Tango and Trek Your Way Through Argentina

Argentina — By on November 21, 2011 at 6:00 am

By Isabel B
Special to The Lost Girls

With its varied landscapes, Argentina offers something to do for all different tastes. If you’re a city girl, make sure to visit Buenos Aires. Not wrongly called the Paris of South America, it’s here that you can revel in South American culture. Stroll through the MACBA (the modern art museum), see a tango show—essential!—and if you’re into learning some steps yourself, look into classes at the Mora Godoy studio. While you’re in Buenos Aires, make sure to stroll around the markets on the weekend, and visit Eva Perón’s grave in Recoleta cemetery when you get a chance. A day trip to Tigre is also well worth it.

At times, the hustle and bustle of the Avenida 9 de Julio becomes quite overwhelming. To escape the crowds and still enjoy a city atmosphere, head to Córdoba or Mendoza. The former is famous for its German heritage and nearby, in Villa General Belgrano, you can even take part in an annual Oktoberfest. In Mendoza, you can enjoy the Andes through numerous outdoor activities including trekking, mountain biking, rafting, and more. In addition, note that Mendoza is a wine region, and while you’re there, you can bike from one winery to the next—just note your ability to do so effectively will decrease as you keep sampling wines… The summer heat (December, especially) should be avoided.

In terms of natural wonders, there are several in Argentina. Up north, on the border of Brazil and Paraguay are the Iguassu falls. It’s impossible to capture in words the sensation of standing on the Devil’s Throat, the most spectacular part of the Iguassu Falls. 150 meters long and 80 meters high, the Devil’s Throat is located on the Argentinean side of the falls. Waterfalls roar all around while rainbows dance between the rays of sun and the water clouds. Surrounded by an emerald-green forest and a clear azure sky, birds swoop down toward the water. Vencejos, these birds are called, and they are unique to the Iguassu Falls.

Don’t miss the Patagonian paradise. To get a good overview, start in Bariloche, a Swiss-style ski resort, and then head south to the hippie town of El Bolsón. Beyond that, you’ll be hitting the real cold as well as attractions including Mt. Fitz Roy, El Chaltén, the Perito Moreno Glacier, and ultimately Ushuaia. The latter is known as “Tierra del Fuego” (literally translating as “Fire Land”) and also termed the end of the world. Here, you can even take trips to Antarctica—just be sure to bundle up!

Where To Stay

Argentina offers budget and luxury accommodation alike. In the big cities (Buenos Aires, Men

doza, Córdoba), you can get great deals on affordable hotel by booking online at sites such cheaphotels.org. Hostels, too, are very popular. Through a Hostelling International membership, you can score discounts on hostels all over Argentina. The Hostel Inn/Marco Polo chain, for example, has accommodations in most touristy spots—in fact, the Hostel Inn at Iguassu is more like a resort with its large pool and bungalow-size accommodations. If you’re staying longer, consider renting an apartment. Last but not least, if you’re heading to Patagonia, be sure to stay at a refugio. Refugios are mountain refuges where you can either stay in the hut, or bring a tent and camp. Light a bonfire and sing until the sun comes up!

What To Eat

Argentina is known as the meat lover’s paradise. Thus, it is no wonder that the top Argentinean foods will include several delights for carnivores. Asado, chorizo, matambre, milanesas—these are just a few that come to mind. Of course, the asado, or Argentinean BBQ, is the most typical. For the vegetarians among you, options might be a bit more limited. You can roast vegetables and in big cities like Buenos Aires, will find refuge in a number of vegetarian restaurants. In any case, there’s always dessert to save the day!

Can’t Miss…

Argentina offers great opportunities for you to be more than a tourist. I myself volunteered as an English teacher in Buenos Aires, and then went on to help out at a hostel. Last but not least, I also freelanced as a photographer for an adventure sports company. The options abound for a quick visit or extended travel.

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