Buenos Aires & Northern Patagonia: Oct 23—28, 2018
Pre-trip to the Circumnavigation of the Falkland Islands Cruise
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Héctor SlongoHéctor Slongo was born in northern Italy and as a child moved to Córdoba provi...
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The famed Pampas and Patagonia are centerpieces of an optional mainland pre-trip that complements our ship-based exploration of the southern Atlantic Ocean and Falkland Islands. Excellent photographic opportunities.
Vast and wild, Argentina offers some of the finest wildlife viewing experiences in the world. On this optional pre-trip to our Circumnavigation of the Falkland Islands cruise, we will visit two distinct areas—Buenos Aires and the Atlantic coast of northern Patagonia—seeking birds and wildlife characteristic of eastern Argentina. This land-based tour is an excellent choice for those who wish to experience more of this beautiful country—its birds and its landscapes—than is available in the cruise program.
Buenos Aires is regarded by many as the finest, most sophisticated city in Latin America; an obvious European influence permeates the city’s parks, architecture, and culture. For birders and other natural history enthusiasts, Buenos Aires is equally compelling. Several high quality birding areas are accessed from the city center in an hour or less.
We will spend two days here exploring a variety of wetland, grassland, and dry forest habitats. On the afternoon of the first day we’ll visit Costanera Sur, a beautiful wildlife preserve located just minutes from our hotel. Here, birds are tame and abundant, and the walking is easy. A superb mix of waterbirds and landbirds is likely, among which is a range of waterfowl including Coscoroba Swan, Rosy-billed Pochard, and Silver Teal; Red-gartered Coot; Whistling Heron; Chimango Caracara; Guira Cuckoo; Black-and-rufous Warbling-Finch; and Red-crested Cardinal.
On our second day we’ll take a trip to Otamendi Natural Reserve, located in the Paraná River Delta ecosystem, where we’ll have a taste of the famed Pampas. Amid these grasslands, wetlands, riverine forest, and woodlands, we’ll seek a wonderful pageant of birds. In fact, this area offers some of the most exciting birding in the country, with chances for Black-necked Swan, Southern Screamer, Giant Wood-Rail, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, Diademed and Sayaca tanagers, and Scarlet-headed Blackbird.
A two-hour flight will take us to the northern reaches of legendary Patagonia, where land, sea, and wildlife compete in beauty and splendor. We’ll visit two premier reserves, Punta Tombo and the world-famous Valdes Peninsula. These destinations are among the most revered wildlife viewing areas in South America—places where mammals and birds are equally well-represented. Guanaco, Patagonian Cavy (Mara), Southern Sea Lion, and Southern Elephant Seal abound, while among the marvelous birdlife are standout species White-headed Steamer-Duck, Chiloe Wigeon, Lesser Rhea, Elegant Crested-Tinamou, Chilean Flamingo, Burrowing Parakeet, and numerous other birds. Highlight spectacles include a visit to a colony of Magellanic Penguins containing 500,000 birds, and a short boat trip to view Southern Right Whales on their calving grounds.
Accommodations and cuisine good to excellent; several hotel changes; one internal flight; easy to moderately easy walking conditions; expected weather conditions sunny and dry.