Argentina

Argentina, second only in South America to Brazil in size and population, encompasses a vast array of habitats and influences affording unique and exhilarating cultural and wildlife encounters.

The original Amerindian tribes were all but wiped out by disease and persecution brought by waves of Spanish, Italian, German, English and Welsh immigration which gave rise to the Argentina we see today. Watch a tango show (the archetypal Argentine art form), admire the elegant architecture of Buenos Aires, sample excellent steaks and fine wines, visit an estancia and ride out with gauchos, ski in Bariloche, trek atop glaciers, marvel at the Iguazu Falls, sip tea and attend an eisteddfod in Welsh Gaiman – and enjoy the wonderful wildlife found in Patagonia and the Ibera wetlands.

Argentina’s varied geography includes a large portion of the Andes range including Aconcagua, at 7000 metres the highest peak in the western hemisphere. Vast rainforests surround Iguazu Falls, the most impressive waterfalls on Earth; the pampas holds historic estancias and huge beef herds; the wetlands of Ibera contain fascinating birdlife; the Chaco grassland has such oddities as giant armadillo; and Tierra del Fuego, with its glaciers and iceberg-filled lakes, is the closest you can get to Antarctica without setting sail. The extensive Patagonian plains provide a home for guanaco, hare, fox, armadillo and feature a wildlife-rich coastline. Southern right whales come close to shore to calve while orcas mount daring beach raids on sea lion colonies. Penguins hide in their burrows and gigantic male elephant seals do fierce, bloody battle for prized harems.

Whatever combination of fabulous attractions you eventually choose, you are sure to discover that Argentina is truly one of the world’s great wildlife and scenic destinations.