Posts

Things to visit in Patagonia

There are many reasons why choosing your holiday in Patagonia.
It is one of the most celebrated natural vagaries of the world. It consists of wonderful mountain scenery and glacial lakes.
Many things to visit in Patagonia besides activities and adventures if you decide to visit it. If you have organized the trip in winter season, you are a person who likes to be very active then Patagonia has almost 90% of ski resorts in Argentina, with different levels of trails for all ages.
The Cerro Otto is postulated as the ideal place to learn to ski and spend a beautiful day, enjoying the snow and the landscape overlooking the stunning Lake Nahuel Huapi. Would you dare?

Things to visit in Patagonia | Skiing in the Cerro Otto

Things to visit in Patagonia | Cerro Otto Skiing

Things to visit in Patagonia: Neuquén Mapuche Tourist Route

Did any ever wanted to live in a culture totally different from yours?
For those tourists who choose to experience other adventures, this tourist route provides a wide variety of discovering traditions, music and cuisine between lakes, forests and mountains.
This tourism is very bohemian ethnic and where you can get to get learn to live this culture for a while everyday activities are sheep farming, land crop and food processing and handicrafts, in Neuquén is combined with adventure activities lakes, mountains and valleys. All these places invite tourists to see the customs and religion develop various services to tourists.
You will leave here with a big smile and a nice experience.

Things to visit in Patagonia | Cultures

Things to visit in Patagonia | Cultures

Things to visit in Patagonia: Thermal & Relax

If you are looking for a vacation mixed with relaxation to leave the stress of work, then in Patagonia there are a Hot Springs and Spas where you can do the Thermalism is considered a good therapeutic for good health and relaxation, as well as a synonym for wellness, beauty and vitality. Neuquén has many hot springs in their territory. Other options are Domuyo hot springs, known for its healing properties and thermal Epulafquen near Junin de los Andes, which are especially recommended for relief rheumatism, liver dysfunction and skin problems. the spa offers treatments of all kinds.

Things to visit in Patagonia: Whale watching

Things to visit in Patagonia | Whale watching Puerto Pirámides, Argentina

Things to visit in Patagonia | Whale watching Puerto Pirámides, Argentina | Photo credit: Patagonia

During the winter and the arrival of spring, a lot of whales approach the Valdes Peninsula region, mainly to San Jose and Nuevo Gulfs, in the province of Chubut.
Cities like Puerto Madryn, Puerto Pyramids and Trelew are visited mass tourists from all over the world, who come   forward to seeing the famous whales from both the coast and from some of the boats that offer the service of sightings. September and October are the months of highest concentration of these mummers. The peninsula and the magic of the whales Attract tourists from around the world and everyone wants to live the unforgettable experience of approaching one of them. Whale watching 45 minutes, that time is regulated to avoid disturbing the animals and maximize the number of people who can make the crossing every day.

,

Places to visit in Argentina – Puerto Madero

There are so many places to visit in Argentina and today we will discover Puerto Madero.

Puerto Madero is a neighborhood in Buenos Aires, whose streets pay homage to outstanding women in Argentina’s history, born out of the recovery of 170 hectares of land via a project that soon became an exclusive residential, gastronomic and business hub of the City and definitely, one of the places to visit in Argentina.

Places to Visit in Argentina - Puerto Madero

Places to Visit in Argentina – Puerto Madero

Puerto Madero and its History:

By the end of the 19th century, the authorities decided to provide the city with adequate port facilities. Eduardo Madero’s proposal, which planned the location of the port in the area surrounding Plaza de Mayo, was passed by the Argentine Congress in 1882. The facilities were eventually inaugurated in 1897. And the red brick warehouses, which have become the landmark of this District, were built.

Puerto Madero Red Brick Buildings

Puerto Madero Red Brick Buildings – Courtesy CVG All rights reserved

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Costanera Avenue, one of the favorite promenades of the city dwellers and a favorite location for many famous steak houses for decades, was opened, together with the Municipal Riverside Resort. But the area was not maintained and had deteriorated and in 1989 the Government decided to rescue the old port area and integrate the city with the Rio de la Plata River. And this is how the neighborhood Puerto Madero was born.

Why is Puerto Madero one of the Places to visit in Argentina?

Besides its fantastic steak houses and worldwide renowned restaurants and night life, Puerto Madero has architectural characteristics that differentiate it from other neighborhoods in Buenos Aires.

