Argentina. El chaltén

Population: 40,1 millions
Capital city: Buenos Aires
People: 85% European descent, 15% Mestizo, Indian and other minorities
Language: American Spanish, plus 17 indigenous languages
Religion: 93% roman catholic, 2.5% protestant, 2% jewish, 1.5% ukranian catholic, 1% armenian orthodox
Currency: Peso (ARS)

Mention Argentina, and people think about solitary gauchos or maybe tango dancers. It is country blessed with abundant natural resources and a highly educated population. The country boasts a wide variety of cultural attractions, but for many travelers, its natural wonders are the primary draw. From the northern deserts down to the southern Andean Cordillera, from the Iguazú Falls to the magnificent desolation of Patagonia, Argentina's geography is varied and stunning. For cosmopolitan types, there's the elegant capital, Buenos Aires. This fabulous city is renowned for its sophistication, although travelers expecting a more 'South American' experience are sometimes disappointed with its European touch.

Argentina is one Latin American country where Europeans and North Americans can feel at ease and travel relatively inconspicuously. Argentina forms the eastern half of South America's long, tapering tail.

It's a large country - the eighth largest in the world, and the second largest on the South American continent. It borders Chile to the west (separated by the Andean Cordilleras range) and Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia to the north and east (separated by rivers). It also shares the offshore island territory of Tierra del Fuego with Chile, and continues claiming the possession of the Malvinas Islands.

Argentina's topography is affected by both latitude and altitude, and is accordingly varied. The country can be divided into four major physiographic provinces: the Andes to the west (with arid basins, grape-filled foothills, glacial mountains and the Lake District), the fertile lowland north (with subtropical rainforests), the central Pampas (a flat mixture of humid and dry expanses) and Patagonia (a combination of pastoral steppes and glacial regions).


HIKE LAGUNA DIABLO (WITH LUNCH)

This excursion begins with the pick-up of the passengers by their respective hotels; the guide with the mini bus picks them up at 8 am and drives them to the Los Huemules Natural Reserve. This field is located about 10,5 miles away from the town, by scenic route No. 41 on the way to Lago del Desierto. There is the Natural Reserve that occupies about 5500 hectares, surrounded by very big mountains, glaciers, fantastic forest Woodland. A well conserved green forest (even on Winter) with new ones trees and amazing fauna such as foxes, dock from the torrents, magallanic woodpecker, condor, deer, red fox and puma. Upon entering the Estancia, between 8.45 / 9 am, visitors are received by Reserve guardians and maintenance personnel who register the visitors and collect the corresponding ticket. After receiving the full information about the area, we start a soft walk especially for those with good physical condition. The complete trail takes us by the left side of Diablo River Valley until Diablo Lake. During this tour is possible to see docks from the torrents, puma and deer are also possible to see too, meanwhile 30º Anniversary Mountain and Del Diablo Hill in front of us. After 3 hours we cross the river by a bridge very close to Diablo Lake and then we reach Cagliero Mountain Hut, in front of the homonymous Glacier. There a hot cup of soup, while we can see the imposing view of the front of South Cagliero Glacier and Diablo Lake. After lunch, around 1 pm, we start to come back to the entrance of the Natural Reserve, without repeat the trail, and passing by Blue and Green Lakes. Our mini bus awaits us and around 4.30 / 5 pm we start the return to El Chaltén (arrival between 5.30/6 pm) Slope: 350 meters. Total distance: 16 km (9,94 miles)