Coming up with an Argentina itinerary is no easy thing. There is so much to see and do in this vast country, that I’d dare say a lifetime is not enough. You will be forced to hop on more planes you wished, ride buses for long hours, but trust me: it is all worth it.
Having visited many times and still dreaming of the incredible landscapes of Patagonia, I can only say this will be the trip of a lifetime; one you will never forget and – in fact – you will want to repeat it.
A perfect Argentina itinerary will have to include Buenos Aires, the magnificent peaks of the Andes, plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities, but also adventure, wine tasting, and indigenous cultures. You will be admiring glaciers; marveling at the roar of Iguazu Falls; sipping Malbec while savoring the tastiest beef.
In this post, I create two great itineraries based on the amount of time you may be able to spend in the country. Continue reading to discover your perfect Argentina itinerary.
A Perfect Argentina Itinerary
Argentina Itinerary #1: Buenos Aires, Patagonia and Mendoza
10 to 14 days in Argentina itinerary
I always say that if you are a first timer in a country, you should start with the most popular attractions. Pick this Argentina itinerary if it is your first time there. If you have 10 days, stick to this itinerary religiously and don’t dare adding any more places to it – you simply won’t have time. If you have more than 10 days in Argentina, you can opt for a different itinerary as one of those highlighted below, or just add a day in Buenos Aires, one in El Calafate and one in El Chalten.
I am not a big fan of Mendoza but if you think you will want to hike in the region, also add a day to it!
Alternatively, you can simply add an extra stop in Puerto Madryn.
In short, this is what your Argentina itinerary will look like:
2 nights in Buenos Aires
2 nights in El Calafate
3 nights in El Chalten
3 nights in Mendoza
Buenos Aires is, inevitably, the first stop of any Argentina itinerary. Known as the Paris of South America, the city is packed with interesting sights and things to do, and there is a multitude of good restaurants and bars and an incredible nightlife.
This Argentina itinerary allows you to spend two full days in the city. These are enough to get a good feel for it and tickle your interest in the capital, but if you have 2 weeks in Argentina definitely add an extra night.
Whether you visit the classic sights of Buenos Aires or not is up to you. I recommend doing that on the first day, and on the second one look for something a bit more alternative to do.
Make sure to read my post 32 Unmissable Things To Do In Buenos Aires.
On your first day in Buenos Aires, hit all the must-sees. Places like the Casa Rosada and Plaza de Mayo, La Boca and El Caminito, Recoleta Cemetery and finally the lovely Puerto Madero are among the top attractions in town.
In order to discover the history, culture and overall vibe of the city and (with that) even of the country you should join a guided street art tour. I recommend picking one with a local guide that is also incredible a local artist such as those run by Graffiti Mundo.
You will walk around Palermo, one of the most lively barrios of Buenos Aires, and learn the various murals came to life, what their meaning is, and how they have contributed to change in the city. Although street art may not be for all, this tour puts everything in context and by the end of it you will feel like you have learned a great deal about the city.
If a street art tour is not enough to appreciate the culture of Buenos Aires, a “dinner” at The Argentine Experience will provide one further push. Through food and wine, the friendly hosts help guests understand the incredibly diverse heritage of the city. Guests are involved in activities such as making empanadas (one of the local staples) and learning the basics of the local sign language; and all the while get to enjoy a fabulous dinner cooked using strictly local products, and accompanied with various local wines.
CHECK OUT THE BEST TOURS OF BUENOS AIRES HERE
Dog walkers in Buenos Aires – they can walk up to 10 dogs each!
Practical information about Buenos Aires
Where to sleep
Hotel Clasico – a small boutique hotel in the heart of Palermo Soho, it features comfortable rooms and a stylish environment. The area is packed with good bars and restaurants.
For more ideas, read my post A Complete Guide To Where To Stay In Buenos Aires.
CHECK OUT THE BEST HOTEL DEALS IN BUENOS AIRES HERE
Where to eat
Bellagamba Bodegon – a favorite of locals, this eatery serves some of the best milanesas in town.
La Popular del Soho – a typical parrilla where you can expect to have some of the best steaks in town.
Lo de Jesus – a nice upper-scale restaurant that gets regularly packed with locals and tourists alike. It’s right inside a shop called La Malbequeria – the name is good enough an explanation for the wine selection you can expect!
Where to drink
Patagonia – a craft beer company that can be found all over the country; there is one in Palermo Soho that has a lovely garden.
Growlers – another pub pretty much in front of Patagonia.
Boticario – a super quirky pub located in what used to be a pharmacy. It’s very vintage, and the atmosphere is unique yet friendly.
Buenos Aires public transportation system is quite efficient. Make sure to get a SUBTE card that allows you to ride buses and subway. It’s a top up card that you touch in every time you want to travel.
Alternatively, cabs are fairly cheap – especially if you can share the costs with other people.
Uber is illegal in Argentina, but you can download the app Cabify which works pretty much the same way.
El Calafate is the second stop on this Argentina itinerary
The second stop on this Argentina itinerary is El Calafate. You can travel to El Calafate by plane from Buenos Aires.
This nice small town located on the shores of Lake Argentino is the best access point to visit Perito Moreno Glacier, and is home to a multitude of excellent restaurants where to taste the best Argentian asado (mixed grill).
El Calafate is a nice place to explore. A walk along the lake is the perfect occasion to admire the incredible local bird life, with pink flamingos living in the lagoon, battling the wind which blows strong in this part of the country. Laguna Nimez is an even better place for birdwatching.
For more information about the city, read my post A Complete Guide To El Calafate Argentina.
Yet, Perito Moreno Glacier steals the show of this part of this Argentina itinerary. Plan a full day for your visit, on tour that is classic and adventurous at the same time. Plan to walk along the balconies and explore the various viewpoints to the glacier to admire the glacier as the ice cracks and falls in the freezing waters of Lake Argentino, with a thunder-like sound.
But then go on a boat tour to the northern wall of the glacier and then full frontal to actually walk on the glacier.
The best guided tours will take you to the southern part of Lake Argentino, where you’ll board a catamaran that will take you as close to the southern wall of Perito Moreno Glacier as possible, for even more stunning views and incredible photo opportunities, and then drop you off at the southern base of the glacier.
There, you’ll meet a local guide that will help you wear crampons and will take you on a short but rewarding hike on the ice, showing you the best cracks and creases, allowing you to taste glacier water and finally offering you a shot of whiskey on Perito Moreno rocks.
For more about the glacier, read my post A Complete Guide To Perito Moreno Glacier.
These are some of the best guided tours of Perito Moreno Glacier and Los Glaciares National Park:
Going on a glacier hike is a lot of fun!
Practical information about El Calafate
Where to sleep
Hotel Esplendor – a fantastic boutique hotel located on a hill and with beautiful views of the lake. Rooms are incredibly large and comfortable, and the overall place is very stylish. There is an on site spa and a restaurant that serves delicious food.
CHECK OUT THE BEST HOTEL DEALS IN EL CALAFATE HERE
Where to eat
La Tablita – known as the best restaurant in El Calafate, this literally is an institution. It serves the best asado, fantastic steaks and has a huge selection of wines.
Where to drink
Borges y Alvares – a lovely small café and bar with plenty of books on display and a great selection of drinks (mostly beer and wine).
Cerveceria Chopen – a nice craft beer pub. Ask for the beer sample before placing your order.
