In a tête-à-tête with H.E. Mr. Daniel Chuburu, Ambassador of Argentina to India with his wife Ms. Carola Machinandiarena De Chuburu, we got to explore the myriad facets of the incredible country that is a melting pot of variegated travel options…
1. What does Argentina offer to its first-time visitors?
Argentina offers a huge variety of landscapes and climates for the first-time visitors. Since it is a huge country (almost the same size as India), it enjoys mountains (the Andes mountains), forests, jungles, glaciers, deserts, beaches, almost any landscape that you can possibly imagine. It has great hotels and services, and connectivity within the major destinations is easy, through airplanes or buses. And due to its size, it also has a unique variety of climates. You can find cold weather and snow in the south, and tropical weather in the north, as well as a cool climate in the Andes area. This variety allows tourism at any time of the year. This variety of landscapes and weather also provides opportunities for many outdoor activities, such as sky diving, horse riding, rafting, trekking, just to name a couple of them.
Also, we must not forget the incredible opportunity that Antarctica offers for tourists. The cruise ships that travel there are a great success, and they also make stops in cities like Buenos Aires (our capital) and Ushuaia, in the far south (the most southern city in the world).
The major tourism centres that we must mention are Ushuaia (in the far south), Calafate (where you can see the glaciers), Bariloche (great place for skiing and trekking), Mendoza (famous for its vineyards), Mar del Plata (centre for tourism in summer), Cordoba (amazing landscapes and trekking opportunities), Salta (called “The beautiful” because of the landscape) and Puerto Iguazú (where the Iguazú waterfall is located).
So, taking into account all these opportunities, a first-time visitor of any age can find great opportunities for travelling in Argentina at any time in the year. There are options for all types of tourism, for all budgets and moments.
2. Do you promote the country as a honeymooner’s delight? If yes, then why?
Off course we do. Argentina offers some amazing places for honeymoons. In this regard, I would like to highlight just a couple of them, which are very different from each other and may suit different preferences. In all of these cities, you will find world-class hotels, with great services and the finest cuisine.
The first one that comes to my mind is Mar del Plata. If you can go in the summertime, it is a great place to be. You have great hotels, many beaches and a great nightlife. If somebody is looking for that, it is definitely the place to go. The city of Mendoza, near the Andes Mountains, offers a different opportunity. Here you can enjoy the amazing and world-famous vineyards, in which the Malbec wine is produced and exported all over the world. The city also offers some great hotels and you can also go for horse riding, rafting, trekking, or even skiing.
There are two more cities that I would like to mention. These are Puerto Iguazú and Salta. The first one, Iguazú, is in the northeast of the country and has the amazing Iguazú waterfalls, which are located within a national park and a wildlife sanctuary. And the city of Salta, in the northwest of the country, offers some great landscapes and also nightlife, together with vineyards that are also worth visiting. They call this city “La Linda” (The beautiful), so it also must be considered as a great honeymoon destination.
Wine is indeed very famous in Argentina, particularly for the Malbec. There are several vineyards that are worth visiting and exploring. As I mentioned before, the most famous ones are in the province of Mendoza, in places like Lujan de Cuyo and San Rafael. You have there some great hotels that are located within the vineyards also, so that offers a unique opportunity. Mendoza is a big city that is very well connected to the rest of the country, so it is very easy getting there. The city of Salta, in the northwest, also has vineyards of its own, which are located in a different landscape that makes is unique. And the vineyards are expanding to new places, like Mar del Plata and some more provinces in the south like the Rio Negro. So with this scenario, I would say that wine tourism offers some great opportunities in different parts of the country.
3. Visiting Antarctica via Ushuaia is well known now. Does it help to promote the country?
Tourism in Antarctica is growing fast, as more and more people from India travel each year to visit this unique place on Earth. Ships often leave form the city of Buenos Aires, which is our capital. This offers the opportunity to spend some days there. After that, they head south and sometimes stop at Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Then, off you go to Antarctica and the breathtaking scenes that it offers. It helps us to promote the country due to its uniqueness. We are one of the very few countries in the world that offer this opportunity, and people find it very captivating. I would say it is one of the most unique experiences one can have as a tourist in Argentina.
4. Which is the most pocket-friendly mode of travelling within the country?
Travelling by air has become something very cheap since the offer has grown a lot during the last years. This has made prices go down with the introduction of the ‘low cost’ model, which did not exist before. More and more people are travelling by air, and this also has the advantage of reducing the time tourists spend travelling, since it is such a huge country and distances are sometimes quite big.
You can also always travel by bus, which is in some cases cheaper but takes more time between the major cities.
5. Which is your favourite place in Argentina and why?
My favourite place is definitely my hometown, Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina. I can name you several reasons for this. But the main one is that is has everything you can possibly need: great cultural offer, many restaurants in which you can enjoy Argentinean food (and also from many parts of the world, there is a huge variety of international restaurants), it is full of parks and the weather is very nice for the major part of the year. It never gets too hot or too cold, since it is located in the middle of the country and thereby, there is no extreme weather. People are also very kind, and that gives the city a unique personality, something that tourists from all over the world find very welcoming and comfortable.
6. Travel to you is?
Knowledge and pleasure.
7. Any similarity between India and Argentina?
Although Argentina and India are far away and have many differences, there are a couple of similarities that I find very interesting to mention. The first one is the openness and kindness of the people. In India, as well as in Argentina, everyone is willing to talk to you, to smile, to help. I find this to be a great quality of people in India. And the second one that I want to mention is the diversity in the country, particularly in terms of landscapes. As in Argentina, in India you also find all types of landscapes. This is something amazing in such a big country.
8. What do you like the most about India and why?
I believe that it is the diversity of India that I find to be the most interesting and lovely characteristic. I haven’t seen any other country as diverse asIndia, with so many different languages, cultures and costumes that coexist, one next to the other. This is something that keeps on surprising me and that encourages me to keep on travelling and learning about the country every time that I have the opportunity to do so.
In Talks with Ms. Carola Machinandiarena De Chuburu
1. Tell us about Shopping in Argentina?
Shopping in Argentina is just terrific! While you are in Buenos Aires you´ll find shopping streets lined with clothing and shoe stores. Leather Shops are the must! Large Shopping Malls are modern, offering designer goods, food courts and children´s playing areas.
The city´s best shopping is in Palermo Viejo where you will find upscale boutiques and SanTelmo, where you will find antiques. On Weekends you´ll find ´´Ferias´´ where the artisans will display their wares in some parts of the city.
Ex: Feria Artesanal Plaza Francis, Feria Plaza Serrano, Feria de San Telmo.
Interested in Clothing Design? Then go to Palermo Soho where artisans display their work while mimes, alive statues and tango dancers entertain. Often in the vicinity, you can find good restaurants with sidewalk tables. Check out Feria de San Telmo, Feria Plaza Servano and Feria Artesanal Plaza Francia.
If you are thinking of souvenirs, Wine is a great choice though not easy to carry about. Food items such as ´´dulce de leche´´ is a delicious milk caramel and ´´ alfajores´´ it’s a cookie sandwich filled with dulce de leche and chocolate cover. The popular brand is Havanna. You can also find it at the airport but in super markets you can find many other brands at affordable prices.
´´Mate´´ is another option together with the Yerba Mate. It’s a typical Argentinian Beverage that you drink with a straw. Silver work is also high quality as well as the leather goods.
2. Where do you both like to travel in India and why?
Within India, we love to travel to Rajasthan. Cities like Jaipur and Udaipur are wonderful places for spending a couple of days and since they are close to Delhi, it does not take so much time to reach those places. There are great palaces and attractions to visit there also.