On the sides of the water surfaces, a series of lower buildings provide equipment and life to the public walk. It offers parks open to the seafront line, parallel to each one of the docks. An architecturally interesting pedestrian bridge spans the harbor called “El Puente de la Mujer” or the Woman’s Bridge.

 

Puente de la Mujer

The Puente de la Mujer bridge

You cannot miss visiting the BUQUE MUSEO FRAGATA SARMIENTO docked at Avenida Alicia Moreau de Justo 980 – Dique 3 – Oeste (tel. 4334-9386) http://www.ara.mil.ar/pag.asp?idItem=112 or attend the ROJO TANGO SHOW at Martha Salotti 445 – Faena Hotel + Universe (tel. 5787-1636) info@rojotango.com/ – http://www.rojotango.com/

You will enjoy walking around Puerto Madero’s wide boardwalk both during the day and in the evening. The area is calm, modern and a haven from the busy Buenos Aires’ streets. There is a large choice of restaurants which makes it an easy choice for meals or a “cafecito”.

We highly recommend making Puerto Madero one of your places to visit in Argentina on your next trip!

Puerto Madero Waterfront Art

Puerto Madero Waterfront Art – Courtesy CVG – All rights reserved

Buenos Aires and the Spaniards Monument (Monumento de los Espanoles)

Spaniard's Statue - Buenos Aires - Monumento a los Españoles

Spaniard’s Statue – Buenos Aires – Monumento a los Españoles

Marble Memorial in the Palermo District in Buenos Aires – 24.5 meters high, created in marble from Carrara and brass.

In Spanish “El Monumento de los Españoles”, it got its name because it was a gift from the Spanish community. The top sculpture represents the “Republic”. It was built by sculptor Agustín Querol y Subirats.

This is one of the most beautiful monuments in Buenos Aires, not only for its magnificence, but also for its location, in the intersection of two wide boulevards: Avenue del Libertador and Avenue Sarmiento in Palermo.

Its real name is “Magna Carta and the Four Argentine Regions”, but everybody knows it as “El monumento de los Españoles” (The Monument to the Spaniards). It was donated in 1910 by the Spanish community for the centenary of the May Revolution. But the construction suffered several problems.

The first sculptor and winner of the design contest, Agustin Querol, died in 1909, and his creation had to be continued by another artist, Cipriano Folgueras, who also died shortly after.

The work was even more delayed when the Spanish ship which brought the bronze pieces sunk on March, 1916 in the Brazilian coast, and replicas had to be ordered to Spain, which were finished in 1918.

The monument was finally inaugurated on May 25, 1927. There is much more to the story of of this monument. If you are interested in knowing its secret history join us on one of our Buenos Aires Secrets Tours.

Buenos Aires oldest neighborhood

San Telmo neighborhood - Buenos Aires

San Telmo neighborhood – Buenos Aires

San Telmo (“St. Pedro González Telmo”) is the oldest barrio (neighborhood) of Buenos AiresArgentina and also a fairly well preserved area of that constantly changing Argentine metropolis and is characterized with a number of colonial buildings. Cafes, tango parlors and antique shops line up the cobblestone (adoquines) streets, which are filled with artists and dancers.
San Telmo’s many attractions include many old churches (e.g. San Pedro Telmo), museums, antique stores and a semi-permanent antique fair (Feria de Antigüedades) in the main public square, Plaza Dorrego. Tango-related activities for both locals and tourists also abound in the area.
Known as San Pedro Heights during the 17th century, the area was mostly home to the city’s growing contingent of dockworkers and brickmakers; indeed, the area became became Buenos Aires’ first “industrial” area, home to its first windmill and most of the early city’s brick kilns and warehouses. The bulk of the city’s exports of wool, hides and leather (the Argentine region’s chief source of income as late as the 1870s) were prepared and stored here in colonial times.
San Telmo became the most multicultural neighborhood in Buenos Aires, home to large communities of British, Galician, Italian and Russian-Argentines.

Buenos Aires oldest neighborhood

Buenos Aires Cafe - San Telmo

Buenos Aires Cafe – San Telmo

San Telmo’s bohemian air began attracting local artists after upwardly mobile immigrants left the area. Growing cultural activity resulted in the opening of the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art by critic Rafael Squirru in 1956, as well as in the 1960 advent of the “Republic of San Telmo,” an artisan guild which organized art walks and other events. San Telmo’s immigrant presence also led to quick popularization of tango in the area; long after the genre’s heyday, renown vocalist Edmundo Rivero purchased

an abandoned colonial-era grocery in 1969, christening it El Viejo Almacen (“The Old Grocery Store”). Soon becoming one of the city’s best-known tango music halls, it helped lead to a cultural and economic revival in San Telmo.