El Calafate is walker friendly, and small enough for visitors to walk from one place to the other. The occasional taxi drives by and you can haul it from the street.
El Chalten is usually the favorite stop on any Argentina Itinerary
El Chalten is the third stop on this Argentina itinerary, and the one that you will end up enjoying the most. You can get there by bus from El Calafate – it’s a 3 hours journey.
To be honest, the town is nothing special – houses and hotels built in complete disregard of any architectural style, set around two main roads; a few restaurants (excellent for the most part) and (for some unknown reason) more than enough breweries (all of them offering happy hour, which is good news for the hikers); a handful of shops and just two ATMs (hardly sufficient during peak season).
Make sure to read my post An Excellent Guide To El Chalten.
It’s what’s around El Chalten that makes it the highlight of any trip to Argentina. Indeed, El Chalten is right at the base of Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. These can be seen from a long distance, as the bus from El Calafate approaches El Chalten first on Ruta 40 and then on Ruta 23.
Needless to say, if you visit El Chalten you are in for a real hiking extravaganza. As per this Argentina itinerary, you will hike the trails to Laguna Torre, at the base of Cerro Torre, and to Laguna de los Tres, at the base of Cerro Fitz Roy. These are quite long hikes on very well marked trails, but don’t go alone as you will need encouragement along the way (check out why I never recommend hiking alone).
For more information about the hikes, read my posts A Complete Guide To Hiking To Laguna Torre and A Guide To Hiking Around Fitz Roy, In El Chalten.
At Laguna Torre with 3 more girls on my trip of Argentina – it was great to meet other likeminded travelers!
Practical information about El Chalten
Where to sleep
Estancia La Quinta – a lovely hotel a bit outside of El Chalten. It’s a good walk to town (around 55 minutes) or a few minutes drive by taxi (at the time of writing, a ride to town costs $400 Argentinian Pesos). Rooms are plain but incredibly comfortable and the settings absolutely gorgeous.
CHECK OUT THE BEST HOTEL DEALS IN EL CHALTEN HERE
Where to eat
Maffia – a nice eatery that serves home made pasta – approved by Italians.
Ahonikenk – prepares some Argentinian staples including a good milanesa.
Mathilda – a lovely café with good salads and sandwiches, and drinks that go from your choice of coffee to craft beer.
Where to drink
La Vineria – a bit after the entrance of town, it has good draft beers and an excellent selection of wines.
Cerveceria Artesanal – the best pub in El Chalten.
El Chalten is tiny, so unless you are staying out of town ie at Estancia La Quinta, there won’t be any need to hire a taxi. If needed, several companies can be called and booked.
No better place to end a trip to Argentina than Mendoza
Mendoza is the perfect place to wrap up an incredible trip to Argentina, celebrating with wine and delicious food in the lovely surroundings of vineyards and Andean peaks. You can get there by plane from El Calafate, via Buenos Aires.
If the rest of this Argentina itinerary is all about adventure and adrenaline, in Mendoza it is all about taking it slowly.
Once in Mendoza you should visit the nicest bodegas (vineyard) in the region – all of them have fabulous restaurants attached.
You can go biking and even go horse riding through the vineyards and have a chance to try several wines and to learn about the process of wine making and bottling, and gorge on a 7 courses lunch – accompanied by yet more wine. Make sure to buy lots of wine to bring home, as it costs a real steal!
Check out my posts A Guide To The Most Fun Things To Do In Mendoza, Argentina and 13 Fantastic Wineries In Mendoza for more ideas.
A lovely bike ride through the vineyards – and lots of wine drinking!
Practical information about Mendoza
Where to sleep
Posada el Encuentro – tucked away in a small alley in Chacras de Coria, one of the nicest areas a bit outside Mendoza, this nice boutique hotel exudes countryside charm.
CHECK OUT THE BEST HOTEL DEALS IN MENDOZA HERE
Where to eat
The best places to eat in Mendoza are actually the fantastic bodegas you will visit during your wine tours. There, you will have your good share of local specialties such as empanadas and the best cuts of meat.
Vegan or vegetarian? Head to Cuenco, right outside the center of Mendoza. They have delicious fresh vegan food at more than reasonable prices.
Where to drink
Should the wine you have at the bodegas not be enough, you can pop in one of the many lovely bars and pubs on Chacras de Coria main street. Patagonia is guaranteed to have good beer.
As in any big city in Argentina, the public transportation system works quite well. You can also count on a good and fairly cheap taxi service.
Do you have more time?
If you have 14 full days in Argentina, you may want to add an extra stop in Puerto Madryn in between Buenos Aires and El Calafate. This is an excellent place for wildlife spotting – you can go to the penguin reserve in Punta Tombo, explore Peninsula Valdes and even go on a boat trip to admire dolphins and other marine life. You can read more about it in the next section below.
Time to plan your trip to Argentina!
Argentina itinerary #2: Buenos Aires, Puerto Madryn, Patagonia, Salta and Iguazu
3 to 4 weeks in Argentina itinerary
This Argentina itinerary won’t take you to Mendoza, but you will get to spend more time in Patagonia and also make it to the north of the country, in the region of the Quebradas and in the magnificent Iguazu.
Here is what your 3 weeks in Argentina will look like:
3 nights in Buenos Aires
3 nights in Puerto Madryn
4 or 5 nights in Ushuaia
3 nights in El Calafate
3 nights in El Chalten
3 nights in Iguazu
1 night in Buenos Aires
For this itinerary you will have 3 nights in Buenos. Check out my tips above for what to see and do in the city, and ideas on where to stay.
The second leg of this Argentina itinerary will take you to Puerto Madryn. You can get there by plane from Buenos Aires.
This small coastal town in Chubut is one of the best places in the country for wildlife watching, and you should plan to stay enough time to visit the Peninsula Valdes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you will spot a colony of elephant seals, and Punta Tombo, famous for being one of the largest penguin colonies in the world. Depending on the season, Puerto Madryn is also the perfect starting point for whale watching.
For more activities, make sure to check out my post A Complete Guide To Puerto Madryn, Argentina.
Practical information about Puerto Madryn
Where to sleep
You will find a good selection of places to stay in Puerto Madryn. I recommend staying at either Hi Patagonia Hostel, if you have a backpacker’s budget and are looking for an easygoing place, or at Hotel Piren for rooms with a view.
CHECK OUT THE BEST HOTEL DEALS IN PUERTO MADRYN HERE
Where to eat and drink
The best places to eat in Puerto Madryn are En Mis Fuegos, which is a bit of a romantic spot, and Cantina El Nautico, the best place in town for seafood. Giuseppe makes great pizza and pasta.
Puerto Madryn is fairly small. You may want to rent a car to get out of town on day trips, or join guided tours.
Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego are absolutely stunning
Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego
If someone dares to tell you that 5 days in Tierra del Fuego are too many, tell them that Claudia told you otherwise. Honestly guys, this place is THE THING, so unique, so southernmost, so different from anything else and I am sure you will fall in love with it as much as I did.
Ushuaia is the perfect access point to explore the region, enjoy the local wildlife, learn about the difficult by charming living conditions of the area, and to remain in awe of the magnificent nature.
Make sure to factor in a full day to explore Tierra del Fuego National Park, as it is quite vast and there are lots of hiking trails, viewpoints, and interesting landmarks. You can consider joining this Tierra del Fuego & the End of the World Train tour.
