One of the best ways to immerse yourself in a country or a culture is through its food, and Argentina is no exception. This South American country has a rich and varied cuisine that reflects its multicultural roots. Here are ten foods and drinks to try when you’re in Argentina to make sure you’re savoring the best they have to offer. Argentinian BeefArgentina is known as cattle country for a reason...
There’s one particular episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table that tends to stick out in everybody’s mind. It features the biggest food star in the Latin world and it speaks to the soul of what it is that people love about travel, about food, about drink, about freedom, about life. It demonstrates a unique and enrapturing appreciation for each. If you’ve watched the show then you’ve...
 Some rivalries are thoroughly engrossing. Red Sox vs. Yankees, the English breakfast vs. the Continental breakfast, Everest vs. K2, Microsoft vs. Apple, Sounders vs. Timbers. And in the southern reaches of South America, on the Atlantic coast, another captivating duel has been playing out for centuries: Montevideo vs. Buenos Aires. Separated by the Rio de La Plata, the estuary formed at the...
Even though the United States didn’t qualify for this year’s World Cup, our team of Latin America travel experts here in the U.S. have found plenty of rooting interests in the tournament all the same. When you spend as much time getting to know the people and the places across South America the way we have, you develop some pretty profound ties and you can’t help but pull for the countries you know...
If you’ve always dreamed of witnessing penguins in the wild, then our team of Latin America travel experts has you covered. While Antarctica is famously the best place to go if you’re looking for the ultimate penguin trip, there’s also no shortage of opportunities to do some penguin watching everywhere from the Galapagos Islands all the way through Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. In...
  This past week you may have noticed penguins taking over your Instagram or Twitter feed as World Penguin Day was celebrated on April 25th and proved once again that pretty much everyone, everywhere loves penguins. Penguins are without a doubt the most sought after wildlife viewing experience we offer at Southern Explorations, and it’s no mystery as to why. Across the 17 species of penguins,...
Yes, it feels like 2018 just started, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about your 2019 Latin America travel plans! In fact, for some of our trips, if you don’t start planning now, you’ll miss out entirely, especially if you’re thinking of exploring South America in 2019 on a Southern Explorations luxury trip, particularly Luxury Patagonia. Our custom...
Good news for Canadians looking to experience Argentina and Brazil in 2018 and beyond! The Argentinian government has now waived the reciprocity fee for Canadians to visit the country as of January 1, 2018, while Brazil has introduced a new electronic visa for Canadian visitors.  Argentina Canadian travelers to Argentina will no longer have to pay the US$78 online fee before they travel as was...
As we continue our Trips of a Lifetime series – in which we take a look at some of the most memorable and impressive trips our team of Latin America travel experts have designed – we take a look at an impressive itinerary custom built for a group of Southern Explorations guests who knew what they wanted to see and came to us to help make their dream a reality. As soon as we started putting together our...
We absolutely love to hear from travelers new to Southern Explorations, excited to chat with our team of Latin America travel experts, custom-building their ideal South America trip experience. But there’s also something to be said for how much joy it brings our team to welcome back Southern Explorations guests for your second, third, fourth, fifth trips, and beyond with us. When we know where you’...
If you’ve traveled with us before, you know that one of the defining elements of our trips is taking our guests off the beaten path, no matter the destination you’re exploring. With that in mind we want to take you even further off the well-trodden trail as our team of Latin America travel experts give you the heads up on some of our most underrated trip itineraries. Ecuador Hiking Adventure - Savvy...
Born and raised in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, a rural region of Vermont right on the edge of the Canadian border, Kaitlyn was an outdoorsy kid, snowboarding in the Green Mountains as Vermont kids are apt to do. She studied psychology in college and worked in mental health (child and family services) for a few years before finding herself crafting intricate and compelling Latin America travel experiences...
Easter egg hunts. It's a tradition dating back hundreds of years. The idea of searching for vibrant, colorful treats hidden away from sight has delighted children and adults alike for centuries.It’s a concept we’re very familiar with at Southern Explorations because it's the idea behind each one of our Latin America travel experiences. The destinations we explore are packed with travel Easter...
