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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Neuquen Province, weather and tourism

Map of NeuquenThe Province of Neuquén lies on the west side of Argentina. It has a population of 474,155.

History: the first inhabitants of the zone were the Pehuenche, Mapuche and Tehuelche aborigines. The land was not explored by the Spanish until late in the 17th century.

Geography: to the West lies the Andean portion, with mountainous valleys; to the East lies an arid plateau.

Climate: the weather is cold, with temperate summers. Average temperatures are between 59 F and 70 F in summer, and around 39 F in winter.

Tourism:

  • Ski: from June to October, during the European summer, you can enjoy snow in Chapelco (near San Martín de los Andes), one of the best ski centers of South America. There are other ski centers in Bayo mountain (in Villa La Angostura) and in Caviahue.
  • Villa La Angostura: an ideal site for resting. You can feel its European style, and taste the quality of its chocolates, and regional foods, such as trout and deer. To the South you can find the Arrayanes Forest, something unusual in other parts of the world, because these trees don’t usually grow so much.
  • Copahue Spa: globally renowned for the quality of its water and mud. The complex offers services of kinesiology, massotherapy, hydromassage, mud therapy and a gym
  • Seven Lakes Road: a tour of 107 km that lets you appreciate the Patagonian landscapes, with lakes, forests and snowy mountains. The road traverses the Nahuel Huapi and Lanín National Parks.
  • Deer and wild boar hunting: you can do it near Junín de Los Andes, San Martín de los Andes, Aluminé and Zapala. You can also hunt with permission in the Lanin and Nahuel Huapi National Parks.
  • Fly fishing: you can fish coveted species like the rainbow trout and the brown trout.
  • Museums and Dinosaurs: The Municipal Museum of El Chocón shows the archeologic and paleontologic material retrieved from the zone. The main attraction is Gigantosaurus carolinii, discovered in 1993, and considered the largest carnivore of all time, bigger than T. Rex. In Plaza Huincul you can find the Carmen Funes Municipal Museum. The biggest discovery exhibited is Argentinosaurus huinculensis, the largest herbivore of the world.
  • Mountaineering: Lanín Volcano, located at 70 km from Junín de los Andes. It has 3,776 m of height, and it’s known for its always snowed tip. Domuyo Mountain, with 4,709 m over the sea level. It is known as the "Roof of Patagonia", because it’s the highest mountain of the region. Tromen Volcano has a height of 4,114 m above sea level. On its base lies a lagoon where ducks and black necked swans live.


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Thursday, April 13, 2006

WRC Rally Argentina 2006 in Cordoba

A car at the Rally of ArgentinaThe Rally of Argentina will take place in Cordoba Province from April 27th to 30th. It will be the sixth round of the World Rally Championship, lead by Sébastien Loeb, who drives a Citroën, and followed by Marcus Grönholm from the Ford team. The pilots will run through the valleys of Punilla, Calamuchita, and Traslasierra.

A good idea for making the most of the trip would be to visit the city of Cordoba, lodge there (in a 5-stars hotel if you can), and take a tour of the city. The rally will start and end at the Chateau Carreras Stadium in Cordoba city. Then you can go to Villa Carlos Paz, a nearby city with attractions like San Roque lake, where you can practice nautical sports. On friday 28th you should visit La Cumbre, a little town with a rather large English population, and Capilla del Monte, where the Uritorco mountain stands. The cars pass through these two places, so you can expect to see them by the road.

Watch this video of the WRC Rally Argentina 2005 to imagine how it will be.

For more information and tickets visit the official site of Rally Argentina.


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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Mendoza

Mendoza mapMendoza is an Argentine province located on the west side of the country. It has a population of 1,579,651 according to the census of 2001.

History: The first European visitors were Spanish and came from Peru in 1550. The city of Mendoza, capital of the province, was founded in 1561.

Geography: the zone presents three different structures: higher mountains of the Andean range, lower mountains of the "precordillera", and plains. In Mendoza lies the Aconcagua Mountain, the highest peak of America, with 7.611 yards.

Climate: sunny and dry, with warm summers and cold winters. There are fertile lands that allow for viticulture, the main economic activity of Mendoza.

Tourism:

San Rafael: There are important wineries in the zone; some of them have international reputation. You can take guided tours and taste wines also.

Las Lenas valley is an important ski center with 13 lifts that can transport up to 10,000 skiers per hour. There are 5 and 4 star hotels and a great infrastructure, that gives the valley an excellent reputation throughout the world. The ski season lasts from June 11 to September 24.

Mendoza City: in the outskirts of the city lie a variety of discos suited for different ages. It also offers mountain landscapes and even a 5-stars hotel and a casino.

Aconcagua Mountain is suited for mountain climbing, rafting, cavalcades, and guided expeditions.
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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands

Map of Tierra del FuegoThe official name of the province is "Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands". It has a population of 101,079, and the Capital is Ushuaia. It’s the southernmost province of Argentina.

Climate: it’s extremely cold. The annual average temperature is 41 degrees Fahrenheit, with annual average precipitation of 500 mm.

Geography: there are low plateaus in the north and the center of the province. In the south, the Andes mountain system runs horizontally. Tierra del Fuego ("land of fire") is isolated from the continent by the Strait of Magellan, which communicates the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

History: originally inhabited by several tribes (like the onas and yamanas) since 10,000 years ago, the region was discovered in 1520 by Ferdinand Magellan, who gave the place its actual name.

Tourism:

  • Ushuaia is the southernmost city of the world. Navigation of the Beagle Channel is one of the most attractive experiences in the zone. Other activities that can be done are trekking, mountain bike, canotage, kayak, fishing and diving. The city has 6 ski centers. You can also visit the Museum at the End of the World.
  • Rio Grande has achieved international fame for its excellent fishing opportunities. It has 5 of 7 world records.
  • Antarctica: in summer, cruisers take visitors to Antarctica, where they can explore the surroundings and see bird colonies, sea lions, and other animals.
  • Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse: also called the Lighthouse at the End of the World, after the book of Jules Verne. The writer actually referred to the one that stands on the Island of the States ("Isla de los Estados"), which also belongs to this province.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Misiones

Map of MisionesMisiones Province is located in the northeastern corner of Argentina. Posadas, its capital city, has 965,522 inhabitants.

Geography: its rocks contain large quantities of iron, which gives the characteristic red tone to the soil of the place. The province is surrounded by three important rivers: Paraná, Uruguay, and Iguazu. The subtropical forest occupies a large portion of Misiones.

Climate: temperatures oscillate between 60.8 degrees Fahrenheit (average) in winter and 77 degrees (average) in summer, although they can reach 104 degrees on occasions. This is one of the most humid provinces in the country.

History: the region was originally populated by the ye ethnic group. Towards the end of the 15th century Guarani groups established in the territory. Sebastian Cabot was the first European to visit the region, in December of 1527. In 17th century the Society of Jesus ("jesuitas") came to the zone. They named the region "Provincia de las Misiones"
(the province of the missions).

Tourism:

  • Iguassu Falls are the greatest attraction of Misiones. They are formed by 275 falls, with heights of up to 230 feet. There´s a train that goes around the waterfalls, for about 4,5 miles, getting close to the Devil´s Throat (Garganta del Diablo), the most impressive of the falls.
  • San Ignacio Mini, where the ruins of a Jesuit mission stand. The mission was founded at the beggining of the 17th century to convert the guarani natives. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site.

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