The aim of the trip was to explore the potential of the region for wildlife tourism, as it provides one of the few remaining habitats for jaguar (although sightings are rare), tapir, puma, capybara and more than 400 species of birds, some endemic to the region.
Add to this, the mighty Iguazu Falls – which were practically at bursting point on the day I visited – even the boat rides had to be closed off by midday, as it was unleashing 8 million litres of water a second (as opposed to 1 million litres on a normal day!).
Luckily for me, my boat trip was booked for 11am, so I had to put on my brave face as we sailed to the base of the Falls – and wow, what an experience!
There are plenty of estancias dotted around this part of the country, offering authentic gaucho experiences, catering for all riding abilities.
I fell in love with Santa Cecilia in Posadas, a home from home, with fresh local food eaten with the family. During the day, I would go riding with the gauchos, in full attire, and relax afterwards with a typical Argentine barbeque, known as an ‘asado’.
From here, it is also possible to do a trip to the impressive San Ignacio Jesuit Ruins which are well worth a tour.
My second week took me to the North Western part of Argentina, where I explored the wine circuit, with stops in Salta, Cafayate, Molinos, Cachi, Purmamarca and Tilcara, sampling the Malbec en route, of course!
The complete circuit resembles a picture postcard, with giant cacti, vineyards and impressive geological formations lining the route. Highlights include driving on the salt pans at Salinas Grandes, closely followed by ‘The Lord and the Virgin of the Miracle Festival’, where I found myself surrounded by hundreds of happy locals in Salta’s main square.
It is a remarkable pilgrimage with people walking for days just to be in Salta for this one special day.
I would highly recommend Northern Argentina for those interested in wildlife, conservation, geology, riding, photography and wine – a well rounded place with wonderful friendly people and equally charming hotels.
Read more about holidays to Argentina.