With an abundance of exotic wildlife, jaw-dropping scenery, cities and colonial towns rife with vibrant culture and cuisine, it’s no wonder that Argentina is a very popular travel destination. Located in the southern region of the South American continent in a large, elongated shape, this country was inhabited by indigenous tribes before it was colonized by Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries. Today, Argentina is an independent republic boasting of varied landscapes from thick jungles to rich plains, majestic mountains, impressive glaciers and pastoral steppes.
Here is an overview of 10 best things to see and do in Argentina.
1. Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital, is one of the most exhilarating cities in the world. With outstanding art, fabulous foods, and fascinating neighborhoods with populations blazingly dedicated to having fun all night long, this city is a must see for every visitor that travels to Argentina. Wander for hours in the Reccoleta cemetery, where the city’s rich and famous are buried including Evita, or feast on steaks on some of the city’s best hotels and resorts. It is also an immensely enjoyable city to go shopping, watch soccer or just soak up the breathtaking atmosphere. Outside the city, the varied wildlife and the vastness of the land are the real tourist attractions that make up Argentina.
2. Iguazu Falls
There are waterfalls, and then there is Iguazu Falls! That’s right. Iguazu Falls is one the greatest tourist destinations in the world. It is situated on the border between Argentina and Brazil. Most visitors access the falls through Puerto Iguazu city, from the Argentine side. A train usually brings visitors to the Devil’s Throat (the falls entrance), which at 269 ft (82 meters) is the most impressive of the 276 falls that make up the magnificent Iguazu Falls. A visit to Iguazu Falls is a jaw-dropping, visceral experience, and the noise and power of the falls will live forever in your memory.
3. Tango Dance
Go ahead, give it a try. So what if it is one of the most sophisticated dances in the world. It is so sexy; you will be psyched up enough to make it through the entire Buenos Aires night. For an amazing outdoor experience, head over to the Barrancas de Belgrano bandstand in Buenos Aires, where the traditional milonga ‘La Glorieta’ happens on Sundays at around 8pm. In fact, if you are able to arrive a bit earlier, you will enjoy free tango lessons that are given by the masters of the dance.
4. Whale-watching in Puerto Madryn
The city of Puerto Madryn is located on the shores of Gulfo Nuevo. The city is known to be the gateway to Peninsula Valdes – a prime whale-watching site. Starting from June all the way to December, whales populate the majestic waters of Puerto Madryn, attracting millions of visitors from all corners of the globe who come to watch them. In addition, those that head there in the months of September and October also get a chance of seeing the many forms of elephant seals that bask on the shoreline.
5. The Andes
When snow falls in Argentina, it is time to zoom down the Andes’ eastern slopes. Stretching nearly the entire length of the country western edge, the Andes are an amazing mountain range offering scenic lakes, great hiking, high deserts and South America’s highest peak, Cerro Aconcagua commonly known as the ‘roof of the Americas’. The Andes have some of the most established skiing spots in the world that are worth experiencing.
Exploring this beautiful country glass by glass will take you and your palate from the cabernets and malbecs of Mendoza to the crisp torrontes of Cafayate and San Juan’s succulent syrahs. The tiny town of Maipu, near Mendoza, is full of olive farms, wineries and other numerous gourmet businesses that it is easy to hit six to seven in a day. All offer most finish proceedings and tours with at least a little sampling of their produce. A few companies in Maipu rent electric scooters and bikes, making a day tour of the entire area a remarkable outing (of course, being mindful of drinking and riding).
7. Glaciar Perito Moreno
Among the most accessible and dynamic ice fields on Earth, Glaciar Perito Moreno is the most fascinating centerpiece of the southern region of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. Locally known as Glaciar Moreno, it measures 5km wide, 60m high and 30km long, but what makes it even more exceptional is its continuous advance – up to 3m every day, causing building sized icebergs to pop from its surface. In some ways, seeing the glacier is a indeed a very sedentary experience, however it manages to be thrilling.
Formerly used by the Spanish as penal colony due to its isolated location, Ushuaia is one of the best places to visit in Argentina. Its remote beauty attracts many visitors both local and international who come to enjoy the numerous winter sports it offers. You will definitely get a chance to enjoy one of the most thrilling wildlife viewing experiences in the Southern American continent, upon visiting Ushuaia.
Only a few places on our planet are as beautiful and isolated as Patagonia, Argentina. In fact it is one of the best kept secrets of the world and Argentina. It is commonly referred to as the ‘southern most city in the world’ and is the gateway to the Antarctica. Here, you can spend countless hours driving, site seeing, and driving with running into other annoying activities. One can also enjoy numerous meadowlands and lakes that identify this area as one world’s most unique ecosystems. Due to its isolation, visitors are advised to pack for a picnic that includes some of the best Argentine sandwiches.
10. Nahuel Huapi National Park
The park offers sightseers and trekkers many areas of natural beauty that include an extinct volcano known as Tronador, amazing fauna and alpine meadows. Lake Nahuel, a sprawling glacial lake, stretching over 63 miles (100km) to the boarder of Chile, contains a nature reserve that can be reached by organized or private boat trips.
Round up the the best of this country – the fishing, the wine, the mountaineering, the tango, the literature, the skiing, the clubbing, the architecture, the foods – and you have the essentials of one of the most fascinating trips you will ever take.