Argentina4u Tour Reviews – Daytours4u http://www.daytours4u.com/en Tours, activities and travel tips in South America Fri, 15 Jun 2018 14:38:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.8 96832869 Argentina4u Review: Complete Summer Tour in Ushuaia http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/argentina4u-review-complete-summer-tour-in-ushuaia/ Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:00:33 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=9901 Read our review of the Complete Summer Tour in Ushuaia, an excursion that takes in Tierra del Fuego National Park, Playa Grande, and Martial Glacier.

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The appeal of Ushuaia lies in its wild natural beauty, the snow-capped mountains, legendary Beagle Channel, fields and forests, and of course, its fascinating history. Looking for a way to experience all these different aspects of this Patagonian city in a limited time, I was delighted to find the Complete Summer Tour in Ushuaia

This full-day excursion shows off the highlights of Ushuaia in summer (there is a different winter edition as well). It is divided into three parts: visiting Tierra del Fuego National Park, Playa Grande and Martial Glacier. Some of the best sights are combined, giving you a little taste of everything, plus a lot of nature and history.

Complete Summer Tour in UshuaiaThis Complete Summer Tour will take you to some of the highlights of Ushuaia / Image Source

TIERRA DEL FUEGO NATIONAL PARK

After being picked up at our hotel in a minibus, the tour’s first port of call was the Tierra del Fuego National Park. On arrival, all passengers had the choice to either take the End of the World Train or walk into the park and meet the group at the train station. We opted to walk, enjoying taking our time and admiring our surroundings on a peaceful stroll.

Once the whole group was reunited, the tour continued in the minibus, visiting various points of interest in the park. This included Ensenada Bay, where the southernmost Post Office in the world is, the end of the Pan American highway (and the end of the national Ruta 3), Lapataia Bay, and Lake Roca. There was also a stop at a small café to enjoy a snack and a coffee.

After spending the morning exploring the beautiful Tierra del Fuego National Park, we headed back into Ushuaia, where we were dropped off at a restaurant in the centre of Ushuaia. Here we were introduced to our new guide who would be accompanying us on the second half of the tour. But first, we tucked into a delicious lunch and a glass of wine to refuel for the rest of the day.

Complete Summer Tour in UshuaiaTake a walk through nature in Tierra del Fuego National Park / Photo by Daytours4u

PLAYA GRANDE

After lunch, our small group continued on with our excellent guide, Sebastian, to Playa Grande (literally translated as Big Beach). This quiet and scenic beach lies to the east of Ushuaia, on a curve in the bay, giving us great views of Ushuaia and the mountains.

More importantly, we spent our time here learning more about the Yaghan people (also called the Yámana), who lived on this coast. These indigenous hunter-gatherers have lived in Tierra del Fuego for many thousands of years. They lived naked until the Europeans arrived. Our guide explained more about how they lived here on the shores of the Beagle Channel, and about their encounters with missionary Thomas Bridges, who famously learned their language, and with the HMS Beagle, whose captain FitzRoy took a Yaghan man hostage, called him Jemmy Button and took him to England.

Complete Summer Tour in UshuaiaEnjoy a peaceful moment on Playa Grande / Photo by Daytours4u

MARTIAL GLACIER

After visiting Playa Grande, it was onwards to the final attraction: Martial Glacier. The minibus took us up a mountain road above Ushuaia. The rest of the way was done on foot. It was a steep climb up the mountain, but it took no longer than an hour, with incredible views over the Beagle Channel every time we stopped for a break. It wasn’t long before we were in snow, still covering the mountain in early summer.

We walked past the old ski resort that once operated here, and further up to the edge of the Martial Glacier. Because of the snow covering it, it is not possible to walk on it, but being up there in the surreal icy white landscape, with amazing views in every direction, it didn’t matter.

The walk back down was quick and easy, and before long we were being dropped off back at our hotel, satisfied at having seen three very different places in Ushuaia, including two that were off the main tourist routes, and having a much better historical, cultural and geographical understanding of the area.

Complete Summer Tour in UshuaiaWalking in the snow up to Martial Glacier / Photo by Bresileiros em Ushuaia

TIPS FOR THIS TOUR:

Entrance to Tierra del Fuego National Park is not included, as this has to be paid in person at the park entrance. The cost is AR $210 for foreigners, AR $130 for MERCOSUR residents, and AR $90 for national residents.

Tickets for the End of the World Train are not included in the tour price, and can be bought at the entrance for AR $600 (as of July 2016). Lunch is included in the tour, as well as a drink and coffee.

The walk up to Martial Glacier is steep, but doesn’t require a high level of fitness. Pack warm clothes for the walk, as the snow and ice make for chilly conditions at the top.

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For more great tours and activities in Ushuaia, visit Argentina4u!

