Needless to say that 2020 was a rough year for all travel lovers: stay at home orders and quarantine have put us in a situation unlike anything most of us have ever experienced before.
Say Hueque´s Founder and Director, Rafa Mayer, decided to wrap up 2020 in a different way. Rafa, his wife and his seven and twelve- year-old sons– Tobías and Camilo – embarked on a road trip adventure across Patagonia in order to spend New Year´s Eve surrounded by the most beautiful natural wonders.
The trip began in Bariloche, where they picked up their new home for a couple of weeks: a cozy but modern Motorhome.
Since the objective of the trip was to reconnect with nature, this self-propelled and self-sufficient vehicle seemed to Rafa a great choice for travelling safely and independently , prioritizing their time for exploring remote and uncrowded areas.
They departed from Bariloche headed North, stopped at Traful Lake, where they spent a magical New Year´s Eve dining on the shores of this brilliantly blue lake, under a beautiful starry sky. This is a very quiet area of Patagonia, where you can see pristine lakes surrounded by the Andes almost in complete solitude, and just 100 km away from the town of Bariloche (where the airport is located, with daily flights from Buenos Aires).
After this, the Mayer Family headed back to the south and their next top Villa La Angostura, a small town on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi, that is surrounded by other lakes and the Andes Mountain Range. This area is heavily influenced by the European immigration at the turn on the century, giving it a Swiss- German feeling. They continued their travels, visiting Mascardi Lake and Manso Valley. Manso valley surprised them with its unique mountain landscapes and its astonishing beauty so they stayed longer and went horseback riding across the valley and rafting along the river. They had a blast!
Days later, they continued their route to Los Alerces National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and parked the motorhome on the shores of Rivadavia Lake. There, they enjoyed trekking in the Alerces woods, beautiful family picnics and watching memorable sunsets while drinking Mate.
As their last – but definitely not least – destination they stopped over at Estancia Peuma Hue, an enchanting hotel and Eco-lodge nestled within the grounds Nahuel Huapi National Park. There, they went kayaking on crystal clear Gutiérrez Lake and horseback riding.
Although the motorhome was comfortable, it was great to stay in a hotel for a couple of nights.
This amazing trip was a great opportunity for Mayer’s family to spend time together and make up for the untraveled time in 2020. The fact that Argentina has opened up to domestic travel, encouraging Argentine citizens to travel around their own country, made it possible to sustain small local economies (in some places that rely on tourism) which have suffered the terrible consequences of last year´s pandemic and lockdowns.
Their Patagonia Road trip was an amazing experience that Rafa´s family will never forget.
If this adventure awake your travel bug, we invite you to check some Family Trips ideas here.
A chief goal on the itinerary of any Patagonia trip should include seeing penguins in their natural habitat. Witnessing these feathery, flightless bundles of cute wandering around Patagonia’s coastal areas will no doubt make a great experience, story, and collection of photos. There are several places on a Patagonia trip where one can see penguin colonies. The main places include Puerto Madryn near the Valdes Peninsula, Punta Arenas in Chile, and the farthest southern city in the world, Ushuaia on the Island of Tierra del Fuego. Although viewing penguins in the wild is of course a spectacle anywhere, few places provide as rich an experiencing as does viewing penguins in Ushuaia. In Ushuaia, unlike elsewhere, the visitor is allowed to walk on the island (with the penguins) in a group guaranteed to be no larger twenty.
There are three species of penguins in Ushuaia—the most common (and likely to be on the island in great numbers) are Magellanic penguins, followed by the larger (as well as rarer) Gentoo and King penguins. These species are very different in size and color. Magellanic penguins are primarily black with white stripes around the head and wings. Gentoo penguins most closely resemble those from Mary Poppins, with solid black and white colors, except for orange feet and beaks. Finally, the King penguin has the sleek grey and yellow look and stature of the Emperor penguin, though they are a bit smaller. All of these species come to the island to breed, the Magellanic often year after year to the same nest and the same partner. Breeding season is in early spring and summer, beginning in early October. Young can be seen all summer through to February, the best time anyway to book a Patagonia trip, due to the favorable weather this far south.
The operators to the island near Ushuaia offer only two trips a day, and limit the number of passengers per trip to a mere twenty. This means that visitors can explore the island without disturbing the penguin’s natural habitat. The guides remind everyone however that no matter how cute a penguin is or how tempting it is to pick one up and cuddle it, one should not. This does not bar the penguins from intimate movement, and it is very likely that these curious creatures will come to within a meter’s distance while walking the island. The experience is guaranteed to be so enchanting that the full hour on the island will pass by rapidly, as do unfortunately most of the experiences on a Patagonia trip.
