In April and May, I spent 20 days traveling through Argentina’s northern provinces with 40 other foreign exchange students.
We departed from Cordoba and drove 27 hours to the northeasternmost province of Argentina to visit Iguazu Falls. The falls are the biggest in the world and are considered one of the seven marvels of the world. We spent two days taking in the size and magnitude of the waterfalls which Argentina and Brazil share. We felt the power of the falls up close when we took a boat ride along their base.
From Iguazu, we drove another 20 hours to Argentina’s northwesternmost province, Jujuy. There, we visited the Salinas Grandes, the second-largest salt flats in the world.
Then, in the province of Salta, we visited the famous Cerro de los Siete Colores, or “Hill of the 7 Colors.”
Next, we drove to Cafayate, home to multiple archeological sites from the last ice age. After that, we visited the Pachamama Museum in Amaicha del Valle. On our way to our next stop, the province of Tucuman, we stopped in Villa Union to see the old Cableway of Chilecito.
We then made it to the impressive Talampaya National Park. We spent half of a day driving through the canyons and had fun listening to our voices echo multiple times back at us.
The next stop on our trip was Mendoza, Argentina’s famous wine country. We took a day trip to drive to the largest mountain in the Americas, Aconcagua, and also visited Mendoza’s oldest wine vineyard.
We said goodbye to the Andes and headed east toward Argentina’s Capital city, Buenos Aires. During our time in Buenos Aires, we saw a tango show in the neighborhood of San Telmo, took a boat ride through the river delta in Tigre, and visited the soccer club Boca Juniors’ famous stadium.
After three fun days in Buenos Aires, we were back on the road driving to the Province of Santiago del Estero. Our trip was coming to an end, and it was time for our Rotary conference and presentations. Rotary is the organization that sponsored our foreign exchange. Their main focus is community service and connecting people around the globe. We had the opportunity to give individual presentations to the members of Rotary, who had come from all over Argentina. When we were finished with our presentations we also had time to talk amongst ourselves and reflect on the shared experiences we had over the last eight months that we spent as exchange students; navigating a new country, new families, new schools, and not to mention a new language. We had become close during our time spent together as exchange students, and it was nice to have one last trip together.