A step out of my comfort zone: Travel outside Buenos Aires
During my time abroad, I had the incredible opportunity of traveling outside Buenos Aires to the southern-Patagonian region of Argentina known as Calafate. Prior to leaving my home in the United States, I hadn’t even thought of traveling outside the city I was heading to (Buenos Aires). That changed when I started working at Buenos Aires International Students Argentina, an NGO that focuses on assisting international students in having the best experience during their time in Argentina. My co-workers introduced the idea of traveling outside Buenos Aires to me rather early, and once I saw the pictures of the glaciers and mountains, I knew I had to go see them for myself.
Stepping on the start of my adventure
Using what I had learned at that time, I organized a trip with one of the people from my CIS Abroad program and set out for the area. From the second I stepped off the plane to the soil, I was surrounded by snow-capped mountains and barren hills. To be introduced to such a landscape that early made me extremely excited for what was to come once we got settled in. From the airport, we took a taxi to the house we’d be staying at during the trip, a small shack situated at the top of the town. We left our luggage in the house and journeyed into the center of the town to get supplies. The center was aesthetically pleasing, the best way to describe it would be something similar to a ski village. Despite the cold, everyone was out, enjoying the scenery and engaging the local businesses. We looked around, grabbed what we needed, and headed back to our house to get some rest before our excursion in the morning.
Enjoy the glacier…but remember to stay warm!
The next day, we went out with a large tourist group to observe the Perito-Moreno glacier, a must-see when in Calafate. With our group, we took a boat out to see the glacier up close – the closer we got the more I thought about the Titanic and how I was going to make it back to shore if the boat suffered a similar event. Despite my fears, we made it there and back safely. Then, we had the opportunity to walk a series of trails that gave different angles of the glacier and the surrounding mountains as a whole. The most memorable experience for me was the hot chocolate I got after the trip, as I did not pack warm enough (note: do pack warm, there’s a reason why the glaciers haven’t melted!)
Watch the video for AMAZING views of Patagonia and Calafate, places that Jaran visited while traveling outside Buenos Aires!
Calafate, an otherworldly and unforgettable place
We returned back to our residence in the late afternoon and got the opportunity to see the sunset in the mountains – a view that no picture could ever capture. The next morning, we left our house to join a group in trekking up Cerro Huyliche in huge trucks that looked like they came straight out of a Star Wars movie. We traveled up the narrow roads of the mountain to the summit, where you could see the entirety of town below as well as Lake Argentino and the Andes Mountains in the distance. During the trip, we got the opportunity to make friends with other travelers and learn about how the mountains originally formed thousands of years ago.
Following our descent from the mountain, we took some time to walk around Calafate once again before boarding our plane back to Buenos Aires. The experience as a whole was out of this world and definitely something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I recommend traveling outside Buenos Aires to visit Calafate if you have a chance. It’s a one of a kind town that will give you an unforgettable experience!