About Argentina & Uruguay Travel
Buenos Aires: Like most thriving metropolises, the city has something for everyone in its landscaped parks and gardens, sports stadiums, restaurants, racing, golf courses and theaters. But Buenos Aires has one thing no other city has – the tango! Romantic, vigorous, and passionate, the tango is a product of the city where it was born. For those who fancy a turn on the dance floor, professional tango instructors offer lessons, and tango shows can be found in night clubs and at dinner shows. The city is a joy for shoppers with areas such as Florida Street, San Martin Plaza and in San Telmo, where antiques abound. The Italian Boca district, Palermo Park, and Recoleta Cemetery add to the city’s charm. The city also boasts the highest concentration of theaters in the world in addition to museums, galleries and hundreds of bookstores.
Glaciers National Park and El Calafate: In 1927, El Calafate was designed as a place for wool traders, in hopes that it would attract settlers. On the shores of Lago Argentino, the Patagonian village is an ideal base to explore Los Glaciares National Park, including the Perito Moreno Glacier. Patagonia has a splendid variety of outdoor activities such as bird watching, mountain biking, horseback riding and hiking Mt. Frías. The massive ice wall of Perito Moreno Glacier carries on noisily splitting off great chunks that fall 200 feet to the lake.
El Chalten: El Chalten is a small mountain village in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina, and has become the national capital of trekking. It is surrounded by rivers and is within Los Glaciares National Park. It sits at the base of two mountains – Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy, both popular with trekkers and climbers. The village itself was only constructed in 1985 to help secure the disputed border with Chile. Today, it is a popular destination for adventure travelers.
Ibera Marshlands: Ibera is one of the most important fresh water reservoirs on the continent and the second-largest wetland in the world after the Pantanal in Brazil. It is home to caimans, capybaras, swamp deer, pampas deer, howler monkeys, giant otters, anacondas, greater rheas and hundreds of birds. The wetlands include more than 60 lakes. The nature reserve, founded in 1983, is located 800 kilometers/497 miles north of Buenos Aires. Due to its mild climate and isolation, the Ibera Wetlands are an ornithologist’s dream. Over 350 species of birds live in this virgin landscape and most of them can be spotted easily.
Iguassu Falls: ‘Big Water,’ is a massive waterfall that borders Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Multihued mist rises above the falls, and luxuriant flowers, ferns, tropical plants, butterflies and exotic birds thrive. From the Argentine side, visitors can see some 275 cascades tumbling into Devil’s Gorge. The Rainforest Ecological Train ride ends at the gorge. Walkways and overlooks reward visitors with incredible views. The border between Brazil and Argentina runs through the Devil’s Throat, with the majority on the Argentinian side.
Mendoza: Founded in 1561, Mendoza is brimming with history. A major road between Argentina and Chile runs through Mendoza, making it a frequent stop for climbers on their way to scale Mt. Aconcagua (highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere). Mendoza enjoys an outdoor attitude with its proximity to the Andes. It is popular for sport enthusiasts interested in mountaineering, hiking, horseback riding, rafting, and, in winter, snow skiing. Two of the main industries are wine making and olive oil production. Argentina’s wine-making traditions date back to the 16th century when a Chilean friar planted the first cuttings. Vineyards here thrive at some of the highest altitudes in the world, up to 1,100 meters/3,610 feet.
Pampas: The great plains in the heartland recall the romance and daring of the Wild West. Gauchos, Argentine cowboys, still work on traditional cattle ranches, estancias, in the Pampas. Some of these historic estancias have added luxurious accommodations for visitors. Guests witness the gauchos in action on horseback. The fit and adventurous can even opt to join a cattle drive.
Peninsula Valdés: In Patagonia, the region is a site of global significance for the conservation of marine mammals. It is home to an important breeding population of the endangered southern right whale as well as for the populations of southern elephant seals and southern sea lions. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, most of the peninsula is barren land with some salt lakes. The largest of these lakes is at an elevation of about 40 meters/131 feet below sea level. The nearest large town is Puerto Madryn, but the only town on the peninsula is the small settlement of Puerto Pirámides. There are also a number of estancias, where sheep are raised.
Salta & The Northwest: Salta, founded in 1582, claims some of the nation’s best-preserved colonial architecture. An ancient Inca road leads into the Humhuaca Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its hillsides are cast in horizontal bands of color – rust, yellow, and green for the minerals in the soil. The area is a repository of Indian culture, history, music, religion and art that can be glimpsed in Tilcara’s archaeological museum and at an old Indian fortress. From November to March, Salta’s countryside warrants a side trip to its scenic villages, vineyards, and the rugged canyons of Cafayate. From April to October, the “Train to the Clouds” travels a thrilling zigzag route through mountain passes up to 3,810 meters/12,500 feet.
San Carlos de Bariloche: Often referred to simply as Bariloche, it rests on the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake, with the Patagonian Steppe to the east and the rugged Andes to the west. In the Lake District, Cerro Catedral is one of the best ski centers in South America. From this luxurious landscape, a satisfying menu of adventures includes skiing, fishing, nature hikes, mountain climbing and boating.
