Top 5 Backpacking Locations in Argentina - By an Argentinian - Part 2

Wed, 22 May 2019

Carrying on with our tour around Argentina with Alpacr user Camila, it's about to get fishy...

Peninsula Valdes:

In this wonderful place, in the province of Chubut, you can find different marine animals that inhabit the sea and its beaches. That’s because of the shape it forms on the Argentine sea.

Part of the 9 patrimonies of humanity, here you can observe the largest population of southern right whales, orcas, Toninas overas, penguins, sea lions and elephants, and a large amount of birds.

Something unusual happens here: the Orcas are mounted on the shore to feed.

My trip began in October through Puerto Madryn where I had the pleasure of sitting on El Doradillo beach (10km north) with my family to watch the whales swim and jump. The amazing thing is that whales can approach really close due to the natural form of this coastal accident, they do not run aground because the sea is very deep next to the shore.

Every year over a thousand whales come to Peninsula Valdes to give birth, reproduction and breed the young, between May and December.

Then we went to Estancia La Ernestina, located against the northern lighthouse of Peninsula Valdes. It is a real old house transformed into a hotel, although this is a high budget stay, there are many tourist fields with different prices, where you can observe the killer whales during the months of March and April since it is the hunting season, but even so they are observed throughout the year.

These Orcas developed the unique technique of intentional stranding.

You can see the beautiful penguins as well, all year round although it is preferable between the months of October and November. And other animals such as marine fenders, sea lions, birds, and the beautiful landscapes of the land.

At the end of the trip, we went to Puerto Piramides to enjoy a boat embarkation with the whales. That was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, luckily, we left the best for the last. I recommend going with Bottazzi Whale Watch (although there are many different companies that do the same). You can see whales, sea lions, penguins and other animals depending on the time of year.

I made the excursion called "last hour of the day" in which you are able to watch the whales and the landscape illuminated by the sunset sun, a truly wonderful experience. 

This place is a MUST to visit if you come to Argentina, it is a place loved by the Argentines and tourists around the world, who are left without air seeing these wonders of nature. Here I recommend accommodation according to your different budgets:

Top Hotels/Hostels

  • Rayentray Puerto Madryn (5 stars)
  • Estancia La Ernestina (field tour of different animals/ landscape, incredible gastronomic opportunities)
  • Las Restingas Hotel de Mar (4 stars) Puerto Piramides
  • Medium:
  • Hotel Gran Madryn (3 stars) Puerto Madryn
  • Estancia San Lorenzo (field tour of animals, and gastronomic)
  • The Paradise Hostería (3 stars) Puerto Piramides

Low Budget:

  • El Gualicho Hostel, Puerto Madryn
  • The prices of the fields are more expensive but you can hire the tours to see the animals and landscapes.
  • Hostel Bahía Ballenas, Puerto Piramides

Salta and Jujuy (Argentinian northwest):

In this beautiful region of northern Argentina there are some impressive natural wonders, it differs a lot from the northeast because here the climate is totally dry, as in the places that I have mentioned the activities to be done are many, I will mention some of the ones I have done.

Let's start with Salta, containing beautiful cathedrals, parks and museums that are worth seeing such as, the bicentennial park or Monumeto a San Martin or Anthropological Museum dedicated to shamanism, Archaeological Museum consecrated by the Inca culture exhibiting mummies.

You can also take the cable car to San Bernardo hill, which shows a panorama of everything that Salta has to show. The train clouds a vertiginous structure of a railway that goes through the mountains. It is a MUST.

I recommend getting to know the city that is truly beautiful of scarce colonial structure in Argentina and the street markets as well.Imagen que contiene agua, cielo, exterior, nieve

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On the border between the provinces of Salta and Jujuy the Salinas Grandes extends, located in the altiplano of northwestern Argentina. They are very old and a natural rarity since the salts come from volcanic activity and quickly evaporate the water, therefore it has a crust on which it is possible to walk. Little advice... Bring hats, glasses, water and solar protector! The reflection transmitted by the whiteness of the Salinas is blinding!

The Cardones National Park is also located on the route between the two, where the predominant vegetation is the Cactus, but paleontological remains such as dinosaur footprints and cave paintings are found as well. This park is crossed by the route since it is not suitable to receive tourists inside.Imagen que contiene cactus, exterior, planta, cielo

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At the north of the province of Jujuy, there is a multi-colored passivity, from creamy tones to deep reds. Cultural and natural heritage of humanity. For the one who loves photography, it's for sure an ideal place to know!

You can see Punamarca, which is a town with wooden houses at the foot of the Hill of seven colours, this is a strange geological form of the peculiarity of having a big chromatic range inside.

What I did was, taking an excursion from the city and then trekking through the back of the hill, named Camino de Los Colorados.

