From October to March the best months become when we try to plan our well-deserved vacations in Argentina due to the good summer weather. What are our coordinates going to be? Beach, mountain or lake? City or nature? Adventure or rest?
A few days ago a friend told me that she wanted to travel around Argentina, but she had no idea where to go. I imagined many with the same uncertainty and also with the same typical destinations turning in their heads: the coast for those who love the beach, the north for those who want to carry a backpack. But our country is so rich in variety that it has hidden corners worth exploring. This selection of 11 places to go on vacation has options for all tastes and pockets.
1. TIERRA DEL FUEGO: USHUAIA + TIERRA DEL FUEGO NATIONAL PARK
Ushuaia is the city at the end of the world. It was the first postcard that left our jaws open when we set foot on Tierra del Fuego. Its colorful houses, its up and down streets, its mountains, its trails, its history, its eternal days, its short nights: there is much to know and see. It is a destination that awakens something, perhaps because of its magic, charm and mystery for being in such a southern extreme. The accompanying bonus track is the Tierra del Fuego National Park, which is only 12 km from the city. It is an expensive destination, yes. But that does not mean that it can be visited and enjoyed by all. You can:
Tour the city (this is a no-brainer, but worth doing).
Go to Playa Larga almost 4 km from the center to the east, to have a spectacular view of the Beagle Channel (don’t forget the mate!).
Navigate the Beagle Channel (in some excursions you can also visit the island of the Sea Lions, the island of the Birds and the Les Eclaireurs lighthouse).
Get to know the Tierra del Fuego National Park (go early and visit it in advance because there is a lot to see. General admission is $ 140, Mercosur entry is $ 100 and national entry is $ 40 (2015 season prices). If your pocket is more diesel, You have many places to camp – advice: there are almost no grocery stores and the prices are excessively expensive, buy everything first in a supermarket).
Live the experience of the End of the World Train.
Get to know the Maritime Museum and the Jail at the End of the World.
2. SANTA CRUZ: EL CHALTÉN
The equation is simple: person who goes, person who wants to return. At the foot of the imposing Fitz Roy, it is the national capital of trekking. It is a place to go wanting to move, because there is so much to do that I am sure you will not have enough days to do everything. There are short and guided walks, of more than two hours and even days. The options are:
Go up to the Los Cóndores and Las Águilas viewpoint.
Go to Chorrillo del Salto.
Walk to the Margarita waterfall viewpoint.
Take the path to the Capri lagoon.
Go up to the Laguna de los Tres.
Get to the Torre lagoon.
Walk towards the Piedras Blancas glacier.
Walk the path that reaches the Huemul glacier.
Do the guided walks Laguna Toro-Paso del Viento-Paso Huemul and Vuelta al Hielo.
3. CHUBUT: LOS ALERCES NATIONAL PARK
It is the ideal place to spend a few days in a tent, seeing landscapes like these. It joins the cities of Esquel and El Bolsón, along a 209 km road. A place of colors, aromas, waterfalls, valleys and beaches. It is also a destination for walking and touring. Some options to do are:
Take a walk along the Cascada stream (it is a 4-hour circuit along the eastern slope of the Situación cordon passing through several viewpoints).
Get to know the Irigoyen waterfall.
Go to the Verde Lake viewpoint (you will have a panoramic view of the Verde, Menéndez and Futalaufquen lakes).
See the lonely Lahuán (a 3000-year-old Larch).
Get to Laguna Escondida (an ascent of 4 hours).
To take into account: the entrance for national visitors over 16 years old is $ 70, those under 16 enter free of charge and non-resident foreigners over 16 years old must pay $ 120 (2015 season prices).
4. RÍO NEGRO: VALLE DEL MANSO
The Manso Valley is a hidden paradise between El Bolsón and Bariloche. There is adrenaline and adventure, there are unique landscapes that reach the most bordering point with Chile, there are campsites on the river coast, there are cabins with solar panels instead of electric light and refrigerators that run on gas. Ideal to disconnect from everything. You can:
Visit El Foyel before entering the Manso. It is a town with many gastronomic offers, cabins that promote health tourism and fairs where regional products such as wild boar, deer, trout, homemade cheeses, sweets, liquors, textiles and wood crafts are sold.
Go rafting on the Manso River.
Eat a barbecue at the Kaleuche campsite.
Rent bikes and enjoy the sandy beach at La Pasarela del Manso campsite.
5. NEUQUÉN: ROAD OF THE SEVEN LAKES
The perfect option for lovers of camping and the outdoors and ideal for those who want to make their first trip by bicycle. This road of 108 km in total, connects the cities of Villa La Angostura and San Martín de los Andes, two tourist poles that are also worth visiting. Each lake is different, each curve shows a different landscape and in addition to the obligatory stops, you can:
Enter Villa Traful (if you have time, stay two or three days to visit it).
Take the detour to the Quintupuray spot.
Stop and see the Vullinanco waterfall.
Get to know Villa Meliquina (a mountain village at the eastern end of Lake Meliquina, on Provincial Route 63).
