Nature & Adventure – Daytours4u http://www.daytours4u.com/en Tours, activities and travel tips in South America Tue, 09 Oct 2018 13:59:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.8 96832869 10 Reasons to Visit Puerto Madryn http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/reasons-to-visit-puerto-madryn/ Wed, 08 Aug 2018 19:00:35 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=7035 Whale watching is an incredible experience for travellers from all over the world, young and old, who want a closer look at these gentle giants of the ocean. One of the best places in the world to see whales is on the coast of Puerto Madryn, Argentina. Thanks to the large whale numbers and influx [...]

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Whale watching is an incredible experience for travellers from all over the world, young and old, who want a closer look at these gentle giants of the ocean. One of the best places in the world to see whales is on the coast of Puerto Madryn, Argentina. Thanks to the large whale numbers and influx of tourists, Puerto Madryn has developed a range of high quality tourism services for visitors, while keeping the focus on their wildlife and conservation. But whales aren’t the only reason why you should visit Puerto Madryn. There are a number of other exciting activities on offer in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Here are 10 reasons to include it in your itinerary:

Looking down at a Southern Right Whale in the water

See the incredible Southern Right Whale in Puerto Madryn / Source

1. Go Whale Watching

Between May and December, the Southern Right Whales (Eubalaena australis) migrate to the coast of Puerto Madryn. The experience of approaching these curious mammals governing the Atlantic Ocean is indescribable. There are a number of whale watching tours which take you sightseeing by boat along with great guides for an enriching experience that allows you to connect with the whales in a non-invasive environment. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn more about marine life and the importance of environmental conservation.

Tip: Besides a traditional whale watching tour in a boat, you can also see whales straight from the beach with a tour to El Doradillo Beach, or by kayaking in Golfo de San José.

A gull and a sea lion relaxing on a rock in Peninsula Valdes

Peninsula Valdes receives thousands of migratory animals / Source

2. See a variety of wildlife at Peninsula Valdes

Peninsula Valdes is one of the most important nature reserves in the Southern Hemisphere and one of nine World Heritage sites in Argentina. This peninsula’s 3,625 km² acts as a refuge for many endangered species. In its bays, beaches, cliffs and steppes you can find whales, orcas, penguins, elephant seals, sea lions, dolphins, porpoises, guanacos, rheas and hundreds of migratory birds. The best time to visit the reserve is between September and March for the greatest concentration of animals.

Tip: Book a night at one of the hotels located inside the reserve.

A group heading out to the boat to snorkel

A group heading out to sea to snorkel with sea lions / Photo: Daytours4u

3. Snorkel with Sea Lions at Punta Loma

An opportunity like no other, don’t miss this chance to snorkel with sea lions. You don’t need to be able to swim well, as the activity involves floating on the surface. You’ll be given a wetsuit or a dry suit depending on the conditions, and will snorkel in the shallow waters as these curious and playful sea creatures come up to greet you. It’s a definite must-do activity for the adventurous traveller.

Tip: Puerto Madryn is the scuba diving capital of Argentina, so if you have your scuba diving certificate, you can opt to do this tour as a dive.

A penguin

See penguins up close in Punta Tombo / Source

4. Visit the Penguin Colony at Punta Tombo

Every year, the Punta Tombo Nature Reserve, 170km South of Puerto Madryn, receives nearly 800,000 Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus). These fascinating birds come here to have their young, and always come back to the same spot to build their nests. The first to arrive are the males who come in late August to build the nest, while the females arrive in early October to lay their eggs. At the end of April you can see them preparing their babies for life in the ocean before they start their journey back to the Antarctic in march. Seeing this cute black and white creatures and hearing their raucous singing is a memorable experience.

Tip: While you can take a tour to Punta Tombo between September and March, the best month to visit is October.

The Ecocentro perched on the coast of Puerto Madryn

Visit the excellent Ecocentro to learn more about this unique environment / Source

5. Learn about the marine environment at Ecocentro Mar Patagonia

The Eco Centre of Puerto Madryn is the perfect complement to your wildlife watching in the region. The interactive museum, opened 25 yeas ago, invites children and adults to learn about wildlife in Chubut’s oceans. The museum, featuring a number of exhibits, was awarded the Best Museum of the Year Award in 2006 by Magazine Places, showing that conversation and environmental education can be fun and interesting. Plus, the museum is situated on the cliffs overlooking the bay, with beautiful views over Puerto Madryn’s coast.

Tip: The museum has a great shop to pick up souvenirs.

Welsh descendants carrying flags in Puerto Madryn

The first Welsh settlers arrived on the Mimosa led by Captain Love Jones Parry / Source

6. Get to know the Welsh Community

Puerto Madryn and it’s surrounding towns, Rawson, Trelew and Gaiman, were the main settlements built by the Welsh community who arrived in this region 150 years ago. After being subject to religious persecution in Great Britain, they rebuilt their lives under the harsh conditions of Patagonia. One remarkable feature of the Welsh was their peaceful coexistence with the Tehuelche indigenous people. They also brought their culture and traditions to this region, creating a lasting impact on this part of Argentina.

