Tag Archives: el calafate

Our Top Sights: Argentina

1. Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls

Sitting on the border of Brazil these waterfalls are one of the most impressive in the world. WIth abundant wildlife, pelicans, hummingbirds and the ever present Coatis there’s more than just the falls to photograph. If you’re travelling between Argentina and Brazil then this is a great place to cross the border, but if you’re not it’s still more than worth the detour. Looking for somewhere to stay, the Poramba Hostel offers a relaxed atmosphere towards the edge of town.

2. Perito Moreno Glacier

Perito Moreno
Perito Moreno

This 7km wide glacier is still advancing and so you’re all but guaranteed to see chunks of ice breaking off into the lake. The blue of the ice means that even on a grey day it’s an incredible sight to see. Boat trips up to the face of the glacier, or all day hikes across the ice, are easy to arrange and well worth the money. Trips to the glacier can be organised from nearby El Calafate, which is a great town to relax in for a couple of days. We recommend Hospedaje Lautaro, as Belen and Dario are probably the friendliest hostel owners on the continent.

3. El Chalten

El Chalten
El Chalten

The trekking capital of South America is a bold claim but El Chalten’s accessible hikes and stunning views live up to it. The Fitz Roy and Torre mountains tower over the town and short hikes offer crystal clear lagoons, glaciers and abundant wildlife. The small town lacks an ATM or petrol station but don’t let this put you off, there are plenty of good hostels and restaurants. If you fancy camping in the forests then gear rental is easy in town.

4. Cafayate

Cafayate
Cafayate

Fancy sampling some of Argentina’s world famous wine, then Mendoza isn’t the only option. The small town of Cafayate located in the Andean foothills is a small relaxed place where you could easily spend a week visiting the different vineyards. Many can be walked or cycled to and the ones further out often have sampling houses located in the town. We recommend Domingo Molina, up in the hills with unparallel views, or Bodega Nanni, an organic vineyard that is located just off the main square. The Rusky K Hostal is just a couple of streets from the main square and their grape draped courtyard is great for drinking all that wine you will inevitably end up buying.

5. Buenos Aires

La Boca
La Boca

The Argentine capital is worth visiting for more than a couple of days, with museums, great food and varied neighbourhoods, you won’t run out of things to do in a hurry. We recommend the Sunday antiques market in San Telmo and an afternoon walk around La Boca. Whether you’re staying in atmospheric San Telmo, stylish Palermo or colourful La Boca each Barrio has a unique feel and it’s worth moving around and trying a few out. For a better idea of the areas why not check out this post.

6. Tierra del Fuego

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“The End of the World” is a great place to visit no matter the time of year. Whilst the summer will offer whales and dolphins, there is still plenty to see if you go in the winter and the autumn colours are breathtaking. Catching a boat to one of the islands in the Beagle channel offers amazing views of Ushuaia and the snow capped mountains behind. Easy hikes can also be found in the Tierra del Fuego national park, a 30 minute drive from town. La Posta Hostel just outside of town offers the warmest rooms you could hope for on Antarctica’s doorstep.

 

7. Salta

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Nestled in the North West corner of Argentina, Salta is a great getaway from busy Buenos Aires. The old section of town is dominated by wonderful colonial architecture and the Plaza de Armas is lovely in the ever present sun. The cable car up the nearby Cerro San Bernardo or the MAAM museum are must see attractions. If you want to get out of the city, horse riding trips or El Tren a Las Nubes (Train to the clouds) are easily arranged at most hostels.

Argentina in Photos…

Just a select few…

Anyone for ice?! – A Visit to Perito Moreno Glacier and El Calafate

First of all we should probably apologise as our blogs have been pretty sporadic of late. The reason being that we have been enjoying the outdoors a little too much. Despite the cold weather…Lauren is much happier in 30 degrees…we have been out exploring the wilderness of Patagonia and all the sights it has to offer.

After taking in Ushuaia and ourIMG_7778 brief trip over to Chile to visit Torres del Paine (and to not do the W Trek) we arrived in El Calafate. It was s relatively short journey of 5 hours or so, which involved a border crossing where we were forced to consume all the fresh fruit we had on our persons…thankfully just two apples. (Chile and Argentina wont let you bring it across the border, despite each others fruit produce being readily available in the supermarkets either side of the border!?)

Any way with our vitamins topped up we had arrived in El Calafate, a small city in the Santa Cruz province, named after a small blue berry common in Patagonia. A charming little city with enough small shops and restaurants to keep you amused but like Ushuaia it is a gateway for yet more of Argentina’s natural beauty. Like most we were eager to visit the Los Glaciares National Park and its highlight the Perito Moreno Glacier and wow did we pick a good time to visit. It may have been cold but the sun was shinning…

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Buses to the Glacier are easily picked up from town, and your entrance fee is paid upon entering the park. A boat trip to the glacier is also available for an additional fee and we highly recommend doing so. It really is spectacular and gives you a great view and allows you to appreciate the towering height of the ice…even if the wind can get a bit cold…

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After that you can while away the rest of the afternoon, like we did, on the boardwalks through the National Park, taking in different angles of the ice. We recommend finding a quite spot and just listening to the continual thunderous cracks of the ice moving and breaking off. It’s difficult to describe in words just how spectacular this glacier is. To give you an idea it is up there as one of our all time top sights around the world, only narrowly missing out on the top spot to the Angkor Temples. Like the Angkor Temples there was a fair amount of hype that surrounded the glacier…but did it live up…yes one hundred times…

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Back in El Calafate, although our stay was brief, we also had time to visit the local bird sanctuary, Laguna Nimez, and gawp at the flamingos…they really do look bizarre when they fly. It’s a pleasant way to spend a few hours and is only a short walk from town.

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Final tip…

Stay at Hospedaje Lautaro, our home away from home! – a lovely family run guest house, where Dario and Belen go out of their way to make you feel at home. Also only a few minutes walk from the bus station.