 Trip Advisor is one of the best-known and trusted travel resources worldwide, and every year they turn to millions of travelers to vote on the best of the best for the Travelers’ Choice Awards. We weren’t surprised to see many of our favorite Latin American destinations grab the spotlight for must-see landmarks, destinations, beaches, restaurants, and destinations on the rise in the 2016 Award...
Learn to tango on the streets of Buenos Aires, follow your stomach through Lima’s booming culinary scene, or watch the world’s best athletes live from the stands during the Olympics in Rio. Our team of travel experts have scoured the continent and picked the top five festivals you have to get to this summer - from sport enthusiasts to foodies, Latin America has a little something for everyone. 1)...
UruguayUntil recently, travelers planning a trip to South America would by-pass thoughts of Uruguay, opting instead for the better known attractions of the colossal countries on either side. Increasing numbers of visitors are discovering all that this little country has to offer. Uruguay is comprised mostly of grasslands, fringed by blissful sand dunes and beaches. For the vacationer, this means the opportunity to...
What Is A Multisport Adventure Trip?
As the name implies, multisport itineraries are active and most days are spent on one or more excursions that require at least moderate exertion. They usually involve a combination of different activities rather than focusing on just one. For many outings, guides transport passengers from their hotel to a trailhead or put-in at a river for a whitewater rafting trip. On others,...
SOUTHERN EXPLORATIONS 10 YEARS OLD AND GROWING!2015 marks Southern Explorations’ 10th year in business. What started as a two-person operation in a garage has grown into a company with destination coordinators in several countries, customers from throughout the world and awards from the national travel media for our authentic trips and sustainability values. Southern Explorations has become one of the leaders...
Many of our full itineraries for Chile tours and travel to Argentina include destinations to observe penguins. For those that don’t, it is possible to add on a few days to the beginning or end of our tours in order to fit penguins into your vacation. These tour extensions range from day-trips to multi-day excursions in Peru, Argentina and Chile plus an exotic fly-in excursion to Antarctica.You will have two...
Terrain and Weather The terrain of the northeast is varied, with many destinations to visit on Argentina tours in the mountains, lush rainforests, lowland plains, and forested valleys in the south; and humid tropical vegetation and weather, with wet summers and warm winters in the north. The Gran Chaco that is comprised of areas of Formosa, Chaco and Santa Fe provinces as well as provinces further west and parts...
Terrain and Weather The northwest is a region of diverse landscapes. Its mountain peaks include 18,200-ft Cerro del Bolson. There are high plains, colorful sierras, many canyons and valleys as well as tropical cloud forests and flatlands. The climate ranges from arid, with some of the country's highest summer temperatures and very cold winters, to subtropical areas that are warm year-round, making for a variety of...
Reading about and preparing for your adventure is half the fun. For more book suggestions go to Argentina
Protecting an eclectic mix of terrain and habitat totaling almost nine million acres, Argentina has designated national parks in all but four of its twenty-three provinces, from its northernmost border with Bolivia to the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego. The government holds additional territory as national reserves and national monuments. About half of its national parks are on the "must see" lists of...
The National Parks of the NorthwestIn the northwest region of the country, you'll find six national parks to visit when you travel to Argentina. An exotic tropical park filled with the lush foliage of the yungas cloud forest, Baritu National Park, contains flocks of toucans and parrots and many endangered species. Calilegua National Park is a bio-diverse yungas paradise containing a quarter of Argentina's bird...
The park's inaccessibility provides critical habitat for the near-extinct jaguar and the onza, a puma-like cat species, making it a unique stop on Argentina tours. Smaller cats such as ocelots also roam the park as does the endangered tapir, giant anteater, speckled bear and the capuchin and howler monkey species. Baritu is also home to the raccoon-like coati, the neo-tropical otter and such bird species as toucans...
The park was donated by the Ledesma Sugar Company that had previously cultivated the land and altered the area's transitional jungle for the growing of its crop. Of Argentina's national parks that protect the yungas, Calilegua is the most accessible to visitors on Argentina tours. The terrain of the park includes mountainous areas with peaks up to 9,090 feet, deep canyons, high grasslands and transitional forest in...
