An uplifting & confirming trip.
Barrie and his wife in Ushuaia.
I love photography and we are both very passionate about nature and believe it’s something to be respected, so the trip was perfectly set out for our interests, as the itinerary included Buenos Aires, ‘the Paris of South America’, the Iguazu Falls and Argentinian Patagonia, giving us a perfect mix of city and great outdoors. We really love to step outside of the usual tourist routes and activities and we aim to learn as much about the countries we visit as possible. Exoticca were able to adjust the set itinerary to accommodate our needs. I had read a lot about Buenos Aires prior to arriving and we were both really looking forward to finally discovering it.
Buenos Aires is a very unique city, and I found it to be incomparable with anywhere else I have visited. It does have that European ‘flavour’ about it, seen in the architecture and the wonderful artistic atmosphere and we spent our first few days enjoying the culture in the numerous museums, such as the fascinating Evita Peron Museum, and also taking walking tours, which we organised ourselves. We learnt a lot about the history and politics of the country during our stay in Buenos Aires, also stumbling across a lively Woman’s Demonstration on our first day; an eye-opening experience which just highlighted how passionate the Argentinian people. When we returned to Buenos Aires towards the end of our trip we had the pleasure of attending a traditional Tango show, recommended to us by a fellow traveller we met in Patagonia. I would definitely recommend it for an authentic taste of Argentinian culture and art.
In front of the Perito Moreno Glacier.
After Buenos Aires, we headed south into Argentinian Patagonia to Ushuaia, at the southernmost tip of Argentina. It is known as ‘the end of the world.’ We were struck by the Frontier Town atmosphere of this beautiful place and we enjoyed an amazing boat trip to see the nearby penguin colony, which was a truly memorable part of our trip, having not seen these creatures in the wild before. The hotel here was stunning, with fantastic service and wonderful staff and we ate plenty of beautiful fresh fish and met lots of other travellers who were all as excited to discover this part of the world as we were. Unlike many other places of interest around the world, Ushuaia is unspoilt by tourism and has a fantastic cosmopolitan feel about it. The guides and arrangements in Ushuaia were excellent and it was an amazing experience exploring the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. The organisation of the trip meant we had plenty of time to take in the overwhelming beauty of the place and, of course, I got plenty of great shots of the many stunning nature spots and abundant bird life.
One of Argentina’s most famous sights is the Perito Moreno Glacier, near to the town of El Calafate, and this is where we were headed to next. With comfortable accommodation back at the hotel, we set off on our excursion to the famous glacier. It was an unforgettable experience. We even saw some of the glacier falling off into the water, something that only happens every 2-4 years, so we were very privileged to see this phenomenon. The blues and whites of the enormous glacier were wonderful to photograph, as were the astonished faces of the other travellers, all united in awe at the power of nature. We were taken on walks across elevated bridges which gave us a fantastic birds-eye view of the many different shapes and angles of the Perito Moreno and it was certainly one of the most memorable experiences of the whole trip. The weather was not as cold as you might imagine, except when you are on the water or exposed to the elements, as although the sun was almost always shining, the wind can be a little icy, but we were prepared with lots of layers.
At the Iguazu Falls.
We couldn’t come to Argentina without seeing the iconic Iguazu Falls, so Exoticca had helped to tailor the trip to include an overnight stay at Iguazu and, on the recommendation of my daughter who has spent time in Brazil, we opted to stay at the Sheraton which is located just a stones-throw away from the mighty waterfalls, making for a very special experience. Our guide took us on excursions to both sides of the Iguazu Falls, meaning we had the opportunity to cross the border into Brazil for the afternoon. Both sides, although unique, offered fabulous views of the powerful waterfalls in a lush, rainforest setting. It was a sensational experience.
Overall, we fell somewhat in love with Buenos Aires, a truly beautiful city with a lot of heart. The wonderful aspects of nature that we saw on the trip were spectacular and left us with plenty of poignant memories. I’d certainly like to return to Argentina again and see more of Buenos Aires and the north of the country, as well as Brazil, which we plan to tick off of our list soon.