Situated on the banks of Lake Nahuel Huapi, Bariloche is the heart and soul of the famous Lake Region, on the border between Argentina and Chile. The city features a remarkable German-style architecture in a background of extreme beauty enhanced by snow-capped mountains, millenary forests, azure and emerald-water lakes such as Lake Nahuel Huapi, Lake Gutierrrez and Lake Mascardi and spectacular waterfalls. It is also the departure and arrival point for the famous lake crossing and the gateway to famous ski resorts such as Cerro Catedral.
Located on the banks of the Rio de la Plata, the widest estuary in the world, Buenos Aires is a modern and dynamic city that still keeps some of its old traditions. One the most cosmopolitan cities in Latin America, Buenos Aires was made to walk. It is strolling through the various neighborhoods that one can understand the spirit of the city. Most monuments are located in what is known as The Enlightenment Block, the oldest complex of colonial buildings in the city, very close to the famous Plaza de Mayo. Also worth visiting are the San Telmo District, where most Tanguerias (Tango Cafes) are located and a mandatory visit on Sundays, when a popular flea market is held, and La Boca, where Tango was born. Shopping is mainly done in the pedestrian streets of Lavalle and Florida whereas nightly life can be enjoyed in the riverfront area of Puerto Madero, around Recoleta cemetery and in Corrientes Avenue, where most playhouses and movie theaters and located.
Iguazu National Park
Iguazu National Park is part of a large plateau formed by basaltic lavas during the Mesozoic Era, more than 135 million years ago. The Iguazu Falls, located in the west of the park, are made up of 150-270 subsidiary falls depending on the flow rate. The falls form a semi-circular front of 2,700m, of which 800m is under Brazilian jurisdiction. A proliferation of elongated islands, islets and rocks create numerous waterfalls which together form the large fan of the Iguazu Waterfalls. The falls drop an average of 72m and the river immediately turns into a narrow and deep canyon, which has been enlarged by erosion of the basalt bedrock. The major formation is subtropical wet forest, rich in lianas and epiphytes. The park is rich in fauna and includes 68 species of mammals, 422 of birds, 38 of reptiles, and 18 of amphibians, a large number of which are threatened or vulnerable. Mammals include giant otter, La Plata otters, jaguar, ocelot, tiger-cat, jaguarundi, bush-dog, capuchin monkey, giant anteater, tamandua, crab-eating raccoon, coati, and tapir. The park harbors approximately 44% of Argentina's avifauna, of which at least 180 species are resident. Reptiles include the pit viper or urutú and the rattlesnake. There is also a large population of spectacled caiman, who nest in the islands, and several types of amphibians and fish.
Los Glaciares National Park
Home to almost four dozen major glaciers, this 2,300 square mile park is a unique opportunity to see some of the most powerful forces of nature. The northern section of the park is characterized by its steep jagged peaks, including Cerro Fitz Roy, which exceeds 11,000 feet. This section of the park is particularly popular among trekkers and mountaineers. It is known as an exceptionally challenging and dangerous climbing area. The southern section of the park is more hospitable to casual sightseeing and contains many interesting glaciers. Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the world's few remaining advancing glaciers is the most spectacular, currently grinding its way down the Cordillera directly into an arm of the enormous Lake Argentino. About every three years the glacier cuts off the flow of water into the lake resulting in an immense accumulation of pressure as the water behind the glacier rises. The explosive resolution of these forces is a spectacular event to those lucky enough to witness it.
Mendoza is located two hours by plane from Buenos Aires. One of the largest cities in Argentina, Mendoza owes much of its fame as the most beautiful city in the country to its charming outskirts characterized by narrow tree-lined streets, vineyards, splendorous villas, small adobe houses and, of course, wineries. Wine in Mendoza is more than just an economic activity; it is a way of life. Wine was introduced by Jesuit missionaries in the 16th century but it was not until the 19th century that production really took off with the arrival of Italian and French immigrants, who brought along their advanced technology. Several wineries can be visited during half or full day tours that include wine tasting and the chance to purchase wine directly from the producers. South of Mendoza you will find the enchanting Uco Valley, a pastoral land of orchards, fruit plantations, cattle breeding farms and excellent wines.
Shaped like an ax, the Valdes peninsula is marked by its vibrant coastline, a stunning array of tall cliffs, rocky reefs, and exotic marine mammals. Considered one of the most valuable wildlife areas in the world, Peninsula Valdes is home to the southern elephant seal, sea lion, and right whale. Year after year, animals return to these calm, protected waters to mate and raise their young. Large colonies of sea lions and elephant seals line miles of coastal beaches, while southern right whales harbor in the gulfs.
Punta Tombo Reserve
Between September and April, half a million Magellan penguins breed at Punta Tombo, 68 miles south of Trelew. Also known as the jackass penguin, these birds exhibit a distressing tendency to emit loud, donkey-like brays. Given that penguins cover the entire visible landscape, the chorus can be quite an experience. Other prevalent bird species include cormorants, giant petrels, kelp gulls, flightless steamer ducks, and oystercatchers.
Ushuaia, commonly referred to as the southernmost city in the world, is a remote and important enclave for sailors, tourists and fishermen. The island was discovered in 1520 by conquistador Hernando de Magallanes while he was looking for a path that would connect the Atlantic with the Pacific Ocean. Located on the shores of the famous Beagle Channel, the town serves as the natural gateway for cruises to Antarctica and daily trips to the pristine Lapataia National Park, a sub-Antarctic forest with unique wildlife.