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Archived Posts from “Argentina”

Argentina-Sporting Paradise

29

June

Argentina is much more than just the glitz and glimmer of its sophisticated capital, Buenos Aires. The country has a long tradition of being a sportsman’s paradise. . .and not just for futbol (although Argentines are certainly known for that)! Travelers interested in any outdoor activity will find what they are looking for, and more.

Argentina is big and diverse. From the deltas and pampas surrounding Buenos Aires, to the majestic, snow-capped peaks of the Andes, and from the semi-tropical northeast, to the arid expanses of the northwest, no one who enjoys sporting activities will be at a loss for entertainment, adventure, and excitement.

Fishing in Patagonia

Argentina boasts enough lakes, rivers, streams, and coastline, to make it a perfect destination for anglers, sailors, and anyone who enjoys spending time on the water. Although fishing is a year-round sport in most of the country, summer (late May-early September) is by far the best season, especially in Patagonia.

Early in the 20th century, brown and rainbow trout were introduced into the rivers and lakes of Patagonia, and since then have thrived extremely well. Beautiful salmon, perch, and freshwater dorado can also be found in this region. Anglers will be amazed at the size, beauty, and abundance of the fish in this unspoiled wilderness.

Patagonia is home to quite a few charming towns, which offer more than just a roof, meal, and bed. Bariloche, San Martin de los Andes, and Villa de Angostura are three beautiful towns that have offer a variety of accommodations, activities, and restaurants to satisfy even the most demanding traveler. In these towns, and in the surrounding areas, visitors will find world-class hunting and fishing lodges, centers to arrange guides, and outfitters offering high quality gear.

Skiing the Andes
Recently, skiing has become a huge sport in Argentina, and the country boasts numerous resorts scattered throughout the Andes, but two resorts in particular are stunning, world-class destinations. Cerro Catedral is located just a few minutes drive from Bariloche, and has just been renovated to make it the largest and most developed ski resort in all of South America. The mountain features 5000 acres of land available for skiing, with elevations reaching just below 7000 feet. With plenty of trails for skiers of all abilities, as well as a park and half pipe for snowboarders, Cerro Catedral offers a wonderland of adventure, in a beautiful location with all the amenities that travelers want.

Las Lenas is one of Argentinas newer resorts, built in 1983, and is the Mecca for expert skiers. Boasting a top elevation of 11,328 feet, Las Lenas is not for the faint of heart. Skiers will find 40 miles of runs with gradients from 12-53%, and access to explore the beautiful backcountry for those wishing to get off the beaten path. After a day of adventure, the resort has plenty of other ways to relax and have fun, including the highest-elevation casino in the world, discos, bars, restaurants, spas, and anything else that tourists could want.

The ski season in Argentina runs from June to mid-October.

Other Activities
Year-round in Argentina, lovers of sport will find something active and exciting to participate in. Horseback riding on the pampas, is always in season. Traveling to the northwest corner near Salta, one will find an arid, warm desert climate year-round, that lends itself to hiking, biking, horseback riding, kayaking, and other activities that can be enjoyed under the hot sun. Of course, Argentina also has miles and miles of coastline with beach resorts scattered throughout which are extremely popular in summer.

In a land as big and diverse as Argentina, it is safe to say that whatever the active traveler is looking for, he will find in this unique and beautiful country.


Argentina-South America’s Best Bargain

11

May

Since the Argentine Financial Crisis that started the new century, Argentina has found itself as the hottest new tourist destination in South America, and is now one of the biggest travel bargains in, not only South America, but the world. That’s what happens when your currency gets devalued, and overnight a hotel room that once cost $100US now costs $35. It’s safe to say that Argentina wasn’t on too many people’s travel radar in the 90s, when a vacation there cost as much as one to New York, London, Sydney, or Paris. Not to mention that Argentina and its capital, Buenos Aires, were not nearly as developed as first world capital cities, but still cost the same! However, times have certainly changed.

These days, Buenos Aires is the South American destination for hipsters, backpackers, businessmen, and students of everything from art to economy, who go there to see what all the talk is about…an in Buenos Aires, there is plenty of talk! No one talks as much (or as loudly) as the Argentines. Fueled by strong espressos (or, cortados, when they are taken with a dollop of steamed milk) and wines from the Andes, the Argentines are nothing if not loquacious. All day and night, the bars and cafes are full of people smoking and drinking coffee and talking about everything from the IMF to the Rolling Stones. Certainly, Buenos Aires has all the Romance and style that anyone could want. Although it is dirty and loud, Buenos Aires provides a great setting and can make almost anyone feel like writing a novel, making a documentary, or setting up a photo shoot in any restaurant and street corner. Indeed, the sense of style is so pervasive, that one sometimes wonders if there is any substance to go along with it. Certainly, if one knows where to look, there is.

The barrios of San Telmo and Palermo are the two mas movidos (with the most life, or movement) but are vastly different in appearance and demographics. Palermo is made up of two parts, Palermo and Palermo Viejo. Palermo is the Manhattan of Buenos Aires, and home to the cities main shopping, eating, and nightlife. Palermo Viejo, is a smaller neighborhood, that features small plazas, cafes, and art galleries, all set along cobblestone streets, with tree-lined streets. San Telmo is located closer to the center of the city, and is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. Home to tango schools, the country’s only film school, and numerous antique shops, markets, cafes, and street performers, San Telmo offers visitors a bohemian lifestyle, set among some of the most charming architecture in the city.

Portenos (Buenos Aires residents) are a nocturnal species, and for the visitor, the lifestyle of the city can come as quite a shock. It is not uncommon for residents to eat dinner at 10 PM (or later) and then have drinks at a bar, before heading out to a dance club (boliche) at around 2 AM! Also not uncommon is for this behavior to be done 3-4 nights a week! One wonders where they find time to work.

Certainly any trip to Argentina will include at least one stop in Buenos Aires, but there are loads of other places to see in the world’s 8th largest country. Patagonia is a wilderness the size of France with a population density of roughly 2 people per square kilometer. Patagonia features an array of geological sights, such as glaciers, lakes, mountains, and wild, desolate land. The unique and beautiful towns of Neuquen, San Martin, and Chubut province lie in Patagonia, and are scenic wonders.

To the west of Buenos Aires is the Argentina wine country, which includes the cities of Mendoza and Cordoba. These cities are vastly different from the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires, and boast some of the best universities in Argentina, as well as a wonderful mix of colonial and modern architecture, all set up against a backdrop of the Andes. Recently, Cordoba has been growing into something of the IT capital of South America, as many high-tech companies are moving in. Also this part of the country provides a traveler with the means to visit Argentina’s vineyards and bodegas. Situated in a perfect location for growing grapes and other agricultural produce, the weather is almost always mild and sunny in this region.

People who enjoy shopping will love Argentina. From high quality leather goods, to wine and handicrafts, Buenos Aires and Argentina have top notch malls, stores, and markets to attract and fulfill almost everyone’s shopping needs.

Although prices are still low in Buenos Aires (it is one of, if not the, cheapest developed capital cities in the world now) they are slowly rising—especially for tourists. Inflation continues to choke the economy, and although the government has paid off its foreign debts, the economy has still failed to achieve the rapid growth found in the neighboring countries of Chile and Peru. Petty crime is still a problem (President Bush’s daughters were the victims of purse snatching in San Telmo, even with the Secret Service watching), but there is little violent crime.