You can dedicate half day for a cruise on the Beagle Channel to admire local wildlife – various species of penguins, sea lions and if you are lucky you will also get to spot whales. Then you can go on a hike to Laguna Esmeralda (this trekking tour goes to Laguna Esmeralda).
These are the best boat tours of Beagle Channel:
Another day will be needed to visit Cabo San Pablo, a truly remote place where you will likely be the only one around. You can book a tour here.
Other things you can do in Tierra del Fuego include fishing and eating king crabs; visiting the beautiful Lago Escondido; walking to Martial Glacier and visiting a local estancia (farm). There are many in the region, but most of them are rather touristy. If you are in search for a local one, head to Estancia Rolito, which is still family run.
For more about Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego, read my posts Everything You Need To Know About Ushuaia Patagonia and A Complete Guide To Hiking Laguna Esmeralda.
Guided tours are an excellent way of discovering Ushuaia, Patagonia
Practical information about Ushuaia
Where to sleep
You will find a good selection of places to stay in Ushuaia. Oshovia is a good boutique hotel with nice rooms. Hostel Yakush is perfect for backpackers.
CHECK OUT THE BEST HOTEL DEALS IN USHUAIA HERE
Where to eat and drink
Rincon Gourmet – a bit outside of the city center, in Andorra, you will find the private house of a local chef turned who loves cooking with local ingredients and changes his menu daily based on what he finds on the market. It’s expensive but delicious.
Ramos Generales – located on Maipú, the main street, it is a cozy place that attracts both locals and tourists. There is an adjoint bakery.
Viejo Marino – also on Maipú, it’s the best place to try local seafood. There often is a line so try to make reservations.
The Birra – a small local brewery that serves great beer on tap. They also have burgers.
There is a public transportation system in Ushuaia which you can use to reach some landmarks such as the starting point of the hike to Laguna Esmeralda. Other than that, you are better off using cabs or guided tours.
El Calafate and El Chalten
You can travel to El Chalten by plane from Ushuaia. There occasionally are direct flights.
Make sure to read my tips above for the best things to see and do in El Calafate and El Chalten.
When in Argentina, visiting Iguazu Falls is a must!
From El Calafate, you can fly to Iguazu via Buenos Aires. This will be a full day of traveling.
The magnificent Iguazu Falls are located on the border between Argentina and Brazil, and as per this Argentina itinerary, you will have enough time to visit both sides. The Brazilian side tends to be very panoramic, while the Argentine one is packed with action as you will be seeing the waterfalls from a variety of perspectives, including going right under them on a boat trip.
Make sure to read my post Everything You Need To Know Before Visiting Iguazu Falls Argentina.
This guided tour of the falls from Puerto Iguazu goes to Argentina and Brazil side and is perfect if you are short on time. You can also opt for this full moon walking tour Argentina falls. Otherwise, you can easily visit on your own!
Practical information about Iguazu
Where to sleep and eat in Iguazu
There are some excellent accommodation options in Iguazu. My favorite is Jasy Hotel, a nice hotel with very large rooms, a great restaurant and a bar serving excellent cocktails, and a small but nice pool.
CHECK OUT THE BEST HOTEL DEALS IN IGUAZU HERE
The public transportation system in Iguazu works quite well and you can definitely count on it to reach the national park and access the waterfalls, on both sides of the border.
Do you have more time?
If you have 4 or 5 extra days to spare Argentina, I recommend heading to Salta. You can fly there directly from Iguazu. I think it is much better if you rent a car for this last leg of your Argentina itinerary, as it really is the best way to explore the area of the Quebradas.
Salta is a lovely colonial town that has much of an indigenous feel, and a great access point to Rio Juramento, a perfect location for rafting and ziplining, and to access the beautiful Quebradas.
Make sure to read my post A Complete Guide To Salta Argentina.
Further Information To Plan Your Trip To Argentina
The best time to visit Argentina
Argentina is a huge country with several climates and temperatures that can vary a lot depending on where you go. For the purpose of this itineraries, you are probably better off traveling between October and April, so between spring and the beginning of fall, when days are long and you have chances of better weather in Patagonia. Keep in mind that Buenos Aires and even Mendoza are terribly hot and sticky during the summer, whereas Iguazu has tropical weather.
How to get to Argentina
The starting point of this Argentina itinerary is always Buenos Aires. You will be flying into Ezeiza International Airport, which is at about 20 km out of town. Buenos Aires is a terribly busy city, so depending on where you are staying in town it may take you up to two hours to get there!
Flying to Argentina from North America and Europe isn’t cheap. The best flight deals are likely going to be on Air Canada from North America and on Alitalia (via Rome) or Iberia (via Madrid) from Europe. Keep in mind that flights are truly long, so you may want to splurge on a comfortable seat.
How to move around Argentina
A country as big as Argentina will require a combination of various transportation modes. The good news is that domestic flights in Argentina aren’t terribly expensive if you book them in advance. The only issue is that most of the time you will have to fly through Buenos Aires (Pistarini Domestic Airport) to catch a connecting flight to your final destination. The best deals are usually on Norwegian (which actually has really good service) and Aerolinas Argentinas. Latam has some good deals too.
If you are in no rush, you may want to opt for the occasional bus ride. Keep in mind that distances are such that at times you may be spending 20+ hours on a bus, but the good news is that buses are usually very comfortable, with fully reclining seats and an entertainment system, and they will also share some (basic) meals. You should book your bus seats in advance.
Driving in Argentina can be challenging. The distances are terribly long, and in Patagonia the wind is so powerful that you’ll feel your car may take off any time. Having said so, a road trip through Argentina can also be a fun experience, especially if you can break down your trip and visit more places along the way. I have driven myself in the northern provinces (Salta and the Quebradas) and had a blast. Keep in mind that lot of rental companies will apply limitations on the number of km you can cover!
What to pack
Make sure to pack smartly, as Buenos Aires and Mendoza tend to get very hot in the summer, but Patagonia is mostly windy and chilly. Carry some good layers for Patagonia, as the weather tends to be unpredictable, it may rain and it is (unsurprisingly) freezing cold on Perito Moreno Glacier. Hiking boots are a must, as well as sun block!
To help you plan your trip to Argentina make to read my other posts:
Legal Disclaimer: I was a guest of Flash Pack during my last trip to Argentina and I wish to thank them for the incredible experience. Needless to say, the opinions expressed in this post remain my own.
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There are way too many things to do in Argentina, that one trip just won’t be enough.
With so many things to do in Argentina, it is easy to fall in love with it. Don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with many of the countries I have visited. For example, I have officially declared my love for Nicaragua. But Argentina holds a special place in my heart, I feel culturally very close to it and my love for it is so deep that I keep thinking I should actually move there.
I even bought a one way ticket to Buenos Aires a few of years ago, and just as I had started looking for a place to rent, I had to change my plans. But I have been back many times. Indeed, there are so many places to visit in Argentina, so many things to do in Argentina that I don’t think a lifetime would be enough to experience them all.
If you visit Argentina, you will be impressed by its stunning beauty. Whether youI explore one of the gorgeous cities or get deep in its incredible nature, you will feel captivated by the atmosphere, by the positive vibes, and be totally charmed by the people.
Argentina tourist attractions are many. This incredible country has something for just about anybody: cities packed with interesting museums; a fantastic cultural life; tango galore; unique wildlife; mountains and glaciers; infinite possibilities for adventure seekers; friendly people who are always in for fun; incredible food and delicious wines.
