Argentina/Patagonia

How to get the very best from Planet Earth.
User avatar
never/ever
Posts: 22928
Joined: 27 Jun 2008, 14:21
Location: Journeying through a burning brain

Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby never/ever » 05 Mar 2017, 19:28

Just got back from there. Oh my God. Totally loved the views, only had two days in Buenos Aires but want to go back. I had massive luck with the weather, only one day in Torres Del Paine which was a bit hairy with massive winds and hiking on top of morene-rocks that were wet and slippery but the rest was luckily filled with mostly sunshine and decent temperatures.
The hiking was sublime, if very busy- you're not wrong it is popular! Managed to get three-quarters of the W-trek done in TDP and two of the main ones in El Chalten. Those forests were great- the trees were on the cusp on turning from green to red and yellows. Saw woodpeckers and many guanacos- no pumas, fortunately. Ushuaia was brilliant too- loved being able to spend some time on the penguin-island and trekking to the Martial-glacier with spectacular views on the Beagle-channel and straight into Chile. And the food! And the yerba mate!
Did the trip organised (G Adventures) because i didn't want to go through the overhead of organising everything with my limited amount of Spanish but will definitely go on my own next time so i can spend more time on some of the other great hiking spots.
Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?."

George Carlin

User avatar
algroth
Posts: 5213
Joined: 04 Apr 2010, 03:12

Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby algroth » 05 Mar 2017, 19:31

I missed this, otherwise I might have suggested a few places to visit. Glad you enjoyed the sights (and the food, and the mate)! :D

A small plug-in here regarding food, I've been doing for about four years now a YouTube channel based on asado, each week releasing a new episode on an asado recipe. You can see it here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMb_jT ... VJneNUH0Zg

It's in Spanish unfortunately, but watching it at the very least might give you a few good ideas about things to do back at your place!
Last edited by algroth on 05 Mar 2017, 19:33, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
never/ever
Posts: 22928
Joined: 27 Jun 2008, 14:21
Location: Journeying through a burning brain

Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby never/ever » 05 Mar 2017, 19:33

Still welcome! Next year February I'll be doing the next CTTE and will look for more suggestions taking me into South America (thinking Bolivia/Ecuador or Galapagos too)....
Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?."

George Carlin

User avatar
algroth
Posts: 5213
Joined: 04 Apr 2010, 03:12

Re: Argentina/Patagonia

Postby algroth » 05 Mar 2017, 20:22

I can help some with Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia, though less with Ecuador, never been to Galapagos either. In terms of Bolivia, La Paz and the altiplano in general is really worth seeing, as are the likes of the Tajzara dunes near Laguna Grande and the Uyuni salt flat. While you're around you can also make a quick tour through the Argentinian northwest, which I think is usually underrated internationally in comparison to Patagonia - you can try taking a ride through the Tren a las Nubes, visiting Maimará, known best perhaps for the Cerro Paleta del Pintor (a hillside popular for the natural array of coulours through it), explore some of the Puna altiplane, and the likes.

If you do go back to Buenos Aires there's also a few places I'd suggest to visit: some of my favorite buildings are the National Library (designed by britalist architect Clorindo Testa) and the Palacio Barolo - the latter in particular is a modernist building made roughly at the start of the 20th century, designed after Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, with each floor representing a level of Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, and is also fifth amidst the tallest lighthouses in the world. That's as prog as architecture will ever get. :lol:

Not sure where you've been in your couple of days in Buenos Aires - I reckon you've visited some of Microcentro, Recoleta and Palermo Viejo/Soho. Though the scene's changed a bit, there's a pretty popular tango club I used to go to for dancing lessons in Palermo called La Viruta, and it makes for a good night out in case you ever want to give a basic lesson or two a try, at a cheap price too. I would suggest at some point going to Tigre and exploring the River Plate Delta, all of which is lovely, as well as dedicating some time to San Telmo, seen by some as the best-conserved classic neighbourhood in the city. The centre of San Isidro, particularly the Cathedral, are also very impressive and amongst the oldest parts of Buenos Aires, over 300 years old. If cathedrals and the likes are of interest to you I would also urge you to take a day to visit Luján, having the largest church in the continent (I think), and is just lovely to explore at some time.

Lastly... If you are in Buenos Aires you can also take a day to take a ferry over to Colonia, in Uruguay, another lovely colonial city featuring some of the greatest sights in its country. Likewise there's the Barrio Viejo in Montevideo that's worth seeing and so on.

In terms of Patagonia I would suggest at some point to visit the Altlantic coast as well, though keeping in mind it's a very different and much more barren sight. February's usually the season for orca sightings in Peninsula Valdés, though many other things can be observed there as well. Puerto Pirámides is a very small port village on a bay in the Peninsula, and it is not only lovely to visit but also remarkably cheap to stay at and an overall much better alternative to Puerto Madryn (or so I've found). Further south you'll also find Punta Tombo, a reserve which has the continent's largest penguin colony with over one million of the creatures. Even further south, near Comodoro Rivadavia, there's a petrified forest that is one of the sights I've loved the most in Santa Cruz. The cities are mostly oil-based cities and are not that impressive to see, however, so it's definitely worth touching these mostly as part of the way than staying anywhere nearby.

That's some places I would suggest and so on. Of course, add in all of the classic must-sees to the list - the Perito Moreno glacier, Bariloche, El Bolsón, el Chaltén, the Road of the Seven Lakes, Villa La Angostura, Ushaia and so on so forth. Plenty to visit in that part, it's wonderful.