spectacular display of great beauty suitable for enjoying life in the open air, camping, taking part in excursions, and fishing.
A number of visitors are attracted by the style of its buildings, which can be appreciated when visiting the city Government House. This territory is an extensive park located on the banks of its streams, rivulets and rivers, where there are a great variety of trees characteristic of the region, such as “Quebracho” (“Axe-breaker Wood”), “Palo Santo” (lignum vitae), Urunday and Palms.
To the northeast of Argentina lies Resistencia, the capital of the province of Chaco. It is popularly known as the “ciudad de las esculturas” (city of sculptures), due to the hundreds of sculptures and murals exhibited in the streets and parks.
The second most important city in Chaco is Roque Saenz Peña, renowned for its hot-spring waters possessing outstanding curative powers, making them highly popular. In this city, the “Complejo Termal” (Thermal Complex) has the necessary infra-structure to attend thousands of tourists that come here every year for different types of therapy: thermal, Turkish baths or saunas and cosmetic or kinesiology treatment, are the most popular of these.
To enjoy nature and participate in adventure sports such as horseback trekking, safaris, hikes or survival walks, it is interesting to visit the “Parque Nacional Chaco” (Chaco Natural Park) and the “Parque Provincial Parque del Indio” (Indian Provincial Park)
Santa Fe offers a wide range of possibilities for getting to know the history of this province, visiting monuments and museums, and becoming re-acquainted with nature in its beautiful parks, and on its rivers and streams, surrounded by vegetation and wild fauna.
The city of Rosario is one of the main urban centers in the country due to its strategic geographical location, making it one of the most important tourist and industrial cities. The Rosario-Victoria bridge connects Rosario with the rest of the country and with Uruguay.
Its infrastructure is ideal for visiting its historical circuits that maintain their different architectural styles intact. Amongst the most prominent attractions on these circuits you will find the “Monumento a la Bandera” (Flag Monument), “Parque España” (Spain Park), “Parque Urquiza” (Urquiza Park) and “Parque Independencia” (Independence Park). This city also has an important and active night-life with its many pubs, bars and discos.
In the extreme south of South America there is a land where immensity reigns, where stark contrasts captivate us, and where the warmth of the people is the best protection against the cold weather: Patagonia.
This is the austral region of Argentina and Chile, where man lives with the most prodigal and contrasting environment that can be imagined. Where everything is measured for its vastness and beauty: from the vast extension of plains and forests, to the challenging snow-covered mountain peaks; from the fertile valleys, to the immense sea-coast; from the succession of magnificent lakes, to the soul-stirring glaciers.
It is an unsurpassable framework for discovery and adventure, situated in the southern hemisphere, in South America, between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
This is a unique place for taking part in the most fascinating sports: small regions bordering lakes and roads, where geography, nature and culture combine to generate a mystical atmosphere, prodigal in myths and legends originated by its primitive communities.
It is a region that cannot possibly be overlooked by tourists and that you will find enriching. It is a place to fill your lungs with pure, virgin air and. to experience a new way of relating with the environment. It all depends on the intensity of your search.
Patagonia proposes a different outlook. We challenge you to start discovering...........
SAN CARLOS DE BARILOCHE
San Carlos de Bariloche is one of the most important tourist centers in Argentina. It is located in the west of the province of Río Negro, 1,640 kilometers from the capital city of Buenos Aires, on the banks of the majestic “Lago Nahuel Huapí” (Nahuel Huapí Lake).
The “Cerro Catedral” (Cathedral Mountain), one of the most important ski centers in the country, is visited every winter by hundreds of snow and white-sport fanatics. At the same time, during summer, it offers all imaginable possibilities: nature and city life; nautical sports, fishing, shopping, outings and excursions, numerous cafes and restaurants, walks to the “Centro Cívico” (Civic Center), visiting the “Circuito Chico” (Small Circuit), the “Museo de la Patagonia” (Patagonian Museum) and the “Catedral” (Cathedral), amongst others. However, it is also worth making visits to mythical Llao Llao, “Isla Victoria” (Victory Island) and “Puerto Blest” (Blest Port).
Bariloche is not only well-known for its ski-resorts and outdoor activities. Using the Centro Cívico as a starting point, you must not miss the possibility of going on a shopping spree through the center of the city, where you will find some outstanding hand-knitted woolen garments in addition to all kinds of handicraft souvenirs made out of wood and stones and, last but not least, you must not leave this beautiful region without having tasted the exquisite Bariloche Chocolate which is comparable to any other high-quality chocolate produced in the world. You will almost certainly not be able to resist the temptation of purchasing several boxes of these delicacies not only for yourselves, but also as presents for relatives and friends.