Although prices fluctuate as much as the Argentinian economy and the inflation rate is very high, Argentina is not a terribly expensive country to visit.
In this post, I will highlight the things to do in Argentina and share some tips that will help you plan your trip.
Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the places to visit in Argentina
Practical Information To Plan Your Trip To Argentina
Deciding when to visit Argentina
Any time is a good time to visit Argentina. But I may be biased! Indeed, most of those who spend their holidays in Argentina opt to travel in the late spring and summer months, between November and March, when it is possible to enjoy the whole country thanks to the favorable weather conditions. The months of January and February are peak season and places will be busy – make reservations for buses, flights, and even hostels during those months.
One of the best things to do in Argentina during the summer months is enjoying its wildlife, in particular in the area of Peninsula Valdes and Punta Tombo (but keep in mind that the whales and orcas are spotted during the winter months). Patagonia is best visited in the summer, when Perito Moreno is not prohibitively cold; the same can be said for Tierra del Fuego. Buenos Aires does get tremendously hot in the summer months!
Make sure to check out my post “Hiking Gear And More: The Perfect Patagonia Packing List.”
Guided tours of Argentina
If you want to travel to Argentina but have no time to plan the trip, or aren’t exactly a fan of it, leave it to the experts! Below are some excellent guided tours of Argentina that I have picked for you. All you have to do is book!
- Argentina multisport – a 15 days G Adventures tour perfect for those who enjoy a bit of action during their trips;
- Patagonia hiking – a fantastic 9 days tour with G Adventures that is all about hitting the trails;
- Hike Patagonia in depth – this 14 days G Adventures tour also goes to Chilean Patagonia.
Getting to Argentina
Most people who fly into Argentina usually land in Buenos Aires Ezeiza airport (its international airport). You can easily book a hotel transfer from the airport here.
Visas aren’t necessary if you are a citizen of European Union countries, United States and Switzerland. Passports are stamped and a tourist visa is given, free of charge, for 90 days from the date of arrival. Citizens of Canada need an online visa (Argentina Reciprocity Fee).
It may be necessary to show proof of onward travel – such as a round trip plane ticket. I also advise to purchase travel insurance prior to your trip. You can get yours here.
Crossing the border to and from Argentina
There are several places to cross the border between Argentina and Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay. Crossing the border is usually a rather easy process but keep in mind that no fruits and vegetables can be carried into Chile. Whatever fresh food item you may be carrying, needs to be either discarded before crossing the border or declared in the immigration card.
The fines for omitting to do so aren’t high, but the Chilean authorities will take their time in measuring every single item that can’t be carried into Chile, and this may slow down the entire border crossing process!
Currency in Argentina
The Argentinian peso is the most fluctuating currency in South America, if not the world. Inflation rate are very high and prices can change dramatically in the course of a few weeks.
Credit cards are not widely accepted and using them usually imply a surcharge. Dollars are widely accepted.
At the moment, $1 USD is worth about 60 Argentinian Pesos.
I still think that one of the best things to do in Argentina is carrying some dollars, just in case.
Safety in Argentina
Argentina is safe and you shouldn’t encounter any problems. Keep a low profile, use minimum precaution, such as keeping your eyes open, carrying a copy of your passport around and leaving the original one in a safe, keeping your bag strapped around my shoulder and not wearing anything too flashy and all goes well.
Transportation in Argentina
Some of the distances in this huge country are very large. For example, getting from Puerto Madryn to El Calafate takes a good 20 hours, and from Mendoza to Buenos Aires 15 hours. Unless traveling overland is a matter of principle, I think that flying may well be one of the best things to do in Argentina, and at times it may also save a little money – just make sure to book well in advance.
Having said so, buses in Argentina are usually punctual and comfortable. Seats can be fully reclined and long distance buses even pass around meals (don’t expect anything fancy). Seats usually have a personal screen, headphones and there even is wifi.
Where to stay in Argentina
The range of places to stay in Argentina is incredible: from hostels to hotels, from bed and breakfast to guest houses and even to couch-surfing, there is something for any budget. The standard of hostels is generally good: clean, well equipped, with a nice vibe and they even organize nights out, parties and dinners for very good prices.
One of the best things to do in Argentina, however, is staying in an estancia (called finca in some parts of the country), a ranch. Most estancias are located a bit off the beaten path, and staying in one is a great way to get to know in depth some of the most interesting aspects of the culture of Argentina.
Staying in an estancia is one of the things to do in Argentina – photo courtesy of Mariano Mantel (flickr)
Eating in Argentina
Fact: food in Argentina is delicious and one of the top things to do in Argentina is eating. Argentina is a real paradise for meat eaters, and enjoying a good asado (a mix of barbecued meats) is a must. So delicious is asado that there even are online resources that explain how to make a good one at home.
Yummy things to do in Argentina: eating asado – photo courtesy of Jesus Dehesa (flickr)
Vegetarians and vegans may have a bit of a hard time, but things are improving and the choice of places to eat for them is anyways quite large, especially in cities such as Buenos Aires and Mendoza. Thanks to its Italian heritage, in Argentina there is a lot of good Italian food and home made pasta and pizza are available in lots of restaurants, making the life of vegetarians and vegans a bit easier.
In the north west regions, empanadas (sort of small calzones with various fillings) are a good option of cheap and tasty food, along with the humitas (sort of tamales, made of corn dough).
Argentinians typically eat a small breakfast consisting of café con leche (coffee with milk) and medialunas, which are small croissants. International hostels and hotels do offer a bigger variety.
Dulce de leche (caramelized milk, almost nauseatingly sweet) is very popular and pretty much spread on anything, or so it seems. A popular snack is alfajores, two rounded dry biscuits joined together by (usually) dulche de leche and often covered in chocolate. I don’t have a very sweet tooth so I didn’t particularly enjoy them.
Drinking in Argentina
Beer in Argentina isn’t really that great. Quilmes is perhaps the best one, followed by Salteña which is more popular in the region of Salta. Craft beer is becoming more and more popular, with lots of pubs sprouting, especially in Buenos Aires.
Among the recommended things to do in Argentina, there is trying the fantastic wines and taking a wine tour, especially in the region of Mendoza and in Cafayate. Malbec is a fantastic grape that perfectly accompanies meat dishes.
Among the things to do in Buenos Aires, there is visiting the iconic Casa Rosada
25 Things To Do In Argentina That You Can’t Miss
Explore the magnificent Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is among the unmissable places to visit in Argentina. It is a great (and huge) European-looking city with a fabulous Latin Vibe. Next to state of the art modern buildings there are beautiful examples of colonial architecture. It is packed with parks and interesting museums. Its boulevards are immense, but just around the corner there are tiny cobbled alleys. There is a good reason it is called “The Paris of South America.”
If you care to know more about the actual Paris, make sure to read my post “33 Incredible Places To Visit In Paris.”
And as if this was not enough already, there are gorgeous little cafés where the porteños (how people living in Buenos Aires are called) like to meet; trendy bars and night clubs; milongas where even the most reluctant ones will be seduced by tango; restaurants that serve delicious local and international food; fantastic shopping opportunities (actually, although I am not a shopaholic, I found shopping is one of the things do to in Buenos Aires).