Because seeing penguins in Ushuaia is such an exclusive experience, it is not surprising that during the high season (November to February), places are hard to get to without a prior reservation, so book early! The number of penguins is highest during this time. The journey there involves first a bus ride to the Halburton Estancia (a prominent spot in the book In Patagonia, by Bruce Chatwin), and from there by boat to the Martillo(penguin) island. The entire excursion is with a guide, and it goes without say, will be one of the really valuable highlights of a Patagonia trip.
There are a great variety of tours in Patagonia that visit Argentina´s glaciers, hike Patagonia´s trails and travel to key destinations like Calafate, Chalten, Tierra del Fuego, Torres del Paine and more. For further information about tours in Patagonia,Argentina vacations or tours in Iguazu Falls, contact Argentina travel experts, Say Hueque – Tours in Argentina www.sayhueque.com
We all know how the end of a chaotic week feels like. And the weekend flies faster than a supersonic object. However, if you wish to unwind, and make every single moment of your weekend and vacations count, you better book an estancia for yourself. You can go solo or you can get your best buddies to tag along with you, either way travelling and staying at an estancia will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. And as it happens, estancias in Argentina are some of the best in the world. Here’s a list for you, in case this serene and thrilling getaway destination has piqued your interest.
Visit Estancia Huechahue in the lovely region of Patagonia and get the true taste of real and raw Gaucho life. But that’s not all; the picture presented by the windows of this estancia is truly mesmerizing. The Andean foothills, the Patagonian prairie land, the vast rivers and, the looming mountains are sights for the sore eyes. Even the most worried and apprehensive minds are able to take a break in a place like this. But it is not all a philosophical, thoughtful or a truth-seeking journey and experience. There’s more as the place offers conviviality as well. Enjoy fishing, horse riding, gaucho activities, rafting, and other water and land sports when staying in Estancia Huechahue.
The amazingly beautiful Candelaria Del Monte, in Buenos Aires is an epitome of classic old world charm existing in modern times. This estancia dates back to 18th century, and while it has been rebuilt in 2004 to its present state, the old glory is still seeping out from every pore of this Estancia. The fragrant trees, the flowers, the old country houses, the endless skies of the pampas and the intimate surroundings make Candelaria Del Monte, one of the best estancias in Argentina. If you are craving for freedom, this estancia and its open skies are going to be your comfort.
Every person finds comfort differently. And if your definition of relaxation and unwinding includes adventures, rare flora and fauna, hiking through the jungle, and taking a canoe ride in winding rivers, then El Cachapé just your kind of ranch. Located in North East Argentina, this estancia offers all sorts of escapades into the wild. Wild animals, horse riding and different excursion are all guaranteed entertainments here.
Córdoba is home to the lovely estancia, Los Potreros. This estancia is especially known for the excellent collection of horses they have, and the thrilling horse rides they guarantee. You can ride all the way to the boundless lands of this estancia and even play polo or become an expert in lasso.
The best thing about this estancia in Mendoza is that it offers a combination of wine and recreation at one place. Club Tapiz in Mendoza is no different. The 22 acres of vineyards contains historical buildings, private rooms, breathtaking vista, and a chance at free wine tasting every evening.
If you have
never been to a ranch your entire life, you are missing out big. Change that right now and make sure your next trip to
Argentina includes staying at one of the best estancias in the world.
Waterfalls are always a somewhat magical phenomenom and make every hike a little more special than just walking on a trail. However, when you have some of the largest waterfalls in the world placed in a tropical jungle climate, the phenomenon takes on a whole different level of incredible. That is what it is like to experience Iguazu Falls.
Iguazu means big water in Guarani, which is a fitting name for the deafening roar this beast of a natural waterfall showcases. In fact, it is something very akin to ‘magic’—and it should be because the Falls are one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Iguazu Falls are shared by three countries: Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina. Both Brazil and Argentina have National Parks devoted to them, and they are sufficiently different in character to each merit a visit.
The ‘Brazilian’ side, set farther back from the Falls themselves, is favoured for its panoramic view. From here, one can appreciate just how massive the Falls are. Many come here, if only to take that perfect photograph.
The ‘Argentine’ side is more developed and advances right up to the Falls themselves, to a place called La Garganta del Diablo (the Devil’s Throat). It includes many more walks and viewing points, as well as a number of excursions that will get one above, next to, or even beneath the Falls themselves. Most of the tours to Igauzu Falls go to both countries, but, if time is short, opt for just the ‘Argentine’ side.