By: Nicole Eberhard, travel writer and avid explorer, with a Masters in English Literature.

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Argentina4u Review: Beagle Channel Maritime Excursion http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/argentina4u-review-beagle-channel-maritime-excursion/ Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:00:31 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=9883 For travellers venturing into beautiful Tierra del Fuego, check out our review of the enchanting boat excursion that crosses the legendary Beagle Channel.

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You haven’t been to Ushuaia until you’ve navigated the Beagle Channel. This famous stretch of water separates the island of Tierra del Fuego from the smaller islands further south and provides a border between Argentina and Chile at the southernmost tip of the continent.

img_0064Explore this famous channel with a Beagle Channel Maritime Excursion / Photo by Daytours4u

It is a place of history and legend. This is where the indigenous Yaghan people settled, living naked and diving into the icy waters of the channel to catch fish. It’s also where the HMS Beagle, for which the channel was named, sailed to map the southern parts of the continent: captained by Robert FitzRoy, the boat carried Charles Darwin on the journey that inspired his book, The Voyage of the Beagle.

The channel comes with stories of exploration and discovery and is the entry point to understanding the history and geography of Ushuaia. The best way to experience it for yourself is with a Beagle Channel Maritime Excursion.

img_0044-2A comfortable catamaran will take you on a leisurely cruise of the channel / Photo by Daytours4u

BOAT CRUISE ON THE BEAGLE CHANNEL

The tour starts at the tourist port in Ushuaia, located a short walk from the main street in Ushuaia, and across from the tourist information office. Here you will have to pay a small port fee before boarding the catamaran. Inside, the modern catamaran is extremely comfortable. There are two levels, enclosed, with comfortable seats and tables. Downstairs, there is a small bar where you can get coffee, drinks, and snacks. There are also viewing decks outside on both levels, perfect for taking pictures.

We took this tour on a cold Spring afternoon, showing off the wild and remote nature of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. The catamaran set off, and a guide provided commentary in English and Spanish over the boat’s sound system, explaining what we were seeing. The first great sight was seeing Ushuaia from the channel as the boat sailed away. This is the best way to get a feel for the beauty of Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, tucked between the channel and a stunning snow-capped mountain range.

img_0078-2See the native Patagonian marine birds as you cruise past / Photo by Daytours4u

The boat then turned up the channel, venturing where such famous explorers had gone before. The first landmark in the channel we passed was the Island of Cormorants (Isla de los Cormoranes). From a distance, we could see the birds swooping and diving around the island. This rocky outcrop is home to hundreds of cormorants, as well as other Patagonian marine birds.

The next island in sight was the Isla de Lobos, or Sea Lion Island. Lounging on the island are many sea lions, catching a bit of sun, and moving into and out of the water. The boat’s captain moved the catamaran around the island at different angles, giving us plenty of time to observe and take photos of these amazing animals.

img_0103Observe the sea lions lounging on Isla de Lobos / Photo by Daytours4u

The final attraction on this cruise was to see one of the most emblematic sights of Ushuaia: the lighthouse in the channel, and the perfect postcard picture. The Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse is often incorrectly called the Lighthouse at the End of the World, after the Jules Verne novel. This is, in fact, another lighthouse. But this certainly doesn’t take away from the wow factor of seeing this famous lighthouse, a beacon in the Beagle Channel. Again, the boat stopped here and turned, allowing everyone time to get plenty of pictures.

Then the boat turned around and headed back west towards Ushuaia. We disembarked, armed with lots of interesting information about the channel and its wildlife, and with the satisfaction of having sailed these legendary waters.

beagle channel maritime excursionThe famous Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse is the highlight of the cruise / Photo by Daytours4u

TIPS FOR THIS TOUR:

While the catamaran provides a smooth ride, if the weather is bad and you’re prone to seasickness, take precautionary motion sickness medication to ensure you have a pleasant trip. Pack a warm jacket, a scarf, and a beanie. While the boat is warm and comfortable inside, the outside viewing deck can get very windy and cold out on the channel.

Take money with you to buy snacks or a drink on board the boat. This short tour takes approximately 3 hours and runs at 9am (only in summer) and 3pm, making it very convenient to schedule for your first or last day in Ushuaia, or another day when you only have half a day to spare.

Click here to book the Beagle Channel Maritime Excursion

By: Nicole Eberhard, travel writer and avid explorer, with a Masters in English Literature.

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Argentina4u Review: Hike to Emerald Lagoon http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/argentina4u-review-hike-emerald-lagoon-ushuaia/ Mon, 19 Sep 2016 09:00:22 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=9458 Get off the beaten track and explore one of Ushuaia's hidden gems with a Hike to Emerald Lagoon. Read our review of this wonderful adventure tour.

