A Travellerspoint blog

Argentina

Salta and the North of Argentina

sunny 25 °C
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After Córdoba, I was happy to arrive in Salta. It is still quite a big city, but much quieter than busy Córdoba. I had a really good time in Salta, seeing the city and its museums, meeting nice people at the hostel and meeting up with some people I knew from other places , going out at night - we went to a peña (a traditional Northern Argentinean bar where Andean dances and music are performed), heard an amazing cover band, went to a couple of bars and went dancing in a club on Saturday night - and having a lazy Sunday at the hostel.
Plaza 9 de Julio

Plaza 9 de Julio

Salta

Salta

Iglesia San Francisco

Iglesia San Francisco

Night out in Salta

Night out in Salta


Salta is also the main starting point to see the North of Argentina with its beautiful landscapes. Tours take you to Cachi, Cafayate, the Salinas Grandes, Humahuaca and many other places.
I started off with the tour to Cachi. On the way to this small town South of Salta, we passed through the Quebrada De Escoipe, drive up the Cuesta Del Obispo to the Piedra Del Molino, at an altitude of 3457m. When we arrived in Cachi, we had lunch at a very nice local restaurant where I tried the cabrito, baby goat, which was delicious. I also had ma first try of coca tea, which tastes a lot like green tea. The town is very small and quiet, but very nice to spend a couple of hours in on a sunny afternoon and buy some local products. On the way back we made a stop in the Parque Nacional Los Cardones, where we found ourselves in the middle of a massive field full of huge cacti.
Cachi Tour

Cachi Tour

Cuesta del Obispo

Cuesta del Obispo

At the Piedra del Molino

At the Piedra del Molino

Cachi Tour

Cachi Tour

Nevado de Cachi

Nevado de Cachi

Cachi

Cachi

Parque Nacional Los Cardones

Parque Nacional Los Cardones


The next day I took the following tour, the one to Cafayate. On this tour we passed through the Quebrada de las Conchas, visited the Garganta del Diablo and the Anfiteatro, admired many unique rock formations such as Los Castillos. Around Cafayate is also located an important wine region, so we went to 2 bodegas to do some wine tasting. In Cafayate, we had lunch, walked around the plaza looking at the Artesanías and I finally bought myself a mate. Un fortunately, there was nothing new to see on the drive back from Cafayate to Salta so that the ride in the small car with 5 people seemed very long and we were happy when we arrived back in the city.
Cafayate Tour

Cafayate Tour

Garganta del Diablo

Garganta del Diablo

Anfiteatro

Anfiteatro

Cafayate Tour

Cafayate Tour

Cafayate Tour

Cafayate Tour


After (quite a lazy) a weekend spent in Salta, I then took the last one of my tours, the one up North to Humahuaca. More amazing landscapes could be admired here. We drove through the Yungas, a forest growing along the slope of the mountains, saw the fascinating 7 coloured rocks around Purmamarca, visited the ruins of a pre-Inca fortress in Tilcara and stopped in the small and very traditional towns of Purmamarca, Tilcara and Uquia.
The Yungas

The Yungas

7 coloured rocks

7 coloured rocks

Purmamarca

Purmamarca

Me and a llama in Purmamarca

Me and a llama in Purmamarca

Humahuaca Tour

Humahuaca Tour

Humahuaca Tour

Humahuaca Tour

Pucará de Tilcara - pre-Inca fortification

Pucará de Tilcara - pre-Inca fortification

On the Tropic of Capricorn

On the Tropic of Capricorn

Uquia

Uquia


In Humahuaca, our group went for lunch and we ate llama with mustard sauce - very tasty! I then did not drive back to Salta with the tour group, but stayed in Humahuaca for the night to take the bus to the Bolivian border from there the next morning.

Posted by sarahm_lux 08:43 Archived in Argentina Tagged salta cachi tilcara cafayate humahuaca uquia purmamarca Comments (4)

Córdoba

The second biggest city in Argentina

sunny 27 °C
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I spent 2 days and 1 night in Córdoba. It is not an especially nice city, but it has some beautiful churches and a very good atmosphere in some areas because it is a big student city. The city has many museums, but since I was there on a Monday, most of them were closed.
Córdoba

Córdoba

Córdoba

Córdoba

Córdoba

Córdoba


I spent the night at a hostel that works together with the hostel I stayed at in Ushuaia. The owners of the two hostels had swapped hostels for a few months, so that I met the owners of the Ushuaia hostel again. They are very nice people, so I was happy to see them, and their cute little dog, again.