Tip: It’s worth setting aside a few hours to tour these Welsh towns and learn about their history and culture. Trelew also boasts a dinosaur museum, the Museo Paleontólogico Egidio Feruglio.

Cups ready to tea in a Welsh tea house

Be sure to experience a Welsh tea ceremony in Gaiman / Source

7. Enjoy a tea ceremony at a Welsh tea house in Gaiman

Among the most cherished customs that the Welsh brought to Argentina, the traditional teahouses stand out. Gaiman is a popular spot to enjoy a proper tea ceremony accompanied by cakes and sweet treats. A delicacy that shouldn’t be missed in this ceremony is Cacen ddu (Welsh black cake), a delicious sweet bread typical of Wales. Be sure to also try the Chubut cheese, made with a recipe dating back to the early years of the Welsh colony.

Tip: You won’t be allowed to share a tea tasting, despite the large amount of food, so go hungry!

An old picture of people gathered for the Eisteddfod

One of the earliest Eisteddfod’s held in Patagonia, in 1880 / Source

8. Have a cultural experience at Eisteddfod

Another custom the Welsh brought to this region is the Eisteddfod. This is a competitive festival of poetry and music. The best druids (dryw) of the region meet each year to share (and compete) the beautiful myths and stories of their culture, recited in the Welsh language and also in Spanish. The first Eisteddfod took place in Rawson in 1865, and continues today, taking place in Puerto Madryn during August.

A lamb stew

Try the delicious Patagonian lamb in a traditional dish like cawl / Source

9. Eat delicious Patagonian Lamb

While you may associate Puerto Madryn with fresh seafood (of which there is plenty in abundance), make sure you also taste the delicious Patagonian lamb. The secret to this highlight of Patagonian cuisine is the wild oregano and other species that the lambs feed on in the Patagonian steppe. You can eat it gaucho style, grilled on a stake over a wood fire giving it a smoky flavour.

Tip: Add mint sauce to your lamb, or enjoy it as part of a local dish such as stew (or cawl), or in a shepherd’s pie.

A view of the Patagonian pampas

The view on the way to Southern Patagonian Coastal Marine Park / Source

10. Attend the National Salmon Festival in Camarones

Each February, hundreds of fishing experts and fans travel 250 km south of Trelew to the town of Camarones to celebrate the Festival Nacional de Salmón. Fishing competitions are held, while the foodies can sit around and enjoy the best seafood in the region. Other attractions in Camarones are the Parque Marino Costero Patagonia Austral (Southern Patagonian Coastal Marine Park) and the Reserva Faunistica provinvial Cabo Dos Bahías (Cabo Dos Bahías Provincial Wildlife Reserve). These two nature reserves were developed to conserve the habitat of the wild animals living on the coasts of the southern hemisphere.

Tip: Although there are no regular tours to this area, you can rent a 4×4 in Puerto Madryn to drive through these stunning landscapes.

With so many reasons to visit Puerto Madryn, don’t hesitate to include it in your itinerary for Argentina. With plentiful wildlife and great oceanic nature reserves, it’s sure to be an unforgettable holiday!

Book tours in Puerto Madryn

By: Daytours4u’s Content Team

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5 Alternative Things to Do in Iguazu beyond the Falls http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/things-to-do-in-iguazu-beyond-the-falls/ Wed, 23 Aug 2017 15:00:20 +0000 http://argentina4u.com/blog/en/?p=2071 When we mention ‘Iguazu’ your mind will no doubt turn instantly to the Iguazu Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a major tourist attraction here in Argentina. However, it would be a shame to come all the way to this part of the country without experiencing what else Iguazu has [...]

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When we mention ‘Iguazu’ your mind will no doubt turn instantly to the Iguazu Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a major tourist attraction here in Argentina. However, it would be a shame to come all the way to this part of the country without experiencing what else Iguazu has to offer. Below are a few suggestions of things to do in Iguazu, so you can ensure that you truly make the most of your stay there.


1. San Ignacio Jesuit Ruins

things to do in Iguazu

Discover the Jesuit Ruins of San Ignacio in Misiones during your stay at Iguazú. Flickr: Hugo Pardo Kuklinski

Inside the jungles of Misiones is a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the San Ignacio Ruins. Take a tour of this site to travel back in Argentina’s history to the arrival of the Spanish and the Jesuit missionaries. Explore the red sandstone ruins of the mission site established in 1632, designed by the Jesuits and Guarani natives.