1. Hike the short circuit first, then the long circuit and finish at the Devil’s throat
It is in fact an excellent idea to approach a trip to the Argentine side of the Iguazu Falls by beginning from a distance to the Falls and steadily get closer and closer. In this way, one can appreciate first their size (and ‘poor Niagara’, as Eleanor Roosevelt exclaimed, isn’t as big) and later appreciate its sheer force. Therefore begin on the short, but panoramic, upper circuit before heading down the lower circuit, enjoying its several different viewing points. Finally approach the Devil’s Throat: a U shaped, several hundred meter deep and nearly 90 meters high chasm of falling water that casts mist high into the air. From here, it isn’t too difficult to imagine Hell itself is just beneath the surface of the churning water.
2. Visit Isla San Martin
Take advantage of a free transfer to the Isla San Martin, where on a small beach one can appreciate the heart of the Falls, as well as get a tan. There is also a good walk here that one can explore, and perhaps even pretend to be a character from that iconic movie featuring the Iguazu, the Mission.
3. Ride under the Falls
For those who enjoy a good theme park ride, consider hopping aboard one of the high powered, high octane boat excursions that venture right up to and even inside the Falls. This is an excellent chance to feel their tremendous power first hand, as well as see a group of adults become reduced to happy, squealing children.
4. Catch the sunset and sunrise on the right side
Iguazu is understandably one of South America’s chief tourist attractions. This means that one should expect ample crowds almost year round, but especially on school holidays. For a chance to get some time alone with the Falls, rising early is the best option. The Argentine Park opens at 8am and the Brazilian at 9am. Photographers should remember in connection to this that the sun rises from the Brazilian side (which is only a problem when photographing the Devil’s Throat) and sets on the Argentine side.
5. Hike less common trails
Explore the incredible biodiversity, very unlike that of temperate climes, by taking some time to visit the Park’s eco-museum, and by hiking along the Sendero Verde or Macuco to actually be in this habitat. The latter even takes one to a smaller, more intimate waterfall missed by a good number of visitors.
6. Visit Aripuca or a Bird Sanctuary
Outside the Park, visit the thought provoking enlarged Guarani trap designed to ‘capture the conscience.’ Even more interesting is the Guira Oga bird sanctuary, intended to help injured and orphaned wildlife return there. Here it is usually possible to see some of the animals one might miss in the wild, such as a macaw or a toucan.
7. Head to Paraguay to visit the Jesuit Ruins
The history of this area has not always been rosy. If time allows, make sure to witness this by stopping at the Jesuit ruins of San Ignacio just outside the town of Posadas. These once thriving communities of indigenous Guarani were abruptly dispersed and its founders from the Society of Jesus ejected in the 18th Century. They were left to become ruins—which they remain today.
It is understandably difficult to choose from among the many available tours. Iguazu Falls can be enjoyed on many different levels and budgets, from the most luxurious to the most constrained.
For further information about tours in Iguazu, Argentina contact travel experts, Say Hueque: www.sayhueque.com
An Argentina family vacation is sure to be full of memories that will last a lifetime. Our cities and natural attractions are surprisingly family-friendly, something that many parents learn as they start planning their trip. Buenos Aires, for example, is full of cultural opportunities for your kids to experience, whereas a trip into Iguazu Falls National Park boasts plenty of places for your kids to explore Argentina’s natural beauty.
At Say Hueque, we recognize that traveling with young children can be stressful, so we do our best to help simplify your Argentina family vacation. No matter what age your children are, or what stage of trip planning you’ve reached, these parent-approved travel tips will help make your vacation more enjoyable.
When planning an Argentina family vacation, a great rule to remember is that some of the best trips are the simplest or those without too many logistics to plan and organize. Of course, flexibility is always key when on vacation with your children. Your itinerary doesn’t have to be crammed with activities…. appreciate what you are able to see and do, and know that these are special memories that will last for a lifetime! Our carefully created family trips are a balance of exciting sightseeing, but also relaxing moments for you to bond with your kids.
This may sound like a tall order – finding places to visit that will keep everyone entertained – but in Argentina, it’s actually quite easy. The MALBA, arguably Buenos Aires’ best art museum, offers fun workshops for kids where they can make their own works of art. Iguazu Falls is always a family-favorite, with wildlife viewing, thrilling boat rides, and stroller-friendly pathways. As mentioned, Buenos Aires has a great deal to offer to families with the most diverse preferences. As a matter of fact, there are some great ideas to get your kids involved before visiting the country, check them out!
