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Argentina and Paraguay 2006

March 25 - April 8, 2006

Foto Misiones Iguaz˙ Paraguay Tucumßn and Salta Railroads AR
Parque Iguaz˙ - Garganta del Diablo Asunciˇn - Palacio de Gobierno

Argentina is the second largest Latin American country. For many years, it has been one of the most developed countries of the continent. Its size and diversity (mountains, sea, pampa, colonial heritage) attracts tourists from the whole world.

My trip to Argentina happened only by chance - I was working on a project of software implementation in a local subsidiary, and was sent on a seminar in Buenos Aires. It was my first time in the Southern Hemisphere. When the discussions were over, I asked for a vacation and went for a week-long tour. Such an opportunity may not repeat again.

The following travelogue from Argentina (and the neighbouring Paraguay) is slightly different from the others on this server. The country is so large, that it is impossible to see all interesting places in one week. I had to make a choice before departure - either go North (Iguaz˙, Salta) or South (Patagonia, Bariloche). The dilemma was solved by my Argentinian colleague: "Iguaz˙ waterfalls are unique in the world, but places similar to Bariloche are also in Switzerland". A side effect of this decision was, that I almost never took a train during the week - the only usable long-distance one on Friday evening went to Patagonia and not to the North. People almost do not take a train any more after 1993 reforms (expect for suburban lines around the capital). Remaining long-distance services are usually once a week only and very slow. Due to a busy program and short vacation, I did not even try to negotiate a trip on a cargo train like in Guatemala and rather used the most convenient option - overnight buses. I am glad to have made such a decision, even though I will probably prioritize differently if I ever go there again.

Going to Argentina for only one week is not typical - and I was a little envious of tourists, who were talking to me about their half-year-long tours around South America. My ambition was much smaller. The following report is just a small insight into a big beautiful country - Argentina - as well as its less famous neighbor - Paraguay.

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Updated: 2006.04.22

© Jan PeÜula, 2006