  • Location: Ruta 12, 240 kms from Puerto Iguazu
  • Days & Hours: Mondays, Wednesday and Saturdays at 7am

2. Visiting the Guarani Community

things to do in Iguazu

Nature lovers will obviously love this option, but if you are into history and culture, take into account that this is a great opportunity to learn more about the Guaraní culture: Picture: Argentina4u

If you are looking for things to do in Iguazú, you can also visit the park as you never have: go sightseeing through the wilderness of Misiones with this Guaraní Community Tour. This ecological option will take you to the Triple Frontiers and the eco-friendly park La Aripuca, amongst other things. Nature lovers will obviously love this option, but if you are into history and culture, take into account that this is a great opportunity to learn more about the Guaraní culture!

Another option if you are interested in the ancient roots and like to spend some quality outdoors time in the jungle while contributing to the community is a Sustainable Tour in Misiones to one of the few Guaraní communities that remain in the zone. This Guarani community visit that will enable you to go deep inside the rainforest and to be introduced to the Yriapú jungle to visit a reservoir inhabited by a guarani Indian community of the region. An expert guide and interpreter will be providing all the information about their culture, habits, and beliefs. Definitely the most authentic adventure you can live in Iguazú!

  • Days & Hours: Every day. Time to be determined according to the tour you choose.

3. The Argentine Experience

things to do in Iguazú

Learn how to cook the Argentinian way with the Argentine experience! Picture: The Argentine Experience

If you wish to enjoy a fun gastronomic experience in Iguazú, the Argentine Experience is just what you need! In this restaurant, you will be able to discover the Argentinian gastronomy and to participate in a great Wine Cocktail Experience. You will be able to learn how to close your own empanadas and to prepare your own mate. This is definitely a great option if you are looking for things to do at night after having visited the park!

  • Location: Avenida Brasil 57, Puerto Iguazú
  • Days & Hours: Monday to Saturday

4. Moconá Falls

things to do in Iguazu

Argentina on the right, Brazil on the left of the rainbow. Flickr: Rachel Hugh

The famous Igauzu Falls aren’t the only waterfalls in the area. 35 km from Puerto Iguazu is the town of Puerto Paraíso. From here you can take a boat ride along the Rio Uruguay, inside the Moconá Provincial Park where you’ll get to see these amazing falls that form the boundary with Brazil. The falls run for 3km and are unique in that rather than falling down, they effectively fall perpendicular into the river alongside, the only falls in the world to do so. The name aptly means “to swallow everything” in Guarani. You can visit with a tour to Moconá Falls.

  • Location: Iguazu National Park
  • Days & Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7am

5. Rafain Steakhouse Dinner Show

things to do in iguazu

Enjoy a true South American show at Igazú with the Rafain Steakhouse Dinner Show. Picture: Rafain

If you are wondering what to in Iguazú at night, an excellent option located on the Brazilian side is the Rafain Steakhouse Dinner Show. You will be able to enjoy a very fun dance show inspired by the rhythms and sounds of Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pampas. Discover Paraguayan costumes, the Argentinian Tango, the Mexican danzón, the Capoeira and much more as you enjoy an exquisite buffet. This way, you will be able to learn more about the South American culture as you prepare to (re)discover the amazing waterfalls of Iguazú.

  • Location: Av. das Cataratas, 1749 – Jardim Iguacu, Foz do Iguaçu. Brazilian side
  • Days & Hours: Monday to Saturday from 7:30 pm.

There are many more things to do when visiting Iguazu. For more information on all our Iguazu tours and activities, head to our website.


Written by: Daytours4u content team 

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Things to Do in Puerto Madryn [Infographic] http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/things-to-do-in-puerto-madryn-infographic/ Wed, 28 Jun 2017 14:00:22 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=8127 There are many reasons to visit Puerto Madryn – whale watching, walking with penguins, snorkeling with sea lions, dinosaur skeletons, a unique Welsh heritage, and the vast Patagonian landscapes. If you enjoy immersing yourself in nature, here is a list of things to do in Puerto Madryn and places to visit to arrange your travel itinerary. We’ve put [...]

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There are many reasons to visit Puerto Madryn – whale watching, walking with penguins, snorkeling with sea lions, dinosaur skeletons, a unique Welsh heritage, and the vast Patagonian landscapes. If you enjoy immersing yourself in nature, here is a list of things to do in Puerto Madryn and places to visit to arrange your travel itinerary.

We’ve put together an infographic to help you plan your travels to this part of Patagonia. Our guide to the things to do in Puerto Madryn will show you where to go to see different animals and what activities are available. Check it out and start putting together your perfect vacation in Argentina!

Things to do in Puerto Madryn – Infographic

Things to do in Puerto Madryn - Infographic

From whale watching tours, and exploring Peninsula Valdes, to snorkelling with sea lions and tucking into a traditional Welsh tea ceremony in one of Chubut’s Welsh towns, Puerto Madryn has a lot of things to do for nature lover travellers.

Whether you’re arriving by cruise ship, by land or by air, Argentina4u has the perfect tours and activities in Puerto Madryn for you. If you need help putting together your itinerary, please contact us. We’re happy to answer any questions you have about this exciting destination.

