Argentina, a country of great beauty. It is the 8th largest in the world. It has it all: rainforest, desert, mountains, grasslands and interesting culture. You can’t see it all in a short time and it remains one of my favorite places to visit. Maybe it’s the local drink, called mate, a bitter tea you drink throughout the day, or the steak, or the sweet caramel dulce de leche that brings me back. While these are all added bonuses, the incredible landscape and welcoming people make the 10+ hour flight enjoyable.
Argentina’s money – peso
Exchange rates vary, I’ve seen from around 8 to 13 pesos for one US dollar.
Argentina means “land of silver”
Patagonia is the Southernmost area of South America, covering part of the countries of Argentina and Chile. This area is 260,000 square miles including lakes, glaciers, mountains, desert, and grasslands. These stunning grasslands are referred to as the pampas. I explored the Argentina side near the small town of San Martin de Los Andes as well as the lake area of Bariloche. The wildlife roams through these parts. I saw guanacos, red steer, eagles, ñandu, and a baby armadillo on my first couple of days here.
Patagonia is cowboy country. Here you find many large ranches called estancias. The cowboys are called gauchos. I spent time on two estancias, one was built in 1922. The horses on the estancia were trained and used to play the sport Polo.
Fly fishing is a popular sport in the San Martin area. The rivers are wide and beautiful, containing brown and rainbow trout.
Argentina is known for, in my opinion (and that of many others), the best steak in the world. The best part is how it is cooked, over open flames. This barbecue is known as an asado. Get ready for a long night, in this country dinner often starts at 10:00 p.m.!
Outside of the town of Bariloche, the hiking is incredible. Here you will see Nahuel Huapi lake. It is very large (557 sq.km) and has an interesting shape. The indigenous group living in this area called the Mapuche named this lake. In the Mapuche language it means Isle of the Tiger. The lake can be seen from many hikes; I enjoyed the view from Refugio Cerro Lopez.
Another nice spot to explore are the forests of the Arrayanes trees. These trees are unique to this area. I was told that they insipired Walt Disney’s forest creation in the movie Bambi. The trees are nicknamed Bambi trees.
At the restaurant, we grab one last steak dinner in the capital city of Buenos Aires.