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Iguazu Waterfalls Argentina

From Salta we took a 13 hour bus to Resistencia which cost us just over 400 pesos each. We arrived at around 7 am and decided we would go straight to Puerto Iguazu instead of north to Clorinda for the border crossing to Paraguay. We were lucky enough to find a bus with Rio Uruguay leaving at 8.30am for 300 pesos each. The journey took us a further 8 hours and we finally arrived in the afternoon.

Our first stop in Puerto Iguazu was the extremely helpful tourist information point located in the Rio Uruguay office of the bus terminal. The lady not only explained all the transport options and costs to get to the waterfalls, but also gave us maps and costs for the Brazilian side of the falls too.

We checked in at one of the numerous hostels located in the town and decided to head out to the waterfalls the following day, allowing us a day of rest from all the bus journeys.

Buses to the Argentinian Iguazu waterfalls leave the bus terminal at Puerto Iguazu roughly every 25 minutes, and return tickets can be bought within the terminal for 50 pesos each. The journey to the waterfall park entrance takes about half an hour, dropping you off at the steps of the entrance. Entrance to the park is 130 pesos per person, but if you decide to come back the following day, you can have your ticket validated and you only pay half price for the second day. Although, if you start early you can easily take in the whole park in a day.

There are 4 main circuits within the park, each one taking you to different view points of the waterfalls, from far off views to standing above the Devil’s throat waterfall. There is also a free little train that runs through the park connecting you to the circuits via 3 stations. The park is also filled with little places to eat, souvenir shops, toilets and chill out areas, giving the whole place a nice relaxed feel.

Iguazu (Argentina) - panoramic views of the waterfalls

Iguazu (Argentina) - Gargatna del Diablo (Devil's Throat) waterfall in the distance

There are also various boat rides available, which can be booked either at the bus terminal, agency or at the park, but they are all extra except for one. You can take a free little boat ride across to the island of Saint Martin. From this little beach you can climb up to the top and see the impressive waterfalls from a front row position!

Iguazu (Argentina) - panoramic view of San Martin waterfall

Iguazu (Argentina) - rainbow by the San Martin waterfall

They recommended we start from the further afield waterfalls and viewpoints and leave the almighty Devil’s throat, or la garganta del diablo, waterfall for last. We think this was a great tip as the waterfalls seemed to just get bigger and better, although be prepared to get very wet!

Iguazu (Argentina) - approaching Gargatna del Diablo (Devil's Throat) waterfall

Iguazu (Argentina) - rainbow at Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat) waterfall

Iguazu (Argentina) - Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat) waterfall

Iguazu (Argentina) - Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat) waterfall panorama

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Salta

Our next main stop from Jujuy was Iguazu Falls, however it is located on the other side of the country. So we decided to head to Salta for a night, take in the sights there and then catch a bus to Resistencia, from where we would either go up through Paraguay or around it and straight to Iguazu.

We took FlechaBus for 52 pesos each and 3 hours later we arrived at the main bus terminal, where almost instantly we were approached by hostel promoters. One of them offered us a good price for a private room with breakfast and free taxi transfer despite the fact it was located just 5 minutes from the terminal. As we were heading back out the next day the Posada del Parque seemed a good choice and surprisingly it turned out to be a very nice small boutique hostel.

As we had time, we spend the afternoon walking around the town and taking in the sights. Salta is most known for the colonial buildings and it is quite a pretty town with big parks and plazas, pretty churches and plenty of restored old buildings. It also has quite a cosmopolitan feel to it.

Salta - cafe at the plaza 9 de Julio

Salta - characteristic building of Hotel Colonial

Salta - colourful facade of the San Francisco church

The next morning we headed to the cable car, or teleferico, for a view of the town from high up. The ride was only 10 minutes and the tickets were 20 pesos each to go up. The nice thing about the cable car was that you could opt for just a one way ticket and walk back into town. Again, the location of our hostel was perfect for this as it was only a few blocks away.

Salta - panorama of the city from the Teleferico

I think if you are travelling this way in Argentina then Salta is worth a stopover, I am not sure we would have chosen to spend a couple of days there but it has a nice vibe to break up your bus journey and stretch your legs.

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Purmamarca Quebrada

From the bus terminal in Jujuy we took one of the many and frequent buses to Purmamarca. The tickets were 20 pesos each one way and the journey took about an hour and a half. We had been told that Purmamarca had a range of colourful mountains that you could walk around, and ever since seeing the colourful mountains fo the Jujuy region in photos years earlier I had wanted to see them in person.

The path through the mountain range starts from one side of town and comes back round into the other. The whole circuit is no more than a few kilometers, however, you can easily spend hours walking through as you will stop every couple of meters for a photo.