Book Tours in Puerto Madryn

 

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What to Do in El Chaltén (When You’re Not Hiking) http://www.daytours4u.com/en/daytours4u/el-chalten-youre-not-hiking/ Wed, 29 Mar 2017 10:00:39 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=11271 When in El Chaltén, hike. But, let’s face it, you’re not going to spend all your time in the mountains. Maybe that inescapable Patagonian wind is howling, or you just want to get a feel for more of this incredible area in Patagonia, Argentina. Luckily, there’s more to do in El Chaltén than conquer Mount [...]

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When in El Chaltén, hike. But, let’s face it, you’re not going to spend all your time in the mountains. Maybe that inescapable Patagonian wind is howling, or you just want to get a feel for more of this incredible area in Patagonia, Argentina. Luckily, there’s more to do in El Chaltén than conquer Mount Fitz Roy. Here are 5 great things to do in El Chalten beyond the hiking trails.

What to do in el chaltén Viedma Glacier / Argentina4u

The Viedma Glacier is trully worth a visit / Source: Daytours4u


1. Observe the Viedma Glacier

Perito Moreno might be the most famous glacier in the Los Glaciares National Park, but it’s certainly not the only impressive glacier you can get up close to. If you’re looking for an incredible glacier experience without the massive crowds, consider visiting the spectacular Viedma Glacier close to El Chaltén. You can take a relaxing boat cruise up to the glacier or be adventurous with an ice trek, with both mini-trekking and full day trekking options

Click here to visit El Chaltén if you are in El Calafate!

2. Refresh with a Beer

The craft beer scene in Patagonia is strong, and even the tiny town of El Chaltén has a few great options to chug a local brew. The cosy La Cerveceria serves their own handcrafted beers, along with great food. Two other great options in town are Don Guerra and La Vineria. Not only will you get to enjoy some local flavours, but these local joints are great places to meet like-minded fellow travellers and exchanges tips on El Chaltén’s famous trails.

What to do in el chaltén Desert Lake / Argentina4u

The stunning Desert Lake makes the perfect setting for a day out in nature / Source: Daytours4u


3. Visit Desert Lake

For a day out in nature that requires less effort on your part, take an excursion to Desert Lake, or Lago del Desierto. This stunning, secluded lake makes the perfect setting for a day out in nature. You can enjoy a leisurely cruise on the lake, or combine it with a bit of walking if you just can’t get enough of the trekking opportunities around El Chaltén.

4. Rent a Bike

While travelling around Patagonia, you’re sure to meet a few adventurous people cycling the famous Carretera Austral. If you’re inspired, rent a bicycle and hit some mountain bike trails or just cycle around the area for unique views of the breathtaking mountains and Patagonian Steppe. Walking around the town, you’ll find a few options for rentals during high season.

What to do in el Chaltén Patagonia / Argentina4u

Just cycle around the area for unique views of the breathtaking mountains / Picture by: Nicole Eberhard


5. Go Fishing

Avid fishermen will know that Patagonia is a top destination for fishing. In El Chaltén, fly fishing in particular is quite popular and a number of companies run fishing excursions. If you’re keen on fishing, there are few spots as memorable as southern Patagonia to cast a line.

El Chaltén’s remote beauty, prime location in the Los Glaciares National Park, and incredible mountain ranges make it a magical place to visit. When you want to give your hiking boots a rest, be sure to explore further with this great things to do in El Chaltén.

For more tours in Patagonia, visit Argentina4u!

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

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Visiting Salar de Uyuni or Salinas Grandes? http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/salar-de-uyuni-or-salinas-grandes/ Mon, 13 Mar 2017 09:00:42 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=11103 Salar de Uyuni or Salinas Grandes? A common question amongst those travelling to South America. Check out our handy comparison here.

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South America boasts some of the most impressive, and seemingly unreal, salt flats in the world – together they thrill travellers looking for unique landscapes and breathtaking photographs to take home. Two of the most popular salt flats to visit are Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia and Salinas Grandes in Argentina. But with so much ground to cover on your travels and so little time, which one should you visit?

salinas grandes or salar de uyuniSalar de Uyuni, in southwest Bolivia, is the world’s largest salt flat / Image Source

SALAR DE UYUNI

If you’ve been dreaming about a trip to South America, you’ve definitely seen the pictures of the mesmerising Salar de Uyuni. It’s the favourite site for incredible forced perspective photographs. Not only is it the world’s largest salt plain, it is also the most unique to visit, with the Incahuasi “island” in the middle – a rocky outcrop jutting out above the endless sea of white, dotted with giant cacti. It is the perfect spot to watch the sunrise.

Top reason to visit: It is the pinnacle of salt flats. If your travel itinerary has a spot open for a tour to Bolivia, it is well worth your time.

