Argentina Wildlife: North vs. South

A country with a surface area of almost three million square kilometers is the perfect crib for an infinite variety of climate, habitants, flora and fauna. Around the 3,000 kilometers that separate the north from the south of Argentina, you can discover unique nature and wildlife, composed of both native species and those that arrived during the prehistoric age and decided to stay in this chaotic but amazing land.

What if you don’t have enough time to stop to enjoy every corner of this nation? What if you could only visit one region? North or south? Let us help you choose the Argentina wildlife that suits you best…

Argentina Wildlife

Tropical birds and tiny pretty species in the north…

Jungles, rivers, mountains, waterfalls, wetlands, hills… the north of the country is a cocktail of landscapes where you can find an endless variety of plants and animals. The tropical and mostly subtropical rainforest is home to the most curious species of Argentina wildlife like the giant anteater, the howler monkey, the pig-shaped tapirs and peccarys, and big cats as the yaguareté, the jaguar, the puma, and the ocelot.

They all cohabit with crocodiles, caymans and tropical birds like hummingbirds, flamingos, toucans, and swallows. Among them, the most mischievous is the coati: in spite of its cute looks it can turn to be the most aggressive of them all (especially if you are holding a sandwich or a something sweet). Don’t let it fool you!

The cute coati!

The cute coati!

When it comes to the life that the grasslands and mountains of the rest of the northern region gather, you might also find other species like the armadillo, the pampas cat (a cat that has the fur of a leopard), the rabbit-looking mara, the hamster-type cavias, and the ñandús, who are related to ostriches. More conventional animals like hawks, foxes, deers or falcons can be seen in this area but the most outstanding ones hide in the mountains.

If you’re a hiker, you’ll come upon llamas, guanacos and vicuñas between the bushes and, if you’re fortunate enough, you’ll get to know the smallest cat in the Americas, the kodkod, or, maybe, the largest flying bird of this side of the world: the Andean vulture.

…or threatening snakes, loads of penguins and huge powerful whales in the south

Valdes Peninsula, Tierra del Fuego, Perito Moreno, Chaltén…  many of the most amazing sites of Argentina can be found in the south of the country. These places are visited by thousands of nature lovers every year who are attracted not only by their undeniable beauty but also by the adventures they can experience in extreme temperatures and unique sceneries that harbor a great variety of Argentina wildlife. The rhea, the mare, the cougar, the cormorant, the boa constrictor, the dangerous and venomous yarará (a pit viper) or the huemul are awaiting your visit, although you’ll probably be eager to encounter the world’s smallest deer: the pud.

The world's tiniest deer: the pud!

The world’s tiniest deer: the pud!

During your visit, don’t forget to take your time and enjoy a great plate of fish, as it’s the ideal part of the country to try sardines, squid, salmon, hakes and the unmissable “centolla” (king crab) of Tierra del Fuego. If you approach the water, you might discover the hiding place of elephant seals, orcas, dolphins, sea lions, sharks and many kinds of penguins, especially the lovely magellanic ones of the Patagonic region.

Penguins in Punta Tombo

Penguins in Punta Tombo

However, among all of these interesting ocean inhabitants, there is one that stands out above the rest: the southern right whale. This overwhelming mammal can weight up to 50 tons and can only be seen during the months of September and October, when they approach the coast in order to give birth to their offspring. The experience is absolutely spectacular… Want to come by?

To see more wildlife, check out this part of the blog. Or, to spot some of this wildlife yourself, plan your trip with us at Say Hueque today!

Written by Irene Valiente

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