On the second day in Córdoba I went to Alta Gracia with some people I had met. This is a town about 40km away from Córdoba where you can find the house Che Guevara lived in when he was young and which now houses a museum telling the story of his life. A very interesting exhibition!
Che Guevara House

Che Guevara House


The town itself is very quiet but nice. It has a lot of old Jesuit buildings, an artificial lake and a pretty park.
Alta Gracia

Alta Gracia

Posted by sarahm_lux 20:02 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Wine, bikes, plazas and horses

A few days in and around Mendoza

sunny 27 °C
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From Santiago I got a bus to Mendoza. This time I decided not to get a night bus, but one early in the morning because of the views on the bus ride were supposed to be amazing. This was the right choice because the views really were spectacular. Since the Andes form the border between Chile and Argentina, the bus has to cross the mountain range to get from one country to the other.

Mendoza is a nice city with many beautiful plazas and a very big and pretty park to relax in.
Mendoza

Mendoza

Mendoza

Mendoza

Mendoza

Mendoza

Mendoza

Mendoza


The area around Mendoza is the biggest wine producing region in Argentina, so one thing you have to do while in Mendoza is to go on some kind of wine tasting tour. The one I chose was a wine tour done by bike. You visit 3 bodegas, have a tour and some wine tasting at each one, and ride from one bodega to the next on your bike. The tours were interesting and the wine tastings were nice. Unfortunately, there was not very much cycling involved though, altogether only about 30 minutes. I would have liked to spend some more time on the bikes.
Wine Bike Tour

Wine Bike Tour

Wine Bike Tour

Wine Bike Tour


Another activity I was recommended to do in Mendoza was horseback riding. I think I had been on a horse twice when I was very young, so it was very strange to be sitting on the horse at first. Once I got used to it, it became a nice experience though and I enjoyed riding the horse through the mountains. However, once again, the time spent riding was too short, only 1 hour 15 minutes. The horseback riding was followed by an asado (an Argentinean barbecue, the second one I had within 3 days because the hostel had organised a barbecue and party on Friday night). We ate good beef and drank wine, and the whole thing happened in the dark as there was no light in the barbecue area.
Horseback riding

Horseback riding

Horseback riding - asado

Horseback riding - asado

Horseback riding - asado

Horseback riding - asado

Posted by sarahm_lux 10:16 Archived in Argentina Tagged mendoza Comments (0)

At the end of the world

Ushuaia

sunny 18 °C
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Of course, Ushuaia is not at the end of the world, but the city likes to boast with this name. It is the southernmost city in the world. In Chile there are settlements located further South, but these have only the size of a village/small town.
Ushuaia 1

Ushuaia 1

Ushuaia 2

Ushuaia 2

Ushuaia 3

Ushuaia 3


The city of Ushuaia is not a very interesting place, although it has some nice cafés and restaurants. What is better about Ushuaia are its surroundings. The views of and the animals in the Beagle Channel, the view of the Andes behind, the Tierra del Fuego National Park. All this is pretty amazing.
Ushuaia 4

Ushuaia 4

Ushuaia 5

Ushuaia 5

Ushuaia 6

Ushuaia 6


I spent a day hiking in the National Park, which is a really nice place with good walks and great views, and it contains the Southern end of all roads in Argentina - the end of Ruta 3. I skipped taking the famous ‘Tren Del Fin Del Mundo’ because I had read that the ride is not especially interesting and it is far too expensive. Some guys from the hostel decided to take the train, but they confirmed what I had heard afterwards. So if you ever go there, do not waste your money on this train ride (unless maybe you are there with children).
Parque Nacional Tierra Del Fuego 1