Keep in mind: If Bolivia isn’t specifically on your travel list, it is quite a detour from Argentina, and does require a certain amount of roughing it, particularly if you take a multi-day tour through the high altitude terrain.

salinas grandes or salar de uyuniThe bright blue natural pools are a great attraction at Salinas Grandes / Photo by Daytours4u

SALINAS GRANDES

Argentina’s largest salt flat is Salinas Grandes, a vast plain in the northwestern corner of Argentina spanning 525 square kilometres across the provinces of Jujuy and Salta, close to the borders of Chile and Bolivia.

Top reason to visit: The location of Salinas Grandes means it is easy to visit on a day tour from Salta or on a trip combining some of the spectacular surrounding attractions in Salta and Jujuy. If you’re hiring a car, you can even drive onto the salt flats yourself – a unique experience. If you’re passing over from Argentina into San Pedro de Atacama in Chile, these salt flats are located on the way.

Keep in mind: As impressive as Salinas Grandes is in terms of its size and unique deep blue pools, it doesn’t offer quite the same appeal if your main goal is taking perfect forced perspective photos or want that classic mirror effect (if you’re lucky enough to time your visit with some rain).

salinas grandes or salar de uyuniThe salt flats are unmissable if you’re travelling in northern Argentina / Photo by Daytours4u

CHOOSING WHICH SALT FLAT TO VISIT

In an ideal world, visit both salt flats. They are both truly impressive, and each have their own unique characteristics, making them both memorable experiences. They are also convenient to combine in one trip if you’re travelling by land from Bolivia to Argentina, or vice versa.

However, you will most likely be limited by your travel itinerary. If you’re short on time and are focusing on Argentina, then Salinas Grandes is your best bet. If you want to travel through Bolivia, no trip here is complete without visiting Salar de Uyuni and the surrounding high altitude landscapes.

. . .

Vast salt flats amidst the high deserts of the Andes are one of the many enchanting reasons to visit this region of South America. Be sure to check out Argentina4u for tours to Salinas Grandes and its surrounding areas.

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

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5 Travel Experiences in Ushuaia Beyond the Beagle Channel http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/5-travel-experiences-in-ushuaia-beyond-the-beagle-channel/ Tue, 21 Feb 2017 09:00:32 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=9489 There’s more to do in Ushuaia than just cruise on the Beagle Channel and tour Tierra del Fuego National Park. Here are five alternative things to experience.

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Most travellers come to Ushuaia to experience the iconic Beagle Channel and Tierra del Fuego National Park. These classic activities capture the long-held appeal of the southernmost city in the world, as explored by Charles Darwin and Captain Fitz Roy on the HMS Beagle, but Ushuaia has a lot more to offer. If you have time beyond exploring the wild, windswept landscapes of Tierra del Fuego, here are some alternative things to do in Ushuaia away from the usual tours and activities.

experiences in ushuaiaSee the stunning landscapes surrounding Ushuaia from a different perspective / Image Source

1. TAKE A SIGHTSEEING FLIGHT

To really appreciate the untamed landscapes of southern Patagonia, you need to get a bit higher. A sightseeing flight will give you a unique view of the dramatic snow-capped mountains, the famous Beagle Channel, the sparkling lakes, and the pretty port city. With Argentina4u, you can choose between a helicopter flight or an panoramic tour in a light aircraft.

2. EXPLORE ON A 4X4 EXPEDITION

Heading north, away from the Beagle Channel and beyond the mountains that form the backdrop to the city, is where the real hidden gems of Tierra del Fuego lie. Here you’ll discover a set of dazzling lakes, peat bogs, and magical forests. Undisputably, the best way to explore is with a 4X4 tour, taking you off-road and right into the heart of these incredible landscapes.

experiences in ushuaiaA 4X4 off-road expedition is the perfect way to explore Tierra del Fuego / Photo by Brasileiros em Ushuaia 

3. GET HIKING ON THE MOUNTAIN TRAILS

To really get close to nature, you need to lace up your walking boots, for there are some spectacular hiking routes in and around Ushuaia. The trek to Emerald Lagoon is one of the most popular routes, and it is a easy to do alone, or with an experienced guide. Other trails are the one up to Martial Glacier (watch out, it’s not a long walk, but it is steep), the trail up to Vinciguerra Glacier (a more challenging hike), and the more laid-back trails in Tierra del Fuego National Park. Further inland you’ll find plenty of walks around the lakes. If you want a guided hike that is a bit different, you can also do a night hike through the forest, which includes dinner.

