Now that we’re officially in 2017, the madness of the festivities are over and life snaps back to normal, we all need something to look forward to. So, what better time to think about planning your next vacation, and maybe even escaping winter next year! Down in the Southern Cone, the holidays are a little different to those in the Northern Hemisphere. The biggest difference is sun instead of snow, but there are others too, as described in our last blog post. Why not consider planning an alternative holiday season in the heat for Christmas this year, and choose from one of the amazing destinations in both Argentina and Chile! We have handpicked the best places to spend the holidays; from Patagonia to the wild north, read about our top five spots for Christmas and New Years below.
Salta and Jujuy
Salta and Jujuy, located in northwestern Argentina, offer an altogether different side of Argentina. The country’s most indigenous area, Salta and Jujuy also boast incredible landscapes with colourful, undulating rock formations and vineyards to rival Mendoza. Due to the region’s altitude, the weather is almost always pleasant, with hot days and cool nights. Of course, Christmas falling in the Southern Hemisphere’s summer, these northern provinces can reach very high temperatures during the day, but thankfully the climate is dry and free from the clawing humidity of cities like Buenos Aires. Salta is also referred to as the “Ciudad de Navidad”, or the City of Christmas and the main square hosts a large, living manger, in which over 200 actors are involved.
San Pedro de Atacama
If you’re looking for a cosmic Christmas, look no further than the moon-like landforms of Chile’s San Pedro de Atacama. This highland desert is located in the Puna de Atacama and is the world’s highest desert, along with holding the title for the driest area on the planet. Being one of the country’s main tourist attractions, the town of San Pedro de Atacama caters to tourists over the holidays, and tours to the desert, the Valley of the Moon, the salt flats, active geysers and dunes are still operational. Argentina On The Go’s tailor-made tour of 4 days, 3 nights shows you the highlights of the region, just contact us for more information about spending the holidays in a Chilean wonderland.
Bariloche is perhaps the most Christmassy of all potential destinations in Argentina, mainly owing to its Alpine-influenced architecture and the snow-capped peaks which surround this Patagonian city. Of course, it is still summer in Bariloche over the holidays, but this is in fact the best time to visit this mountainous region, when temperature are ideal for hiking in the hills around Bariloche’s famous Seven Lakes. Take advantage of the area’s spectacular views, forests and lakes by renting a car and traveling the famous Seven Lakes Road which links the quaint villages of San Martin de los Andes and Villa La Angostura.
Regardless of the heat, something that often defines Christmas are the copious bottles of wine consumed, so there is no better place to be around the holidays than Argentina’s world renowned wine region, Mendoza. Mendoza is a perfect Christmas destination as it benefits from a lovely city full of leafy avenues and regal parks, all set against the backdrop of the Andes and in close proximity to a multitude of vineyards and wine producers. It is also a haven for the outdoorsy, being home to South America’s highest mountain, Mount Aconcagua, and also the Mendoza River, perfect for whitewater rafting.
One of the most untouched regions of Argentina, the Ibera Wetlands are a true natural gem. Located in the province of Corrientes near the border of Paraguay and Brazil, the marshes are part of a protected natural park and are one of the most well preserved and diverse biospheres in the country. Considering their incredible beauty and wealth of natural wildlife visible in the park, the wetlands are one of the least visited areas by tourists, meaning that the park really is an virgin oasis. Expect to see howler monkeys, marsh deer and even caiman on a boat safari through the marshlands.