Archive for September, 2013

How about a real Christmas Adventure?

Posted in South America, Uncategorized on September 8, 2013 by cheriforzani

Have a look at the itinerary planned for my clients, a family of four with 2 teenaged boys over Christmas break:

Excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier with mini trekking in Perito Moreno Glacier located inside Los Glaciares National ParkFrom the very beginning this trip will provide pleasant surprises.
Departing from El Calafate, Lago Argentino will appear on the right hand side of the road with its Bahía Redonda that shows an interesting number and diversity of bird species. The first part of the road goes along the typical Patagonian steppe, whose characteristic species are the broom sedges (hard, thorny type of grass) and ‘calafates’ (bushes belonging to the burberry family which is well-known for its yellow flowers and violet fruits).
From the National Park entrance onwards, the landscape changes dramatically, the flora grows richer with species that are typical of the Andean-Patagonian Forest. Perito Moreno Glacier is an imposing ice river covering an area of 195 square meters, 30 Km long and a front which is 5 km wide; the front walls are between 30 and 60 meters high over the lake level. In the central area of the glacier, the ice reaches a depth of 250 to 350 meters.
This frozen river descends from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field causing, during its slow advance, ice cracks and thunderous bursts. A show that is impressive not only for its beauty, but also for the continuous roars that are heard from its innermost recesses.
Because of its breathtaking beauty it was declared a Mankind Heritage by UNESCO. A walk along the paths placed in front of its Western wall, allows you to admire this impressive wonder of nature from different viewpoints. Navigation to start of mini-trek also allows a different perspective of Perito Moreno. Entrance fee to Los Glacieres National Park also included.

Full-Day MarPatag Gourmet Experience Navigation. With the “Glaciers Gourmet Experience“, you will navigate through Lago Argentino in the search for the “Spirit of Glaciers”. Walls of more than 50 meters (164 feet) high, deep blue millenary ice and stunning icebergs are the perfect setting for enjoying nature at its glory. You will be transferred from the hotels in El Calafate to Paraje Punta Bandera. Boarding at 8:00/8:30 AM. at the company’s own dock “La Soledad”. The navigation starts towards the northwest, crossing Punta Avellaneda and Boca del Diablo, the narrowest passage in the lake with almost 800 meters. After two hours of navigation, the series of ice floes, of the most varied colors and shapes, anticipates the proximity of Upsala glacier. If the weather conditions are good, we will observe the Upsala glacier at the distance. We continue navigating Lago Argentino towards the South, taking the Canal Spegazzini in order to reach the glacier that bears the same name. The navigation allows us to get closer to the glacier, which has front walls between 80 and 135 meters (262 – 443 feet) above lake level. Lunch is served amidst this stunning landscape. Towards the afternoon, the Crucero Leal will arrive at Puesto de Las Vacas (an extremely quiet bay in the Canal Spegazzini), where its engines will be stopped to let passengers share an amusing walk coordinated by team of guides. In this stop, it is possible to see stunning panoramic views.

Transfer to Alvear Art Hotel in Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires, city of tango, passionate for football (soccer), is a city of contrasts: architectural beauties, as the famous Colon Theater, palaces of a clear French and Italian influence, and buildings from colonial times live together with modern skyscrapers in perfect harmony. Buenos Aires is, with no doubt, the most European of the Latin American cities.

The Pampas, with a full-day visit to San Antonio de Areco. Today you will enjoy the most complete and original experience in the Pampas.
san antonio

The trip starts in a 280 years old small town called San Antonio de Areco: with its colonial protected architecture, people with garments, uses and customs of the original Argentinean traditions.
Declared officially “Cradle of Gaucho Traditions”, and “Historical Town”, with its cobbled streets, old bars with underground galleries, horse-drawn carriages and more than 60 silversmiths, artisans and artists, San Antonio de Areco offers a unique atmosphere. “Nestled in lush farmlands, San Antonio de Areco is probably the prettiest town in the pampas.…” (Lonely Planet Guide).

Morning panoramic city tour. Your excursion includes Palermo Park, La Recoleta, a stop at Evita Peron’s Tomb & La Boca (Caminito St.). You will also visit Plaza de Mayo, the grand boulevard of Buenos Aires with its many remarkable buildings and architecture, including the Cabildo (the Town Hall). Casa Rosada (the government’s headquarters and where once, Evita and then President Juan Domingo Peron famously gave speeches from its balcony).
Also see the Cathedral, a fantastic work of religious architecture, and the last resting place of Argentina’s independence hero, General San Martin.

Tonight: Tango!
It is the music of Buenos Aires par excellence. Despite its humble origins, in the 20’s tango left the brothels and the underworld districts to reach the high-class ballrooms, but to do so it had had to travel to Paris to return triumphant. Tango has become at last a complete cultural expression, a plot of myths, values and traditions. A good way to feel its spirit is by visiting one of the restaurants that offer tango shows. Dinner & show is at Esquina Carlos Gardel, the most famous Tango singer.

Transfer to B.A.’s convenient downtown airport, Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, for Puerto Iguazu. Upon arrival there you will be driven to Hotel Sheraton Internacional, the only hotel located inside Parque Nacional Iguazu.

Sheraton & Devil’s Throat: Trail to Park from hotel:
Today you have a tour of the Iguazú from the Argentine side, where you can take a series of catwalks over the water rushing into Devil’s Gorge. The Argentinean side really provides an intimate touch with the falls. The National Park was created in 1934 with the purpose of preserving one the most beautiful natural wonders of the world! It was declared a World Heritage site in 1984 by UNESCO. The many walking trails were paved throughout the reserve, and a free train brings visitors from the gate to the falls themselves. Walking through the park makes it possible to enjoy the rich flora and the huge amount of beautiful birds, butterflies (over 500 types in the area) and other animals.

Visit Devil’s Throat: This catwalk takes visitors through the unique landscape of the islands and shores of the Iguazú River before arriving at the Devil’s Throat the most impressive waterfall of the Iguazú Falls.
The journey (2080 m round trip) passes by three spacious viewpoints from which one can observe the natural splendour offered by the Iguazú River and the surrounding flora and fauna

The journey culminates with one’s arrival at the monumental “devil’s throat”: a horseshoe-shaped waterfall 150 m wide and 80 m high, surrounded by dense clouds of vapour formed by the tremendous volume of water crashing at the bottom (these clouds give the landscape its characteristic appearance). The aerial acrobatics of the “vencejos”, birds characteristic to the Iguazú Falls, represent another unforgettable sight.
Ecological Train of the Jungle Designed exclusively for this park, bearing in mind special considerations (e.g. climate, local vegetation). The train cars are open, allowing the visitor to have direct contact with the surrounding environment, and to experience riding through the middle of the jungle perceiving the aromas, weather, and the sounds of the forest. The train travels between 3 stations:
The “Central Station” is located at the Visitors Center, from which trains depart to the waterfalls; the second “Cataratas” station is situated meters from the start of the Inferior and Superior Circuits; the third “Garganta del Diablo” station is the final stop for trains. Use of the Ecological Train of the Jungle is included in the entrance fee to the Iguazú National Park.
Upper Circuit: This trail goes along the upper area of the falls, and guarantees spectacular panoramic views. There are six lookout points, where one can rest and appreciate the scenery. Lower Circuit: This trail elevated some 50 cm above ground has 8 observation points from which one can enjoy the various spectacular views. The unique design of this trail allows for close contact with the falls and surrounding vegetation, allowing one to become immersed in the natural surroundings without disrupting the free movement of animals. B.
If you are feeling adventurous you should consider the Great Adventure zodiac ride for a close-up & wet experience with the Falls.