The ideal thing is to rent a car or take a bus from Salta to Jujuy in order to appreciate Salinas and the national parks. I went by car with my family so we slept in Salta and then in Jujuy, but you can also sleep in small hotels at the side of the route if you want to stay more.

Here I recommend accommodation according to your different budgets, but there are many good ones being these a very touristic place:

Top Hotels/Hostels:

  • Hotel Alejandro I (5 stars) in Salta
  • Hotel Legado Mítico Salta (4 stars) in Salta
  • La Comarca Hotel (4 stars) in Jujuy
  • Hotel Huacalera (4 stars) in Jujuy
  • Hotel Colonial Salta (3 stars) in Salta
  • Gregorio I Hotel Boutique (3 stars) in Jujuy

Low Budget:

  • Ferienhaus Hostel Salta, in Salta
  • Club Hostel Jujuy, In Jujuy

Buenos Aires:

I think it is an obligation to visit Buenos Aires if one comes to Argentina. Here you will be able to find different landscapes wherever you look. I had the opportunity to visit it as a tourist (although I live here) because of a friend who came from the United States.

Knowing the culture of Buenos Aires without feeling local, I think everywhere you go will be beautiful.Imagen que contiene edificio, exterior, carretera, calle

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What I liked the most about Buenos Aires is that it is super wide, so I had to make a selection.

The most classic thing to do here is to go to Caminito, where tango is danced, and you can see the street art and the small houses with the old tenements of the Buenos Aires city. This is on La Boca next to the Rio de la Plata. Everything about the original times of Buenos Aires are in this neighbourhood such as, both people on the sidewalks, restaurants, old museums, cobbled streets and distinguished colourful houses of the time.

Another nice place to go is Puerto Madero, a beautiful place full of boats and buildings, dining there is really beautiful because of the lights, knowing the Fragata de la Libertad and the photo on the woman´s bridge is unmissable!

Near there is the pink house where the president currently governs, the Plaza de Mayo and the Cabildo in front of it, are the classic Argentine colonial structures.

The obelisk of Buenos Aires located on the largest avenue in the world on 9 de Julio is very beautiful for the classic photography of Buenos Aires.

Then the neighbourhood of Recoleta, where the European influence on buildings and sculptures is very noticeable. There is a lot of that in Recoleta cemetery where sculptures have been brought from outside and even Argentine artists were inspired by European art to do it.Imagen que contiene cielo, exterior

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It is important to know as well the MALBA and the Museum of Fine Arts that contain Argentine and European artists.

The Colon theatre, the main opera house in Buenos Aires, considered one of the ten best opera houses for its structure, shape and architecture, and for having one of the best acoustics in the world. You can buy a tour or go to hear an opera or watch a ballet there. It’s the most impressive thing!

Vist Palermo with its luminous streets, shops, restaurants on the street and painted murals.

There is a tourist bus that also takes you to visit almost all these places, but it also has its charm to walk.

Finally, I think it is important to know El Tigre in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, unique place for its flow of water, flora and fauna. Its small channels connect to the Rio de La Plata. Here you can see a way of living near the water, where the taxi and the buses are boats. I recommend doing a boat or catamaran trip over the small canals to observe everything that surrounds them, you can see a great contrast between the humble people and the yacht clubs and others. I have done it with Sturla Viajes and with Catamaranes del Sol. Tigre center is also very nice and you can go to different places like China town, or museums like the National Naval Museum. It is also very beautiful here to visit the Puerto de Frutos, market on the edge of the river where you can buy all kinds of things.Imagen que contiene agua, cielo, exterior, barco

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Here I recommend accommodation according to your different budgets, Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city, so the amount of accommodation is huge. In Tigre there are as well accommodation on the Delta islands, such as cabins, apartments and so.

Top Hotels/Hostels

  • Palacio Duhau-Park Hyatt Buenos Aires (5 stars), in Buenos Aires
  • Alvear Palace Hotel (5 stars), in Buenos Aires
  • Four Seasons Buenos Aires (5 stars), in Buenos Aires
  • Hilton Buenos Aires (5 stars), in Buenos Aires
  • Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel & Convention Center (5 stars), in Buenos Aires
  • Hotel Villa Victoria de Tigre (4 stars), in Tigre
  • Bisonte Libertad (4 stars), in Buenos Aires
  • Castelar Hotel & Spa (3 stars), in Buenos Aires
  • Argentina Tango Hotel (3 stars), in Buenos Aires
  • Hotel La Posta Tigre, in Tigre

Low Budget:

  • Play Hostel SOHO, in Palermo, Buenos Aires
  • V&S Hostel Club, in Buenos Aires
  • Tigre Delta Hostel, in Tigre
  • Upalala Hostel, in Tigre

There is much more to see in Buenos Aires and in Argentina so cheer up to come to know this beautiful country with different landscapes all around.

To keep up with Camila's journey, follower her on the backpacking app: Alpacr.