Argentinian Patagonia: Favorite Among Travel Bloggers and Tourists in Argentina

(Note: all links are in Spanish, unless otherwise stated)

For this 2013 summer vacation, Argentinan have chosen Argentinian Patagonia [en] as one of their favorite tourist destinations. On its Tourism section, the newspaper Perfil explains that one of the reasons behind that choice has been the relatively fair prices and its diverse range of touristic attractions.

But Patagonia is also a place for those eager to discover it on bycicle, as the bloggers from La Vida de Viaje (Life of Travel), who depict their journey, adventures as well as misfortunes on their blog:

Después de pedalear unas cuántas horas para llegar a Tolhuin, paramos dos días en la casa de la familia quien nos contactó a través de Facebook para conocernos y para que tengamos un lugar donde parar al llegar.

Descubrimos que este pueblo le da un valor especial al cicloturismo. Se organizan pedaleadas autoconvocadas llevadas a cabo por el movimiento Cicloturismo por la vida en memoria del Doctor René Favaloro. En la panadería La Unión, un clásico por sus paredes llenas de fotos de famosos que pasaron por ahí, hay un cuarto especial para que los biciviajeros puedan pasar la noche y un cuaderno donde todos dejan su huella (¡LVDV inauguró el tomo 2!).

After biking for a few hours to reach Tolhuin, we stayed for two days with the Ullua Family who contacted us through Facebook to get to know us and for us to have aplace to stay.

We found out that this village gives great value to bike-tourism. Self-organized bikings by the movement Cicloturismo por la vida [Biketourism for life] are held in memory of doctor René Favaloro. A wall of La Unión bakery is known for being full of photos of celebrities who passed by the place. The same place has a special room where bike riders can stay the night, and a copybook where everybody can leave their signature. (LVDV opened volume 2!).

Other Argentinan bloggers, like Juan and Laura from Acróbatas del Camino (Acrobats of the road), decided to travel by hitchhiking and ended up not only going through Patagonia, but the whole world. In one of their posts, they share their experience in Puerto Madryn and their concern about the environment. Every year at the Península de Valdéz, it is possible to see the whales coming from the Southern Hemisphere, reaching the coasts of Patagonia in order to procreate:

Aún antes de ver la primera ballena, no podía alejar de mi conciencia dos pensamientos. Primero, que mientras que el humano considera a los cetáceos criaturas inteligentes, mamíferos sensibles dotados de un lenguaje indescifrable, las ballenas deben considerar al bípedo un ser chismoso, un merodeador entrometido, un paparazzi de la escala zoológica. El ser humano anda como voyeur festejando especies a cuyo acorralamiento suscribe con el resto de sus hábitos sociales. Hay verdades incómodas, pero cargar el tanque del auto es fomentar el calentamiento global que disminuye la concentración del krill del que se alimentan las ballenas.

Even before seeing the first whale, two thoughts haunted me. First, while the humans consider the cetaceans as intelligent creatures, sensitive mammals gifted with an illegible language, the whales must look at the biped as a busybody, a meddler, a paparazzi of the animal kingdom. The human being is like a voyeur celebrating species whose confinement fits in with the rest of their social habits. There are some inconvenient truths, but fueling up tank of a car results in increasing the global warming which in turn reduces the concentration of the krill the whales feed.

The post goes further:

Por supuesto, todos los turistas llegan en auto, y muchos aceptarían tener uno para cada miembro de la familia si fuera posible. Porque claro, hay que llevar a los chicos a la escuela. Para que les enseñen que hay que cuidar el medio ambiente por ejemplo… Incluso nosotros caemos en parte en esa contradicción, al viajar a dedo y utilizar automóviles, aunque me consuelo pensando que sólo ocupamos un lugar vacío en un automóvil que ya está en movimiento. ¿Y las ballenas? Claro, estaban ahí, mononas, ingenuas, aleteantes, con un géiser montado en el lomo, algunas solas y otras con sus ballenatos. Alguna vez cazadas por balleneros ingleses que procuraban el aceite para iluminar su imperio, hoy sobreprotegidas y finalmente valoradas.

Of course, all tourists arrive by car and many would accept have one vehicle for each family member, if possible. As it is obvious, you would need to drop kids at school. To teach them to take care of environement, for example… Even us, we are kind of contradictory, hitchhiking and using cars, although I do comfort myself by thinking that we are occupying an empty spot in an already moving car. What about the whales? Of course, they are here, pretty, naive, flapping around with a geiser on their back, some of them alone and other ones with their whale calves. Sometimes coupled with English whalers seeking oil to light up their empire, today overprotected and finally valued.

Photo taken by the author of this post.

There are also bloggers, like the ones who contribute in  Magia en el Camino (Magic on the road), who within the framework of the Proyecto Educativo (Educational Project) visit schools, hospitals, suburbs to perform magic tours:

Siempre nos gusta que en los shows haya muchos chicos, pero en el caso de los hospitales es muy diferente: cuanto menos haya mejor. Los chicos no deberían estar ahí, deberían estar jugando en una plaza, por eso es que siempre nos despedimos de los hospitales con la misma frase: “les deseamos de todo corazón que se vayan de acá lo antes posible” y cada vez que decimos eso los padres cierran sus ojos y asienten con la cabeza. Ojalá así sea.

We always like that shows are crowded with children, but in the case of hospitals it's quite different, the less kids there are, the better it is. Children shouldn't be here, they should be playing outdoors. This is why we always use the same expression to say good bye in hospitals: “We wish you from the bottom of our hearts that you may leave this place as soon as possible”. And every time we say this, parents close their eyes and nod full of hope.

Argentinan Patagonia is a region which brings together a wide array of places and unique natural aspects in the world.


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