Not to mention, one thing that can’t be missed when visiting Argentina is watching a futból match and there is hardly a better place to do so than Buenos Aires’ Bombonera stadium. Here, I just highlight the things to do in Buenos Aires you can’t miss. For more, read my detailed post “25 Unmissable Things To Do In Buenos Aires.”
Things to do in Buenos Aires: exploring its iconic attractions, starting from Microcentro
Touring Buenos Aires iconic attractions
One of the things to do in Buenos Aires is visiting its iconic attractions. In this city, modernity and history mix gracefully. BAires, as the locals call it, is incredibly spread out, but with a little bit of effort, most of the tourist attractions can be visited in a day.
Microcentro, the commercial centre of the city, is a good starting point to begin exploring Buenos Aires. There you will spot the trendy porteños all dressed up, rushing to business meetings.
Plaza de Mayo deserves a special mention. This is where the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo used to meet with pictures and signs of the desaparecidos – the victims of the Argentinian dictatorship – demanding to know where their sons were being held and reporting the human rights violations committed by the authorities.
Right on Plaza de Mayo there are the Catedral Metropolitana and the iconic Casa Rosada, seat of the Argentinian President and the political heart of the city. Not far from it, Manzana de las Luces is another must see, as it is the oldest colonial church in Buenos Aires.
One of the things to do in Buenos Aires which you will surely enjoy is going for a walk in Puerto Madero, which used to be a pier once but currently is one of the trendiest barrios of the city, with its luxury apartment buildings and trendy restaurants. Puerto Madero is also home to famous architect Calatrava’s Puente de la Mujer, which is a real work of art.
Another part of Buenos Aires you will definitely like is Recoleta. This is where the wealthiest families of Buenos Aires moved in the 1870s, when an epidemic of yellow fever hit the neighborhood of San Telmo. One of the best things to do in Buenos Aires is strolling along Avenida Alvear, with its beautiful villas, the lovely shops and the Cementerio de Recoleta, the cemetery where Evita Peron, one of the most important persons in Argentinas history, is buried.
Here are some great tour options to get an introduction to Buenos Aires:
Visit Buenos Aires fantastic museums
If the weather in Buenos Aires is not nice, make sure to visit one of the many fantastic museums! My two favorites are the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, which has Argentina’s best art collection with pieces of Renoir, Monet, Picasso and Gauguin, and the Museum of Modern Art.
Explore Buenos Aires most charming barrios
San Telmo and La Boca are the most charming barrios of Buenos Aires, and paying a visit to these two charming neighborhoods is a must. San Telmo used to be an elegant area where the wealthiest families in town lived but, following the yellow fever epidemic, they moved to Recoleta. San Telmo, with its cobbled streets and colonial buildings, is now a favorite of artists and bohémien, famous for its Sunday antiques market and for the lively Feria de San Telmo (the local market).
La Boca is where Italian and Spanish immigrants settled in the 19th century and it is now a popular tourist spot for its colorful Caminito and for the Boca Juniors impressive football stadium, La Bombonera. Try a walking tour of La Boca, like this one.
Exploring Palermo – what to do in Buenos Aires on Sundays – photo courtesy of Gabriel Joandet (flickr)
Palermo Viejo is one of the trendiest areas of Buenos Aires, packed with gorgeous buildings, cobbled streets and beautiful boulevards. You can also explore Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywhood, which are packed with great street art.
Here are some great options for seeing Palermo:
Watch a fútbol match at La Bombonera
People take fútbol very seriously in Argentina. Diego Armando Maradona is still a national hero and Lionel Messi is a star. Going to La Bombonera for a fútbol match is definitely one of the things to do in Buenos Aires. Try to get tickets for a superclásico – Boca Juniors v. River Plate.
Watching a tango show in one of the many milongas is one of the musts in Buenos Aires.
Things to do in Buenos Aires on a Sunday: get out of the city! – photo courtesy of David Almeida (flickr)
One of the things to do in Argentina is trying mate – a bitter infusion made with chopped yerba mate leaves and hot water. Drinking mate is a huge part of the Argentinian culture, to the point that people in Argentina hardly leave their home without carrying a thermos of hot water, enough yerba mate, a cup (which is usually called calabaza, Spanish for pumpkin, and is indeed a calabash gourd) and a bombilla, the straw used to drink it.
Drinking mate is a national ritual: Buenos Aires parks are packed with people sitting on the grass and drinking mate on Sundays. They pass along the cup and the straw and sip it for hours at end. It is not uncommon to also see mate stations, where people empty their calabaza and fill up on hot water.
Visit El Tigre
At about 35 km from north of Buenos Aires, Tigre and its river delta are a favorite of porteños and they are nice places for a day tour from Buenos Aires. A train ride away from Retiro station, Tigre is a small, quiet city where you can get away from the heat of Buenos Aires during summer days. Check here for more details on an El Tigre day tour
Make sure to visit the Puerto de Frutos, a lovely local market that sells any kind of goods. You can also go on a boat ride that takes you along the delta: the view of the traditional homes and nature are stunning.
Colonia del Sacramento is a perfect day trip from Buenos Aires
Go on a day trip to Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay)
Colonia del Sacramento is among the places to visit in Uruguay, is only one hour away from Buenos Aires by ferry. It is a lovely escape for a day trip from Buenos Aires. You can catch a fast boat across the Rio de la Plata to visit the gorgeous little city of Colonia del Sacramento. Check here to book a day trip to Colonia del Sacramento.
The city was founded by the Portuguese in 1680 and is truly pretty. The main attraction of Colonia del Sacramento is the Barrio Histórico, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its old gate, the Portón de Campo; the tiny Calle de los Suspiros; the beautifully kept colonial buildings; Plaza Mayor 25 de Mayo and Plaza de Armas; and the ruins of the Convento de San Francesco. The lighthouse is the perfect spot to admire the views of the Rio de la Plata. Colonia is also packed with perfectly kept vintage cars.
Read more about Colonia del Sacramento and the fantastic things to do in Uruguay on my post “The top seven things to do in Uruguay.” Make sure to also check out my post “25 Cool Things To Do In Montevideo.”
Where to stay in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is packed with good hotels and hostels. Picking a place to stay is always a matter of personal preferences and interests. I like a bit of local feel and I enjoy walking everywhere, so to me the best places to stay in town are all in San Telmo, which is a charming area packed with lovely restaurants, cafés and bars.
I found America del Sur hostel to be a good choice. There are dorms (all having a private bathroom) as well as private rooms – all of them are cozy, modern and very comfortable. America del Sur organizes nights out as well as tango workshops too. Check here to book now or here to see reviews
Looking for more accommodation options? Make sure to read “A Complete Guide To Where To Stay In Buenos Aires.”
Where to eat in Buenos Aires
There are plenty of good restaurants in Buenos Aires, spread all over town. Some great international and fusion restaurants are in Palermo, one of the trendiest areas of Buenos Aires. Yet, my pick is Fresh Market, in Puerto Madero. It took me a while to find this, as really the restaurant is no more than a few tables in what really is a grocery store. But the food is incredible (I highly recommend the fresh salmon) and the choice of dessert is out of this world!
