From the jungles and waterfalls of the tropical north to the glaciers and penguins of the arctic south, Argentina is a country like no other. As the eighth largest country in the world, Argentina stretches over a large portion of South America and because of this comprises many distinct climates within its borders. The extreme diversity of the country guarantees an enjoyable experience for every type of traveler, regardless of specific interests. While there are infinite opportunities available to tourists, below are nine of the top destinations in Argentina that every traveler will want to see.
Top Destinations in Argentina: Iguazu Falls
Often cited for its place on the New Seven Wonders of Nature list, Iguazu Falls is arguably the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Located in the northern, tropical region of Argentina, a visit to Iguazu Falls National Park offers incredible views of the falls, as well as different types of tours to explore the surrounding jungle. Here you will find unique types of animals and vibrantly colored birds that cannot be seen in any other part of the country. In addition, because Iguazu is located on the border of Argentina and Brazil, visitors have the option of viewing the falls from both sides, each offering its own advantages. Iguazu Falls is a must-see for all world travelers and nature lovers alike.
Top Destinations in Argentina: El Calafate & Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia
One of the world’s biggest glaciers , and one of the few that is actually growing instead of shrinking, is located in Argentina’s Patagonia region. The Perito Moreno Glacier, as one of the country’s largest tourist attractions, draws thousands of visitors from around the world each year. Just 78 km (48 miles) from the town of El Calafate, the glacier is located within the Los Glaciares National Park and situated on the shores of Lake Argentino, making a visit to the glacier extremely worthwhile. Visitors can take a boat tour out to the glacier, or if interested in exploring it from a closer angle, can hike or trek on the glacier, in which participants, accompanied by a tour guide, are given special hiking gear allowing them to hike across the glacier. These excursions offer some of the most beautiful views of the glacier and promise an unforgettable experience.
Top Destinations in Argentina: Mendoza
One of the things Argentina is most known for is its delicious wine. Steadily climbing to one of the country’s most important economic factors, Argentine wine is made in various parts of the country. However, without a doubt the wine capital of Argentina is located in the province of Mendoza. Just to the east of Chile, at the foot of the Andes Mountains , Mendoza is home to more than 1,200 wineries accounting for more than 70% of the country’s total wine production. Along with wine production in the region, tourism has continually grown over the past decade, and for good reason. Visitors to Mendoza can enjoy hikes in the Andes, or stay grounded and ride horses through a local winery. Though if horses are not ideal for you, there are plenty of opportunities to rent bikes and personally explore some of the area’s family-owned bodegas. Whatever your particular preferences, the wine country of Mendoza promises an eventful experience for all.
Top Destinations in Argentina: Buenos Aires
As the capital city of Argentina and one of the most visited places in all of South America , Buenos Aires is the starting point for most tours in Argentina and definitely a must-see when visiting the country. Home to nearly half of the country’s 40 million residents, when including the surrounding suburbs, Buenos Aires has more than enough to keep a visitor busy for the duration of their stay. Offering a plethora of museums, an incredible nightlife, historic architecture and a bustling and developing port area, Buenos Aires, above all, is famous for its tango. Tourists will stop in their tracks to watch as street performers execute the timeless tango with extreme precision. However, while these street performers offer a great sample of the tango tradition in Buenos Aires, tourists should consider attending one of the city’s popular tango dinner shows. Offering the chance to taste some famous Argentine dishes and view the tango at its best, these dinner shows are a great way to spend the evening in Buenos Aires.
Top Destinations in Argentina: Bariloche
As the premier attraction in Argentina’s Lake District, Bariloche is easily one of the most beautiful places in the country. Surrounded by the Andes Mountains, skiers will want to visit the area during the winter months for the most opportune conditions. Though if skiing is not on the itinerary, visitors can choose between a number of other exciting adventures. The nearby Nahuel Huapi National Park, which is home to the gorgeous Nahuel Huapi Lake, offers opportunities for day hikes and mountain climbing, as well as kayaking across the lake. Regardless of which particular adventure, visitors to Bariloche will enjoy the incredible views of the Lake District and its beautiful natural surroundings on all of these adventures. Ideal for skiers, nature lovers and tourists alike, the numerous outdoor excursions available in Bariloche promise a great experience for all.