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While you may travel to Ushuaia to see such famous attractions as the Beagle Channel and Tierra del Fuego National Park, don’t overlook the southernmost city’s hidden jewels. One of those sparkling, hidden places of interest is Emerald Lagoon, or Laguna Esmeralda, tucked in a valley off the iconic Route 3, part of the Pan-American highway.

A great alternative to the traditional Beagle Channel sailing cruises and excursions to the National Park is a hike to Emerald Lagoon. It’s the perfect chance to immerse yourself in Ushuaia’s wild nature while a guide reveals more about your surroundings.

Emerald Lagoon UshuaiaEmerald Lagoon, one of Ushuaia’s hidden gems, can only be reached by hiking / Image Source

HIKING TOUR TO EMERALD LAGOON

After getting picked up at our hotel in the morning, we were transported about 20 minutes outside the city of Ushuaia to a log cabin just off Route 3. Here we sorted out our day packs, received our lunches, snacks and water bottles (all included). The footwear depends on the season – since we were walking just after some late spring snowfall, the boots would prove to be a very necessary addition.

Our small group of three then set off across the valley floor. The start of the walk is through peat bogs, which are great fun to walk through, but also very muddy! The hiking trail then winds through a forest and up a hill, past a river with many beaver dams. As we walked, our excellent guide, Daniel, talked to us about the landscapes we were walking through as well as the wider environment of Tierra del Fuego.

2Setting off on our hike, equipped with wellington boots / Photo by Daytours4u

After 2 hours of easy – and muddy – walking, we came to the end of the valley, where snowy mountains formed an amphitheatre around the sight that was to come. After a short uphill stroll, we came upon the glistening lake.

Emerald Lagoon truly earns its name as it sparkles emerald green in the sunlight. With the wind howling all of a sudden (a regular occurrence in southern Patagonia), we took shelter in a grove of trees to eat our lunch and admire the view of the lake.

The walk back is along a different trail. This is the common path and has a lot more foot traffic. It winds through a pretty forest, also home to the ever-present beavers. We broke away from the commercial track and headed back to the wood cabin where a warm fire had been lit and we had a chance to enjoy a cup of coffee in the cosy cabin to round off a great morning of hiking.

3Taking shelter from the wind in a grove of trees overlooking the lagoon / Photo by Daytours4u

TOUR DETAILS

The hike takes 4-5 hours in total, depending on your pace and number of stops. Daniel was very accommodating to our pace, and always happy to stop for pictures. Lunch and water are included. The lunch is substantial, including two sandwiches, an apple, a snack bar and an alfajor.

You should also be sure to bring appropriate clothes and footwear for the hike – it is normally muddy and wet, and it can get very cold and windy by the lagoon, even in summer.

The tour includes a transfer from hotels and back.

4Daniel guided us through landscapes of intoxicating beauty / Photo by Daytours4u

As independent and experienced hikers, we weren’t sure whether taking a guided tour was going to be worth it, but we definitely got our money’s worth. Not only was having a private guide who could answer all of our questions and point out aspects of the flora and fauna we wouldn’t have seen invaluable, he also guided us along a different route to other tours and the public hiking trail. This meant we were on our own in the wilderness for most of the route, making it a more magical experience.

This tour is definitely a must for anyone looking to enjoy some of Tierra del Fuego’s less explored landscapes. The easy walk makes it welcoming for everyone, even if you aren’t a big hiker.

Visit Argentina4u.com to book this wonderful Hike to Emerald Lagoon.

By: Nicole Eberhard, travel writer and avid explorer, with a Masters in English Literature.

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Argentina4u Review: 4×4 Off-Road Expedition in Ushuaia http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/argentina4u-review-4x4-off-road-expedition-ushuaia/ Tue, 13 Sep 2016 09:00:53 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=9481 Read our review of Argentina4u's 4x4 Off-Road Expedition in Ushuaia - everything you need to know about this adventure around the lakes of Tierra del Fuego.

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One of the must-do activities in Ushuaia is a 4×4 off-road expedition. It’s the best way to see the many tranquil lakes and forests that lie behind the mountains that cradle the city of Ushuaia, tucked away from the wild, untamed Beagle Channel. A 4×4 excursion gives you a chance to go where cars and buses don’t, putting you right in the middle of some of Tierra del Fuego’s most captivating landscapes.

4x4 off-road expeditionTake a 4×4 Off-Road Expedition in Ushuaia to see some amazing scenery / Photo by Daytours4u

I was lucky enough to do a 4×4 Nocturnal Excursion in Ushuaia to search for beavers. These little furry creatures were introduced to Tierra del Fuego in 1946, for the purpose of starting commercial fur trading. Things didn’t go quite to plan, as the trade never took off and the beavers had no natural predators in this alien habitat, meaning their population multiplied enormously. There are now estimated to be more than one-hundred-thousand beavers on the island and they have caused significant damage to the environment. This tour was a great way to see first-hand the impact they’ve had and to learn about the effort to conserve these unique ecosystems.

