Off the beaten track in Argentina
WHY IT PRICES: Travelers looking for adventure off the beaten path will find more than enough to explore when visiting Argentina. —Codie Liermann, editor-in-chief
Argentina is a treasure trove for tourists, well known for its cultural attractions, varied landscapes and great diversity of climates ranging from the lush rainforest surrounding Iguazú Falls to the stunning multi-colored landscapes and rich indigenous history of Salta. and Jujuy to the great lakes and the snow-capped Andean peaks around Bariloche and the imposing glaciers of southern Patagonia. Of course, no visit to Argentina is complete without soaking up the culture and sophistication of its capital, Buenos Aires. But Argentina offers much more than these more famous destinations. Here are some alternative recommendations for those who are a little more adventurous and prefer places more off the beaten path, or looking to experience something new on a return trip to Argentina.
Ischigualasto Provincial Park / Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon), San Juan
Ischigualasto Provincial Park, more commonly known as Valley of the Moon due to its topography, is located in the northeastern province of San Juan and next to Talampaya National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, considered to be of great scientific importance, is highly regarded by paleontology enthusiasts who come to admire the almost complete sequence of the Triassic period of the Mesozoic era and identify the giant footprints. dinosaurs that lived there up to 180 million years ago. The park is located about a four hour drive from the city of San Juan. The main circuit of the park of more than 40 km can be visited exclusively by car in about three hours and accompanied by an authorized guide. One of the most magical ways to explore Ischigualasto is on a full moon night tour which must be booked two days in advance.
Talampaya National Park, La Rioja
Neighboring Ishigualasto Provincial Park, Talampaya National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers an excellent overview of one of the most important Triassic periods and is home to a rich diversity of fossils. The park’s impressive red sandstone rock formations are the result of water erosion in a desert climate. It is only possible to visit the park on a guided tour and different types of tours are available: tours on foot, by bike or by comfortable mini-bus without walking. Like neighboring Ischigualasto, there are also nightly full moon tours for a memorable experience.
Campos de Piedra Pómez, Catamarca
Considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Argentina, Campos de Piedra Pómez, which literally translates to Pumice Fields, is located in the north of the province of Catamarca and dazzles with its desolate landscape, from another world and labyrinthine of white volcanic rocks. Over 5,000 rock formations reaching 32 feet in height are concentrated in an area of approximately 40 square miles. The region’s inhospitable climate (the best time to visit is from September to April and early morning tours are recommended before the strong winds pick up in the afternoon) and more difficult access make this a great option for die-hard adventurers. Access to the park is only possible with a four-wheel drive vehicle and a licensed guide.
Esteros del Iberá, Corrientes
One of South America’s most important freshwater reservoirs and the second largest wetland in the world, the Iberá Wetlands are located in the northeastern province of Corrientes and are home to around 30% of the biodiversity of Argentina with 4000 species of flora and fauna. One of Iberá’s main goals is to reintroduce valuable species, such as yaguarete, pampas deer, anteater, tapir, collared peccary, red and green macaw, bare-faced curassow , the giant otter, the maned wolf and the red-legged wolf. seriema. There is also a project to reintroduce the jaguar in this natural habitat after an absence of more than 70 years. A must visit for wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers.
Located in the center of Argentina, the province of Cordoba and its eponymous capital, the second largest city in Argentina after Buenos Aires, offer a multitude of natural and cultural attractions. Architecture lovers will find in the city of Cordoba a rich collection of colonial and contemporary architecture. Córdoba is also home to Argentina’s oldest university, the National University of Córdoba, established in 1613. The Jesuit Block and its Estancias, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its collection of buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries considered to be a excellent example of a vast religious, political, economic, legal and cultural system which spanned over 150 years and which mixed European and Native American cultural elements with contributions from African slaves, is also located here.
Just under an hour’s drive west of town is the seaside resort of Villa Carlos Paz, on the shores of Lake San Roque, a popular destination for sailing and other water sports enthusiasts.
The town of Cosquín is famous for the festivals it hosts, including the Cosquín Folk Festival, one of the most important folk music festivals in Latin America, as well as Cosquín Rock with performances by some of the best bands from rock from Argentina and all the Spanish language. world.
Beer lovers can enjoy the annual National Beer Festival, more commonly known as the Argentinian Oktobefest, in the town of Villa General Belgrano located in the lush Calamuchita Valley. This quaint town with a Bavarian feel was settled by Germans and other Central Europeans and is famous for its craft beers and Central European specialties.
Argentina is famous for its pampas, the vast grassy plains that shaped gaucho culture. The province of La Pampa offers travelers the opportunity to discover the immensity of these plains and sierras that stretch as far as the eye can see and to immerse themselves in the traditions of the Argentinian gauchos, to visit classic estancias and to feast. in an authentic asado (Argentinian barbecue). Nature and wildlife enthusiasts can visit the Luro Park Reserve, home to the endemic caldén tree and populations of red deer and rheas.
Additional information about Argentina is available at argentina.travel.
SOURCE: Visit Argentina’s press release.