Top Destinations in Argentina: Puerto Madryn, Patagonia
Famous for its arctic wildlife, Puerto Madryn is Argentina’s prime location for whale watching and penguin watching in Patagonia. Located on the Golfo Nuevo, which is formed by the Valdes Peninsula and Punta Ninfas, the area offers numerous excursions for tourists looking to explore the natural wonders of the region and the creatures that inhabit it. The Valdes Peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is home to sea elephants, orcas and southern right whales. Depending on the time of the year, visitors can get a glimpse of these whales, or can venture a short distance south to find South America’s largest Magellan penguin colony in Punta Tombo. While Puerto Madryn offers an enjoyable experience during all times of the year, if seeing whales or penguins is of high importance, planning ahead is necessary. Penguin season is from October to April, while the whales migrate to the area to mate and give birth between May and December. Visitors will enjoy the experience of seeing these animals up close, as the day tours offer the chance to view them in their natural habitat and even interact with them. If interested in unique types of wildlife, you definitely don’t want to miss Puerto Madryn.
Top Destinations in Argentina: El Chalten, Patagonia
One of the high points of the Argentine Patagonia region is the town of El Chalten. Recognized for its incredible opportunities to hike the Patagonian mountains, the hiking capital of El Chalten is a must-see for nature lovers looking to adventure the gorgeous sites of Patagonia. Located just 3 hours from El Calafate, visitors can take a bus from Calafate to Chalten that offers a spectacular view of the region along the way. Upon arriving in Chalten, the opportunities are endless. Whether you prefer a moderately difficult hike, or a short, less difficult journey, you can choose whichever adventure best suits your style and still enjoy the gorgeous views of the region.
Top Destinations in Argentina: Salta & Jujuy,
The northern region of Argentina is another distinct region of the country’s vast territory. Found in the Northwest corner of the country, the province of Salta is known for the famous salt flats found within, as well as the historical ruins reminiscent of the country’s colonial past. While every visitor will most definitely want to visit the salt flats that form a large part of the region’s economy, the nearby Calchaqui Valley, with its picturesque red rock formations, is also a must-see on a trip to Salta. With a climate far different than the majority of the country and offering beautiful sights, both natural and man-made, visitors will not be disappointed with a trip to Northwest Argentina. Nearby Jujuy also offers some incredible natural landscapes, archaeological sites and cultural opportunities to explore.
Top Destinations in Argentina: Ushuaia, Patagonia
One of Argentina’s most prized possessions lies in its claim to the southern-most city in the world. Just north of Antarctica, the city of Ushuaia is one of the most coveted destinations among tourists. Apart from exploring the town’s unique history, such as the site of a prison during the early 1900’s, visitors to Ushuaia can take advantage of a number of cruises departing from Ushuaia, including a number that traverse the Beagle Channel and others that journey to the small Antarctic islands a short distance away. These cruises promise gorgeous views of the area, as well as glimpses of the region’s arctic wildlife. Referred to as “the end of the world,” Ushuaia is definitely one of the most interesting and unique destinations in Argentina.
Argentina is truly unique and its diverse opportunities for visitors cannot be highlighted enough. The capital city of Buenos Aires, the gorgeous national parks in all parts of the country and each region’s specific climate will provide more than enough attractions to choose from when developing your travel itinerary. It is a country designed for adventurers and promises an exciting journey for anyone making the trip. If you have chosen to visit Argentina, you have already made the easy decision. Now the hard part comes: choosing from the long list of must-see destinations in this beautiful country.
For more information on top destinations in Argentina, tours in Argentina,vacations in Patagonia or Iguazu Falls trips, visit www.sayhueque.com.
Written by Will Collier