The park is mountainous, containing different types of forests and jungle. Its lush vegetation includes beautiful orchid species and epiphytes. Among the many animal species that inhabit the park and which you might see on your Argentina tours are the tapir, Peruvian guemal, anteater, peccary, red brocket deer, otter, raccoon, scrubland fox and puma in addition to several fish species. The park contains a camping...
Elevation in the park ranges from 8,800 to 16,400 feet. The terrain of mountains, lowlands and basin supports a variety of wildlife including the endangered northern guemel and vicuna as well as 100 bird species typical of Argentina. The park contains dinosaur tracks from its previous inhabitants, a remarkable sight on Argentina tours. One of the park’s other attractions is its pre-Incan cave art. Winter...
The park provides habitat to the critically endangered jaguar and is home to the giant anteater, the giant armadillo and the pig-like Chacoan peccary, unique sights for those on Argentina tours. The most important bird species inhabiting the park is the blue-fronted parrot. The climate is warm and dry. Though camping is allowed for travelers on Argentina tours, there are no visitor services in the park.
Campo de Los Alisos contains two archeological sites, ruins of Inca settlements linked by an Inca road at what was once the southern border of the empire. These sites are not yet open to the public. The mountainous regions get snow in the winter, and summers are hot and humid in the jungle areas, something to keep in mind when you travel to Argentina. The nearest town is Alpachiri.
Baritu National ParkThe park's inaccessibility provides critical habitat for the near-extinct jaguar and the onza, a puma-like cat species, making it a unique stop on Argentina tours. Smaller cats such as ocelots also roam the park as does the endangered tapir, giant anteater, speckled bear and the capuchin and howler monkey species. Baritu is also home to the raccoon-like coati, the neo-tropical otter and such bird...
Rio Pilcomayo National ParkThe park's rainforests provide habitat for three monkey species. The endangered aguara guazu fox with red fur and black legs, the raccoon-like oso malero (honey bear) and the coati also inhabit the park. Other species you might see in the park on Argentina tours include the endangered caiman, the semi-aquatic carpincho (capybara) and the small yacare alligator. Among the park's bird...
San Guillermo National ParkOther wildlife in the park that you might see on your Argentina tours includes the puma, red fox, small lizard species and the Andean condor. The vegetation of the park's puna region and central Andes is bush steppe with typical Andean flowers. The park contains remnants of the Inca Trail. The park’s weather is dry and cold. Some areas receive considerably more precipitation than...
Lihue Calel National ParkSituated in southern La Pampa Province, Lihue Calel is a bio-diverse park containing over 350 plant species ranging from dry scrub to calden trees (of the mesquite family) in the more humid areas. It is home to the puma, jaguarundi and Geoffroy’s cat for those interested in seeing big cats on their Argentina tours, as well as the Patagonian fox, guanaco, Patagonian hare, the chinchilla...
Laguna Blanca National ParkThe best place to view the park's abundance of aquatic birds on Patagonia tours is Laguna Verde. Situated north of Laguna Blanca, it requires special permission to visit. Though the black-necked swan may be viewed year-round when you travel to Argentina, the greatest profusion of birds frequents Laguna Blanca National Park between November and March. Camping is allowed for visitors on...
Monte Leon National ParkThere is much wildlife to encounter for those who travel to Argentina on Patagonia tours in Monte Leon National Park. The park provides habitat for guanacos, ostrich-like lesser rheas, wolves and pumas in addition to a wealth of marine life, including the world's fourth largest colony of Magellanic penguins and twenty species of coastal birds. The Tehuelche were the first people to inhabit...
Terrain and WeatherThe region is comprised mostly of flatlands and steppe with some low mountains; Lombardy pines, eucalyptus and ombu trees, a species that grows only here. The Pampas, or "open country" in the Quechuan language, are synonymous with Argentina, and once stretched through the middle of Argentina, and into Uruguay and southern Brazil. The influx of populations put this land to productive use,...
Terrain and WeatherThe northwest is a region of diverse landscapes. Its mountain peaks include 18,200-ft Cerro del Bolson. There are high plains, colorful sierras, many canyons and valleys as well as tropical cloud forests and flatlands. The climate ranges from arid, with some of the country's highest summer temperatures and very cold winters, to subtropical areas that are warm year-round, making for a variety of...
