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Pehoe Torres del Paine ChilePehoe Torres del Paine Chile

Christmas and New Year would be a great time to travel to Argentina and Chile, particularly if you would like to visit Patagonia – an ideal destination for the outdoor activities you mention that you enjoy.

Patagonia offers world-class trekking in stunning mountain scenery as well as visits to enormous glaciers where you can even try ice-trekking, while horse riding is another great way to enjoy the outdoors (a popular option is to stay in a rustic but very comfortable lodge, where you can ride with the gauchos). The more alpine scenery of the north of Patagonia, known as the lake district, is very different to the dramatic south but equally beautiful and offers yet more outdoor options.

For culture, you will love Buenos Aires, my favourite city! You can take a look at my 48-hour guide to Buenos Aires for a bit more information.

And then for some relaxation you could also stay in a vineyard outside Mendoza in Argentina, or Santiago in Chile. The food and wine is a real treat, and the majority of vineyards have bikes you can borrow to explore the countryside by yourselves.

Another place I could recommend is the Atacama Desert in Chile, where you could make a side-trip to see the incredible landscapes of desert, geysers and salt plains.

It’s also easy to combine Argentina with some time on the beach. For example the island of Florianópolis in Brazil is only a short flight away and has too many great beaches to count - plus Brazil would also add a different cultural note to the trip. Then again if you prefer not to travel so far, you can easily reach the great beaches of Uruguay with just a short journey by catamaran and road. As it is high season though it may be difficult to find a hotel in Punta del Este that doesn’t have a long minimum stay because the resort town is very popular with the Argentinean jet-set pack – if you would like to look into this option, enquire online and I will see if we can find some availability.

I hope this will give you some ideas!

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