Tour the Iguazu Falls National Park in Argentina


After picking you up from your hotel we head to the Cataratas del Iguazu National Park (Iguazú Falls). The 55 square kilometer (13,590 acre) Iguazu National Park which was created in 1934 is dedicated to the preservation of the wildlife and vegetation of the area. The Iguazu National Park was named after the Iguazu River which serves as its northern limit. In the language of the native Guarani tribe, Iguazu means Big Water, which is quite accurate considering the Iguazu River flows at approximately 1,750 cubic meters (462,301 gallons) per second. The Iguazu Falls are made up of more than 275 waterfalls inside the Iguazu National Park, each fall ranging from 30 to 80 meters (98 to 262 feet) in height. An eco-friendly electric train transports visitor’s from the Visitor’s Center at the park’s entrance to the Cataratas and Garganta del Diablo stations deep within the park, from where all the walking trails begin.

The Cataratas Station is the starting point for two trails, the Upper Trail and the Lower Trail. The Upper Trail is 1,200 meters (3/4 mile) long and offers wonderful panoramic views. This trail passes over the following waterfalls: Dos Hermanas, Chico, Ramirez, Bossetti, Adam and Eve, and Bernabe Mendez, ending at Mbigua where you turn around and head back. Wide jungle clearings along the Upper Trail provide spectacular panoramic views of multiple waterfalls. The Lower Trail is 1,700 meters (approx. 1 mile) long, with eight scenic lookout spots. This trail gives visitors the chance to interact more closely with nature, as it passes through and over waterfalls along the edge of jungle.

Once you’ve completed the Upper and Lower trails, head back to the Cataratas Station to catch the jungle train to the next station. The train ride will take you 3 km up-river, deeper into the sub- tropical forest to the Garganta del Diablo Station. From there you follow the trail across the river to the biggest and most spectacular waterfall of them all, the Garganta del Diablo, the Devil’s Throat.

Reservations can be made at FlapsUpArgentina.com

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Sport Fishing in Cordoba, Argentina


The rivers and streams of Cordoba run between mountain slopes at altitudes ranging between 1000 and 2000 meters above sea level. They are clear, cold, and ideal for fly fishing. You can go fishing alone or you can hire a fishing guide through the local tourism bureau. Before you set out you should familiarize yourself with the fishing rules of your particular destination. Fish and game wardens patrol regularly to ensure sport fishing continues to be a sustainable sport for future generations.

Sport fishing of Pejerrey (fresh water Silversides) is allowed throughout the year in the following locations with the maximum catch limits indicated: (embalse means reservoir and laguna means lake)

  • Embalse Rio III: 30 fish
  • Embalse La Viña: 70 fish
  • Embalse Cruz del Eje: 100 fish
  • Embalse Piedras Moras: 30 fish
  • Embalse La Falda: 15 fish
  • Embalse San Roque: 70 fish
  • Embalse Los Molinos: 50 fish
  • Embalse La Quebrada: 20 fish
  • Embalse Las Pichanas: 50 fish
  • Embalse El Cajón: 80 fish
  • Embalse Cerro Pelado: 30 fish
  • Laguna De Camoati: 50 fish
  • Laguna La Margarita: 50 fish
  • Laguna Cachicoya: 50 fish
  • Laguna La Chanchera: 50 fish
  • Laguna De Suco: 50 fish
  • Laguna La Isla: 50 fish
  • Laguna En Señuelo: 50 fish
  • Laguna Mar Chiquita, the mouth of the Primero and Segundo rivers, and Laguna del Plata: 60 fish in total

The salmon fishing season begins in October and runs until the end of the last weekend of May. The fishing of brook trout and rainbow trout is limited to a maximum of three fish, each masuring a maximum size of 25 cm or just shy of 10 inches. The following species are off limits year round: landlocked salmon, brown trout, perch, trout. You must use artificial lures, natural lures being prohibited in any form. Also, you can only use single barbless fishing hooks.

Salmon fishing in the following areas is only permitted on a catch and release basis:

  • Río del Medio in the stretch from the headwaters to the confluence with El Riachuelo creek
  • Los Alazanes lake and Los Alazanes river until the confluence with Arroyo del Plata creek and including Arroyo del Plata dike.
  • Río Los Espinillos and its tributary rivers Yatán and Corralejos (within the jursdiction of the Prvince of Cordoba), from the headwaters until the confluence with the Arroyo Las Acequiecitas creek.
  • Complejo Río Grande – Complejo Cerro Pelado complexes, from the confluence of the rivers Abra de Las Cañas and De Las Letanías until their mouth in the lake as well as their entire catchment area, including El Durazno river and Los Macho creek
  • Arroyo Guacha Corral, Arroyo Rodeo de los Caballos and Las Perdicitas creeks, from their source until their mouths and the entire Quillinzi river basin
  • Río San José from the confluence with Río del Sur until the confluence with Río de La Suela and its basin
  • Río San Gregorio (Ávalos) and Río Pintos, from their source until their confluence with Río Quilpo
  • Río Tabaquillo from their source until the confluence with Río San Miguel
  • Arroyos Talita and Las Moras or Zarzamoras from their respective sources until Río Barranca
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Golf in Cordoba, Argentina


Argentina’s Cordoba province is an ideal destination for golf lovers. Cordoba has first class golf courses with enchanting scenery. The natural slope of Cordoba’s terrain makes its golf courses all the more challenging. There are more than 26 golf courses with greens in excellent condition, more than adequate infrastructure and high quality services.