Terrain and WeatherThe terrain of the northeast is varied, with many destinations to visit on Argentina tours in the mountains, lush rainforests, lowland plains, and forested valleys in the south; and humid tropical vegetation and weather, with wet summers and warm winters in the north. The Gran Chaco that is comprised of areas of Formosa, Chaco and Santa Fe provinces as well as provinces further west and parts of...
Indigenous PopulationsThe indigenous populations of the Central Andes included Diaguitas, Capayanes, Olongastas, Huarpes, Capazanes, Yacampis, Michilingües, Calchaquies, Ranqueles and further east, Pehuenches, Comechingones and Sanavirones. Puelches inhabited areas over the entire region. There is evidence that the region was inhabited as long ago as 2000 BC, that crop cultivation began by 300 BC and that this...
Terrain and WeatherPatagonia's northern region contains mountains, valleys, steppe, fertile farm land, forests, rivers and many lakes to see on Patagonia tours. Summers are hot but breezy, and winters range from cold to colder. Some areas are arid; others have considerable winter precipitation. Patagonia tours occur mostly during the summer months. Indigenous PopulationsBefore the Spanish arrived, followed by the...
Terrain and WeatherThe region consists of mountains, glaciers, steppe, forests, rivers, lakes, fjords and rugged ocean coastline, offering much to see during your Patagonia travel on Argentina tours. Summer daytime temperatures are warm; evenings are cold, and strong winds are present most months of the year. Public facilities in some areas with the harshest weather close during the winter months. When you travel to...
Of course, you'll want to eat the world's best steak when you travel to Argentina, grass-fed from the pampas, grilled to perfection. Definitely sample the country's most famous varietal wines - the velvety red Malbec, distinct from its French counterpart, and the multi-faceted white Torrontes, a grape grown only in Argentina. Take up the mate habit on your Argentina tours, though once may be enough....
The Recoleta CemeteryLike London’s Highgate and Pere Lachaise of Paris, the Recoleta has its fair share of notable inhabitants, including national leaders, military heroes, Nobel Prize winners and important writers. With one major exception, however, most of these names are only vaguely recognizable to people outside Latin America. International visitors on Argentina tours come here mostly for the architecture...
Downtown Buenos AiresHere you'll find the historic presidential palace, La Casa Rosada, so named for its vivid hue. The building houses the Executive Branch of government but is not the residence of the president. In the basement is a museum and a library collection of 17,000 volumes on the history of Argentina. Visitors on Argentina tours may visit some areas of the complex. Behind the palace is the La Plaza de...
The pampas begin where Buenos Aires leaves off. Here you may spend the day with the gauchos, riding the pampas or better still, stay the night in a historic estancia and enjoy a mouth-watering grilled steak, Argentine asado style. Converted ranches, or estancias, dot the landscape throughout many parts of Argentina including San Antonio de Areco, just two hours west of the capital. Comfortable authentic lodgings for...
The RecoletaThe posh Recoleta neighborhood is filled with fashionable shops on Santa Fe Avenue and nearby streets. On Avenida Alvear is a small enclave of exclusive shops with designer names you'll recognize. If you're looking for the world's most comfortable shoes, for a price, some shops here will custom-make a pair in a few days. On weekends, adjacent to the Recoleta Cemetery, the biggest of the city's street...
Air travelAmerican, Continental, Delta and United Airlines are the U.S. carriers that fly to Buenos Aires. The international airport of Buenos Aires, Internacionale Ministro Pistarini, goes by the name Ezeiza (EZE), and is located twenty-one miles southwest of the city. Information desks are located in Terminal A and B of the airport. Depending on the time of day, it takes about forty-five minutes to get from Ezeiza...
Mate across S. AmericaJust as we love our lattes, the Argentines go for mate in a big way. The drink is also popular in Uruguay, Chile, southern Brazil and Bolivia as well as in Paraguay where drinking it chilled (called terere) is popular. Brazil produces a toasted version called cha that is sold in bags and though flavorful, lacks the bitterness that characterizes mate prepared the traditional way. The mateline...