THE TRANSPORT

We were picked up at 5pm by our driver in a wonderfully comfortable and modern 4×4, specially adapted to be ultra comfortable even when the road got rough. We were joined by one other couple, which meant it was quite a personal tour with plenty of opportunities to ask the guide questions, and to stop and take pictures at our leisure. The excellent tour guide clearly had an intimate knowledge of how to handle both the all-terrain vehicle and the roads, giving us some thrills while at the same time making sure we were always safe.

4x4 off-road expeditionSome late spring snow made the scenery that much more spectacular / Photo by Daytours4u

THE TOUR ITINERARY

The tour started with the vehicle heading out of Ushuaia on Route 3. After making a stop at a lookout point over Carbajal Valley to get a feel for the geography and flora of Tierra del Fuego, it was time to head off-road. Snaking around the mountain, Lake Escondido came into sight. The glorious view was made even better by the fact that there was still some late-spring snow on the ground – perfect for a snow fight.

Then the adventure really started, with the 4×4 trail heading down towards the lake. The road had all the bumps, declines and thrills you want in a 4×4 tour. Reaching the bottom of the mountain, we stopped alongside Lake Escondido to enjoy a stroll and take in the peaceful scenery.

Then it was onwards to Lake Fagnano. This enormous lake stretches from east to west for 98 km; so enormous that a small part of it belongs to Chile. We drove along its southern edge, at times driving right into the lake, before heading into the forest.

4x4 off-road expeditionLooking down on Lake Escondido before the real off-road trails begin / Photo by Daytours4u

As dusk fell, it was time to find some beavers. We parked near one of the beaver dams in the forest, making our way stealthily from the car through the forest. Beavers are notoriously hard to spot – even though the damage they wreak is impossible to miss. We weren’t disappointed. Our guide’s hawk eyes spotted one swimming out of its nest.

We then moved on to a second spot where a number of beaver dams had been built into the river. With no beavers to be seen, this time, our guide told us more about the habits of the beavers, showing us some of their handiwork in sawing down trees with their teeth, and pointing out the various ways they damage this habitat.

After getting our beaver fix, and enjoying the quiet evening walk through the forest, we headed back to Lake Fagnano. In a cosy lakeside cabin, the guide lit a very welcome fire as the sun set, and we warmed up inside where we enjoyed a glass of wine and a picada (cheese and meat platter). This was a superb way to end the tour before being driven back to our hotel in Ushuaia.

4Lake Fagnano in the fading evening light / Photo by Daytours4u

This Nocturnal 4×4 Off-Road Expedition in Ushuaia was the perfect way to explore the lakes of Tierra del Fuego. The added thrill of the 4×4 and learning about the environment and conservation in this southern region of Patagonia made it that extra bit special.

Visit Argentina4u to book a 4×4 Off-Road Expedition and other tours in Ushuaia.

** Note: The tour offered on our site is a daytime tour and is very similar to the above-described tour. This nocturnal tour was taken with Brasileiros em Ushuaia and is only available in Portuguese. To book this specific tour, please contact us at info@argentina4u.com.

By: Nicole Eberhard, travel writer and avid explorer, with a Masters in English Literature.

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Argentina4u Review: Mini-Trekking Perito Moreno http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/argentina4u-review-mini-trekking-perito-moreno/ Tue, 06 Sep 2016 17:00:24 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=9437 Break out the crampons and tap into your adventurous side – the Mini-trekking Perito Moreno Tour is an unforgettable experience. Read our review here.

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The main reason to visit El Calafate in the south of Argentina is Perito Moreno Glacier, the country’s most famous attraction. Part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, one of the world’s biggest citadels of ice, Perito Moreno is just one of the glaciers in the Los Glaciares National Park. However, it is the most astonishing because its location makes it easy to view and because it is possible to trek across the ice itself.

The best way to see this impressive glacier is with a Mini-trekking Perito Moreno Tour. More exciting than a standard tour to the glacier which takes you to the walkways overlooking the ice, or the more challenging Big Ice Trekking Tour, this Mini-trekking adventure is the perfect option to see all the best aspects of Perito Moreno in one day.

Mini-trekking Perito MorenoPerito Moreno sits in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field / Photo by Daytours4u

VIEWING PERITO MORENO GLACIER

After being picked up at our hotel, the bus took us west of El Calafate to the Los Glaciares National Park, a journey of about one hour. Along the way, the guide explained how the tour will work and gave us plenty of information about the park and the glaciers, as well as the history and environment of the region. The lovely tour guide spoke in both Spanish and English. I was pleased to note (as a Spanish and English speaker) that the information conveyed in both languages was the same.