You could also try a food tour to see more of the cuisine in Buenos Aries. Here are some great tour options:
Puerto Madryn is one of the places to visit in Argentina – photo courtesy of Christian Ostrosky (flickr)
Admire wildlife in Peninsula Valdes and Punta Tombo
Puerto Madryn is definitely one of the places to visit in Argentina. A small port town on the Gulfo Nuevo, it gives easy access to some of Argentina tourist attractions: the beautiful Península Valdés and Punta Tombo. In the summer months, it is is a beach destination to which lots of people who spend their holidays in Argentina travel, as it is the perfect location for one of the most incredible things to do in Argentina: admiring the thriving wildlife. And as a bonus, it also is a nice place to just hang out.
Read my post “A Complete Guide To Puerto Madryn, Argentina.”
In the winter and spring, between June and December, Puerto Madryn is the place to go to admire the austral whales directly from the town jetty (although apparently the best place to spot the austral whales is Puerto Pirámides, in the Península Valdés). Check here for more information on a whale watching tour.
One of the best things to do in Argentina is learning more about its incredible wildlife, and Puerto Madryn is an excellent place to do that as it has several interesting museums. One of them, the Ecocentro, is a work of art of interactive exhibits where great artistic sensibility and outstanding scientific research are joined together for superb results. It also has a fantastic library from which it is possible to admire a beautiful view of the gulf (and spot the marine life).
I visited Puerto Madryn during the summer months (between December and March), which is when the strong Patagonian winds blow almost uninterrupted. For this reason, I was unable to see the austral whales. Yet, like most of those who visit Argentina, I went all the way to Puerto Madryn to further explore the region – and it was a good choice!
One of the activities you are bound to like the most is boat expedition to admire mammals such as dolphins and sea lions in their natural environment.
Puerto Madryn is perfect also for for hiking, biking, going kayaking, scuba diving, or even learning how to windsurf. Check here to see how to go scuba diving in sea lions in Puerto Madryn.
One of the most incredible things to do in Argentina is enjoying the gorgeous wildlife
Among the things to do in Argentina, there is visiting the Reserva Faunística Península Valdés, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is one of the best places to observe the incredible wildlife in its natural habitat. Among others, during a tour of Peninsula Valdes you will be able to admire sea elephant and lions, guanacos, nandus, foxes, magellan penguins. Depending on the season, even orcas show up.
This photo is the proof that Punta Tombo is one of the places to visit in Argentina
Another of the places to visit in Argentina is Punta Tombo, the largest penguin nesting region in South America. Besides a variety of birds which includes cormorants and seagulls, here lives a colony of over half a million magellan penguins who set up their nest and lay their eggs each year between September and April. Taking a tour of Punta Tombo to walk around there is one of the most fun and surreal things to do in Argentina. They look really cute and they are really loud!
Here are some great options for tours in Puerto Madryn:
Where to stay in Puerto Madryn
When I visited Puerto Madryn, I stayed at Hi Patagonia, a lovely hostel which, for the way it is set up, looks more like a home. And indeed, it does feel homey, with the common areas where guests can hang out, good dorms and a properly equipped kitchen. Hi Patagonia regularly organizes asado nights (eating asado is one of the things to do in Argentina) for a very convenient price, and nights out for its guests. Check here to book now or here to read more reviews
Where to eat in Puerto Madryn
Although I mostly ate at the hostel, one of the restaurants I tried in Puerto Madryn is Estela, which is considered the best restaurant in town. It offers a great choice of meat, pasta and fish dishes and the atmosphere is very cozy.
Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego are absolutely stunning
Venture to Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego
Among the fantastic things to do in Argentina, there is admiring its unspoiled nature and appreciate its wilderness. Ushuaia is one of the places to visit in Argentina just for that.
Read my complete guide to Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego.
What makes Ushuaia one of Argentina tourist attractions is its location, in a wide bay on the southern coast of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. The Martial mountain range is at its north, whereas the Beagle Channel lays at its south. Those who visit Argentina usually travel to Ushuaia in the summer months, when the city (which is the closest point to Antarctica) gets a lot of daylight and the temperatures, despite being cold, are not as prohibitive as in the winter months (May to August).
Ushuaia is a perfect base for some incredible adventures and to embark on some of the most incredible things to do in Argentina, such as hiking, kayaking, dog sledding, wildlife watching and Antarctica cruises. Among the places to visit in Argentina that can be easily accessed from Ushuaia, there are Cerro Martial and its glacier, Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, the Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel.
Hiking is one of the best things to do in Argentina, and there are hardly better places than the scented forests of Tierra del Fuego National Park for that.
There are several walking trails, some offering views of the Beagle Channel and of Isla Navarino and Isla Hoste, and on any of them it is possible to admire the flora and wildlife that lives in the area, which includes cormorants, seagulls and even condors. The best hike is that of Laguna Esmeralda.
Check out my post “A Complete Guide To Hiking Laguna Esmeralda.”
Furthermore, one of Argentina tourist attractions is the Tren del Fin del Mundo, a fantastic train ride that goes through the Tierra del Fuego National Park.
Boarding a day cruise across the Beagle Channel is a great way to explore the various islands of Tierra del Fuego, such as those of the Alicia Archipelago.
Bird Islands, Seal Islands and Isla Martillo are packed with wildlife and this is where it is possible to admire colonies of sea lions and seals as well as the Magellan Penguins. Included the places to visit in Argentina that can be explored during a tour of the Beagle Channel is the beautiful Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse.
Here are some great tour options for Ushuaia:
Where to stay in Ushuaia
In Ushuaia, you can stay at Posada Fin del Mundo, a wonderful building with huge windows that offer spectacular views. Rooms aren’t really spacious, but they are cozy and comfortable and the breakfast is delicious. The owners are real stars! Check here to book now or here to read more reviews
Where to eat in Ushuaia
There are plenty of good restaurants in Ushuaia. I loved grabbing some quick bits at Almacen Ramos Generales, which has freshly baked bread and good croissants. My favorite restaurant in town is María Lola Restó, which is also very popular among the locals.
El Calafate is one of the places to visit in Argentina – no doubt about that
Visit El Calafate
Patagonia is without the shadow of a doubt among the places to visit in Argentina, and the small town of El Calafate is the perfect access point to it. El Calafate is located on the southern coast of Lago Argentino, surrounded by the Andean peaks, lakes and glaciers. Although the main feature of El Calafate is its location, this small town is pretty and a lovely place to relax for a few days, as it is packed with nice cafés, restaurants and shops.
Those cafés come in really handy with the sudden weather changes. Even in the summer months, El Calafate can be really cold and it can snow!
Here are some more tour options in El Calafate:
Read my post “A Complete Guide To El Calafate, Argentina” and for more information on Patagonia, check out my post “30 Things You Should Consider Before Traveling To Patagonia.”
Perito Moreno glacier well deserves to be among Argentina tourist attractions
Admire Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier is among the most famous Argentina tourist attractions. From a distance, the view is that of an enormous river of ice that slowly moves towards the lake, surrounded by mountains. Getting closer, the glacier looks like a wall of ice. One of the most fantastic things to do in Argentina is thus taking a cruise on Lago Argentino, along the Canal de los Témpanos, to get right to the bottom of Perito Moreno and to admire the icebergs that float on the lake.
Check out my post “A Complete Guide To Perito Moreno Glacier.”
Yet, visiting the Perito Moreno is not simply a visual experience. One of the best things to do in Argentina is indeed listening to the ridges that, torn away from the glacier, crash loudly onto the lake – the sound this produces is similar to that of a thunder in the distance.
Go on a glacier hike
Among the most incredible things to do in Argentina is hiking on the Perito Moreno glacier.
