Argentina: An Adventurer’s Paradise
Vibrant cities rich in culture combined with some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes lure travelers to Argentina for whitewater rafting, trekking, climbing, world-class wine and food, and the promise of an unforgettable adventure.
Spanning more than 2,200 miles from north to south, South America’s second-largest country offers visitors a dramatically-varied geography ranging from the steamy jungles of its subtropical north and its world-renowned wine-producing region in the arid central-west Cuyo to the glaciers of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. The rugged and snowy Andes—home to the country’s vast and expansive Patagonian playground—form the western border with Chile while the Atlantic Ocean, dotted with attractive and stark coastal towns prime for beachgoers, makes up most of its eastern border. With this much diversity in its landscape, it’s no wonder that Argentina boasts almost 40 national parks.
On our Argentina multi-sport program we explore northern Patagonia, Nahuel Huapi National Park–the country’s oldest national park–and the European-influenced Bariloche region. It’s an adventure that showcases everything that wild Argentina has to offer and then some.
Bariloche: Year-round Adventure Destination
Wooden chalets, breweries and chocolate shops may not be the images that you conjure up when you think of Argentina, but that’s what sets Bariloche apart. This vibrant city, often referred to as the “Switzerland of South America,” has a large Central European influence carried over from its first settlers, which were largely Swiss, German, Austrian, and Italian.
Today, the whimsical town of Bariloche, formally known as San Carlos de Bariloche, is a world-renowned adventure travel destination. Nestled within Nahuel Huapi National Park on the shores of the turquoise blue Nahuel Huapi Lake, views of the towering Andes dominate the skyline. It’s this prime location in the center of Patagonia’s picturesque northern Lake District that attracts visitors from all over the world for their adventurous pursuits.
In the winter months, skiers and snowboarders flock to nearby Cerro Catedro, one of the most popular ski resorts in South America. In the summer, outdoor enthusiasts have easy access to hundreds of miles of trails, renowned trout fishing, climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding and whitewater rafting opportunities on the nearby Rio Manso. It’s a place where, just outside of city limits, the roads quickly wind into a vast, pine-forested wilderness chock full of alpine lakes, waterfalls, cascading rivers and snow-capped mountain views that offer a quiet retreat. Return back to civilization, however, and Bariloche is a bustling city complete with a booming shopping, dining and nightlife scene.
Argentine Culture & Food
The Argentine culture is a melting pot of identities. Although native Indians once dominated the land, the country has been most influenced by early European settlers, largely Spain and Italy. Today, more than 95% of the country’s population has an ethnic connection to Europe. As a result, visitors experience a blend of European customs and Latin American and indigenous traditions.
Probably one of the most recognizable aspects of Argentine culture that traces back to the massive immigration wave the country had in the mid-1800s is the rhythmic and passionate tango. Originally a mix of African influences, European minuet dances and polkas, “the music of immigrants” is believed to have originated in Buenos Aires. Walk the streets of Argentina’s beautiful capital city today and you’re bound to run into an impromptu and mesmerizing tango performance.
Food is another area where it’s easy to see the cultural influences. Italian restaurants that serve up pasta and pizza are popular and you’ll find Spanish dishes like empanadas on menus next to dishes like milanesa, which is the Argentine version of German schnitzel. For the true spirit of Argentine cuisine, however, there is nothing more traditional than asado, or their version of barbecue.
Both a grilling technique, and the gathering in which people come together to share the experience, an asado is a rich cultural tradition of Argentina. The meat, usually beef, pork or chicken, is slowly cooked on a parrilla, or grill, over an open flame. The ritual dates back to the early 1800’s when large herds of cattle roamed the fertile pampa region and guachos, the free-spirited horsemen who lived off the land, would roast beef over an open fire. Today, guachos have become a celebrated part of Argentine culture and their spirit lives on through these cherished gatherings. Of course, no asado would be complete without wine, most likely, Malbec, the pride of Argentina’s wine industry.
Why Choose OARS for an Argentina Adventure?
OARS has been in business for more than 50 years and that is no accident. We thrive on creating adventures that take you off the beaten path and away from the crowds to magical landscapes, rivers and coastlines. National Geographic, Outside, Men’s Journal and Sunset magazines along with NBC, CNBC, Forbes Traveler and SmarterTravel.com have all recognized OARS for serving up some of the “Best Trips on the Planet.” Our Patagonia multi-sport adventure in Argentina is no exception. With more than 150 years of combined experience in the adventure travel industry, our staff of knowledgeable adventurers has put together an adventurous and intimate trip experiencing everything northern Patagonia’s Bariloche region has to offer.
We believe it is a fundamental part of adventure-tourism to work with local guides while at the same time bringing our wealth of experience to the table. In addition to our tour leader, we provide highly-skilled local guides for various activities. These local tour guides share their personal experiences with guests as well as general information about the region and culture of Argentina. Our like-minded partners realize they are accountable to OARS high standards, so you can rest assured you will be in good hands. OARS has taken out the guesswork and added our guarantee. We hope you have an opportunity to join us for this once in a lifetime Argentina adventure.