While the tour itinerary may vary depending on the day, our tour started at the viewing trails of the glacier. After stopping at the first lookout point along the road to catch our initial glimpse of the glacier, we were dropped off at the trails. The guide explained the different routes and gave us her recommendations and 2 hours of free time to explore.

Mini-trekking Perito MorenoThe trails and decks give you views of the glacier from multiple angles / Photo by Daytours4u

The park is impressively laid out with trails and decks consisting of four distinct paths, allowing visitors to see the glacier from a number of angles and ranges. We walked the main yellow path as well as the red path, taking us to the glacier’s north face. There are no words or pictures that can truly do justice to the experience of seeing the Perito Moreno Glacier in person. More than just seeing its immense size and beauty, what really makes the experience is hearing the sounds it makes.

The glacier moves an average of 2 metres per day, meaning it is in constant motion. As it slides forward, moving and melting, chunks of the glacier are always breaking off; a process known as calving. You can hear the glacier making thunderous noises as it moves, and if you’re lucky, you can see a front piece break off into the water with a crashing splash.

The glacier’s unique positioning also means that when it moves forward, it meets the land mass on which the viewing decks are situated. This effectively closes off the channel between Lake Argentino and its southern branch. After a period of time, this closed off section will break through in what is called a rupture, a phenomenon that happens every three or four years.

Mini-trekking Perito MorenoThe front wall of the glacier is one of the intoxicating vistas in the world / Photo by Daytours4u

MINI-TREKKING PERITO MORENO

After two hours on the decks, we headed back to the bus which took us to a port on the southern branch of the lake. We boarded a boat which took us past the southern wall of the glacier to the other side of the lake.

We were then broken up into smaller groups according to language. After getting a chance to drop off unnecessary belongings in a secure cabin and picking up some gloves (an essential), we started walking through the forest. At a clearing, the guide stopped to give us more information about the glacier. After the talk, it was onwards to have our crampons fitted and a short safety briefing and a demonstration of how to walk using the crampons. Then the mini-trekking adventure began.

Mini-trekking Perito MorenoStrapping on crampons and traversing the glacier is an amazing experience / Photo by Daytours4u

It was a bit nerve wrecking walking on the ice at first as we learnt to trust the crampons. Besides our main guide, a second guide walked alongside to check that everyone was walking correctly and to see if any help was needed. After ascending the first icy hill and judging the group’s level, we were taken on an alternative path, traversing the ice with its crevices and rivers.

After about one and a half hours of adventuring across the huge white and blue mass, we descended a bit to a great surprise: whiskey and alfajores on the ice! We were served the whiskey on the rocks, using ice from the glacier. It was a special way to end the trek, topping off a great day.

Mini-trekking Perito MorenoThe sapphire-tinted Perito Moreno / Photo by Daytours4u

Leaving the ice, we removed our crampons and went back along the trail through the forest. After a short wait, and a chance to take some more photos of the glacier, we were back on the boat, where the bus was waiting on the other side to take us back to our hotel.

TOP TIPS FOR THIS TOUR:

Bring your own food. There is an opportunity to eat in the snack bar in the park, but it is not cheap.

Don’t forget sunscreen and sunglasses! The ice is extremely bright and you will need both.

Dress appropriately – the wind on the glacier is cold. A warm jacket, hat, and gloves are essential.

You don’t have to be particularly fit to do this tour, although it is tiring walking with the crampons. The walk on the glacier is between 1 and a half and 2 hours and traverses many small hills and valleys on the glacier.

Mini-trekking Perito MorenoAfter the trek and boat ride, you’ll truly appreciate the size of Perito Moreno / Photo by Daytours4u

The Mini-trekking Perito Moreno Tour truly is the best way to fully appreciate the immensity of the glacier. It combines ample time on the viewing decks, a boat ride and a trek across the glacier. It was the certainly the highlight of my travels in Patagonia!

Click here to book the Mini-trekking Perito Moreno Tour

By: Nicole Eberhard, travel writer and avid explorer, with a Masters in English Literature.

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Argentina4u Review: Snorkeling with Sea Lions http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/argentina4u-review-snorkeling-with-sea-lions/ Mon, 23 Nov 2015 18:28:01 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=8676 Puerto Madryn is a very special destination in Argentina. As the gateway to Península Valdés, visitors here can enjoy stunning landscapes and observe whales, penguins, porpoises, and sea lions in their natural habitat. It is a place where you can interact directly with the animals, learn about their surroundings, and practice an approach to tourism [...]

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Puerto Madryn is a very special destination in Argentina. As the gateway to Península Valdés, visitors here can enjoy stunning landscapes and observe whales, penguins, porpoises, and sea lions in their natural habitat. It is a place where you can interact directly with the animals, learn about their surroundings, and practice an approach to tourism that prioritises environmental protection and preservation above all else.