VILLA LA ANGOSTURA
On the northern banks of the Nahuel Huapí, in the middle of the Patagonian mountain- chain, there is a mountain village called ”Villa La Angostura”. It is a perfect setting for fishing, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, trekking, and quad-bike devotees.
This mountain village of 7,000 inhabitants is located in a natural, uncontaminated and privileged environment. Its peculiarity is the perfect differentiation between the four seasons of the year, with the marked changes of colors and hues, in the flora and fauna.
In winter, the major attraction is the “Cerro Bayo” (Bayo Mountain) a ski-resort that offers a number of sporting and recreational activities, both for experts and beginners. Cerro Bayo is visited all year round because of its varied magnificent panoramic sights and for the sporting events that take place there.
In addition to Cerro Bayo, one can visit the “Cerro Inacayal” (Inacayal Mountain) and the Belvedere.
SAN MARTÍN DE LOS ANDES
This relatively young mountain village located in the middle of the Andes, on the banks of the “Lago Lácar” (Lácar Lake) is growing very fast, and is one of the principle tourist areas in the province of Neuquén.
It is characterized by the typical mountain wood and stone construction method, and has some interesting places to visit on foot, such as the “Secretaría Municipal de Turismo, the “Museo de los Pioneros” (Pioneers Museum), “Iglesia San José” (San José Church), Intendencia del Parque Nacional Lanín and Lago Lácar Lake. Its lakes, rivers, waterfalls and mountains transform this area into a traveler’s paradise.
There are some short visits which cannot be overlooked such as the “Mirador Bandurrias” lookout point, Quila Quina, or the “Río Hua Hum” (Hua Hum River) where you can cross over to Chile and back on a “gomón” (rubber dinghy). You mustn’t miss the excursion to Lago Huechulafquen, to see the “Lanín” Volcano, either.
Esquel is the entrance to this incomparable mountain region, where nature surprises visitors all year round. Activities such as trekking, rafting, horse-riding, skiing, hunting, mountaineering, mountain bike, quad-bikes and any other activity that one can imagine are possible here, surrounded by beautiful and magnificent scenery.
There are many options that cannot be overlooked: excursions to the “Parque Nacional Los Alerces” (Los Alerces National Park); traveling on the Trochita (the famous steam- train on narrow-gauge railway tracks which is a national historical heritage item in Patagonia), and the “Museo Regional de Trevelin” (Trevelin Regional Museum) located in an old wheat mill, this being the ideal place to learn about how the early immigrants (mostly Welsh) lived, dressed and worked.
The city of Puerto Madryn is located in the northeastern region of the province of Chubut, on the shores of the Golfo Nuevo (New Gulf).
In summer, the city has a very active beach life. Lots of young people meet there to practice different sports, such as windsurfing, sailing, sand-boarding, scuba diving and beach volleyball, amongst others. The same is true in “Puerto Pirámides” (the Port of Pyramids), some 90 kilometers from “Madryn”. There are also boats that will take you to see the seals and sea elephants in the area. In addition to all these activities, it is very interesting and entertaining to arrange an excursion to “Punta Tombo” (Tombo Point) to see the quaint penguins in their natural habitat, visiting Rawson and Trelew cities on the way.
In the heart of the Patagonian mountain range, you will find El Chaltén, a small tourist village, established north of Parque Nacional de los Glaciares, where the most important mass of continental ice on the planet, excluding that of the Antartic, can be found.
The glaciers that melt and flow into the lakes in the area come from this mass of ice. The most famous glacier is the Perito Moreno, which is well-known the world over, and owes its fame to its continuous movement, causing the breaking off of enormous blocks of ice, thereby producing a formidable and unforgettable spectacle. The nearest city is El Calafate, offering all the typical activities of this region, together with all suitable hotel services.
In the extreme north of the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, you will find the highest peaks which, together with the forests, glaciers and lakes, make it one of the most extraordinary sites in Argentina.
TIERRA DEL FUEGO
“Tierra del Fuego” (The Land of Fire) is the southernmost region on the planet. More than 70,000 tourists arrive every year to visit the “southest of the south”.
One gets to the Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego by car or on the “Tren del Fin del Mundo” (Train to the End of the World), which runs alongside the Pipo river. There are several “compulsory” excursions in Ushuaia (the capital city of Tierra del Fuego): the summer scenery can be enjoyed on foot, by bus, on horseback, on boats or by train; in winter, the options are cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, motor sleighing or on snow sleds pulled by Huskies.
Also, fishermen should visit Río Grande, which has become the southern hemisphere capital of trout fishing, due to the enormous quantity of specimens that exist in its rivers. And, last but not least, the Antartic, that last and most fascinating frontier on the face of the Earth.
During every summer season, tourist cruisers take visitors to the Antartic, where they can disembark to explore and enjoy the impressive beauty of its scenery.
