On Location August 2007 – Argentina and Chile | Iguazu Falls

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Iguazu falls on the border of Argetina and Brazil!
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On Location August 2007 – Argentina and Chile

Author: Steppes Travel

‘Had I just entered an endless butterfly farm?’ was my first thought upon disembarking the plane at Iguazu airport at the beginning of my trip around Argentina and Chile. Thousands of magnificently coloured butterflies – I knew I was in for something special.

Whilst checking into the Sheraton Hotel, I caught my first glimpse of the impressive falls and eagerly anticipated the opportunity to explore. Boarding the train to Garganta del Diablo (Devils throat falls), a 70 metre deep gorge where several branches of the Iguazu River converge into somewhat violently thundering waterfall, I watched the butterflies flutter in and out of the carriages.

Crossing over numerous boarded passages above the Parana River to the islands, I immediately appreciated just how vast the Iguazu National Park is, covering an estimated area of 550 km² with endless sub topical jungle and fauna. What a truly magical haven! I was extremely lucky to witness the falls in their full splendour following recent heavy rains in Brazil. It was hard to believe that on some occasions the falls almost disappear due to a lack of water.

Onward to Missiones, to find the landscape a vibrant red from the rich content of iron oxide in the earth. Here I spent time with the local Gurani people at Yacutinga Lodge. Considering it was winter in Argentina it was still fairly humid, yet very cool at night when I was grateful for the comfort of my log fire! During my stay at Yacutinga Lodge I undertook several excursions with my guide, Carlos, visiting the Capybara breeding programme and planting a sapling near the Capybara reserve, observing hummingbirds, morpho butterflies and also wildlife during our twilight jungle tour. Following an excellent day, I retreated to my cabin for a well-earned sleep, only to be unexpectedly accompanied by a rather nosey possum for the entire evening.

Leaving Iguazu, I flew back to Buenos Aires to attend the lavish Rojo Tango show at the Faena Hotel, an incredibly slick performance of lively song and dance, complete with excellent food and wine. Onwards to Bariloche, a small alpine-like city situated around Lake Nahuel Huapi in northern Patagonia with snow-capped peaks and an abundance of chocolatieres! From Bariloche I drove to San Martin de los Andes via the stunning seven lakes crossing boasting picturesque views across large lakes including Nahuel Huapi set amidst lush green forests and peaks. Located alongside the shores of Lake Lácar, San Martin de los Andes provides ample opportunities for those seeking adventure and relaxation including horse riding at a local estancia or simply dining in one of its countless brassieres.

My journey continued with a journey winding through the Andes onward to Chile, and around the base of the stunning Lanin Volcano towards Pucon where I observed the immigration officers undertaking their daily ‘chore’ of table tennis!

I boarded a flight from Valdivia airport to Calama, where I transferred to San Pedro de Atacama, an oasis in the desert.

The following morning I woke at sunrise trying to contain my excitement at being in the driest arid desert in the world. I visited Valle de la Muerte – Death Valley, not really known for this and just mispronounced by a French lady, which was staggering and gave me a true perception of how diverse the Atacama Desert can be in a relatively short distance.

I witnessed the most spectacular sunset I had ever seen or envisaged seeing, a true show of reds, purples, oranges and in amongst this outstanding performance were 4 species of flamingo grazing along the salt flats.

To say I had to pinch myself was a complete understatement. The following morning I rose early to witness the El Tatio geysers spurt steam from the ground in all their grandeur at minus 15 degrees, increasing at the rate of 28 degrees in one hour, thus a dip in the Puritama thermal springs en route back to San Pedro was very welcoming!

During the final stages of my journey I flew back across the Andes to Argentina, to the beautiful vineyards of Mendoza and bodegas that cover a vast area of land at the foot of the Andes. A perfect place to relax at the end my trip.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/destinations-articles/on-location-august-2007-argentina-and-chile-976926.html

About the Author

Steppes Travel specialise in luxury holidays, and tailor made holidays

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