Image credit: EOLO Patagonia
Argentina‘s spectacular beauty makes for a view to behold at every step. With sprawling hinterland, subtropical jungles, colossal glaciers and crystal-clear lakes, this South American gem offers unique experiences even to the most seasoned travellers. But what’s more, the destination is as dynamic as ever as it is considered one of the continent’s adventure playgrounds.
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To explore it from a different perspective, Quotient proposes five thrilling adventures that will redefine the expression “these boots are made for walking”.
Take a scenic drive around the Road of Seven Lakes
This 248-kilometre drive linking San Martin de los Andes with Villa La Angostura is perfect for travellers who love getting behind the wheel for a day trip around dreamy lakes, lush Andean-Patagonian forests, wonderful waterfalls, smoking volcanic peaks, and meadows sprinkled with charming alpine villages. So, simply pack a picnic basket and stop by any of the lakes – Lacar, Hermoso, Falkner, Villarino, Traful, Correntoso, Espejo and Nahuel Huapi – and enjoy the stunning views.
Explore Salinas Grandes in a Movitrack Truck
For those of you who wish to escape the tourist crowds of Bolivia’s famous Salar di Uyuni, there are many other amazing salt flats around South America to discover. One of them, Salinas Grandes, can be found in the region of Puna between the Salta and Jujuy provinces of northwest Argentina. From a distance, this massive salt desert spanning over 6,000 km2 looks like Mars covered in a magical blanket of salt.
Coupled with the seemingly endless horizon that stretches up into the clear blue skies, the panoramas here are simply spellbinding. So beautiful is this region that a German couple (Frank and Heike Neumann) decided to remodel a ’94 Mercedes 4×4 open-top truck for other travellers to navigate the high altitudes, the delicate salt flats as well as other magnificent wonders such as Train to the Clouds and Purmamarca and its Seven Coloured Hills, just like they did on their honeymoon.
Take a day hike at El Chalten
Argentina’s undisputed trekking capital, El Chalten, is a wonderful base for travellers who are looking to immerse in pristine nature and wilderness. Comparable to the iconic Torres del Paine in Chile, travellers come here to see the extraordinary snow-capped towers of the Fitz Roy and the incredible peak of Cerro Torre. Beginners will rejoice in the wide selection of easy- to moderate-level day hikes that El Chalten has to offer.
Get up-close and personal with wildlife in the Bahía Bustamante
When Lorenzo Soriano first arrived on the Atlantic coast of Bahía Bustamante in 1952 in search of seaweed for his hair gel manufacturing business, he saw great potential in the pure nature that these lands shared with an abundance of wildlife species such as Magellanic penguins, sea lions, Lesser rheas, grey foxes, maras, armadillos, orcas and marine birds. Today, the Soriano family protects the animals and the environment by controlling the number of visitors (up to 18 guests only at a time) this destination receives.
Guests who visit get to experience Argentina’s secret answer to the Galapagos, as quoted by The New York Times, as they go on various excursions during their stay including bird-watching, sailing the islands, whale-watching, enjoying a picnic within close range to the penguins, hiking through the ancient Petrified Forest, swimming in the icy Patagonian sea, sailing to Malaspina Coast to discover the importance of the seaweed industry, and learning about the Argentinean gaucho culture by participating in their daily functions such as shearing, weaning, classification and marking of the sheep.
Try horseback riding around EOLO Patagonia
Before it became the tourist hub for everyone heading to the Perito Moreno Glacier, El Calafate thrived mostly on sheep farming. For those who are looking to get away from the buzzing town or perhaps just the stresses of city life in general, horseback riding from the luxurious property of EOLO Patagonia would probably be the most soothing type of retreat for the mind, body and soul. Saddling up, guests can head up to the idyllically secluded Cerro Frias, come close to the adorable hares that dart around the Pampas, watch the regal caracaras fly overhead, and simply soak up every essence of the Patagonian savannah scenes that is unlike anything else in the world.