4. UNCOVER HISTORICAL USHUAIA

Ushuaia has a fascinating history. It was first inhabited by the Yámana, an indigenous tribe that lived naked, despite the harsh conditions. Then came the British missionaries, and of course Captain Fitz Roy aboard the HMS Beagle. Skipping a few steps ahead, it became a penal colony for a large part of modern Argentine history, and the prisoners built a railway to what is now Tierra del Fuego National Park, in order to transport the wood they cut down. Discover all the secrets of the island’s infamous history by visiting the city’s museums. Start at the museum in the old prison itself, then wander through the town to pop in at the Yámana Museum, the Galeria Tematica Historia Fuegina (Fuegian History Thematic Gallery), and the End of the World Museum.

experiences in ushuaiaThe museums of Ushuaia offer a fascinating insight into the history of the region / Photo by Daytours4u

5. SKI THE SNOWY SLOPES

Skip the crowds in Bariloche and head south to Ushuaia if you’re looking for a really stunning ski experience. With the longest ski season in the country, thanks to its southerly position, Ushuaia has plenty of snow and a large variety of options for skiers and snowboarders of every level. Cerro Castor is the main resort, and you can take lessons here, hire equipment and enjoy a variety of ski passes to suit your itinerary. Those not keen to hit the slopes can still make the most of the snow with one of Ushuaia’s many winter activities on offer.

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So when planning your trip to Ushuaia, make sure you leave yourself time to enjoy the alternative activities on offer, and not just the most famous excursions. Looking for more ideas? Here are some more fun things to do in Ushuaia city.

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

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Planning the Perfect Trip to the End of the World http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/planning-the-perfect-trip-end-of-the-world/ Mon, 23 Jan 2017 09:00:59 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=10749 Take a trip to the southern frontier of South America and combine two incredible destinations of the imagination: El Calafate and Ushuaia.

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One of the most popular combinations of travel destinations in Argentina is El Calafate and Ushuaia. And for good reason – these two towns in southern Patagonia offer dramatic scenery and incredible attractions. Travellers are often overwhelmed by the options and how to put together their travel plans, and so to help you out, we’ve put together some suggestions for planning the perfect End of the World itinerary.

perito-moreo-glacierA tour group about to go mini-trekking on Perito Moreno glacier / Photo by Daytours4u

TRANSPORT

First of all, book your flights. Don’t underestimate the distances in Argentina. Unless you want to spend days in a bus, you’re better off booking a flight. Both Aerolineas Argentinas and LATAM have daily flights between Buenos Aires and El Calafate and Ushuaia, as well as between the two towns themselves. This way you can spend most of your time enjoying the amazing sites.

ITINERARY

There are many ways to combine these two destinations at the end of the world, depending on the amount of time you have. Of course, the longer your itinerary, the more you can discover. Here are our recommendations:

Day 1: Buenos Aires – Ushuaia

Take a morning flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. Be warned – most flights leave very early, but this gives you plenty of time to explore. Spend the morning exploring the town, and indulging in a warming submarino and pastry or a full on Patagonian lamb feast at one of the many great places to eat in Ushuaia. Then take an afternoon cruise on the Beagle Channel.

The landscapes around Ushuaia are something of the imagination

Day 2: Ushuaia

On your second day, visit one of the most iconic places in Ushuaia, and indeed Patagonia: Tierra del Fuego National Park. You can take an ordinary tour, or the more adventurous can try a variety of hiking, canoeing and cycling options. In the afternoon, visit the old prison and its Maritime Museum.

Day 3: Ushuaia

If you’re feeling active, immerse yourself in Tierra del Fuego’s spellbinding landscapes with a wonderful hike. Emerald Lagoon is a popular trail that isn’t strenuous but offers great scenery. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, go for a hike up to Vinciguerra glacier. Alternatively, if you like getting your thrills a bit more passively, take a fun offroad 4×4 tour to the lakes.

Day 4: Ushuaia – El Calafate

Hop on a morning flight from Ushuaia to El Calafate. Make the most of the afternoon by booking an afternoon tour to Cerro Frias. Or, if you want to do your own thing, walk down to the Laguna Nimez Reserve to see the flamingos and other bird life and stroll through the charming town with its many artisanal craft shops.

perito-moreno-glacierTake a classic tour to Perito Moreno and explore the amazing network of boardwalks / Photo by Daytours4u

Day 5: El Calafate

Dedicate a day to El Calafate’s biggest tourist attraction: the breathtaking Los Glaciares National Park and its main star, the Perito Moreno Glacier. There are a number of ways to experience it, depending on your preference: a normal tour or ice trekking. Whichever you choose, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of this vast expanse of moving ice.

Day 6: El Calafate

Spend your last day getting a real sense of the Patagonian gaucho (cowboy) lifestyle on a typical ranch. Estancia Cristina is a must-visit, thanks to its location in the Los Glaciares National Park, its choice of activities, and the insight it gives you into the life and history of Patagonia’s gauchos. Then it’s time to head back to Buenos Aires, or on to your next exciting destination in South America.

. . .

Of course, there are numerous itinerary variations. These are simply our suggestions for making the most of a short vacation and planning the perfect itinerary in Ushuaia and El Calafate.

To make the most of your time, book a convenient End of the World Package to combine the best tours in El Calafate and Ushuaia. Visit argentina4u.com for more great tours in Patagonia.

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

The post Planning the Perfect Trip to the End of the World appeared first on Daytours4u.

