Southern Argentina Travel Guide
Perito Merino Glacier in Argentina © Judith Duk
The southern region of Argentina is a fascinating mix of desert, ice-capped mountains, vast plains, sandy beaches and majestic glaciers. South of the Rio Colorado is the captivating Patagonia region, an area of diverse landscapes largely protected by a dozen national parks and reserves. Temperatures in the region can be extreme, from mild to well below zero and most visitors wisely choose to travel to Patagonia in summer. Patagonia is far from an icy wasteland, however. Bursting with wildlife, the area is also covered with large tracts of arable land (producing large amounts of fruit and vegetables), and is home to the country's biggest oil and coal reserves.
The coastline in the south has the warmest water in the country and a favoured destination is Las Grutas, a tourist-oriented beach resort on the Blue Gulf in the Rio Negro province. The area takes its name from the many caves dotted about the coastline, and provides visitors with an opportunity to sunbathe on the sheltered beaches, or enjoy plenty of watersports. The southern coastline is also incredibly popular due to the large amounts of marine life that can be found here, from southern right whales to elephant seals, sea lions, and penguins, as well as an astounding array of birdlife.
Continuing further south, one hits the world's southern-most city, Ushuaia, situated on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. This island territory (partly shared with Chile) is a favourite starting point for tours to Antarctica, but also offers plenty of activities and attractions for visitors, including trekking in the Andes in the western part of the archipelago, spectacular kayaking, some of the world's best brown trout fishing, and Argentina's only coastal national park. The southern region of Argentina is every bit as fascinating as the north and certainly has a lot to offer the intrepid traveller.