Golf in Cordoba is very affordable and accessible making it an ideal destination for golfing vacations. Beyond golf, Cordoba has unparalleled natural beauty and its capital has a rich cultural and historic heritage as Argentina’s second oldest city.  Here is what Eduardo Romero y Ángel Cabrera, both natives of Cordoba and world class golf players, have to say:

Eduardo Romero

“I have two great passions in my life: Cordoba, the place where I was born and grew up, and golf, a wonderful sport to which I owe some of the most important moments of my life. The growth of golf tourism in Cordoba fills me with pride because playing golf in Cordoba’s courses, surrounded by the most beautiful scenery in all of Argentina, is such an intense pleasure that I have always wanted to share it with golfers all over the world.”

Angel Cabrera

“Golf in Cordoba offers what every player in the world wants: first class golf courses, each with its own charms, challenges, and all the services and amentities necessary to enjoy golf. But a golfing vacation in Cordoba is much more than enjoying the sport. It is getting to know the natural and historical beauty of Cordoba. It is immersing yourself in the heart of Argentina, and once you’ve done that, I assure you, Cordoba will forever be in your heart.”

Carlos Paz Golf, Cordoba‘s newest golf course was inaugurated in December 2011 in the resort town of Villa Carlos Paz. The 18 hole course was designed by Agustín Fontanes, Argentina’s leading golf course architect. Carlos Paz Golf is an excellent golf course surrounded by natural beauty for a relaxing experience both on and off the green. Carlos Paz Golf has teamed up with La Posada del Qenti Health and Medical Spa to offer its guests free access to the golf course.

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Ecotourism in Cordoba, Argentina


Ecoturismo en Cordoba Argentina

Cordoba has many protected natural habitats where visitors can commune with nature, living unique experiences. Explore solitary paths on foot, bicycle or horseback. Listen to the birds sing, smell the aroma of wild flowers and keep an eye out for elusive animals like the red fox. You will experience many different sensations in a range of savage scenery including salt flats, dense forests, highland pastures, endless plains, rocky mountains, lakes, and even an inland sea.

Ecoturismo en Cordoba

Cordoba is a fantastic bird watching destination. The ​​Mar Chiquita inland sea and the wetlands of the Saladillo river are home to flamingos, seagulls, ducks and other aquatic habitat species. Both places are closed to traditional hunting and have approximately 170 species of birds in great concentration, making them ideal destinations for photo safaris. The Sierras Chicas (Little Mountains) and the adjacent Punilla Valley are home to many species of songbird, while the Sierras Grandes (Big Mountains) and the Pampa de Achalla are home to larger birds such as the majestic condors, eagles, hawks and vultures.

Ecoturismo en Cordoba Argentina

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Free Tickets to Cordoba for European Tourists


The province of Cordoba and Aerolineas Argentinas are co-sponsoring a promotion to bring European tourists to Cordoba. Travelers arriving from Europe on Aerolineas Argentinas flights will receive a coupon for a free flight from Buenos Aires to Cordoba.

In light of this promotion I will be posting more information about Cordoba‘s attractions in the next few days.

 

 

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Ice Trekking Excursions on the Perito Moreno Glacier


If you visit Argentina’s glacier country, plan to do so between October and April so that you can go trekking on the Perito Moreno Glacier. Otherwise it would be like visiting Paris and skipping the Eiffel tower and the Louvre. The Perito Moreno Glacier is 80 km from El Calafate, the nearest town where you will most likely be staying. Don’t bother renting a car because transportation is included in the price of the trekking excursions. You can choose between two standard trekking excursions on the Perito Moreno Glacier: Mini Trekking and Big Ice. The difference between them is the level of exertion, the time actually spent on the glacier, and of course the price. Think of it as the difference between a 10K and a Marathon.

Both the Mini Trekking and Big Ice excursions include a short boat ride near the Perito Moreno glacier and a visit to the viewing platforms on the cliffs facing Perito Moreno where all the spectacular photos in guide books are taken from. Longer versions of the boat ride and the viewing platform visits are also sold as separate excursions, but if your time and budget are limited a trekking excursion lets you hit three birds with one stone. Also keep in mind that the US$ 25 National Park entry fee is never included in the excursion prices and must be paid every day you enter the park.

