Argentina is a country of immense beauty and proportions. Its geographic diversity spans breathtaking terrain from Antarctica, through the glacier-filled mountains of Patagonia, to the deserts and tropical jungles in the north. Our Travel Consultant David Figueiredo shares his incredible experience travelling through Argentina with Intrepid Travel:
Before I get into what an amazing experience I had, I must acknowledge, thank, and praise Intrepid Travel for putting together such a fantastic itinerary. This trip wouldn’t have been nearly as smooth or fun had I attempted to do it on my own! A big thank you to our tour leader Federico for his knowledge and humour too!
South America had always been high on my list of places to go, particularly Argentina, so after much research I decided on Intrepid Travel’s Best of Brazil & Argentina; a trip that starts in Rio de Janeiro and works it’s way down to Buenos Aires. As much as I loved Brazil, I’m going to focus on Argentina for now.
After a glorious time in Rio de Janeiro, we headed to the highlight of the tour, the jaw-dropping beauty of Iguazu Falls. Nothing can prepare you for your first glimpse of this majestic natural wonder. Upon arriving at Iguazu National Park (our entrance fee was arranged and covered by Intrepid) we boarded a train that took us through the park to the walkway to the falls. Your first impression of how massive Iguazu is can be experienced when the walkway first crosses the river.
I was stunned when our guide said we were crossing part of the river, it was so wide I thought it was a small lake! As we crossed over it you could see large catfish in the water and exotic birds perched on rocks. After a short walk we arrived at the top of the falls and I literally froze in my tracks. We were standing at “Garganta del Diablo”, or “Devil’s Throat” in english, a U-shaped part of the falls that you stand at the top of and provides with you stunning views as the falls stretch out as far as the eye can see!
You get to feel the thunderous power of the falls as the water cascades over the edge beside and beneath you. We spent at least 15 minutes there taking photos and videos while the blue & white Argentine flag proudly flew overhead.
We continued onwards along the falls taking dozens of photos along the way of the lush jungle, mini-falls, and valleys. We eventually got to the base of the falls where a small group of us chose to take a speedboat ride in the river up to the falls. When they say you get up close and personal with the falls they really mean it! This ain’t no Niagara Maid of the Mist! The boat flies down the river at exhiliarating speeds to the base of the falls where the get as close as they safely can! Everyone was bursting out in giggles and laughs because the spray was so intense at that range that you could barely keep your eyes open! They give you ponchos to wear but they water is so intense that you get soaked anyway…as a tip make sure to wear swim shorts so you can dry off easily in the gorgeous hot sun!
After the boat we explored the park some more seeing monkeys, birds, and a very adorable friendly furry creature called a Coati which looks somewhat like a cross between a possum and a lemur.
They love to pose for photos! After a later lunch we headed back to the town of Puerto Iguazu to get a good night’s sleep before heading to Buenos Aires the next day.
After a nice breafast and a short flight, we landed in the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires! The best way I can describe this city is a little bit of Paris and Manahattan mixed together with a South American flair!
From the modern cafes and restaurants long the Puerto Madero waterway to the haunting Art Deco/Art Nouveau/Baroque/Neo-Gothic beauty of Recoleta Cemetary (where Eva “Evita” Peron is entombed) the city has so much to offer!
Our hotel was in a fantastic location, within walking distance along the famous Calle Florida “Florida Street” to the Plaza de Mayo where the presendential palace Casa Rosada (Pink House) is located. During our stay in Buenos Aires we did what every explorer must do when in Buenos Aires, attend a traditional tango show!
The surprise bonus of the tango show that we attended is that we got tango lessons included before the show! Even though I was tripping over my own feet and didn’t exude any of the sultry passion that makes the tango famous, I had a lot of fun! We enjoyed a three course steak dinner with a glass (or two, or three) of wine while the dancers seduced and enchanted the audience on stage. I mentioned it briefly, but if you’re a steak lover, then Argentina is the country for you!
I’ve never in my life tasted such juicy melt-in-your-mouth-delicious cuts of steak in my life…and it costs about half of what it costs back home in Canada! I could easily order a steak dinner with wine for approximately the equivalant of $30CAD.
I could go on forever about the charms and beauty of Buenos Aires, the colourful La Boca area, the bustling San Telmo market, the grandeur of Teatro Colon opera house, or the fast pace of 9 de Julio (the widest avenue in the world) but instead of reading about it why not experience it for yourself? Give me a call or send me an email and I’ll be more than happy to help get you there!
Looking for more information on travelling to Argentina or with Intrepid Travel? David is an International Travel Consultant at our Fanshawe Park Place location in Ontario and can be reached online or by calling 1-866-581-7764