Tierra del Fuego National Park: Ushuaia is the world’s southernmost city, and is set on the banks of the Beagle Channel. The “Train at the End of the World” chugs through remote forests and snowy peaks to reach the dramatic Tierra del Fuego. A short cruise along Beagle Channel visits the bird-rich Lobos Island.
Yacutinga Reserve: Sights and sounds of the jungle add to the experience of the primitive interior in the Iguassu National Park. Reached only by boat on the Iguassu River, Yacutinga Lodge & Wildlife Nature Reserve sits in the northernmost area of Misiones, a place of wide rivers, reddish clay soil and subtropical weather. Specialized park rangers guide excursions while a resident biologist presents lectures about the fascinating world of the park’s ecosystem and wildlife.
Montevideo: The southernmost capital city in the Americas is also the largest city in Uruguay, home to roughly one-third of the country’s 3.3 million population. It was established in 1724 by a Spanish soldier, Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, as a strategic move in the Spanish-Portuguese dispute. It was under brief British rule in 1807. Montevideo has consistently been rated as having the highest quality of life of any city in Latin America, and has held this rank every year during the last decade. It has a vibrant, eclectic cultural life and an active hub of commerce as well as its chief port, which includes the city’s oldest buildings, several museums, art galleries, and nightclubs, with Sarandí Street and the Mercado del Puerto being the most frequented venues of the old city. On the edge of Ciudad Vieja, Plaza Independencia is surrounded by many sights, including the Solís Theatre and the Palacio Salvo; the plaza also constitutes one end of 18 de Julio Avenue, the city’s most important tourist destination outside of Ciudad Vieja. Apart from being a shopping street, the avenue is noted for its Art Deco buildings, three important public squares, the Gaucho Museum, the Palacio Municipal and many other sights. The avenue leads to the Obelisk of Montevideo; beyond that is Parque Batlle, which along with the Parque Prado is another important tourist destination. On the coast, 13 kilometers/8.1 miles of sand beaches and Punta Gorda attract visitors.
Suggested Argentina Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Cosmopolitan Buenos Aires is legendary for its street art as well as its vibrant culture, open-air galleries and urban murals.
Day 2: Buenos Aires
The Pampas, a short distance from the city, is home to historic estancias such as La Bamba, and is renowned as the birthplace of the gaucho, the Argentine cowboy.
Day 3: Buenos Aires
Mercado del Progreso, a local market in a rarely visited small district in Buenos Aires, is a great place to learn about the rich traditions of Argentina’s cuisine.
Day 4: Buenos Aires / Colonia, Uruguay
Colonia, Uruguay is just a ferry ride away and is a lovely city with museums, restaurants, galleries and more.
Day 5: Colonia / Carmelo
The road to Carmelo encompasses “La Calera de las Huerfanas” Jesuit Ruins, where the Uruguayan history of wine begins.
Day 6: Carmelo
Carmelo is noted for its historic vineyards.
Day 7: Carmelo / Jose Ignacio
Jose Ignacio began as a small fishing village, but is known today for its emerald coast and lovely beaches.
Day 8: Jose Ignacio / Casapueblo / Punta Del Este / Jose Ignacio
Punta is rapidly becoming a top resort city, popular with Argentines and Brazilians, and increasingly drawing international travelers to its marina and port.
Day 9: Jose Ignacio / Garzon Bike Ride / Depart
Garzon is a small town founded in 1892, and the starting point for a bike ride to Colinas de Garzon, an olive oil plant surrounded by olive trees and vineyards.
Custom Travel Options
El Chalten (2 days)
At the foot of two mountains, El Chaltén is considered by many to be the trekking capital of Argentina.
Glaciers National Park (4 days)
Here are some of nature’s most dramatic and elegant ice landscapes such as the Perito Moreno Glacier.
Ibera Marshlands (3 days)
Ibera Marshlands encompasses some 60 lakes with wildlife from capybaras to howler monkeys and more than 350 species of birds.
Pampas (3 days)
At historic estancias, (working ranches), gauchos use traditional skills that have all but disappeared elsewhere.
Peninsula Valdes (3 days)
The peninsula provides habitat to wildlife, both terrestrial and marine, including sea lion, sea elephant, whale, guanaco and Magellan penguins.
Salta (4 days)
Salta is home to stunning Spanish colonial architecture as well as an ancient Incan road to Humahuaca Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
San Carlos de Bariloche (3 days)
Bariloche reflects German, Swiss and English architectural influences in a setting of glacial lakes, rivers and peaks.
Tierra del Fuego National Park (3 days)
At the extreme end of the Americas, a unique train ride travels to the “End of the World”.
Yacutinga Reserve (3 days)
Yacutinga Lodge and Wildlife Nature Reserve offers an extraordinary jungle experience.
Montevideo (3 days)
Uruguay’s capital consistently rates as having the highest quality of life of any city in Latin America.
Land price, per person, double occupancy: Approx. $500 - $900 per day.