Argentina highlights self drive holiday
Description of Argentina highlights self drive holiday
Discover the charms of Argentina’s northwest, adobe villages, whitewashed churches and bustling local markets at the feet of the Andes, combined with time in the effervescent capital, Buenos Aires, and the incomparable Iguazu Falls.
This two-week self drive holiday in Argentina begins with a couple of days in sultry Buenos Aires, home of the tango, with plenty of time set aside for sightseeing. You’ll then take an internal flight to Puerto Iguazu, for guided tours of both the Argentinean and the Brazilian sides of the mighty Iguazu Falls, the largest waterfall system on the planet – it’s a dramatic, unforgettable spectacle, where exotic birds such as toucans fly through the mist and walkways provide a series of breathtaking viewpoints.
Flying on to the colonial city of Salta in the far northwest you’ll pick up your hire car (a medium 2WD – upgrading to a 4WD is recommended if travelling between January and March) along with detailed maps and route notes. From here you’ll spend a week touring vineyards, towering Andean peaks, Los Cardones National Park with its gigantic cacti, and all the while immersed in this region’s psychedelic palate of scenery.
Highlights include the Humahuaca Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the many sleepy yet characterful communities to be found, where the culture is absolutely fascinating, bearing traces of pre-Columbian civilisation and a real ‘wild west’ atmosphere. On your return to Salta you’ll drop off your hire car and fly back to Buenos Aires for another couple of days wandering this endlessly exciting city.
A self-drive holiday of Argentina gives you the freedom to discover this beguiling country on your own terms, within the framework of pre-booked accommodations and the security of 24-hour support. This trip is tailormade, so you have flexibility in your travel dates as well as your itinerary if you prefer to add destinations in, or spend a little more time somewhere.
PlanetWe realise that travel and tourism can benefit as well as harm the environment, the economy and the social and cultural structures of communities. The concept of sustainable tourism - the travel trade’s principles of using tourism to benefit local communities, conserve natural resources, and bolster the survival of cultural heritage – lies close to our heart. Our love and passion for Latin America encourages us to do everything in our power to protect the destinations we take you to. As members of AITO, we are committed to AITO’s Sustainable Tourism Guidelines, which means that we ensure that environmental and cultural demands are kept as low as possible.
We’ve developed strong relationships with local suppliers who all share our vision and agree to uphold a commitment to the safekeeping of the environment and local communities. We will always encourage you to keep a few basic things in mind, including refilling your water bottle, disposing of rubbish in a responsible way and staying on the designated roads and trails.
We strive to use accommodation that reflect the environment they are set in. In Purmamarca, in the heart of UNESCO World Heritage Site Quebrada de Humauaca, you will stay at La Comarca. The architecture of the buildings of the hotel is inspired by the region’s landscape and the culture, harmonized with the natural surroundings. The rooms were built with local materials, including cactus wood, stone, hand-lipped wood, quebracho, reed and clay. Moreover, in Molinos you will stay at a charming converted 18th century hacienda, which sits opposite the church in the centre of the village. While it has been refurbished to provide guests with all the comfort expected from a 21st century hotel, the historical and typical colonial features have been preserved.
During this holiday you will visit a few protected parks and reserves. The Iguazú Falls are unquestionably one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena in the world and are part of UNESCO protected Iguazu National Park. The park includes several rare and threatened species: jaguar, South American tapir, harpy eagle and yacare caiman. You will enjoy guided excursions to both the Argentinean as well as the Brazilian side of the falls. This include a visit to the National Park Visitor Centre, where there is a display illustrating the biodiversity of the tropical rainforest followed by a natural-gas-powered train ride and a walk to viewpoints. Moreover, you will also visit UNESCO World Heritage listed Quebrada de Humahuaca, a narrow mountain valley with intensely coloured rock formations.
PeopleWe pride ourselves on delivering our clients truly authentic and unforgettable experiences in Latin America which connect travellers with the people whose country they visit. On a self-drive holiday you enjoy the flexibility of being able to make stops along the way to visit local towns and villages. On the road to the Humahuaca Gorge you will find plenty of ancient villages that have a distinctly Andean flavour. There are vestiges of pre-Colombian indigenous civilisations, and some colourful fiestas associated with the catholic calendar you can join. Moreover, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the pre-Inca archaeology of the area at the archaeological museum in Tilcara.
What’s more, at Estancia Dos Lunas you can enjoy a wide variety of authentic experiences, such as horseback riding, walks and bird watching. Proprietors Vicky and Juan are driven by a passion for the land and for the horses that are so central to the lifestyle of Argentina’s rural heartland.
Furthermore, as a company we support the LATA Foundation, who runs social and environmental projects throughout the continent. In Salta, one of the places you will visit on this trip, LATA supports the Buena Vida Foundation, a NGO supporting members of the Peña Morada community towards their aim to ensure the ongoing tradition of Guarani basketry techniques, whilst at the same time developing socially responsible opportunities for income generation.