|We started our Argentinian trip zig-zagging down the Andes to the far south, flew up to Buenos Aires, bussed up to Iguazu falls and then crossed into Brazil. The lake country town of Bariloche gave us a great first introduction to Argentina, a very upmarket and beautiful tourist mecca along the lines of Jasper. The area is full of mountains, lakes and hills with amazing views and we spent a day hiking in the alpine on the top of the Catedral ski hill enjoying the views of the high country.
Many many isolated miles south, the next stop on the tourist trail was the town of El Chalten, nestled in the Los Glaciares national park in the shadow of the Fitz Roy mountains. Talk about gringos and gortex galore. The place is wonderfully set up for hiking with many trails and amazing vistas of the mountain range, lakes and glaciers easily accessible from town. Our feet were sore from hiking so many miles and our camera full! The highlight was an awesome day hike to the Laguna Torre glaciar and lake nestled way up in the mountains.
Further south in the Los Glaciares national park, the Perito Moreno glacier is one of the unmissable attractions of the area. We saw this huge dynamic and easily accessible glacier up close and personal from a boat cruise and viewing platforms. It was very noisey, creaked constantly and we saw it calve great chunks of ice into the lake. Further down the lake, we biked to a nature reserve where we enjoyed the bizarre sight of flamingos wading with snow capped peaks in the background.
Right down south, when we emerged from Chile back into Argentina, it was on the island of Tierra del Fuego where we headed for the southern most city in the world- Ushuaia. It is a very picturesque town perched between the Beagle Channel and the southern most part of the Andes. We did a boat trip into the channel to see the sea birds and seals up close and personal, as well as great views of the channel and surrounding areas. We hiked up a nearby ski-hill for panoramic views and a small glacier. The final day trip from Ushuaia was to the Tierra del Fuego national park where we hiked and canoed in the bays and lakes and reached the official end (or start) of the panamerican highway (the other end being in Alaska). Such a harsh and beautiful area.
From here we flew up into Buenos Aires and switched our long pants and jerseys to sweating in shorts. We explored the downtown area extensively on foot and found it a well organized and livable city with many beautiful buildings, green spaces and things going on in the street such as Tango shows. We followed the masses going to visit Eva Peron's tomb in the rich person cemetary. As Argentinians are futbol (soccer) mad, a must do 'cultural' experience is to attend a game. We pre loaded with all you can eat and drink pizza and beer went and watched Boca vs Racing game in the crazy fan area. Throughout the game we were surrounded by screaming chanting singing fans that didn't let up for hours- even when their guys lost. They are so fanatical that the stadium was dry, the fans segregated and the stadium exit tightly controlled . From Buenos Aires, we also did a day trip by high speed ferry to Uruguay where we explored the historic city of Colonial and did some sunbathing on the beach.
From Buenos Aires, it was an arse numbing 17 hour overnight bus trip to the Iguazu falls on the border of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. The falls were stunning, mind blowingly huge. The tropical vegetation that surrounds the falls and hundreds of butterflies that float around add to the experience. The Iguazu falls were an amazing way to end the Argentinian experience. Argentina has so many diverse stunning natural attractions- from the Andean glaciers and freezing cold harsh climate of Ushuaia to the tropical jungle of Iguazu in the north, Argentina has become one of our favorite countries on the trip.