Whatever you desire from your trip to eastern Patagonia, a dive with sea lions promises to be a truly magical and unforgettable experience. On offer throughout the year in Puerto Madryn, our Snorkeling with Sea Lions adventure affords you the opportunity to swim and play with these lively, friendly, and cheekily charming marine animals.

Snorkeling with Sea Lions Tips

• On the day you go snorkeling, take on board a hearty breakfast packed with protein and carbs, for you will be sure to spend a great deal of energy in the water.

• If you are prone to seasickness, we recommend taking some anti-nausea medication beforehand.

• All snorkeling equipment is included and you will be accompanied by two expert guides (one will stay on the boat and the other will be in the water with you at all times).

• Please be patient when waiting for the animals to approach and remember that you are in their natural environment. Respect their habitat and follow the guides instructions.

• Sea lions are docile animals and present no danger. This activity is also suitable for children.

. . .

You can book this Snorkeling with Sea Lions tour here.

By Luiza Cavalcante / Translated by Simon Hall / Video Olimpio Brunetto

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Argentina4u Review: Punta Loma Tour with Sea Lions http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/review-punta-loma-tour/ Mon, 02 Nov 2015 10:00:23 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=8448 A short distance from Puerto Madryn is an inlet tucked into the dramatic Patagonian cliffs where a colony of sea lions lives. South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens) are sea mammals that can weigh up to 350 kg, and the males are distinguished by a lionesque mane. These marine animals are common throughout southern South America’s coasts, but [...]

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A short distance from Puerto Madryn is an inlet tucked into the dramatic Patagonian cliffs where a colony of sea lions lives. South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens) are sea mammals that can weigh up to 350 kg, and the males are distinguished by a lionesque mane. These marine animals are common throughout southern South America’s coasts, but this colony in the Punta Loma Nature Reserve is undoubtedly one of the best places to see them. You can visit them here with a Punta Loma Tour.

 

This Punta Loma Tour takes you on a 2.5 hour excursion from Puerto Madryn to the Nature Reserve, 17 km southwest of the city. After entering the protected Punta Loma Nature Reserve, pay the entrance fee (currently AR$ 50, not included in the tour), and take a walk through the Patagonian vegetation, where you’ll learn a bit more about the local flora and its importance for the environment here, including its role in the flavour of the famous Patagonian lamb! You’ll walk to two lookout points where you have amazing views of the sea lion colony on the beach and waters below. Listen to the sounds they make, and watch them interact with each other, swim out to sea and soak up the sun. It’s an amazing opportunity to observe these large marine animals.

Sea Lion Watching Tips:

  • This tour can be taken at any time of the year. If you wish to see sea lion pups, the best time is between December and February.
  • This activity is short and is perfect for the day of your flight. Since the tour departs according to the tides for the maximum viewing experience, there is a possibility to be picked up at the airport in order to fit the tour into your schedule and ensure the best activity possible.
  • Keep your eyes open for birds and other wildlife in the reserve and in the bay.
  • This is a protected area that takes conservation seriously. Make sure you follow your guide’s instructions and leave the environment as you find it.
  • As the viewpoints are on an exposed cliff, it can get very windy and chilly. Dress warmly and bring a wind jacket.

 

Book this Punta Loma Tour now!

Video by: Olimpio Brunetto / Words by: Nicole Eberhard

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Argentina4u Review: Dolphin Watching Tour http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/review-dolphin-watching-tour/ Tue, 06 Oct 2015 18:16:45 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=8234 Don’t miss the chance to see a unique and playful dolphin species on a Dolphin Watching Cruise in Puerto Madryn. The black and white Commerson’s dolphin can only be found off the coast of southern Argentina and Chile and around one remote island in the Indian Ocean. The distinctive markings of these dolphins have earned them [...]

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Don’t miss the chance to see a unique and playful dolphin species on a Dolphin Watching Cruise in Puerto Madryn. The black and white Commerson’s dolphin can only be found off the coast of southern Argentina and Chile and around one remote island in the Indian Ocean. The distinctive markings of these dolphins have earned them a number of nicknames including the panda dolphin, skunk dolphin or piebald dolphin. They’re a highly active species, with a penchant for swimming upside down, making them a lot of fun to spot on this tour.

This dolphin watching tour departs from from Puerto Madryn, travelling south to the Welsh town of Rawson. At Playa Union (Union Beach), put on a life jacket and climb aboard a speed boat. Journey out to sea where you’ll spot some sea lions alongs the way. Once the boat picks up speed, keep your eye out for the black and white sea creatures darting out of the wake and racing the boat. Sometimes two boats will go out at the same time to give travellers a better view of the dolphins playing in the wake of the other boat.  The boat ride lasts between one and one and a half hours.