As most of San Telmo’s 19th century architecture and cobblestone streets remain, it has become an important tourist attraction.

,

A beautiful, bruising trip to Salta Argentina

Visitor finds goods to admire, sand to be mired in, turns that cause gasps and views almost too stunning to grasp.

TRAVELING in this province is rough. Even on a guided tour and traveling in comfortable vans and cars, I encountered bumps. I bounced over miles of unpaved road, got stuck in a tour van in treacherous sand, gasped in fear at steep drops and sharp switchbacks, and gave up sleep for days that started before dawn and ended too late for dinner.

Argentina Travel - Salta - Balconies

Argentina Travel – Salta – Balconies

But every bit of discomfort was worthwhile, because Salta’s scenery is spectacular. The remote, crescent-shaped province in northwestern Argentina has dramatic gorges that stretch for miles, mountains that show off brilliant mineral hues and castle-like rock formations, green fields, cactus-strewn desert and treeless tundra so high that the clouds float far below.
Much of this province is uninhabited. Llamas roam free. Wild burros munch scraggly plants and nose at water seeping through rocks. Condors circle overhead.
I first heard about Salta while touring in Argentina’s Mendoza wine country, where I tasted Torrontés, a lovely floral white wine unique to Salta. One sip and I wanted to visit the region to learn more about the wine.
So I came here in April, which is autumn in Argentina. The lowlands were warm, but fierce, frigid winds drove me from a summit.
Except for one overnight trip, I toured by day from my base in the province’s capital city, a two-hour flight north of Buenos Aires.
Salta, founded in 1582 by Hernando de Lerma, governor of Tucumán to the south, is a pleasant city. People lounge at outdoor cafes around a tree-filled central plaza. Nightspots called peñas present shows of boisterous northern music and dance. Women sit in the main square outside the cabildo, a colonial building that was once the seat of government, and sell woolly socks, caps, gloves and shawls. I bought a llama-wool sweater from one.

salta-balcones01

Argentina Travel – Salta – Balconies in colonial Spanish styles

I also shopped the large public market, which offered a variety of products, including the herbal brew maté; bright, striped cloths from Bolivia; and produce such as corn, a staple used for, among other dishes, the stew locro and humitas, which are fresh corn tamales. Spice stalls sold pimentón (paprika) from Cachi in the Calchaquíes Valley, where the sweet red peppers are sun-dried.

The market was also a place to buy coca leaves, which are reputed to aid digestion and prevent altitude sickness. Every restaurant I visited served soothing, delicate coca-leaf tea. The leaves do yield cocaine, but small amounts aren’t intoxicating.

I stayed at the older, traditional Hotel Salta by the main plaza. A veranda opened off my floor, but I never had time to relax there. What mattered to me was that the breakfast buffet was in full swing by 6 a.m. Most tours start at 7 a.m., and once I had to catch a 6:15 bus, giving me only a few minutes to down a glass of orange juice, swallow a few bites of ham and cheese and grab small, gooey facturas (pastries) and medialunas (crescent rolls).

Travel agencies clustered near the plaza energetically hawk tours, and most offer the same itineraries at the same price. Tour prices generally do not cover meals or overnight accommodations. Understanding Spanish is an advantage, because on my tours, little was translated into English. Many are outdoor adventures. Mine were tame compared with horseback, rafting and trekking excursions.

Cardones - Salta - Argentina Travel

Cardones – Salta – Argentina Travel

Some agencies handle tours better than others. I had one poor experience — an uninformative guide, a wretched hotel — and another that was exceptional. That trip went up the Cuesta de Obispo (Bishop’s Peak) to Los Cardones National Park, named for the tall, branching cardóncactus that thrives at high altitudes, then on to Cachi, a town where raised walkways enabled colonial women to step from their dwellings to carriages without dirtying their long skirts in the street.
David, the guide, a music professor by profession, kept up a lively conversation about history, music and folklore, fed us alfajores (cookies sandwiched with caramel filling) and drove smoothly and tirelessly for almost 12 hours.

