The frenetic life of Buenos Aires, the outstanding Perito Moreno glacier, the stunning waterfalls of Iguazú, the penguins and whales of Península Valdés, the mountains of Chaltén, the vineyards of Mendoza… It goes without saying that there are many unmissable destinations in Argentina that are well known by every tourist who sets foot in the country. But besides the most famous and overvisited ones, there are plenty of less-acknowledged corners in plain sight throughout the whole nation waiting to be added to your touristic bucket list. Here are four of them to remember:
Salar de Arizaro (Salta)
Just behind the incomparable ones of Uyuni (Bolivia) and Atacama (Chile), the third largest salt flats of the Central Andes can be found in the north-western Argentine province of Salta. Around 1,600 square kilometers of ochre land, plenty of minerals and dried lakes covered in salt: that’s Arizaro. This unique but slightly lonely scenery is a result of years of extreme temperatures, fierce winds, evaporation and scorching sunlight, which have also resulted in natural mysteries. The most interesting and visited of them is the Cono de Arita, an almost perfect pyramid 200 meters high whose origin is still unknown. A sandstorm? A former Incan center for special ceremonies? A secret spot made by aliens? Who knows! You just have to go and judge for yourself…
Campo de Piedra Pómez (Catamarca)
Despite being one of the least known provinces of the northwest of the country, Catamarca harbors an incomparable natural beauty. The Campo de Piedra Pómez absolutely proves this, for its 25 kilometers of black sand with white and pink rocks, dunes, mountains and volcanoes will definitely take your breath away. Among the more than 200 volcanoes that rise in this peaceful labyrinth, you shouldn’t leave without witnessing the immensity of Antofalla, Antofagasta or Galán, partially responsible for this unequalled scenery of one of the lesser appreciated destinations in Argentina.
Laguna del Diamante (Mendoza)
Only three hours away from the city of Mendoza, this magnificent lake of 14 square kilometers of surface is special not only for being one of the most important water sources of the province but also but also for its peculiar “bed”, as it lays on the space left by the former crater of an extinct volcano. The best choice is to jump on a four-wheel vehicle that will allow you to travel more easily through the unstable grounds of the reservation, which was declared a protected area in 1994. Meanwhile you’ll be able to get a kick out of the diverse wildlife and beautiful landscapes that precede and surround your final destination, like the temporarily passive volcano Maipo, located only 2 kilometers away from the edge of this genuine, natural diamond.
Península Mitre (Tierra del Fuego)
At the southeastern tip of the country hides one of the most desolated destinations in Argentina and, probably, the whole continent. Península Mitre is a remote territory with no paths, no marks and almost no sign of human life that can only be approached by helicopter or horse. This last option is highly recommendable for adventure seekers who want to enjoy its great variety of wildlife, like cormorants, foxes or sea lions, while they go horseback riding throughout deserted beaches and crystalline waters. Silence, serenity, calmness, a peaceful happiness… all these sensations can only be experienced at such a high level in “the end of the world”.
Written by Irene Valiente