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Where to go Hiking in Ushuaia http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/where-to-go-hiking-in-ushuaia/ Mon, 21 Nov 2016 09:00:58 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=10670 Replete with snow-capped mountains, glistening lakes of extraordinary beauty, and simply mesmerising glaciers, Ushuaia is home to great hikes aplenty.

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If you find yourself in the southernmost city in South America and are looking for an adventure, make sure you’ve packed in your hiking boots. There are some fantastic hiking trails in and around Ushuaia to get your adrenaline pumping and put you right in the heart of Tierra del Fuego’s beautiful landscapes. Read on for our guide to some of the best places to go hiking in Ushuaia.

Hiking in UshuaiaThere are many great hiking trails in and around Ushuaia / Image Source

TIERRA DEL FUEGO NATIONAL PARK

There are a number of walking options in Tierra del Fuego National Park to suit all levels of walkers. On arrival at the park, you’ll be given a map with all the trails clearly marked. All the hiking spots are well maintained and clearly signposted, making them easy to do independently.

Trail Options:

Pampa Alta Trail (4.9 km) – easy walk with views of the Beagle Channel
Costera Trail (8 km) – along the shoreline
Hito XXIV (7 km) – to the international border with Chile
Cerro Guanaco Trail (8 km) – the most strenuous trail in the park, up the mountain

There are a number of camping sites in the park, which are great options if you want to do more than one trail. Alternatively, you can take a day trip (or two) to the park and do the hike of your choice.

Hiking in UshuaiaAll hiking trails in Tierra del Fuego are well marked / Image Source

EMERALD LAGOON

One of the most popular hikes in Ushuaia is to Emerald Lagoon (or Laguna Esmeralda). You can catch a public bus to the start of the trail. The walk is relatively easy, taking you through peat bogs and forests to the Emerald Lagoon, a glacial lake that shimmers a beautiful emerald colour. Note that this trail gets extremely muddy. You can book a guided hiking tour to Emerald Lagoon, where a guide will take you on a less trodden path and will provide rubber boots – a saviour if there has been any recent rain. The hike takes around 4 hours in total.

schurmann-ushuaia-esmeralda-2The hike to Emerald is one of the most spectacular in southern Argentina / Photo by Bresileiros em Ushuaia

LAGUNA DE LOS TEMPANOS

If you’re looking for more of a challenge and have a full day to spare, then definitely go for Laguna de los Tempanos (Icefloe Lake). Take a taxi to the start of the trail, at the edge of the Andorra neighbourhood. The trail goes through the river valley, through the forest, and then up a steep hill. The lake is at the foot of the impressive Vinciguerra Glacier, so the hike up here will be more than worth your while. There is an additional side trail on the way down to Laguna Encanta, which will add about 40 minutes to the journey. The whole trail takes around 7 hours.

 dscn5946-2This hike leads to the impressive Vinciguerra Glacier / Photo by Bresileiros em Ushuaia

MARTIAL GLACIER

If you’re looking for a hike that is not too strenuous but will give you great views, a bit of snow, and even a glacier, do the walk up to Martial Glacier. Take a taxi or bus to the start of the trail, which is at the base of an old ski resort. The walk up is very straightforward, up the old ski slope. It should take you an hour or so if you’re just going to the base of the glacier. If you’re experienced with snow and ice and have the appropriate equipment, you can carry on to the glacier itself. Just be warned it can be treacherous, particularly when there is a lot of snow fall on the glacier.

10478140_312866812204828_8917603375048149777_n-2The views on the hike up to Martial Glacier are quite spectacular / Photo by Bresileiros em Ushuaia

HIKING TIPS:

Dress appropriately. Even in summer, it can get extremely icy and unpredictable around the glaciers and the glacial lakes. Pack snacks and water to keep your energy levels up.

It’s definitely recommended to carry a phone with the numbers of a local taxi company so that you’re not stranded when you finish your hike.

Most of these hikes can be done as a tour with a mountain guide, which is definitely recommended if you’re not an experienced hiker. Ushuaia might not be the trekking capital that El Chaltén is, but there’s still plenty of hiking trails and adventures to be had here for the active traveller. The views of the Beagle Channel and mountains of Tierra del Fuego are every bit worth the effort of a bit of trekking.

Looking for more activities in the area? Check out Argentina4u’s tours in Ushuaia.

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

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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.

. . .

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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5 Popular Hiking Trails in El Chaltén http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/5-popular-hiking-trails-in-el-chalten/ Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:00:42 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=9448 Nestled in the shadows of the Andean Cordillera, El Chalten is home to some of the best hiking spots in the world. Discover the most popular trails here.

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The tiny town of El Chaltén, lying to the North of Viedma Lake and El Calafate, exists for one purpose: hiking. It is the undisputed National Trekking Capital of Argentina, and every traveller you find there is in hiking boots and ready to hit the trails.