You’ve bought your plane ticket, booked your excursions and have started packing… but how much research have you done on Argentina’s customs, currencies, and cuisine? If this is your first Argentina family vacation, you may not be familiar with our traditions and laws, and it’s important to take the time to learn so you don’t run into any difficulties. Have you learned simple phrases in Spanish, such as please and thank you?
If your trip planning is still in diapers, we recommend checking out some Patagonia family-friendly destinations or great escapades for your toddler’s spring vacation.
To make planning your Argentina family vacation even easier, check out our blog, full of tips on traveling with toddlers and young children, download our free travel guides, and don’t forget to check out all of Say Hueque’s family trips!
We know that taking a family vacation can seem a bit daunting when you’re traveling with children – especially if you are thinking about making it an international journey. There are lots of factors to take into consideration, such as safety, activities, and easy of navigation. Obviously these factors depend on the ages of your children (a trip tailored around a baby would greatly differ from one centered on a teenager), but what’s great about our country is that there truly is something for everyone. So read on to find out why you should visit Argentina with kids.
During the high seasons, you will find Bariloche is full of Argentine families enjoying their vacation. Because of its picturesque landscapes and array of outdoor activities, Bariloche is one of the most popular destinations in Argentina, and it’s easy to see why. With stunning mountain views and sparkling blue lakes, parents will feel relaxed and kids of all aged will be able to enjoy themselves.
There are plenty of outdoor activities to keep everyone in the family entertained year-round, making it an easy crowd-pleaser. For example, during the snowy months you can spend your days skiing on some of the nicest slopes in the Andes like Cerro Catedral, and in the summer you can visit the beaches along the crystal blue lakes. Dare to dive into the icy water or hop on a kayak to explore the lakes’ waters. There are also tons of campsites in the area, perfect for turning off your cell phone and opting for some good old-fashioned family bonding time. Be sure not to miss the huge selection of artisanal chocolates in the city center!
Just north of Buenos Aires is Tigre, a small town on the Rio de la Plata. With less hustle and bustle than Argentina’s capital city, it makes for an ideal day trip for families. You can take a boat tour along the river to see historic houses or take a swim in the region’s lakes (the water stays fairly warm year-round). A favorite option for younger kids is Parque de la Costa, a classic amusement park offering a fantastic selection of rollercoasters and water rides.
The small riverside town is also known for its huge Feria Artensenal where you can pick up and assortment of traditional Argentine souvenirs including spices, leather goods, mates and more! While in town, be sure to sample some traditional Argentine fare like empanadas or choripan, and dulce de leche or alfajores for a sweet treat while you’re there. The great part about Tigre is that the city is accessible by train (so no car needed!) and it’s located just about an hour away from Buenos Aires.
This natural wonder of the world can’t be missed! The whole family will be amazed by the size and force of one of the world’s most impressive natural waterfalls, no wonder it’s a top destination in Argentina. When you enter the park, there are two main circuits—upper and lower, which include many winding trails you can take through the rainforest flora to explore and see different viewpoints of the falls.
Stop by the Devil’s Throat, one of the most popular vantage points or take a boat tour to view the huge falls from below. Don’t forget to bring a towel or change of clothes — you’re bound to get wet! The park is full of exotic birds and colorful butterflies. Keep a lookout for coatís, friendly raccoon-like mammals! If you’re lucky, you might spot a wild toucan or even a jaguar lurking in the park.
While Mendoza isn’t typically the first destination in Argentina that comes to mind when you think “family-friendly destinations,” the famed wine region actually attracts families and adventurers of all ages! Mendoza offers much more than its Malbec, and the astounding beauty of the surrounding Andes simply cannot be ignored. Head outside and spend some time hiking, biking, rappelling or zip-lining and more. If you go during the summer, you can trek the base of the highest peak in all of the Andes, Mount Aconcagua. Of course, many families also opt for ultimate relaxation and spend the majority of their time at whichever hotel or resort they’re staying at, taking advantage of perks such as spas, swimming pools, and room service!
One favored way to experience the gaucho culture while enjoying the beautiful scenery is by horseback. There are many tour options that include a gaucho-guided tour on horseback followed by a traditional asado dinner. On the weekends in the city center, Plaza Independencia is filled with families relaxing and spending time together. Bring a soccer ball for the kids and maybe a bottle of Malbec for the parents, don’t worry it’s legal to drink in the park!
For additional information on more destinations in Argentina, read more here. Or, to see this beautiful country for yourself, get in touch with us today!
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