From the thundering waters of Iguazu Falls in the north to the icy walls of the Perito Moreno Glacier in the south, Argentina has many stunning wonders to explore.
There’s so much for visitors to enjoy while traveling through this South American country. The passion of a football game, the sexy swagger of a tango dancer, the juicy taste of a high quality steak, the mournful vibrato of a folk singer – it’s a delight for the senses.
Argentina’s cities are alive with culture, the cobbled streets and colourful colonial buildings pulsing with music, art and nightlife that goes on until very late. The uninhabited spaces – from Patagonia to the Andes to the rich wetlands – are wild, untamed and spectacular.
It’s worth taking your time when you visit Argentina, this is not a country that can be seen in a quick flying visit. Not only does it cover a vast amount of land, but it also has such a variety of landscapes for the visitor to explore.
So, where are the must-see destinations that you should absolutely visit during your travels in Argentina? Here are a few of the most exciting spots this vibrant country has to offer:
Known as the “Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires is one of the most elegant and sophisticated cities on the continent. It has the perfect balance of European style and Latin passion and it feels sexy and alive.
After a day of admiring the faded grandeur of its European buildings and the vibrant modern street art, you can feast on superb cuts of steak washed down with hearty local wines. Check out La Boca, one of the most colourful neighbourhoods in the city and home to the Caminito Street Museum – a pedestrian zone filled with sculptures and brightly painted houses.
Then, put on your dancing shoes and get ready to tango until the sun comes up – as the nightlife goes on until the early hours of the morning. If you want to really experience the local culture, head to a “milonga” which is a social tango club where the locals meet to dance.
Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego is aptly named “el fin del mundo” which means the end of the world. After all, it’s about as far as you can go in Argentina without ending up in Antarctica. Located on the extreme southern tip of Argentina, this rugged landscape is unlike anywhere else in the world. You’ll find jagged snow-capped mountain peaks pierced by glaciers, with crystal clear lakes surrounding them on either side. If you are an outdoor lover, you’ll be thrilled by the idea of hiking through the dramatic mountains and dense forests of this remote and beautiful region.
Most adventures in this region start in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. It was once a penal colony back in the early days of the 20th century and it is now a jumping-off point for adventurous trips around Cape Horn or to Antarctica. Check out the fascinating End of the World Museum, which has many intriguing exhibits about the natural history of the region, aboriginal life and the early penal colonies.
Salta is a lovely and charming city. Founded in 1582, it is one of the best preserved historic cities in Argentina and a very popular spot to visit in the northwest of the country.
It’s cobblestone streets, ornate churches, orderly public squares and colourful colonial buildings make it a delight to explore on foot. It has a wonderfully romantic feel, with plaza-side cafes where diners sip wine by candlelight and street performers sing.
Don’t miss the stunning Iglesia San Francisco – one of the most impressive colonial churches in the city. It is known for its white pillars, impressive domed ceiling and incredibly ornate interior.
Los Glaciares National Park
This stunning national park is home to the Perito Moreno Glacier, an incredible sheet of ice measuring 30 km long, 5km wide and 60m high. It advances a startling 2m per day, causing enormous icebergs the size of skyscrapers to calve from it’s face. A day trip by boat is the ideal way to see this incredible natural wonder – floating past icebergs and watching the large chunks of ice crash into the water.
The main city in Los Glaciares National Park is El Calafate, a small outpost with the atmosphere of a ski village – plenty of wooden huts, cafes and souvenir shops. It is also home to the Glaciarium, a fascinating museum all about glaciers, how they form and how they work.
Iguazu Falls is one of the most naturally impressive sights in South America, perhaps in the entire world. Spanning the border between Argentina and Brazil, they are the largest waterfalls system in the world. Taller than Niagara Falls and twice as wide, these waterfalls are the result of an enormous volcanic eruption that left a huge crack in the surface of the earth. During the rainy season, an incredible 450,000 cubic feet of water goes over the falls, every second.
When you visit the falls you can get quite close to the thundering wall of water via the network of walkways and viewing platforms installed throughout the area. Or, you can take a speedboat trip right up to the base of the falls, close enough to get soaked by the spray of the water.
Cerro Aconcagua is the highest peak in the world outside of Asia, South America’s answer to Mount Everest. In fact, it’s only 6,000 feet lower than Everest. It’s located in the Andean Mountain range in the province of Mendoza and it can be seen on a day trip from Mendoza City.
If you are a serious mountain climber, you may want to add reaching the summit of Aconcagua to your Argentina bucket list. Climbers of all levels tackle the main route every year and it is a relatively easy mountain to scale considering the height. The main obstacle you need to worry about is altitude sickness, so you’ll want to spend some time in the mountains to acclimatize to the altitude before you begin the journey. Here is a great guide to follow if you plan to hike Cerro Aconcagua.
Surrounded by snow-covered mountains, thousand-year-old forests and sparkling lakes, Bariloche a city immersed in wild Patagonian beauty. It is located within the Nahuel Huapi National Park, right next to the Andes Mountain range.
There is a lot to do here, as this city makes a great base for trekking, sailing, winter sports and many more adventures. It is most well known as a skiing destination and most visitors come to Bariloche in the winter months of June to September. At this time of year the slopes of Cerro Otto will be covered in deep, powdery snow.
It also has an impressive culinary and wine scene and plenty of excellent bars with great live music. In the local restaurants you’ll find an exciting blend of high end European cooking with authentic local ingredients such as wild game, smoked meat, fish, berries and cheese.
The second largest city in Argentina, Cordoba is known for it’s beautiful colonial buildings and it’s thriving artistic and cultural scene. Due to the many universities here, the city’s population is one of the youngest and liveliest in the country.
Check out the outdoor craft fair, which takes place downtown on weekend afternoons and features everything from toys to clothing to handmade jewellery. Then, wander around the hip neighbourhood of Guemes, where you will find a collection of funky bohemian bars and restaurants. The best place to dance the night away is Tsunami Tango, a huge tango club where tango lessons are offered from Tuesdays to Saturdays.
Mendoza is synonymous with wine, as this dry and sunny region is ideal for the cultivation of grapes. The high altitude vineyards enjoy a continental climate, semi-arid conditions and an ideal growing season. Take a bus tour of the region and spend the long, warm days sampling Malbec, Syrah, Semillon, Torrontes and other delicious full-bodied varieties.
Or, if you are feeling up to it, another way to enjoy Mendoza’s wines is via a bicycle tour. You can rent the bicycles and ride around to the local vineyards, several of which are in close proximity to the city. It’s a wonderful way to see the countryside and enjoy an afternoon, even though it might be a little bit difficult to ride your bike in a straight line by the end of the day.
Mendoza isn’t just about wine – it’s also a great spot to embark on many outdoor adventures including horseback riding, hiking, river rafting and more.
These are just a few of the most spectacular places that you can visit in Argentina. What is your favourite Argentinian destination? And remember, you can stay online in Argentina with our 1GB zone B data plan and save up to 85% on data roaming costs.