Visit Quila Quina (a Mapuche community is based here, there are camping sites and beaches).
6. MENDOZA: HIGH MOUNTAIN
Mendoza is a province that has everything. This destination is for those who enjoy the movement of the city, but in its proper measure and in balance with nature. The high mountains are one of the most beautiful attractions it has, with Route 7 being its protagonist. In addition to touring it, do not leave without visiting:
The viewpoint of the Municipality of the City of Mendoza (going up to the eighth floor you have a panoramic view of what is called “the city-forest”).
The General San Martín Park and the Cerro de la Gloria.
The cultural space Le Parc (various exhibitions and artist shows are held throughout the year).
Luján de Cuyo (only 24 km from the capital, one of the most cared and beautiful neighborhoods in Mendoza) and Chacras de Coria (17 km, a small and picturesque town in the north of the province).
Wineries, oil mills and distilleries (the more, the better!).
Your adventure activities (horseback riding, rafting, trekking, skydiving, among others).
The Potrerillos dam-reservoir, the city of Uspallata, the Penitentes ski center, the Aconcagua viewpoint, the town of Las Cuevas and the Puente del Inca (all this is part of the high mountain circuit).
To read more about what to do and see in this province, click here now: Sabores de Mendoza y Colores de Mendoza
7. LA RIOJA: VILLA UNIÓN + TALAMPAYA NATIONAL PARK + CUESTA DE MIRANDA + CHILECITO
Those who love the colors of the Argentine North cannot miss this combo from La Rioja. Based in Villa Unión, a town located in the west of the province and characterized by the warmth of its people, you access one of the most impressive national parks in our country. Continuing along the mythical Route 40, the road becomes the Cuesta de Miranda, crossing different places and culminating a few kilometers from Chilecito, a city with a lot of history. In short, you can:
Touring Talampaya (it is not allowed to access the park with your own vehicle, so it is mandatory to pay for the excursions offered by the different providers. Keep in mind that with the base entrance you can travel very little).
Get to know Laguna Brava (they told us that it is a spectacular landscape).
Enjoy the Cuesta de Miranda (it has 27 km in total and is said to have 320 curves).
Go to the Cristo del Portezuelo in Chilecito.
Go to the Mining Museum and go up to the second station of the Cable Carril (a majestic work of engineering from 1904 that consists of laying a 35 km overhead cable).
Get to the “junction of the rivers” when you get off the Cable Carril.
8. SALTA: CAFAYATE + QUEBRADA DE LAS ARROWS + SECLANTÁS + CACHI + CUESTA DEL OBISPO + SALTA CAPITAL
These places give me goose bumps every time I name them. It is precisely in Cafayate where I began to imagine my life on the road, so at this point I cannot be very objective because I always want to return. What to tell you … GO! Salta is so, so magical that you are going to love it. The classic tourist circuit proposes to take part of this tour at the same speed as a snap of the fingers, but please don’t fall for that! The secret is to go slowly and have enough time to experience the day and night of the most typical towns in the North:
Go through Cafayate as much as you can, eat tamales and humitas and don’t miss the Salta beer with some good salchipapas.
Climb up the rocks and take a dip in the waterfalls of the Colorado River (I know they are charging entry, but I can’t tell you exactly how much. If anyone has the information, welcome!).
Rent a bike and do the wine route (please, do not overdo it, it will complicate your return).
Take many mates in the Plaza de Cafayate and take a good nap under a tree (it is one of the best plans I could have had).
Rent another bike and go through the Quebrada de las Conchas (it’s 50 km in total, get to the Devil’s Throat, enter the Amphitheater and return to Cafayate, braking in the places you want, at your own pace).
Enjoy and try to have four eyes while doing the Quebrada de las Flechas (it is a landscape from another planet). Attention that on the left side of the road there is an ascent to reach the viewpoint in the photo.
Stop in the towns you want, but the obligatory stop is Seclantás (stay one night, you won’t regret it).
I toured Cachi, went up to the viewpoints, eat another tamale and stay one night to see its starry sky.
Stop again at the Cuesta del Tin Tin (it crosses the Los Cardones National Park and is 15 km long).
Buckle up or fasten your helmet and go down the imposing Cuesta del Obispo.
Arrive in Salta capital, toast with a good red wine and eat some northern empanadas.
9. JUJUY: PURMAMARCA + SALINAS GRANDES
Travel Life-11 destinations Argentina-26
The icing on the cake of our tour of Argentina. The hill of the Seven Colors borders on the perfect imperfection. Purmamarca is warm, it is peace, it ignites our senses so that the landscape fills us and empties us. Small town, with few inhabitants, with so much natural beauty that it ends up surprising. What’s there to do:
Walk through its dirt streets and eat some good empanadas from Jujuy.
Go up to the viewpoint of the Cerro de los Siete Colores (it is just opposite).
Walk through the Los Colorados circuit.
Go up the Cuesta de Lipán (important: chew coca because you climb many meters in a few kilometers).
Visit the Salinas Grandes.
Tour the Quebrada de Humahuaca.
To rest. For that you are in Purmamarca.