Top 5 most unusual Argentina tours

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With its enormous diversity in landscapes and culture, there are an almost limitless range of Argentina tours to choose from, but here are five ways to see the best sights – in totally unique ways.

Buenos Aires: Tigre Cycling and Kayaking Tour

Take a Buenos Aires tour with a difference, enjoying the “Paris of South America” by bike and kayak along the Tigre River Delta.

Just north of the thriving bustle of the Argentine capital lies the tranquil town of Tigre nestled on the banks of the Tigre River Delta. The summer home for Buenos Aires’s Porteñean elite in the 19th century, Tigre retains its posh flair. Stately mansions decorate the delta, many of them only accessible by boat.

The tranquil waters of Tigre, near Buenos Aires. Photograph: Matthew Barker 2010The tranquil waters of Tigre, near Buenos Aires.
Photograph by Matthew Barker 2010

Take the train from the heart of Buenos Aires to its northern outskirts. From there you can cycle along the backroads and suburbs to the town of Tigre, just north of the capital. Along the peaceful and relaxing biking trail, you will pass the Tigre River’s lush islands and beautiful landscapes. When you reach the town of Tigre, you will hop in a kayak and take a guided tour past the mansions, palaces, and other landmarks.

This full day tour lasts about eight hours total. The guided tour includes all biking and kayaking equipment, train tickets and traveler’s insurance, plus lunch, snacks, and bottled water.

Iguazu Falls: Full Moon Waterfall Excursion

Enjoy a night-time Iguazu tour and enjoy the majestic falls by moonlight.

The thundering Iguazu Falls, Argentina

The thundering Iguazu Falls, Argentina

When the full moon is out, the Iguazu Falls – one of the world’s most impressive set of waterfalls – appears even more striking and powerful than ever. Some 270 waterfalls, a few over 250 feet tall, merge together to cascade down the Iguazu River’s deepest cataracts.  The national parks surrounding the falls, in both Argentina and Brazil, are quiet, and it seems as though you are alone with a mighty wall of water.

During this tour, which runs every evening of the full moon, you meet your guide at the park entrance to take a train ride to the Devil’s Throat, the most impressive face of the falls. At the Garganta do Diabo, or Devil’s Throat, water plunges over a 490 by 2300 feet U-shaped catarata, and observers can get close enough to be surrounded by 260° of water thundering with unimaginable power. In the moonlight, toast this remarkable force of nature with a refreshing caipirinha cocktail.

Mendoza: Cooking & Wine Tasting Class

For wine and cuisine fanatics, look no further than this Mendoza tour.

Mendoza’s gorgeous wineries and breathtaking landscapes are not to be missed, but if you want to experience Mendoza wine country in a unique way, take a Mendoza cooking and wine tasting class.

Begin your class by traveling from Mendoz to the Uco Valley, a high-altitude vineyard-rich region backed by the snowy Andes. Here the restaurant Bistro La Tupiña is situated in the midst of the Altus vineyards. This world-class restaurant serves delicious, simple Argentine meals – with some ingredients straight from the farm out back. The chef uses a tupiña, a cast iron kettle for which the restaurant is named, to marinate sausage, carmelized onions, potato wedges, and other appetizers in wines from the vineyard. A wine tasting expert will spill the secrets about the ins and outs of a good glass of wine, and a professional chef will teach you how to prepare – and pair – gourmet Argentine dishes with the best Argentine wines. Recipes may include goat in lemon sauce, barbeque lamb, along with dulce de leche and pastries.

El Calafate: Upsala Glacier Boat Cruise to Estancia Cristina

Cruise across glacial lakes on this Calafate tour to the most remote estancia in the region, perhaps in all of Patagonia.

The rugged landscape of Argentina’s Patagonia attracted rough gauchos who raised their cattle on vast stretches of land. Of all the estancias in Argentina, from the ranches on the eastern pampas near Buenos Aires, to those on the southern steppe, Estancia Cristina near El Calafate is perhaps the most remote.

Walls of ice and glacial lakes in Calafate, Patagonia. Photograph: Matthew Barker 2010

Walls of ice and glacial lakes in Calafate, Patagonia. Photograph: Matthew Barker 2010

Estancia Cristina is only accessible by boat or by a several day trek. The trip is worth it though, as this 85,000 acre ranch is set on a meadow that glows green in the spring and summer, with the breathtaking Upsala Glacier as its backdrop. The ranch was founded in 1914 by an intrepid Englishman. Now it offers lodging, delicious homemade Patagonian cuisine, guided walks and horseback riding.

From El Calafate, the trekking town accessible by airport or by bus, you will head out on a boat cruise to reach Estancia Cristina. From Puerto Banderas on Lago Argentino, you will cruise north towards the Upsala Glacier. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you weave along the glacial lake to the ranch. You will be greeted by a full lunch cooked in the traditional Patagonia style, and afterwards, you can roam the vast ranch, taking a horseback ride or hike to the Upsala Glacier lookout point. In the evening, tuck into bed in a rustic cabin on the ranch, or return along the lake to El Calafate.

Ushuaia: Tierra Mayor Dog Sled and Snowshoe Trek

Mush Patagonia Huskies on a dog sled and snowshoe Ushuaia tour.

Experience the thrill and chill of the rugged terrain near Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost tip of Argentina, on a full day dog sled and snowshoe trek. From Ushuaia, the picturesque capital of Tierra del Fuego, travel to Tierra Mayor, a trailhead that leads through snowy hills to the breathtaking Tierra Mayor valley. At the trailhead, you will meet your guide, who will introduce you to your dog sled team and explain the art of mushing. Then you will get outfitted with your sled, and take off on a seven kilometer sledding adventure along old logging trails in the snowy forests of Tierra Mayor.

When you reach the woodcutter’s shelter, a small log cabin with a cozy fireplace, you can warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or “woodsmen’s coffee.” Then gear up for the next part of the adventure, a one and a half hour snowshoe trek through the snowy hills of Tierra Mayor. Gliding across snow a meter deep, you will arrive at the Alvear icefalls and enjoy terrific views of the Tierra Mayor valley. Return to the shelter, warm up with more hot chocolate, then strap on the snowshoes and descend down the logging trails to the Tierra Mayor trailhead.

The above excursions are just five of the many tours offered by Latin America for Less. Visit us online for more Argentina travel ideas, or contact a travel advisor for more details.

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Kaitlin is a contributing writer for our travel blog.

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