It is actually not so cold when you do it – I found the temperatures much colder on the balconies. My advice if you are willing to hike the glacier is to make sure to wear proper great – good hiking boots and socks, a good snow jacket, hat, scarf and gloves and thermal underwear will all be necessary.
Here are some more options for tours to Perito Moreno:
Hiking is one of the most fantastic things to do in Argentina
Hike around Estancia Cristina
A hiking expedition that from Estancia Cristina will lead you to a viewpoint from which you can admire the Uppsala glacier. It may be very windy, yet the hike isn’t too strenuous.
During this day tour of Estancia Cristina and Uppsala Glacier, you will walk along the Cañadón de los Fósiles, where you will be able to observe a large number of marine fossils dating back to an era precedent to the formation of the Andes, and see othe glacier from the great viewpoint of Lago Guillermo. Finally, you also get to visit Estancia Cristina, which was once a ranch and it has currently been turned into a fabulous boutique hotel where it is great to spend a few nights, and which has a great annexed museum.
Go to Torres del Paine
Lots of people who visit Argentina and go to El Calafate feel tempted to go on a day trip to Torres del Paine National Park, in Chile. This is a great place to visit, and it is for a good reason that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Yet, of all the things to do in Argentina, I would not recommend going to Torres del Paine just for a day. I speak with good reason as I was one of those who made the mistake and wasted a full day (and a good amount of money – but after all, I have always said I am an unsuccessful backpacker) on what turned up to be just a bus trip where stops would consist of no more than 30 minutes for pictures.
The park is too gorgeous to just spend a few hours there and deserves at least a few days to explore the various hiking trails. If you do decide to go, make sure to spend a few days there.
Where to stay in El Calafate
America del Sur hostel in El Calafaate s a great place to do get incredible views of Patagonia. It is a bit outside the centre of town, on a hill overlooking Lake Argentino.
One of the fondest memories I have of Argentina is having a very early breakfast before a day trip and seeing the sunrise from the cozy common room of America del Sur hostel. Dorms are cozy and comfortable and they all have private bathrooms. The hostel also offers tours and organizes asado nights. It is a great place to meet other travelers too. Check here to book now or here to compare reviews
Where to eat in El Calafate
Eating is one of the things to do in Argentina. I tried various restaurants in El Calafate and eventually I made up my mind that the best one is La Tablita, a great parrilla that serves delicious meat and fish dishes, and has a great wine selection. The atmosphere is very cozy and the service excellent.
El Chalten is an unmissable stop during a trip to Argentina
Hike around El Chalten
Adventure sports are among the things to do in Argentina, first and foremost hiking, but also rafting and kayaking. Considered the Argentinian hiking capital, with its iconic Fitzroy mountain range, El Chalten is one of the places to visit in Argentina for adventure sports.
Located in the northern side of the Parque Nacional los Glaciares, El Chalten is just a tiny village. Yet, it is the perfect starting point for many hiking trails and fairly easy to reach even on a day trip from El Calafate. As I was based in El Calafate and had to get a bus back, I opted for the 3 hour trail Laguna Torre, which offers incredible views of the Cerro Torre.
Check out my post “Hiking In Patagonia: 16 Incredible Trails.” Make sure to also read my detailed posts “A Guide To Hiking Around Fitz Roy, In El Chaltenand “A Complete Guide To Hiking To Laguna Torre.”
Also read “An Excellent Guide To El Chalten.”
Here are some great options for tours to/in El Chalten:
Take a wine tour in Mendoza
Lively during the day, Mendoza becomes fully alive at night when locals and tourists crowd the many restaurants and bars. The city is a fun place to visit, but the main features of Mendoza are its proximity to the Parque Provincial Cerro Aconcagua – home of the highest peak of the Western hemisphere, the Cerro Aconcagua (6962 meters) – and the fact that the region where Mendoza is located is the most incredible wine producing region of South America.
It is thus easy to understand why Mendoza is one of Argentina tourist attractions.
Lots of people that visit Argentina go to Mendoza specifically to go on wine tasting tours, and I won’t deny that this was my case too.
Visiting the bodegas near Mendoza is one of the things to do in Argentina
The area of Mendoza is packed with incredible bodegas (vineyards) producing world class Malbec and Merlot wines. Although some travelers may opt for the classic tours, I recommend exploring the region by bike. At a leisurely pace, you can bike from bodega to bodega and in each one have a tour of the vineyards, of the cellar and a (few) sampling of wine at the end.
Needless to say, you can also buy several bottles of wine to bring home with you.
Traveling to Mendoza? Make sure to check out my posts “A Guide To The Most Fun Things To Do In Mendoza, Argentina“ and “13 Fantastic Wineries In Mendoza.”
Here are some great options for tours in Mendoza:
Where to stay in Mendoza
Chill Inn is an excellent choice. There are several kinds of accommodation to choose from, which include private room and dorms. The kitchen is perfectly equipped, and the asado is offered regularly. They also sell bottles of wine and have a great selection. There’s also a small but lovely pool to hang out in the summer, and a nice garden. Check here to book now or here to read reviews
Where to eat in Mendoza
Siete Fuegos is a great place to eat. It has a great selection of wines, excellent food, a fabulous setting that make this one of the best restaurants in the country.
Salta is one of the places to visit in Argentina – photo courtesy of Paul Campbell (flickr)
Explore Salta and the North West
Salta is the biggest city in the North of Argentina, laying on a beautiful valley surrounded by the fantastic Andean peaks. It’s the indigenous heart of the country, and deserves to be listed among the places to visit in Argentina. The central plaza is a great place to hang out and among the places of interest in town there are the Cathedral and Iglesia San Francisco. You can get the teleférico to the Cerro San Bernardo, which allows you to have a great view of the city (hint: go right before sunset to take in the incredible light).
One of Argentina tourist attractions are its great museums. Salta is home to a great anthropology museum, the MAAM (Museo de Antropologia de Alta Montaña), considered the most important museum of North Argentina. You will get to see 3 mummies found in 1999.
Rafting is one of the top things to do in Argentina
Go rafting on Rio Juramento
Among the incredible things to do in Argentina there are all sorts of adventure sports. Patagonia is generally considered the best region for hiking, but Salta and its surroundings offer incredible opportunities to adrenaline seekers. One of my most memorable days to date is the one I spent rafting, hiking and zip lining over the Rio Juramento with Salta Rafting, the most reputable operator in the area.
The day usually starts quite early: at 8:00 am you will be picked up to drive two hours drive on a beautiful, scenic road, to reach the base camp on Rio Juramento, where you will be given all necessary equipment to raft and get fully trained.
After two hours of rafting you’ll get to a place where a bus will be waiting for you to take you back to the base camp, were you will be able to take a shower and then offered a delicious asado.
A day of adventure is a must when in Salta
Go zip lining
If you are looking for more adventure, after rafting you can go zip lining on a system of ten cables connecting various parts of the canyon, going above the river. It is a bit scary, but also breathtaking, fun and the views were spectacular!
Take the Tren a las Nubes
Another of the great things to do in Argentina that can be enjoyed while in Salta is taking the Tren a las Nubes (Train to the Clouds), which goes through the Quebrada del Toro to reach a spectacular viaduct suspended at 64 meters and 224 meters long, and also crosses a desert which is at 4220 meters above sea level.
