Tango, steak, football and gauchos may be what most people associate with Argentina. But this huge country has so much more to astonish and delight the visitor. From the majestic Iguazú Falls in the north to the thunder crack of the Perito Moreno Glacier in the south, Argentina has some of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders. It also boasts wildlife havens, the magnificent Mendoza wine country and the historic ‘end-of-the-world’ island of Tierra del Fuego. In the stylish capital of Buenos Aires there are museums, theatres and art galleries galore – and, of course, the sensual tango is very much in evidence.
Buenos AiresBuenos Aires
With its grand boulevards and self-confident style, Buenos Aires is the ‘Paris of South America’. This cosmopolitan city comprises 46 barrios (districts) of varying identities, from the famously coloured port district of La Boca to aristocratic Recoleta
Córdorba and Central SierrasCórdorba and Central Sierras
The mix of rolling hills, fertile valleys and barren moorland make the Central Sierras one of the country’s most varied landscapes. Córdoba is Argentina’s second city. Its historic centre boasts some of the country’s finest colonial architecture.
Iguazú FallsIguazú Falls
Iguazú Falls are the world’s biggest and most awe-inspiring. Set in the sub-tropical Parque National Iguazú, they comprise 250 separate cascades, straddling Argentina and Brazil. The centre piece is the spectacular Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat)
Los Glaciares National ParkLos Glaciares National Park
The glaciers in southern Patagonia, including the famous Perito Moreno are a spectacle for the eyes – and the ears – when chunks of ice break off. El Calafate , on the shore of Lake Argentino, is the perfect base for exploring the area.
Lying close to the snow-capped Andes, Mendoza is Argentina’s wine capital. The city offers a wealth of cultural activities and is a good base for adventurous pursuits, including, trekking, kayaking, hang gliding and white water rafting.
The Pampas is home to the gauchos and supports the famous Argentinian beef cattle. A stay at an estancia provides the perfect opportunity to live the cowboy dream. As well as horse-riding, some estancias will let you have a go at herding and shearing.
The charming seaside resort of Puerto Madyrn is where the first settlers from Wales arrived and it still retains its Welsh heritage. Close by is the Valdés Peninsula, one of the world’s best wildlife and marine reserves.
Salta and North WestSalta and North West
Set in the beautiful Lerma Valley, Salta is a colonial gem. Its varied attractions, including a cable car lift for views over the spectacular countryside make it an ideal base to explore everything the region has to offer.
Tierra del FuegoTierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego – Land of Fire – is the gateway to Cape Horn. This wild and mysterious land is very much the ‘in place’ for the discerning traveller. From the port town of Ushuaia cruises depart to Antarctica.
Planning your trip
Most trips to Argentina start in the capital Buenos Aires and a number of airlines offer direct flights from the UK. Argentina is a vast country, (the world’s eighth largest), and flying is the best way of getting around for those planning a multi-centre trip. Fortunately, the country’s key attractions are well served by regional airports. Aerolíneas Argentinas, the national airline, offers the most domestic flights. However, it’s worth noting that demand for internal flights is high in December, January, February and July, so early booking is recommended.
Quick country facts
- Recommended airlines
British Airways (Direct), Iberia (via Madrid)
- Flight time
14 hours non-stop
- Time zone
- Visa requirements
No visa required for 90 day stay (UK passport)
Accommodation and costs
Hotel accommodation is plentiful and of a high standard, with a good range of options to suit all budgets. A stay at an estancia is very good value for money and all meals are included.
How long to stay
It’s possible to explore much of what Argentina has to offer in two weeks, with the average itinerary visiting four or five areas, staying at 2-3 nights in each.
Weather and when to go
Argentina’s climate ranges from sub-tropical jungle in the north to frozen ice caps in the south.
The high season months of November to February are the ideal months for travellers to experience the different areas of the country. This is also when Iguazú Falls are at their most spectacular. Patagonia is also best visited during these months. It’s important to note that there is only one hotel in the Iguazú National Park itself – the Sheraton Resort and Spa. So it’s essential to book well ahead.
Buenos Aires gets very hot during this period and visitors may find the months of September to November and March to May more comfortable. March is also when the Mendoza region has its grape harvests and wine festival.
- NOT ADVISED