Travel tips Argentina
During your stay in Argentina you will have several opportunities for shorter and longer weekend trips around Argentina and neighbouring Uruguay. Also, many students choose to spend some time before or after the study periode traveling the region. Let Kristoffer spark your desire for Argentinian adventures with some of his best travel experiences.
Compared to Norway, Argentina is an amazingly large country, and what might seem like a short distance could mean a long night´s bus ride. That said, traveling by bus is an experience in itself, and you realise that Argentina is so much more than Buenos Aires, no mather what los porteños will tell you. You will travel past changing landscapes and gauchos on their horses herding cows on the seemingly endless pampas. Argentina offers everything from big city life to seemingly deserted desert, lush jungel and immense waterfalls.
Oval weekend approaching? Travel to Mendoza! You definetly don´t want to miss out on this city. Not only is the Mendoza region the biggest wine producer in Argentina, the city is located at the bottom of the Argentinian Andes and offers amazing nature experiences. Wine tasting is a must. Rent a bike and cycle along abounding vines from vineyard to vineyard, sampling tastes of locally produced wine, chocolate and other tasty treats. Just allow enough time to bike safely back to the hostel. In Mendoza I also went rafting, abseiling and horseback riding in the Andes mountains; all including a real Argentinian barbeque or "asado" as a finale. Abseiling includes a decent walk up the Andes mountains through snow, rivers and fog. As it clears, and you realise that the fog was really layers of clouds, and you see the sun shining over snow covered mointain tops, you will be glad you made the effort. Still, my best memory from Mendoza is from the paragliding I did on my last day there. We drove to a hill,strapped on the gear and ran off the cliff. Crazy, wild and totally amazing! As I soared towards the sky I could see on one side the mountains separating Argentina from Chile, and Mendoza on the other. After thirty minutes of anxiety and joy my feet touched the ground again and I was ready for yet another asado.
Mendoza is situated roughly 14 hours away from Buenos Aires, and can also be used as a stop over before you head to Chile´s capital, Santiago de Chile.
If you are keen to experience another Argentinian city, Cordoba is the place to go to. Cordoba is a big city, filled to the brim with history, culture, colonial architecture and entertainment! If you haven´t had your share of Catholic churches, I suggest a visit to the big catedral and the different Jesuit churches in the city. Cordoba hosts as much as seven universities and the city´s young population means there is plenty to be experienced day and night. On my visit I learned there was a huge music festival (Cosquin Rock) going on in the neighbouring city Cosquin, where Deep Purple was playing. For 75 NOK I got to see Deep Purple and a lot of other Argentinian, Latin-American, European and North American artists and experience the great festival atmosphere! I also visited Che Guevara´s childhood home, strolled the market and went to see some Argentinian friends for another asado.
Cataratas del Iguazu
It isn´t easy to describe Iguazu. The Iguazu falls are numerous incredibly impressive water falls in the rainforest on the border between Argentina, Brasil and Paraguay. If you are only going to see one waterfall in your life, go to Iguazu! The water falls have been selected as one of the world´s seven natural wonders, and with good reason. You can wander from viewpoint to viewpoint and see extreme amounts of water pound hundred feet below. La Garganta del Diablo (The devil´s throat) lies above the steepest drop and offers a breathtaking view. The sound of the water is deefening, and when the sun is out the water drops creates a multitude of rainbows. As you walk along the pathways, you will stumble upon myriads of butterflies, semi tame coatis and agoutis and spot monkeys in the treetops. You will find boat rides that will take you close to or behind the waterfalls, something I strongly recommend! Just make sure you bring a waterproof camera/camera cover. As the waterfalls are divided between the three neighbouring countries, I had breakfast in Argentina (Puerto Iguazu), lunch in Paraguay (Cuidad del Este) and dinner in Brazil (Foz do Iguaçu). The Brazilian side offers the best view, but you can get closer on the Argentinian side. It´s a wet experience, so remember to bring a change of clothes.
If you want a break from the big city, enjoy some beach life and renew your tourist visa, you can take the ferry across Rio de la Plata to Uruguay. I went by ferry to Colonia, a small idyllic city which offered a nice change after a periode in Buenos Aires. Colonia is the oldest city in Uruguay and is listed on Unesco´s world heritage list. Then I went by buss to Uruguays capital, with the funky name Montevideo, which after a month in BsAs seemed almost like a small town. I rented a bike and cycled around the cobbled stoned streets of the historical parts of the city, drank mate with the locals and visited local markets. Buenos Aires has a lot to offered, but it´s short of beaches. In Montevideo however you will find several beaches along the coast and its nice to end the city tour with a stop at the beach and a refreshing swim.
Enjoy your travels!