Flamboyant tango shows take place every evening all over town. Most include dinner and a floor show. At some, guests are ushered in by a tango dancer and swept on to the dance floor for an impromptu lesson before being escorted to their tables. Most tango/dinner show extravaganzas are pricey, ranging from $50 to $200 per person. Considering the size and excitement of the show as well as the quality of the cuisine,...
From the most fleeting of interest to the fanatical, there are tango lessons for everyone in Buenos Aires. Lessons come packaged with hotel reservations and Spanish lessons, as an adjunct to tango shows and festivals as well as being offered at many of the city's milonga ballrooms. For dedicated students of tango, there are master classes led by prominent dancers year-round as well as intensive teaching sessions...
The Canyengue and Orillero stylesThe canyengue and orillero styles come from the early days of tango, before and slightly after the dance moved from the slums into broader society. They were a less sophisticated form in which men and women were on a separate axis, and movement was inhibited by the tight cut and long styles of ladies' fashion. Milonga StyleMilonga style is what is danced in the crowded neighborhood...
On every continent, bankers, mechanics, lawyers and computer programmers escape real life to enter the world of tango for a few days in festivals that celebrate the dance and its culture. In 2006 alone, tango festivals were scheduled in places as far flung as Wuppertal, Zurich; Copenhagen, Stockholm, Catania, Seattle, Singapore, Budapest, Taipei and Istanbul. You'll find a full listing of tango festivals around the...
The MusicThroughout the history of tango, its composers have also been its musicians and its singers. The chamber ensemble that plays tango music is called an orquesta tipica. In the early days of tango, it was a sextet that accompanied tango dancers, composed of two bandoneons, two violins, piano and double bass. Tango's Golden Age coincided with the big band craze elsewhere, and orquestas tipicas grew to include a...
American actor Robert Duvall's 2003 homage to the dance is a suspenseful drama of political intrigue, Assassination Tango. It's about a semi-retired hit-man, played by Duvall, who is hired to kill an aging general of the 1980s "Dirty War" that the Argentine government waged against its citizens. When his assignment is delayed after his arrival in Buenos Aires, he bides his time prowling the city's milonga ballrooms...
The birth of the tango songTango had always been danced to instrumental music. Then, practically overnight, Gardel made a place for the singer in the world of tango. In 1917, he premiered a song of Pascual Contursi's lyrics set to a Samuel Castriota tango, renaming it Mi Noche Trieste. It was a huge success, and an even bigger hit when it was released as a recording the following year, selling100,000 copies in just...
Gardel first ventured into cinema before his singing career took off. Flor de Durazno ("Peach Blossom"), an adaptation of Argentine writer Hugo Wast's novel, was released in 1917 directed by Argentine director Francisco Defilippis Novoa. Though it was reputedly followed by another Novoa film, La loba ("She-wolf"), there is no record of such a film existing. Increasingly in demand as a tango singer, Gardel abandoned...
Southern right whales start arriving at the Valdes Peninsula in July and stay until mid-December. Between 450 and 600 pairs arrive here in the in the coastal Chubut Province at the northern edge of Southern Patagonia to mate and give birth. The peak calving month is August. These whales are most likely to be found in the Nuevo and San Jose gulfs that bracket the peninsula where the shallow waters provide some...
Sperm whales follow the coastal currents, spending time in northern Chile around the port city of Arica where they are most apt to be seen between December and February. They also travel further south to the Norte Chico region in the wildlife-rich areas of the Islas Choros, Damas and Chanaral. Marine tours in northern Chile focus on dolphins rather than whales. To Chile’s central coast in the vicinity of...
Many of our full itineraries for Chile tours and travel to Argentina include destinations to observe penguins. For those that don’t, it is possible to add on a few days to the beginning or end of our tours in order to fit penguins into your vacation. These tour extensions range from day-trips to multi-day excursions in Peru, Argentina and Chile plus an exotic fly-in excursion to Antarctica.You will have...
Protecting the Vicunas of ArgentinaTo protect the species, the government designated ten reserves, six of which are located in the country’s northwest region. Argentina’s largest concentration of vicunas is found along the border with Chile in 370,600-acrea San Guillermo National Park in San Juan province, a popular Argentina travel destination. Part of a 2.4 million-acre UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the...