Hiking in El Chaltén is easy to do without a guide. All buses coming into town stop at the Visitor Centre, located at the entrance to the town. Here, park rangers explain the hiking routes, give out maps and make recommendations based on the weather forecast for the upcoming days. This makes it easy to plan your time. There are 5 main hiking routes and all can be done as day hikes, with ample accommodation in town catering to budget backpackers as well as those looking for more luxury. The more adventurous can pack in their tents and camp in the park itself, with a number of free campsites, all well marked on the map.

img_1142Hiking in El Chalten is for many travellers the highlight of their trip to Argentina / Photo by Daytours4u

Laguna de los Tres / Mount Fitz Roy

The most popular trail in El Chaltén takes you to the town’s famous mountain peak: Mount Fitz Roy. The trail is 10.2 km to the lagoon that sits at the base of the mountain, named because of Fitz Roy’s iconic three peaks.

The first kilometre is a moderate uphill trek before the path mostly takes a flat route through forests and open fields, with many great viewpoints of Fitz Roy. The last kilometre is a steep climb up, and the only challenging bit of the hike. The difficulty changes according to the weather, as high winds and loose rocks can make it treacherous, and rangers will warn you not to do this section if the weather is bad. However, the climb is worth it, as you come over the last rocky summit and see the lagoon and the peaks.

Total distance: 20.4 km (returning to town). Time: 9 hours approx.

hiking trails in el chaltenThe mountain peaks in the Los Glaciares National Park make for stunning views / Photo by Daytours4u

Laguna Torre / Cerro Torre

The other big hike to do is to El Chaltén’s other famous peak: Cerro Torre. The 9km trail takes you to the lagoon and glacier at the base of Cerro Torre. This trail is an easy walk as it is mostly flat with short ups and downs, but no serious inclines. If you’re lucky with the weather, you’ll have a view of Cerro Torre for most of the walk. Once you reach the lagoon, there is an additional path to take you even closer to the base of Torre and its glacier. This part of the trail is very rocky and exposed and not recommended if the wind is strong.

Total distance: 18km (returning to town). Time: 8 hours approx.

There is a trail that connects the Laguna de los Tres and Laguna Torre hikes called Sendero madre – Hija. This is popular for those that wish to camp, and combine the two trails.

p1110015All the trails are well-marked and easy to follow / Photo by Daytours4u

Lomo del Pliegue Tumbado

This is deemed one of the more challenging hikes in the area, as most of the trail is uphill. However, the reward for your effort is incredible panoramic views of the entire National Park. If you pick a good day for this hike, you’ll have uninterrupted views of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre.

Prepare yourself for steep climbs most of the route, including a last scramble at the end.  Note that the weather can change dramatically at the top, since you’re ascending 1000m, so come prepared. Rangers recommend bringing trekking poles for this route.

Total distance: 24 km. Time: 8 hours approx.

img_1032Simply breathtaking panoramic views of the Andean Cordillera await / Photo by Daytours4u

Mirador de los Condores & Mirador de Las Aguilas

From the town, you can walk up one of the surrounding small mountains to get a great view of the town and Lake Viedma on the other side. The two trails start from the same point, and later split to reach different sides of the mountain. This easy walk is great if you have a half day to kill or the weather is not great for the other treks.

Total distance: 4km (both trails, to and from town). Time: 45 minutes to Mirador de los Condores and 1 hour to Mirador de las Aguilas.

p1110116The quaint little town of El Chalten, lying in the foothills of the Andes / Photo by Daytours4u

Chorrillo del Salto

Another easy hike in the area is to a scenic waterfall. The walk itself is just an hour to reach the waterfall. The trail is just outside of town. You can walk to the start, or take a bike or car. This is a perfect option for day trippers for El Chaltén, or those looking for an easy walk to break up the longer treks.

Total distance: 8km (from town and back). Time: 1 hour to the waterfall

hiking in el chaltenTake a short hike to Chorrillo del Salto / Image Source

TIPS:

There is also a longer hike to Laguna Toro but it requires camping overnight and all hikers must first register at the Visitor Centre.

The trails are all well-marked, and even have markers every one or two kilometres allowing you to easily track your progress.

There are plenty of streams for water, so you don’t need to carry a big supply with you. Shops in town cater well to hikers, and you can buy a very hearty lunch pack, or mix and match your own trail food.

The weather is always changing, and the area is known for its strong winds. Always carry warm clothes and prepare for icy conditions, as the wind coming off the glacier field is incredibly cold.

The times given are rough guides and include a reasonable amount of time for stopping for pictures and food. Many hikers do the trails more quickly.

. . .

If you enjoy the outdoors, don’t miss the opportunity to go hiking in El Chaltén! The landscapes are incredibly beautiful, with a variety of flower-filled fields, frozen lakes backed by glaciers and some iconic and breathtaking mountain peaks.

For more activities in the area, check out Argentina4u’s tours in El Chaltén.

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

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