If you only have a couple of days to spend in El Calafate, I recommend doing Mini Trekking or Big Ice in one day and the glacier cruise the other day. This way you will get up close and personal with the Perito Moreno Galcier and then see the other principal glaciers by boat. The All Glaciers Cruise (AKA Todo Glaciares) operates year round but only on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, so plan your trip accordingly. One more tip on planning your trip: pack warm clothes and hiking boots in your carry-on! It is not uncommon for the airlines to lose checked baggage. If you show up in glacier country wearing a T-shirt and flip-flops you’ll still have to pay for any excursions you have reserved even if you can’t go on them, making the trip an expensive waste of time.

Both the Mini Trekking and Big Ice excursions are for physically fit people. The age limits for Mini Trekking and Big Ice are 10 to 65 and 18 to 50 respectively. Mini Trekking is ideal for families with children and retirees. Big Ice is a longer and tougher trek using more advanced mountaineering techniques and therefore unsuitable for minors and older travelers.  Do not plan on doing any ice trekking if you are pregnant, obese, physically handicapped, or otherwise impaired. It’s not safe and the mountain guides won’t let you proceed.  You don’t need to be dressed for the Arctic to do these excursions. Just wear comfortable and warm clothes in layers with a water resistant windbreaker. If you have ski pants they are a great option. Hiking boots or sturdy sports shoes are fine, even better if they are waterproof. Do not wear rubber boots, après ski boots, or high heels; they are definite no-nos. Remember to bring sunglasses and sunscreen because the sun’s glare on the ice can be very intense. There are no restaurants or gift shops on the glacier so bring your own consumables like water, food, camera batteries, SD cards etc.

The Mini Trekking excursion begins at the Bajo de las Sombras port, where we embark on a short boat ride across the Brazo Rico branch of Lago Argentino lake, enjoying breathtaking views of the Perito Moreno glacier’s front walls. We disembark on the opposite shore, where specialized bilingual mountain guides welcome us and lead us to a small shelter. We are then split into small groups and assigned a guide who will lead us along the lake’s shore towards the edge of the glacier. Once on the glacier itself, the guides show us how to attach the crampons to our boots give a short class on their use. This is where the Mini Trekking really begins. The two hour ice hike that follows introduces us to the fascinating landscape of the glaciers: streams, small lagoons, gullies, crevasses and ice formations of the most incredible blues. The trekking is not too exerting or challenging. The ice surface we walk on is irregular, but firm and safe. The guides give short lectures about the regional flora and fauna as well as the inner workings of the Perito Moreno Glacier. There is a surprise at the end of the excursion.

The Big Ice excursion also begins at the “Bajo de las Sombras” port, with a short boat ride on Lago Argentino across the Perito Moreno glacier’s front walls. After checking gear and picking up a pair of crampons the group sets out on a hike along the glacier for about an hour and a half. Expert bilingual mountain guides will always lead they way, looking after our safety and teaching us the “ways of the ice.” Once we reach the access point to the glacier we put on torso harnesses and fit crampons to our footwear to start the ice trekking. You are now on an immense plateau of ice and the view is breathtaking. You will spend about four hours exploring the glacier’s blue lagoons, deep crevices, and magical ice caves where everything turns blue. The excursion ends with a 20 minute boat ride as close to the face of the glacier as possible. Big Ice is without a doubt one of the most spectacular ice-hikes in the world.

You can book your Big Ice and Mini Trekking excursions at www.FlapsUpArgentina.com

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Rural Tourism in the Argentine Pampa: Estancia Santo Domingo


The Estancia Santo Domingo cattle ranch was founded in 1885 by Don Paulino Silva, and is still a family run business belonging to his descendants. Today Estancia Santo Domingo is a fully functioning farm and ranch dedicated to cattle rearing, breeding and wintering, and the production of alfalfa seed and hay. Estancia Santo Domingo also functions as a hotel and dude ranch where visitors can experience the real life of a gaucho (as opposed to the touristy shows available on the outskirts of Buenos Aires).

The lands of Estancia Santo Domingo offer a staggering variety of terrain and wildlife to the agro tourist: from fertile valleys and forests to sand dunes, salt flats, and salt ponds; from deer, wild boar, partridges, hares and ostriches to flamingos, ducks, swans, and otters. Also of note, the Dakar Rally passes right through Estancia Santo Domingo.

Guests are welcome to participate in daily farm chores or simply relax, enjoy nature, and experience the gaucho life vicariously. Available activities include wildlife watching, truck rides, farming and ranching, horseback riding, hiking and trekking. Activities with an extra charge include a full day tour of various estancias, a full day visit to Guatrache hot springs, a half day tour of Pedro Luro National Park, and a full day tour of Lihuel Calel National Park.

You can reserve your stay at Estancia Santo Domingo and other estancias in La Pampa at FlapsUpArgentina.com

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