Recommendations for dolphin watching:

  • The dolphin watching tour can be enjoyed year round.
  • As this is a boat tour, we recommend taking medication if you are prone to motion sickness.
  • It gets cold out on the water so take a warm jacket with you. Don’t forget sunscreen and sunglasses to protect against the glare of the sun.
  • This tour includes a stop in Trelew and may occasionally be combined with a Welsh Tea Ceremony in the nearby Welsh towns.
  • During penguin season, there is a high probability of seeing penguins during this tour.
  • Lookout for sea lions during the tour as well.
  • Taking photographs of the dolphins is not easy. This is because the dolphins more very fast, making it difficult to get good pictures. We recommend taking the time to enjoy the moment and the sight of the dolphins darting through the water, without stressing about getting the perfect picture.

Book this Dolphin Watching Tour

By: Nicole Eberhard / Video by Olimpio Brunetto

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Argentina4u Review: Peninsula Valdes Tour with Whale Watching http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/review-peninsula-valdes-tour/ Thu, 24 Sep 2015 13:44:34 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=8067 When planning your trip to Patagonia, don’t forget to add a Peninsula Valdes Tour and Whale Watching trip to your travel itinerary. Within Peninsula Valdes, situated 100 km from the city of Puerto Madryn, is Puerto Pirámides. This is the launching point for whale watching boat rides to see this giant and gentle ocean creatures. [...]

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When planning your trip to Patagonia, don’t forget to add a Peninsula Valdes Tour and Whale Watching trip to your travel itinerary. Within Peninsula Valdes, situated 100 km from the city of Puerto Madryn, is Puerto Pirámides. This is the launching point for whale watching boat rides to see this giant and gentle ocean creatures. This region attracts large numbers of Southern Right Whales which you can observe close to the boat, jumping and waving their tails – an exciting and special experience.

To see more of the Patagonian fauna, head to Punta Delgada, a point in the peninsula with a great view of the sea, as well as a delicious restaurant where you can enjoy succulent lamb or seafood – two specialities of the region. From here, you can visit a colony of elephant seals on the beach. Remember that Puerto Madryn is the only place where you can see elephant seals on the continent, rather than on an island.

The most exciting part of visiting Puerto Madryn is the strong environmental awareness of the guides and locals. Taking a Peninsula Valdes and Whale Watching Tour is a unique experience that changes the way we think about the species and their preservation, in a thought-provoking, interesting and enjoyable way.

Recommendations for the Whale Watching:

  • If you’re sensitive to the movement of the boat, it’s a good idea to take motion-sickness or anti-nausea medication.
  • Note that the whale watching tour usually departs in a semi-rigid boat, unless weather conditions call for a larger boat.
  • Understand that you are in the natural habitat of the whales while waiting for them to approach. Keep silent to respect their environment. Whales will not approach a noisy boat.
  • Dress warmly. A hat, gloves and winter coat are a good idea. The wind is consistent, cold and very dry.
  • The whale watching boat ride is an optional add-on to the Peninsula Valdes tour. It really is a must-do activity in Puerto Madryn, and we highly recommend choosing this option.
  • This activity is highly recommended for children.
  • Enjoy the moment. The desire to record every moment with your camera is strong, but try not to be distracted looking for the perfect shot. Take a minute to just appreciate the experience and this great spectacle of nature.

 

The semi-rigid boat used for whale watching in Puerto Madryn

The whale watching tour usually uses semi-rigid boats like this one / Source

Book this Peninsula Valdes Tour

By: Luiza Cavalcante / Video by Olimpio Brunetto 

 

 

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Argentina4u Review: Salinas Grandes Day Tour http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/salinas-grandes-day-tour/ Thu, 17 Sep 2015 15:51:11 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=7799 If Northern Argentina is on your travel itinerary (and it should be), a Salinas Grandes Day Tour is sure to be the high point of you holiday. This comprehensive tour traversing Salta and Jujuy will not only allow you to capture stunning photos of the Andean mountain and desert landscapes, but will also introduce you [...]

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If Northern Argentina is on your travel itinerary (and it should be), a Salinas Grandes Day Tour is sure to be the high point of you holiday. This comprehensive tour traversing Salta and Jujuy will not only allow you to capture stunning photos of the Andean mountain and desert landscapes, but will also introduce you to the region’s deep traditions, culture and kindness.

A road through the landscapes of Northern Argentina

Hit the road on this Salinas Grandes Day Tour / Credit: Luiza Cavalcante

It’s also worth noting that this region is one of the most affordable places to visit in Argentina, especially compared to Southern Argentina, as well as Buenos Aires. If you’re looking for great value for your money or to stretch your budget, Salta should definitely be on your radar.