A rocky road trip in Salta Argentina

ANOTHER tour took me to Iruya, a town tucked into a craggy, precipitous gorge about 200 miles from Salta. Because of the many stops we made, the journey there and back took two days. Along with a couple from England and another from

Quebrada de Humahuaca - Jujuy - Argentina Travel

Quebrada de Humahuaca – Jujuy – Argentina Travel

Switzerland, I set off for Quebrada de Humahuaca, a 96-mile-long gorge that runs through Jujuy province to a turnoff for Iruya, which is in Salta province.
Leaving the city, we rode through fields of sugarcane and other crops. Wisps of cloud floated through hills in the distance. The driver said this parklike land was the “ugliest” part of the trip. The Swiss couple said it reminded them of Switzerland.
Farther on, the highway passed cornfields shaded by poplars, and cemeteries placed on hills so the dead would be closer to heaven.

This rough land, once part of the Inca empire, breeds hardy people. Here, Spanish settlers mingled with indigenous people, unlike in Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires, which has a mostly European population.
At one rest stop, I came across a stack of rocks littered with bottles, cigarette packets and other trash. What looked like the refuse of thoughtless tourists was in fact an offering to Pachamama (Mother Earth), a reminder that pagan rites survive in modern-day Salta.

Adobe homes in this area are so isolated that children may have to walk hours to school. Water comes from rivers or wells, and the kitchen stove is an outdoor beehive adobe oven. People eat what they can raise, including goat, lamb and llama. I had goat stew for lunch in the town of Humahuaca, about 150 miles north of Salta, and noticed llama on the menu.

The Humahuaca gorge was the site of many battles after the struggle for independence from Spain broke out in 1810. Salta’s great hero, Gen. Martín Miguel de Güemes, easily outwitted Spanish troops unfamiliar with the challenging terrain. His gaucho guerrillas wore red ponchos with black trim — now the colors of Salta.

Güemes became mayor of the city at 25 years old and was slain at 36. Each year on June 16, gauchos assemble at his statue in Salta for an all-night vigil, followed by a parade the next day, the anniversary of his death.

Soon after Humahuaca, we turned off the highway onto a dirt road so rough it took two hours to traverse the final 35 miles to Iruya. We splashed through running streams and climbed to 13,123 feet to admire extraordinary vistas of mountains. Below, switchbacks cut through red rock to Iruya.

When we stopped, a little girl, accompanied by two shepherd dogs, rushed up to the car to beg for un caramelo (a candy). Children in this remote area rarely get such a treat.

We arrived in Iruya at twilight, which left little time to explore its steep, rock-paved streets. I did find a tiny shop that sold handicrafts, and for $2 I bought a fuzzy brown wool llama made by a woman named Matilde Díaz.

The guide dropped us at a crude hostel that had no comforts — not even things to wash up with. A young English backpacker in my tour group said it was the worst he had seen. But the view from the back veranda was astounding — I could almost touch the mountains.

After a simple meal of humitas, empanadas and coca-leaf tea in the town’s one decent restaurant, the Café del Hostal, I shopped for soap and a towel, and then listened to kids shooting baskets outside my room until after midnight.

Purmamarca road - Argentina Travel

Purmamarca road – Argentina Travel

Early the next morning, we were rousted out of bed for a breakfast of dry bread and coffee, then departed for Purmamarca. This town on the old trail to Peru made up for my disappointment in Iruya. It is shoppers’ heaven.
The entire main plaza had been turned into a dazzling marketplace and was loaded with colorful blankets, wall hangings, sweaters, dolls, belts, maté containers, jewelry and bunches of clattering animal claws that musicians use to beat rhythm.

Purmamarca Salt Pans - Argentina Travel

Purmamarca Salt Pans – Argentina Travel

We bought sandwiches and drinks to go and left the town for the salinas grandes, or salt fields. There, we ate our purchases in a restaurant under construction. The tables and benches were fashioned of thick salt slabs, and coarse salt covered the floor. Oddly, though it was hot, the salt furniture was almost as cold as ice.
The sparkling salt fields look like a vast frozen lake, and I couldn’t shake a worry that our heavy van might break through its surface. We did run into trouble — not on the field but on the dirt road that emerged from it. The van became stuck so firmly in deep sand that no amount of pushing could budge it. Luckily, a driver came along and helped get the van moving again.

Blacked out

BUT the delay cost us. The last part of the tour was to parallel the route of the Tren a las Nubes (Train to the Clouds). One of the highest railways in the world, the train traverses switchbacks and a soaring viaduct. We did drive the route but in total darkness — so we missed the scenery that makes it one of Argentina’s top tourist draws.

Never mind. In nine days I had seen enough to realize that the words in a local folk song, “Salta toda linda” — Salta, where everything is lovely — were too modest.

This historic province — despite its hardships — is more than lovely. It’s magnificent.

Source:Los Angeles Times – By Barbara Hansen, Times Staff Writer