‘Lost at the End of the World’ – The Highlight Reel of a 12 Day Argentina Tour
You may know it for its avid football fan base and talent, the expressive Argentine tango deep rooted in local heritage or their iconic wine and steak – renowned as some of the best in the world. But Argentina – as one of the largest countries in the world – is a canvas painted rich with culture, diverse stop-you-in-your-tracks landscapes and teeming with bucket list-worthy hotspots that will have culture-lovers itching to explore.
Rob, one of our Senior Travel Experts, recently arrived back from an astounding 12 day tour and relayed why Argentina should be added to your holiday wish list.
Buzzing Buenos Aires
Strolling down the streets of Buenos Aires feels unexpectedly European for a South American country – like Paris with a twist of New York. Yet this beloved capital encapsulates the soul of the friendly Argentines far beyond its grandeur. A blast of colour defines the streets of La Boca and is one of the many Camden Market-type pockets around the city where you can find the smell of indescribably delicious food wafting down the street. The popular empanadas and choripán (grilled chorizo in a crusty bread filled with flavoursome additions) are both must-tries and there are plenty of al fresco rooftop bars to relax and watch the world go by – with beverage in hand, of course!
Shops here sell everything from bags and fruit to old vinyl records and Maradona merchandise. Urban décor acts in the form of street art lining the walls, ranging from vibrant cartoons to Banksy lookalikes while rainbow checkerboards act as shop flooring.
The people are welcoming to the point where they are walking up to you to offer a sip of their mate tea infusion, but the real laugh with the locals comes from an evening of tango lessons. The intimacy and accuracy of the professionals dancing in the show beforehand act as a stark contrast for what’s to come. Watching a bunch of amateurs stepping on toes and turning the wrong way is entertaining enough, but taking part and being one of those amateurs is even more so!
El Tigre – Buenos Aires’ ‘little Venice’ – is another area worth day tripping to. It’s fascinating to watch floating shops, houses on the water, the children commuting to school on the school boat rather than bus. This town is popular for its bustling weekend artisan market, Puerto de Frutos, but there are plenty of other avenues, or rather channels of the delta, to explore.
Tierra del Fuego by Air, Land & Sea
The south eastern province, Tierra del Fuego, was Rob’s favourite region by far. Los Cauquenes Hotel, a high-end resort on the cusp of Ushuaia with chalet-type buildings reminding you immediately of Switzerland, is in a prime location to take in the natural wonders this coastline has on offer. As the most southern city in the world, the Jacuzzi on the room’s terrace was ideal to gaze into the horizon – a horizon so expansive that it extends into nothingness until it hits Antarctica. These privileged views create a real sense of feeling ‘lost at the end of the world’ and are absolutely stunning.
It’s one thing to see the Andes, the longest mountain range in the world, in all its breathtaking glory from afar. But it’s a whole new level to get the grand tour via helicopter! It’s truly a vision that’ll be etched in your mind forever, as is stepping down on these snow-capped peaks for a 360 degree vantage point.
The scenery just keeps getting better on Tren Del Fin del Mundo – the ‘train to the end of the world’ which traverses its way through the beautiful terrain of Tierra del Fuego National Park, bypassing lakes full of otters, gushing waterfalls, mountain ranges and more. There’s also fishing to enjoy in Puerto Almanza with crab cooked Patagonian-style, whales to spot off Puerto Williams as they come up for a breath, and guanacos to wave to – close relatives to the llamas and alpacas.
If you’re looking for further adventure, hire a 4×4 in Cabo San Pablo and drive out with a picnic to the Desdemona shipwreck – a colossal ship with an interesting story stuck on the shore of the beach. There’s a gorgeous hike from here up to an abandoned lighthouse leaning like the tower of Pisa.
And finally, we get to Rob’s crème de la crème of the whole tour – Perito Moreno Glacier. The pictures themselves are astonishing, but being there in person is a surreal experience. To add to the anticipation, Rob and his tour group were blindfolded on the bus and led up to the viewing platform, all the while hearing the crackling of ice and feeling the cold whipping their faces. When the blindfolds were removed, absolute awe washed over the group. The famous glacier over 30 kilometres long stretched out before them, backed by the mountains embedded with autumnal hues of orange and gold. Out of all the wow-worthy moments across Argentina, this was the most remarkable and a cherry on top of an all-round amazing and well recommended trip.