Ruins of Tastil & El Alfarcito

This full day tour from Salta starts early in the morning from the city of Salta. Between seven and eight in the monring, a shuttle service picked us up at our accommodation. Equipped with water bottles, sunscreen, sunglasses and dressed in comfortable clothing – as was recommended to us when booking – we boarded the van to embark on an amazing trip.

Important: This Salinas Grandes Day Tour, also known as Vuelta Por Las Alturas, has a duration of approximately 14 hours. We recommend following the guide’s advice to make the most of this experience, and to prepare yourself for a long, but unforgettable day.

Following the road that goes the same route as the Tren de las Nubes (Train to the Clouds), the first stop was the Tastil Ruins. Here we found the first cardones (a cactus typical of the Andean region) in a desert surrounded by pastel-coloured mountains that was a nice preview of what was to come.

Cacti in the dessert in Salta

These cacti litter the landscape of Northern Argentina / Credit: Luiza Cavalcante

Another stop before lunch was a pueblito (small town) called El Afarcito. An interesting aura surrounds this little village. Our guide told us the story of a local priest, known as Padre Chifri, who recently passed away. Chifri was the man behind the significant social work in this town. After this brief stop in El Alfarcito, we carried on to visit another village before stopping for lunch.

San Antonio de los Cobres and Llama Meat

Reaching San Antonio de los Cobres, it was time to sample a typical delicacy of the region: the exotic llama meat. Llama is like “cattle” in this region and is a typical meat to find in local dishes. Our guide recommended trying the meat, as it is tender and fatty. The lentil stew with llama meat I tried was a dish I’ll never forget – the guide was definitely right! I even got some empanadas with llama meat filling to take with me for the rest of the tour. Note that the cost of the meal is not included in the tour price.

A church in San Antonio de los Cobres

The architecture in San Antonio de los Cobres has gems like the San Antonio de Padua Parish / Credit: Luiza Cavalcante

Leaving the restaurant, some locals were selling miniature crocheted llamas. They were beautifully and delicately made, and are the perfect souvenir for yourself or as gift.

Salinas Grandes: The Salt Flats

The next stop was the most awaited moment of our tour. The photos we’d seen beforehand couldn’t prepare us for the sight of the salt flats located in the Puna de Atacama (Atacama Plateau). Stretching for approximately 200 km², a vast white desert awaits. You will need sunglasses and sunscreen, as the sunlight illuminated off the ground is intense!

The vast white salt flats of Salinas Grandes

The salt flats provide endless opportunities for creative photography / Credit: Luiza Cavalcante

The guide suggested that we take off our shoes, put our feet in the salt water and taste a little piece of this salty landscape. Next to the salt desert, an abandoned construction drew our attention. This ruin was an old restaurant that failed and was taken over by the salt, turning it into another attraction in Salinas Grandes where you can buy unique souvenirs made from salt.

Purmamarca and the Hill of 7 Colours

After leaving the great white salt flats of Argentina, our last stop, but definitely not the least impressive, was the town of Purmamarca. Located 65 km from the capital of Jujuy, this place is special both during the day, where you can see the incredible Cerro de los Siete Colores (The Hill of Seven Colours), and at night where the bar-restaurant Entre Amigos is the perfect spot to enjoy Chacarera, a local genre of folk music and dance. We arrived to the town in the late afternoon, and strolled through the main crafts fair that takes place every day in the town square.

The colourful Hill of 7 Colours

The Cerro de los Siete Colores is an iconic sight in Northern Argentina / Credit: Luiza Cavalcante

The Salinas Grandes Tour goes from Purmamarca back to Salta, where you will be dropped off at your accommodation. However, we decided to stay on in Purmamarca for an evening so that we could explore some of the other little towns in the area. For a small town with no more than 20 blocks, Purmamarca has a number of hostels to stay in and an interesting number of restaurants. We spent a pleasant evening here in this small town surrounded by dramatic mountains.

Tips for traveling through Northern Argentina:

  • If you have the time, it is worth renting a car in one of the capitals (Salta or Jujuy), which will allow you to explore all the little towns without worrying about the confusing bus schedules.
  • Whether you’re travelling with friends, as a couple or solo, a hostel in this part of the country is a good place to stay. Despite the fact that the towns are small and lack complete tourist infrastructure, they all have good, comfortable and great-value lodging options.
  • Don’t travel through the deserts and mountains alone. This part of the country doesn’t attract the same numbers of people as the South, and there are areas that are quite isolated. While it isn’t a particularly dangerous region, be cautious and travel with a group or with a tour.

Don’t miss the incredible other-worldly landscapes of Northern Argentina. Be inspired by one of the most impressive places in South America with Argentina4u!

Click here to book this Tour to Salinas Grandes

By: Luiza Cavalcante | Adapted by Nicole Eberhard

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