Apart from being the birthplace of the tango and the new Pope, what more do you know about Argentina? As the 8th largest country in the world, Argentina is bound to have a few more tricks up its sleeve to reward travelers on an Argentina tour venturing beyond Buenos Aires. Here are three places inArgentina that might surprise you:
Bariloche: The Alpine Andes
The Andean town of Bariloche features on many Argentina tour itineraries due to the beautiful natural surroundings, which can be explored on foot or horseback in the summer, or on skis in the winter. While the soaring Andes Mountain peaks combined with clear lakes and untouched forests are an understandable draw, the town itself is also worthy of exploration. A German immigrant set up shop here in the late 19th century, who was soon joined by other immigrants from the Alpine region, bringing some of the traditions from their homelands with them. Strolling through the town, you will see typically Swiss buildings of stone and wood, which, along with the snow-capped mountains, give Bariloche its alternative name of “little Switzerland”. As well as admiring the view, remember to try the most famous regional produce in one of the many quaint little chocolate shops that line the picturesque streets.
Sauerkraut in the Sierras de Córdoba
Argentina’s second largest city, Córdoba has enough colonial architecture, museums, and galleries to detain you for several days on its own. But Córdoba also serves as a great base for exploring the surrounding mountain region, dotted with fascinating towns and villages nestled in the hills. Although you’re on a tour of Argentina, you might start to question whether you’re in the right place when you arrive in Villa General Belgrano. The town was founded by two German speculators in 1930, and they were joined by many immigrants from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, who were attracted to the alpine quality of the area. Now the location of the third most important Oktoberfest in the world (Blumenau in Brazil is at number two after Munich), Villa General Belgrano attracts visitors with its idiosyncratic German heritage. Relax in cafés that wouldn’t look out of place in the Austrian Alps for coffee and alfajores (typical Argentine sweet biscuits), and wander the surreal streets of German-style buildings topped with Argentine flags.
The whales and Wales of Patagonia
In the wild south of Argentina, you’ll find spectacular glaciers, jagged Andean peaks, penguin colonies, majestic whales… and Welsh speakers settling down for a nice cup of tea. Many years before you make your tour of Argentina, a group of men, women, and children from Wales sailed across the Atlantic to set up a colony in the harsh but beautiful region of Patagonia. Although they struggled at first in the unforgiving conditions, the emigrants founded several towns in the Chebut region of Argentina, the most famous of which being Trelew, Rawson, and Gaiman. Here, you can admire the pretty stone houses and churches before tucking into a traditional Welsh teatime, followed by a hearty dinner of the local lamb. Finally, you can go from one Wales to another: if you’re thinking about taking an Argentina tour from June to November, the Welsh settlement of Puerto Madryn is a great base for watching the migrating Southern Right Whales.
Create your own Argentina Tour
Have we piqued your interest in the many-faceted country of Argentina? At SouthAmerica.travel, we have Argentina tours to all the major attractions in the country, including Bariloche, the Sierras de Córdoba and the Welsh settlements of Patagonia.
For more information about traveling in Argentina, take a look at our Argentina travel guide, which you can download FREE!