Parque Nacional Tierra Del Fuego 1

Parque Nacional Tierra Del Fuego 2

Parque Nacional Tierra Del Fuego 2

Parque Nacional Tierra Del Fuego 3

Parque Nacional Tierra Del Fuego 3

Parque Nacional Tierra Del Fuego 4

Parque Nacional Tierra Del Fuego 4

Parque Nacional Tierra Del Fuego 5

Parque Nacional Tierra Del Fuego 5

Parque Nacional Tierra Del Fuego 6

Parque Nacional Tierra Del Fuego 6


On Tuesday, I took a boat tour in the Beagle Channel. We stopped to see cormorants, sea lions, the lighthouse ‘Les Eclaireurs’ and then finally, Magellan penguins! It was amazing to watch the sea lions and the penguins on their islands, the sea lions making loads of strange loud noises and the penguins taking baths and waddling around.
Boat tour on the Beagle Channel

Boat tour on the Beagle Channel

Boat tour on the Beagle Channel - cormorants

Boat tour on the Beagle Channel - cormorants

Boat tour on the Beagle Channel - sea lion island

Boat tour on the Beagle Channel - sea lion island

Boat tour on the Beagle Channel - sea lions

Boat tour on the Beagle Channel - sea lions

Boat tour on the Beagle Channel - Magellanic penguins 1

Boat tour on the Beagle Channel - Magellanic penguins 1

Boat tour on the Beagle Channel - Magellanic penguins 2

Boat tour on the Beagle Channel - Magellanic penguins 2

Boat tour on the Beagle Channel - Magellanic penguins 3

Boat tour on the Beagle Channel - Magellanic penguins 3


Behind the city, there is a mountain with a glacier, the Glaciar Martial. I spent a few hours there on Wednesday, walking around several of the paths and hiking up to the glacier, from where the views of the city and the bay were really beautiful. I even touched the glacier ;-)
Glaciar Mertial 1

Glaciar Mertial 1

Glaciar Mertial 2

Glaciar Mertial 2

view from Glaciar Mertial

view from Glaciar Mertial


In the afternoon, I went to the prison museum, the Museo del Presidio. The museum was interesting and I took a guided tour with a really good guide who explained the history of the prison and the reasons for its design etc really well.
Museo del Presidio 1

Museo del Presidio 1

Museo del Presidio 2

Museo del Presidio 2

Museo del Presidio 3

Museo del Presidio 3

Museo del Presidio 4

Museo del Presidio 4


Friday I decided that I needed a lazy day, so I spent the day walking around Ushuaia, making further travel plans, writing postcards (yes, many of you can expect a postcard some time soon!)…
At night, I decided I need to treat myself for once and go eat the ‘must eat’ in Ushuaia when there in the right season, centolla (king crab). So, together with an Argentinean guy staying at the hostel, I went to a very nice small restaurant where we ordered ‘centolla a la parmesana‘. Mmh, this was great! The crab meat was really good and it was served in a dish with a parmesan sauce which could not have been better. We had some amazing wine with it too, which made it a perfect dinner. The crabs where definitely fresh since they fished them out of the aquarium every time someone ordered one. In the end, I was invited for the dinner (thanks a lot, Diego!) and the waiter even let me hold a live crab :-)
Centolla a la parmesana

Centolla a la parmesana

Holding a live king crab

Holding a live king crab

Posted by sarahm_lux 20:05 Archived in Argentina Tagged ushuaia tierra_del_fuego glaciar_martial Comments (0)

Perito Moreno

A really special glacier!

sunny 18 °C
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In Calafate, there is not much to do, but go to the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, where the main attraction is the glacier Perito Moreno. On my 1 day in El Calafate, this is what I did. I took a bus to the park, where I took a boat tour to get really close to the glacier and then enjoyed the views from the many balconies. Perito Moreno is one of the only glaciers that are still growing/maintaining their size. While you watch the glacier you can experience big blocks of ice falling off the glacier into the water. An impressive view! At the same time, it snows on about 300 days a year at the origin of the glacier which leads to the glacier growing by as much as it loses.
Perito Moreno 1

Perito Moreno 1

Perito Moreno 2

Perito Moreno 2

Perito Moreno 3

Perito Moreno 3

Perito Moreno 4

Perito Moreno 4

Perito Moreno 5

Perito Moreno 5

Posted by sarahm_lux 13:56 Archived in Argentina Comments (2)

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