At this unprecedented time, while we've all committed to staying at home to slow the spread of COVID-19, we wanted to share a series of our tours, and a taste of each via a virtual tour. Today's tour is one of our guests' favorites, in Argentina, the second-largest country in South America, and the eighth-largest in the world. Sit back in the comfort of your home as you explore Buenos Aires. Immerse yourself in tango, visit an Argentine Estancia. Continue to Iguazu Falls to witness this magical wonder. Fly to Mendoza to sample the delicious wines including the world-renowned malbec.
What makes Argentina so spectacular?
Argentina's extraordinary size means its topography is varied, on a massive scale. From the Andes to the west, extending along the Argentina-Chile border from north to south, to the Pampas and the Atlantic Coast, and across hill ranges, forests, rainforests, deserts, & fertile valleys, the biodiversity of these ecosystems provides an endless variety of rich flora and fauna.
To know Argentina, you also need to know their people. Argentina is renowned for the outgoing personality of its people, who are friendly, fun, and effusive. Their typical cuisine is rich, including Asado, Argentinian slow-cooked barbeque, mate, endless regional delights, and the mouth-watering "dulce de leche".
The tango, born in Buenos Aires during the 19th century, connects its people on the dancefloor, in the streets, and in its theaters, with world-renowned musicians re-imagining, and creating new flavors of its sound every year. And the country's passion for football, its deep Spanish roots, and its old traditions, keep it lively, engaged, and innovative.
An introduction to the iconic Tango…
Take a seat in the historic Cafe de Los Angelitos, founded in 1890, and witness more than a hundred years of the history of Buenos Aires. The cafe is one of the most emblematic of Buenos Aires and known as a meeting place for musicians, poets, writers, political figures, and thieves, known as "angelitos" (or "little angels") by the local police, giving the cafe its playful name.
The tango shown here re-creates a whole era of tango with 21 dancers, narrating the history of the dance performance by performance.
Visit the highlights of the city, including the Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada, and the Metropolitan Cathedral. The serene, and breathtaking Cathedral is the main Catholic church in Argentina. The church we see today underwent 5 iterations, with the final version showcasing a mix of Argentina's architectural styles.
Its interior is a feast for the eyes, with frescoes along the walls portraying biblical scenes, floors with Venetian mosaics, gilt pulpits, and a 3500-pipe Walkcker organ whose sound is astounding.
The remains of General Jose de San Martin are also kept in the Cathedral, guarded by three life-size female statues, representing Argentina, Chile, and Peru, three countries he is credited for liberating.
Enjoy this immersive tour through the Cathedral, courtesy of Ruta0:
The Argentine Countryside:
A visit to a traditional "estancia", or ranch, is a must for anyone wanting to experience authentic Argentina. Here, we take visitors to experience its traditional dance and music, savor empanadas and Argentine-style barbecue, and sip Argentine wine.
They can also observe (or partake) in horsemanship activities. "Gauchos", or cowboys, show off their equestrian skills in horse exhibitions here, and you can hop on a horse or two yourself, or a "sulki" to get a real feeling of the way of life.
For a taste of estancia life, we take a peek into an estancia outside Buenos Aires, to get up close and personal with the traditional life of the gauchos:
The Iguazu Falls
Visit both sides of the falls, to witness its splendor from both Brazil and Argentina. Two-thirds of the 270 falls sit on the Argentine side, and the remainder in Brazil, both lush, tropical environs and surrounded by miles of wildlife.
Then head to Brazil, crossing over the Juan D. Peron & Tancredo Neves Bridge, which connects the cities of Puerto Iguazu (Argentina) and Foz do Iguacu (Brazil). You'll then enter the Iguazu National Park, one of the biggest flora reserves of Brazil. On this side of the falls, we observe the Bozzeti, Two Sisters, San Martin, and the Three Musketeers falls, 4 of the most impressive on the Brazilian side.
Explore the Argentine side of the falls, to explore the walkable footpaths of the Iguazu National Park. Here, we traverse some of the walkable paths of the 890-square-mile park, ultimately arriving at the world-famous Devil's Throat Waterfall.
If you choose to take a boat ride, we explore them all and approach the foot of Garganta del Diablo, the largest. For a taste of the experience, have a look at Rutilante 360's footage of the National Park, and get up close to one of the falls via boat:
Fly to Mendoza to explore the world-famous Malbec that Argentina is so known for. Three vineyards provide a variety of blends and vintner styles of the wine, along with spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains.
Tasters experience not only the culture of the wine-growing region and its creativity of re-inventing this centuries-old wine, but its flavors, including blackberry, plum, black cherry, and sometimes milk chocolate, cocoa powder, violet flowers, leather, and oak.