Visit Calchaquíes Valley
South west of Salta, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Argentina is the Calchaquíes Valley – a gorgeous combination of dry landscapes, pretty adobe villages, traditional crafts markets and some of the best wines in the country. The good news is that, compared to the rest of the north of Argentina, this region is still not as explored. Make sure to visit the Devil’s Gorge, the Conchas Gorge and the beautiful Cafayate, a village surrounded by picturesque wineries.
Here are some great options for tours in and from Salta:
Where to stay in Salta
One of the most charming places to stay in Salta is Bloomers B&B, a fantastic guest house that only has 5 rooms, each one different from the other, yet all beautifully decorated and cozy. The atmosphere is very friendly, and the breakfast menu – which changes daily – delicious. Click here to book now.
Where to eat in Salta
My favorite restaurant in Salta is El Viejo Jack. This unpretentious parrilla doesn’t look too charming, but the food is delicious, the service fast and friendly, and the prices more than affordable.
You will also enjoy Pizzeria La Colonial. Sure, this isn’t nearly the best pizza one can have in Argentina (far from it) but almost all customers are locals, the atmosphere is easy going and the prices very cheap. I surely enjoyed it!
Make sure to read my post “A Complete Guide To Salta Argentina.”
Quebrada de Humahuaca – one of the places to visit in Argentina – photo courtesy of Klaus Balzano (flickr)
Go on a road trip to the Quebrada de Humahuaca
Exploring the incredible Quebrada de Humahuaca is one of the things to do in Argentina: this well deserves to be among the places to visit in Argentina thanks to its breathtaking landscapes. This is a land where blue skies meet the high desert planes, small adobe villages are scattered along with small yet interesting archeological sites.
It is a palette of colors, so unique to be included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The people who live in the Quebrada are among the few remaining indigenous groups of Argentina – they are Quechua, much as the indigenous groups that currently live in Cusco and the Sacred Valley of Peru.
Among the villages to visit in the Quebrada de Humahuaca there is the tiny yet lovely Purmamarca, which is right at the foot of Cerro de los Siete Colores, and which has a lovely market – one of the things to do in Argentina is haggling for some beautiful crafts in Purmamarca. The village of Maimará looks incredible against the “Paleta del Pintor”.
Tilcara is among the places to visit in Argentina for its colorful and friendly people and its unique carnival, which lasts a few days and where the celebrations are contagious: musical bands walk around the village, incessantly playing their music while others dance and play tricks to passersby, throwing flour or talcum powder at them. The result is messy, yet a lot of fun.
The Pucará de Tilcara, an Inca archeological site just outside the village, is an interesting place to spend a few hours – don’t expect anything as magnificent as Machu Picchu, but it can have its charme.
On the other side of the Trópico de Capricornio, the village of Uquía is located at over 2800 meters above sea level and has a beautiful church built in the 17th century. Humahuaca, at almost 3000 meters above sea level, is the largest village in the area and one of the places to visit in Argentina for it is packed with color, beautiful cobbled streets, lively markets and friendly locals.
Reflections of clouds on the water: Salinas Grandes are among the places to visit in Argentina
West of Purmamarca, one of the most interesting places to visit in Argentina is the beautiful Salinas Grandes, a large salt flat at 3350 meters above sea level. The visual effect of the salt flats is a blinding light, though when the region gets some rain, the area appears like a large lake that beautifully reflects the mountains and the clouds. Visiting Salinas Grandes is one of the things to do in Argentina!
Here are some great tour options for Humahuaca:
Where to stay in the Quebrada de Humahuaca
Posada El Sol is a good hostel a bit out of the centre of Humahuaca. It is a beautiful building in adobe, with a nice, well kept garden and an equipped kitchen. There are dorms as well as private rooms. Breakfast is included in the price. Click here to book now or check here to see more reviews
A more upper scale and comfortable place to stay is Cielo Arriba Casa, which is closer to the main square and has very few rooms located around a beautiful patio. Click here to book now
Where to eat in the Quebrada de Humahuaca
The Quebrada de Humahuaca is packed with good restaurants for all budgets. The one I enjoyed the most is El Churqui, in Purmamarca, which is in a gorgeous historical building and prepares typical regional dishes, including llama.
Unmissable things to do in Argentina: visiting the mighty Iguazu waterfalls
Be mesmerized by Cataratas del Iguazu
Of all the things to do in Argentina, visiting the incredible Cataratas del Iguazu is, to put it simply, a must. Located between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, these incredible waterfalls are among the best Argentina tourist attractions for they are spectacular, a natural wonder and a real show of the mighty power of nature.
Check out my post “Everything You Need To Know Before Visiting Iguazu Falls Argentina.”
The nearest town to the waterfalls is Puerto Iguazu, at the border with Brazil. The town itself is nothing special, but it is a great base for exploring the waterfalls, as several buses per day leave from the bus station in Puerto Iguazu, either going to the Brazilian border and dropping visitors off directly at the park in Brazil, or to the Argentinian park. There are several restaurants and bars to hang out and try the local specialties – which are different from that of the rest of the country.
The climate in this part of the country is tropical, and it is hot and humid throughout the year.
My recommendation is to actually visit the Brazilian side first, and leave the Argentinian one as the cherry on the cake. The Brazilian side is indeed very panoramic – the views are incredible and there are endless possibilities to take postcard-like pictures. It is also possible to follow several trails to admire the local wildlife (though the most interesting animals are night creatures!).
The Argentinian side is actually more fun. You will be able to see the waterfalls from a distance, and then get close to them, get under them, get above them. You will truly live the waterfalls.
Make sure to follow the various trails to cross to Isla San Martín. You can also walk through a 1 km footpath on the forest to reach the famous Garganta del Diablo, where a platform is laid right above the river.
One of the things to do in Argentina: admiring Iguazu waterfalls from the Garganta del Diablo
What makes the Iguazu waterfalls one of the places to visit in Argentina is the fact that it is a unique site. It is an all encompassing experience. Visual as much as auditive, you can hear the roar of the waterfalls long before you actually get to see them.
There are many things to do in Argentina in Iguazu National Park. It is possible to go rafting, hiking on various trails (such as the Black Well Trail and the slippery Sendero Macuco) and even kayaking. One of the most interesting experiences, apparently, is seeing the full moon from the Garganta del Diablo, when the natural light illuminates the waterfalls. I didn’t get to do this as the full moon can only be enjoyed on 5 consecutive nights per month and I wasn’t visiting Iguazu during one of those days.
Here are some great tours for visiting Iguazu Falls:
Where to stay in Puerto Iguazu
When I visited Iguazu I was traveling with a few other people and we decided to stay at Jasy Hotel. It was an excellent choice. We shared a private room and it was really spacious, it even had some basic kitchen facilities like a fridge and a microwave. The garden is beautifully kept, there is a small pool where we could relax after a day of exploration, and a good restaurant. Click here to book now or check here to read more reviews
The bonus was the Caipirinha we were offered upon arrival: it was delicious.
Where to eat in Puerto Iguazu
Aside from the colorful market north of the centre, Puerto Iguazu is packed with good places to eat. El Quincho de Tío Querido is a good option for a typical Argentinian parrilla – the prices are more than reasonable.
Aqva is a fancy restaurant that offers some local specialties such as the surubi fish. It is on the pricey side but may be a good option for a special night out.
Have you ever been to Argentina? What were your favorite things to do in Argentina?
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