Kerry Cook explores stunning Argentina

When I think of Argentina, I think of steak, beautiful scenery, gauchos, steak, waterfalls, tango, wine and a bit more steak. I got all this and more when I was fortunate enough to join Cox and Kings on a recent agent’s trip to this beautiful country…

Arriving on the direct flight from Heathrow into Buenos Aires, we were met by our friendly local guide who took us to our hotel, based in the upmarket Recoleta district of the city (close to Evita’s final resting place, if you’re interested).

Buenos Aires feels very European, with its many boulevards and pretty parks. On our city tour we also spent time in La Boca, the brightly coloured, artist’s district which felt very different. That night, we watched a wonderful tango show with the locals, over a (first of many) steak and Malbec.

Around 2 hours outside the city, you can visit a local estancia and learn about the traditional gaucho way of life. This was such a contrast to the city, with beautiful scenery over the Pampas and I highly recommend it.

Our next stop: Patagonia and the breathtaking Los Glacieres National Park which the mighty Perito Moreno, Upsala and Spegazzini call home.

A 3-hour flight from Buenos Aires, this is one of the many contrasts this huge country has to offer. Wide, open spaces, snow-capped mountains and the majestic Perito Moreno glacier were all waiting for us. This glacier is very much alive; advancing 2m daily, get close enough and you can hear it roaring and see the chunks of electric-blue ice as they fall into the turquoise water below. Mini-treks atop the glacier itself can be booked too. We stayed in El Calafate, where there is a good choice of hotels and which is a good spot to take other daytrips in the area.

A true bucket-list item, Iguazu Falls, was next on our itinerary. Staying at one of only two hotels inside the national park, this guaranteed to get you ahead of the crowds. In fact, our tour of the Argentinian side meant that as we were leaving, the busloads and other tours were only just arriving. Our guide was keen to get us going early so we had the trails and walkways to ourselves; something Cox and Kings do with all their groups and I think very important to get the most out of visiting such a once in a lifetime destination. We saw the breath-taking falls, alongside huge butterflies, toucans, jays and numerous coaties without the crowds.

The Brazilian side of the falls offers a very different panoramic view and I think you absolutely have to see both. We did an Iguazu Jungle nautical adventure which took us to the foot of the falls in a big speedboat and then along the rapids; a must-do for any adrenaline junkie!

In all, a fabulous trip and I cannot recommend Argentina with Cox and Kings enough. Their guides are excellent and the country they showed us; completely and utterly unforgettable.

Hotels: The Brick by Sofitel MGallery in Buenos Aires, Kosten Aike, in El Calafate and Sheraton Iguazu, at Iguazu National Park

Cox and Kings’ 18 day Splendours of South America group tour starts from £3645.00 per person; please get in touch with Kerry on 01244 304477 for further information

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