Argentina is one of South America’s most popular tourist destinations and with so much on offer, this reputation is well earned. There is a lot more to an Argentina holiday than wine, tango and gauchos – from its sub-tropical north to the glacial Patagonian south, it would be quite easy to spend a lifetime exploring this country. As it is one of the largest countries in South America, it is probably a good idea to pick out what you want to see before you go – so here are our top tips to give you a head start.
This huge, spell-binding city has obvious European influences and somehow melds Madrid, Rome and Paris all into one city, while still maintaining its true South American heart. For visitors from Europe, it is very good value with a night out at world class bars and clubs setting you back much less than half of what it would do in a major European city.
The nights out that never end, its rich, if turbulent history and stunning architecture all mean that spending a few days exploring this city is an absolute must when visiting Argentina.
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares
This Unesco World Heritage Site showcases some of the most spectacular calving of glaciers anywhere in the world and is one of southern Argentina’s most popular tourist destinations.
It is understood that the ice field represents the third largest body of fresh water on the planet and every year thousands flock to the frozen fjords to watch huge quantities of ice “calve” off the glacier and plunge hundreds of metres into the inland seas, which is reckoned to be one of the more spectacular natural events.
The Iguazu Falls
This set of massive waterfalls forms one of the borders between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. It is often regarded as a “wonder of the natural world” and with its location in Argentina’s temperate north, is also a great place to relax and take in some luscious scenery.
The great advantage of the Argentine side of the waterfalls is that you can get very close to the falls, where several walkways extend toward the walls of water and can get the more keen visitors soaked. The national park that contains the falls also has some interesting wildlife or if visitors are so inclined, they can nip across the border to check out the more panoramic view from Brazil.
The Pampas and the Mendoza Region
While these two places are completely different locations and highlights of a visit to Argentina – they are worth taking in together. A trip to the fertile Pampas lowlands is a fantastic way of getting to know the laid-back gaucho lifestyle for which the agricultural heart of Argentina is known.
Moving further north, the Mendoza region provides a nice contrast, with its more rugged mountainous terrain and wide selection of vineyards for which the region is famous. So, by taking in the highlands and lowlands, it is possible to sample both the beef and the wine – two of the country’s most delicious delicacies.
As previously mentioned, there is so much more to Argentina but if you need to pick a few tips for a short trip, then you could do a lot worse than this selection.
Jonathan is a freelance travel writer and blogger, who has keen interest in South America travel including but not limited to Argentina, Peru, Bolivia and Chile.