A World-Heritage Site, Peninsula Valdes is one of the world’s most exciting places for marine life encounters, with a cast that includes orcas, sea lions, elephant seals, and Magellanic penguins. The self-proclaimed Scuba Diving Capital of Argentina, Puerto Madryn offers whale watching, scuba and wreck diving, and snorkel trips. Full day whale-watching excursions cost US $30-$100 ($730-2,430 ARS), depending on locations visited.
Scuba diving with sea lions in the waters of Punta Loma (11mi/17km south) includes 45 minutes of hanging out on the sea floor with gregarious pups, plus instruction on how to interact with them. Tours generally include all rental equipment and round-trip transportation.
About 62mi (100km) west of Puerto Madryn, the low-key town of Puerto Piramides is the base for sea kayaking, with outfitters on Avenida de las Ballenas offering half-day (US $70/$1,700 ARS), full-day (US $120/$2,920 ARS) and multi-day trips geared to beginners and intermediates.
Bariloche is a wonderful base for whitewater rafting in Nahuel Huapi National Park. Rafting season along the Rio Manso runs from
Half-day kayaking and paddleboard trips on Lake Gutierrez also depart from Bariloche. Outfitters provide all the requisite equipment.
Within striking distance of Mendoza city, the churning waters of the Mendoza and Diamante Rivers lure adventure sports enthusiasts. Whitewater rafting trips are offered year round, but in winter (June-October) the water is much colder. The rafting mecca of Potrerillos (32mi/51km west of Mendoza) is usually visited on a day trip from the city. Trips range from half- and full-day trips (
Come to the El Cuyo region for the wine – stay for the mountain treks, unbeatable stargazing, and surreal rock formations. Insider Marisa shows the way.
With vast Nahuel Huapi lake at its center and charming Bariloche as its hub, the Lake District offers endless opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and feasting your eyes on glorious views.
Where else can you spend the day watching penguins and killer whales, and then fortify yourself with tea cakes in a Welsh tea house?