I’ve been very fortunate to have done a lot of traveling since I first arrived in Argentina. I came to Buenos Aires about two weeks before the program started with my parents to do some touring around the country. We started with 5 days in Patagonia. A massive region; there’s so much to do and see in this part of Argentina, which we did. Cramming as much as possible into our short time there, my parents and I were able to see Calafate, El Chalten, Torres del Paine, and Perito Moreno Glacier. These places offer some of the most spectacular views that I’ve ever seen, sometimes making you like just a spec at the bottom of the world.
After Patagonia, we journeyed up to the opposite side of the country to see Iguazu Falls, allowing us to be on a glacier one day and in a pool the next! Another wonder of the world; Iguazu is fairly easy to get to from BA, and totally worth it. The massive and bountiful waterfalls in the middle of the Amazon rainforest result in absolutely unparalleled views. It was made even more special that I was able to share these experiences with my parents before we parted for four months.
Since then, I’ve also done a lot of traveling with friends in the program. Our first group excursion was across the Rio Plata to Uruguay, where we visited Colonia, Punta del Este, and Montevideo. For Semana Santa (Holy Week) four other students and I went North to the regions of Salta and Jujuy. We had the best week, seeing things like a preserved Incan mummy, multi-colored canyons, and beautiful wine country. Recently my two friends and I explored a different corner of Argentina, Mendoza. With world-renowned wineries located in the middle of the beautiful Andes, Mendoza was a perfect weekend getaway.
One of the most remarkable trips that I took this semester was my solo journey to Easter Island. Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean 2340 miles from the Chilean coast, Rapa Nui feels totally secluded from the rest of the world. It was really cool to see the pride that locals felt for their unique culture influenced by their Polynesian predecessors. It was also amazing to witness first-hand the unbelievable Moai figures. I definitely left the experience with a newly found confidence in my own abilities, as well as an appreciation for such a rich history and beautiful setting.
My outside travels have been an amazing part of my semester abroad. Being in a new country so far from home, I’m been glad that I have been able to really make the most of it.