ARGENTINA’S CLIMATE: ARCTIC POLES TO HUMID JUNGLES
March – May
June – August
September – November
December – March
Home to arid deserts, glacial fields and tropical jungles, Argentina’s climate is extraordinarily diverse and difficult to pin down.This can make packing for your Argentina travel experience all the more challenging.Depending on the time of year you visit, you may find yourself hovering over a campfire to stay warm and baking under the desert sun all within the same week! Check out these Argentina tips for travelers before planning your trip.
Most visitors find the weather in Buenos Aires to be relatively mild, though the summer heat can be brutal ''Porteños''love to complain about the cold (“ay que frio!”), but compared to cities like New York, London and Chicago, a Buenos Aires winter is child’s play. Snow falls approximately once every fifty years and temperatures rarely hit below freezing. Still, it’s important to bring warm layers, a hat and gloves if you plan to visit during June and July. January and February are the hottest months, with temperatures typically in the high 80s and 90s. High humidity and poor ventilation throughout the city can make the heat truly insufferable. In general Buenos Aires doesn’t see a lot of rain, but heavy downpours happen from time to time; be sure to bring rain gear on your cultural immersion in Buenos Aires.
The most extreme weather you’ll find in Argentina occurs in southern Patagonia, where high winds, storms and deep freezes can strike without warning. Still a trip to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, in winter is nowhere near as chilly as a visit to North American cities like Montreal or Minneapolis. Weather wise, the best time to visit Patagonia is during the summer (December through February).However many visitors opt for the shoulder months of October, November, March and April, when temperatures are still pleasant but crowds are smaller. Don’t forget extreme weather gear if you plan to be in the mountains.
Northern Argentina, which contains the provinces of Salta, Jujuy, Catamarca, and Tucuman, is home to the country’s hottest weather. Here, in the land of cacti and adobe, the rainy and dry seasons are more distinguished than in other parts of the country. The best time to visit is during the winter months, when temperatures are mild and rain is practically unheard of. Avoid this region in the summer. Note that the northeast of Argentina, which borders Paraguay and Brazil, is a subtropical jungle region that receives plenty of rainfall.
The Cuyo region, which includes the provinces of Mendoza, San Juan and La Rioja, is Argentina’s most arid, though the high elevations and rich Andean soil makes for outstanding wine growing. Rainfall occurs almost exclusively between November and February; sunny skies and warm days are the norm throughout the rest of the year. Summer heat waves can be unforgiving, so keep this in mind when planning your Argentina travel experience.
PEOPLE & CULTURE
A Rough Guide To The Culture and People of Argentina
By Charlie Higgins
For an outsider, the culture of Argentina can be difficult to pin down, particularly when viewing it from within the international mega capital of Buenos Aires. Ask any group of native Argentines, however, to define their culture and you’ll begin to see some common threads. A proud, nostalgic and often outspoken people at the core, Argentines are united by many shared customs, both tangible and conceptual. While certain features of the culture may be off-putting at first, visitors willing to learn the language and make friends during their cultural exchange in Argentina will be glad they did.
Perhaps the most pervasive element of Argentine culture is futból, a national obsession that shows no signs of slowing down. From the crowded inner city to the arid plains of Patagonia, you’ll be hard pressed to find an Argentine neighborhood that doesn’t have at least one soccer field. Though dominated by men, soccer is popular among both sexes, at all ages and ends of the social spectrum. Legendary figures like Diego Maradona are cultural deities, while current stars like Leonel Messi inspire new generations of soccer fanatics to dedicate their lives to the sport.
When you tell an Argentine that you recently visited their country, one of their first questions will likely be, “Did you try an Argentine as ado?” This is, of course, the Spanish word for barbecue, yet an as ado goes above and beyond the American concept of a backyard get together with burgers and franks. For one thing, the quantity and variety of meat consumed in an as ado is truly remarkable. A typical as ado includes healthy portions of chorizo sausage, bite de lomo, blood sausage, sweet breads, ribs and more. However, it’s what the as ado symbolizes in Argentine culture – family, brotherhood, amistad – that really sets it apart. An invitation to an as ado is a typical Argentine gesture of solidarity and fundamental to the cultural ethos of the country.
The concept of the as ado and other shared traditions such as the perpetual imbibing of yerba mate are crucial to understanding the friendly, social nature of the Argentines, particular among those who live outside of Buenos Aires. Whereas in the noisy, crowded capital you may encounter a more “every man for himself” attitude like that of any other big international cities, the family and community-oriented provincial Argentines are quite the opposite. Most are quick to deny any connection to the stuck-up Porteños that inhabit Buenos Aires, claiming the real Argentina as their own. In most cases, however, this apparent cultural gap quickly dissolves over a round of mate, a recounting of the day’s futbol match or a perfect as ado played to the sound of Rock Nacional.