We had 12 days in Argentina so we had to be realistic with what we wanted to do. We decided we wanted to spend some time in Buenos Aires and then go to two other places to see Argentina’s landscape. The places we chose were the Iguazu Falls one of the 7 new natural wonders of the world and then the Valdes Peninsula. I had already been to El Calafate and Ushuaia as part of my time in Chile as they are both further south and easier to get to from Puntas Arenas, Chile. We did a return trip from Buenos Aires to Iguazu and the same to Puerto Madryn.
Iguazu Falls – There are two sides to the falls the Argentine side and the Brazilian side. The two have different views to offer. The Argentine side you get a lot closer to the falls themselves where there are walkways above and midway down the falls (as per the featured image). There is also a boat ride that you takes you even closer to the falls for an extra fee. There are small trains that take you to different parts of the park for easier access.
On the Brazilian side you get more of a panoramic view of the falls so you can see it as a whole. The day we went to the Argentine side it poured it down all day but on the following day the Brazilian side was sunny and humid. There were lots of birds and butterflies which was lovely. There also seems to be a lot more wildlife walks on the Brazilian side and at the right times of year you can do guided night-time walks.
I would say for the Argentine side not to wear denim, you can get wet as you are pretty close to the falls and an anorak would also help. The day we went it poured it down but the Brazilian side was far more humid and didn’t need an anorak although there is one place where you can get closer to the falls. There are a couple of places to eat food but they are very basic so you may want to bring your own. There are monkeys about so don’t forgot to keep everything locked up in your bag!
We stayed in the hotel in Iguazu and had two very different experiences of restaurant on our two night stay. The first night we went to La Rueda where we had amazing table service, beautiful pasta dishes and the girls had delicious glasses of red wine the size of their heads. The meal was inexpensive and a great evening out. The second night we went to A Piacere and I had one of the worst meals of my trip to date. The pasta was just complete stodge and I could barely eat it so I would not recommend this place.
Valdes Peninsula – The main reason I wanted to go to the VP was to see Orcas. It is the only place in the world where Orcas use a hunting skill where they beach themselves in order to catch sea pups. Now, in all honesty I didn’t want to actually see this happen although it is the circle of life but I did want to see Orcas. From September you have a good chance of seeing them however it is about a 3 hour car ride from Puerto Madryn. This is the main town you stay in for the peninsula and actually you have to get up super early to see this as it’s based on the tide times. This information I didn’t know until I arrived so a little too late. However we still went on two separate trips. One was the Valdes Peninsula tour where we saw Southern Right Whales which was incredible. We were so close to the shore line still it was just insane seeing the mum’s and their calves. Then we also saw sea lions and penguins. The following day we took a further trip to Punta Tombo where we saw dolphins, sea lions, and a huge colony of penguins. We also saw a hairy armadillo!
We based ourselves from Puerto Madryn and we rented a lovely airbnb between the three of us. We booked all our trips on arrival, which worked out fine. In the end it was a bonus to have an airbnb rather than a hotel as the restaurants really weren’t that great. We thought we were going to have some amazing seafood and to be honest it was a real let down so we ended up making a huge chilli one night instead which was fantastic.