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Friday, March 31, 2006

Cruises in Patagonia, Argentina / Part one

Cruiser in front of a glacierIf you want adventure, direct contact with nature, and extreme luxury, you must try a cruise in Patagonia. There are cruises that sail from Ushuaia, world’s farthest southern city, navigating through the Beagle Channel, to finish in Punta Arenas, Chile. There are other tipes of cruises, which we’ll see in a future post.

The itinerary includes:

Cape Horn, where the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean touch. There stands the Albatross monument, homage to the hundreds of marines that perished in those risky waters.

Navigation through Pia and Garibaldi glaciers (you’ll come as close as possible to these beautiful masses of ice), channels and fjords.

Magdalena Island, a solitary point in the middle of the Strait of Magellan, and very close to Punta Arenas, Magdalena Island is a natural reserve of cormorants, sea-lions, and Magellan penguins. You can walk between 120 thousand penguins that come every year to nest in the island.

Look at this video that shows the Magellan penguins in Patagonia making their nests.

During these cruises, a variety of bonds are formed between passengers, who come from all over the world. There must be something special in the experience that unites people with such different backgrounds and languages.

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

A trip around Cordoba

Map of CordobaThe province of Cordoba lies on the center of Argentina. It has two different areas: a plain (llanura pampeana) on the east and mountain ranges on the west (sierras pampeanas).

History: before the Spaniards arrived, the place was inhabited by diverse tribes, like the Comechingones. In 1573, Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera founded the city of Cordoba, which is the capital of the province today.

Tourism: thanks to its weather and its attractive landscapes, the province, and especially the mountain ranges ("sierras de cordoba"), have been one of the major tourist poles of Argentina. The places to visit are:

  • Cordoba Capital: with more than 1.300.000 inhabitants, it’s the second most important city in Argentina. It has a large university population, a characteristic that identifies it. Its historical center has great samples of colonial architecture.
  • Villa Carlos Paz: it’s the main tourist center of the province. Lake San Roque allows for nautical sports, windsurf, and canotaje. It has a service of catamarans also. The beautiful landscapes of the mountain ranges invite to activities like mountain bike, trekking, rappel, cavalcades, and fishing. Night life is very important, and it’s reflected in the discos, restaurants, cinemas, and the casino.
  • Cosquín: every year hosts the national folklore festival, which summons great Argentine artists and thousands of tourists.
  • La Falda: this city at the "valle de punilla" offers contact with nature, mountain climate and adventure.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A trip around Argentina and its provinces

Argentina is divided into 23 provinces and 1 autonomous city (Buenos Aires). The country has the eighth biggest surface in the world (2,766,890 sq km). That's the reason why its geography is so varied. Each province is unique; it has its own history and culture, its own climate and tourist attractions. In this series we’ll see the best places to visit in Argentina.

Map of Argentina
Travel to Cordoba

Travel to Misiones

Travel to Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica

Travel to Mendoza

Travel to Neuquen

Travel to Tucuman

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Soccer / River and Boca waiting for the "Superclásico"

Fans in a stadiumNext Sunday, march 26, River Plate and Boca Juniors will play the most important match of the year in Argentina: the "Superclásico". They are the biggest soccer teams in the country, with the largest number of supporters; there´s no doubt that it will be a great derby. River leads the league, and Boca is one point behind.
World Soccer´s magazine editor said that this is one of the 50 best sports events in the world. It´s an excellent opportunity to see the color of the supporters ("hinchas"), and hear their chants, while enjoying great soccer.

A bit of history: River Plate was founded in 1901, and Boca Juniors in 1905. According to the records, the teams played 177 league matches against each other; Boca won 65 and River 59.

"La Bombonera": the official site of Boca Juniors says that the stadium was opened in 1940, and then modified in 1996 to make it more modern and comfortable. It stands in La Boca, a colorful neighborhood that sits by the "Río de la Plata", and it has a capacity of 57.395.

You can get more information about River and Boca on the Wikipedia. And you can see these videos, that show how it feels to be a part of the supporters. It´s very exciting: video 1, video 2, video 3

Update: the match ended 1-1 with a penalty goal from Boca at the end of the second time.

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Patagonia / Perito Moreno glacier starts to fall

Perito Moreno Glacier fallingLast friday, Perito Moreno glacier started to collapse. 3000 tourists are there, waiting to see one of the most sensational events in nature. A block of ice of 60 meters detached from the ice body, and made the spectators scream. Experts believe that the show will last no more than 48 hours.

Located in "Los Glaciares" National Park , in Santa Cruz, it has 30 kilometers of lenght, and 4 of width.

The process is simple: the glacier grows over a nearby lake, and water begins to cumulate against its icy walls. With time, pressure is so big that ice starts to crumble, and that part of the glacier falls over the lake, making a loud roar, that can be heard over big distances.

Images of this event will travel around the world. Last one was in 2004, and before that, in 1988.

It´s exciting to see how the large mass of ice falls apart, and how close to it the spectators are. If you want to know how it feels, look at this video.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Coming next / SonarSound

This march 18, SónarSound, an international festival of electronic music and multimedia art will present in Argentina for the first time. This festival first appeared in Barcelona 12 years ago.
Djs of all the world will come to play music, such as Laurent Garnier, Colder (Live), Isolee (live), Dj Yoda, Diplo, Plaid, Darshan Jesrani (Metro Area), Undo, Carlos Alfonsin, Spitfire (live), Romina Cohn, Simbad, Cristobal Paz, and Villa Diamante.
Also, Tiny Little Elements (AUT), NO Domain (VEN), Rimarchi (ARG), Kikencorp (ARG) will show their visual arts.

The place for the festival is Costa Salguero, at Av. Rafael Obligado and Jerónimo Salguero in Buenos Aires.

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