Quebrada de Purmamarca - colourful mountain range at the start of the trail

Quebrada de Purmamarca - 7 colours of the mountain range

You cannot climb the mountains, we were not sure why, but there were signs everywhere saying “avoid fines, don’t climb the mountains”, so we didn’t try to see why!

Quebrada de Purmamarca - following the trail through amazing rock formations

The whole range is amazingly colourful, with rich reds and oranges to deep blues and purples. It feels like something out of this world and everywhere you look there are interesting rock formations and colours. The actual quebrada is called the mountain of 7 colours, but we both think there are way more than just 7 colours!

Quebrada de Purmamarca - beautiful colours of the Mountain of Seven Colours

Quebrada de Purmamarca - panorama

We spent the whole morning walking around and greatly enjoyed the day. There was an option to see a nearby salt plain but the collectivo services wanted 70 pesos per person each way and we thought that was far too expensive to warrant a visit.

As a note it is best to visit Purmamarca in the morning as there is no shade on the path through the mountains, and despite the cooling winds the sun is still scorching hot.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Jujuy

After crossing the Bolivian border into Argentina we took an afternoon bus from the terminal straight to Jujuy for 50 pesos each. We had forgotten that Argentina was an hour ahead and as such ended up on a 4pm local time bus instead of a 3pm one, this unfortunately meant that we arrived in Jujuy at around 9pm. There are buses that leave every 45 minutes towards Salta and a number of different companies, but be prepared to be hounded as soon as you arrive!

The journey to Jujuy takes you through previews of the spectacular landscape for which this region is so famous for. The constant changes of colours along the mountainous landscape are truly beautiful.

Colourful mountains on the way to San Salvador de Jujuy

The journey to Jujuy took 5 hours and was not helped by the heavy rain which flooded some of the roads. When we finally arrived we had no idea where to go, so we headed into the tourist information point at the bus terminal. They showed us a list of accommodations with the prices and phone numbers. Our original plan had been to stay the night by the terminal and then move in the morning, however after going to see the 2 nearby residencias we decided that the asking price versus the offering was not a good deal.

So we returned to the tourist information point and had another look. We jotted down a couple of numbers but couldn’t help but notice how steep the prices were, they all seemed to be in excess of £20 for just a room with shared bathroom! These were by far the highest prices we had encountered during our travels. Without much choice in the matter, we made a note and headed off to make a few calls. After trying a couple we found a place called Jujuy Hostel which had a room. As it was located on the other side of town and it was late, we jumped into a taxi and headed off.

When we arrived we were actually given a dorm room but assured that we would be the only ones in it. We were too tired to argue and took it for the night. The next day we were able to move to a private room and also discovered we would get a free breakfast in the price, an almost all you can eat one at that! The elderly guy who owns the hostel is really warm and welcoming and couldn’t do enough for us. He gave us map after map along with all the transport information one could ever need!

In the end we spend a few days in Jujuy as we were still recuperating from our stomach bugs in Bolivia. During that time we had a look around the town, which can easily be done in a day, and planned our trip to the Purmamarca quebrada, the colourful mountain range.

San Salvador de Jujuy - Federal Police building on plaza Belgrano

San Salvador de Jujuy - basilica San Francisco

Overall, Jujuy is an ok place to use as a stopover from the border crossing but there is not enough there to warrant staying a few days. It makes for a good base if you want to see the nearby attractions, but am not sure if it is any cheaper than staying in the quebrada area itself.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Bolivia to Argentina Border Crossing

Once we arrived in Villazon, following our train journey from Oruro, we decided to walk to the frontier as it was apparently only 1km away. The road was easy enough, always straight from the station. The walk gave us the chance to change our leftover Bolivianos into pesos, as we had heard that there were no money changers in La Quiaca, the Argentinian frontier town.

Sure enough as we hit the town of Villazon there were plenty of casas de cambios and we had no problem changing the Bolivianos. All-in-all it probably took us 15 minutes to reach the frontier, located on the bridge. They seem to have recently changed their systems, as now the stamping out and stamping in are done at virtually the same place. No more stamping out of Bolivia and then walking across the bridge to get stamped in on the Argentinian side.

Now you simply cross the bridge and head to the building on the right. Window 1 collects your immigration form from entering Bolivia and stamps you out. Shuffle along and window 2 stamps you into Argentina for 90 days. Easy as that and no entry or exit fees to pay.

From here you can walk to the bus terminal to catch buses into Argentina. Head straight out and then turn right at the end of the road. At the roundabout turn left and then right uphill on the pedestrianized street that will take you to the terminal.

There are buses leaving every hour or so for Salta and other nearby destinations, but if you are going straight to Buenos Aires it may be worth taking the bus from Bolivia instead.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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