Argentina has become the favorite travel destination for travelers around the world. And while most visitors come through Buenos Aires, which we have discussed in previous posts, there’s so much more to see in Argentina than just the beautiful neighborhoods of Recoleta, Las Cañitas, Belgrano, San Telmo, and Downtown. The country stretches for 3,900 km (2,400 miles), from the middle of South America to its southernmost end, and contains countless natural wonders and charming cities.
Below, we’d like to highlight a few of the top Argentine destinations everyone should know about.
The Iguazu Falls are some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. Depending on water levels, they consist of up to 300 small falls and a few giant ones, including Garganta del Diablo (the Devil’s Throat) where half of the river’s water falls 269 feet. The Iguazu river marks the border between Argentina and Brazil, cutting through the thick vegetation of tropical rainforests.
The simplest way to travel to Iguazu from Buenos Aires is by plane. Flights leave everyday, and a 2 to 4 day package will provide ample time to take in this amazing sight.
At the falls you will find a visitor center where tickets are sold for about $10 USD each. Included in the price of the ticket is a train and boat ride that will take you to San Martin Island. To get to the main gate of the park from Puerto Iguazu, you can catch a bus from a variety of points: Downtown Puerto Iguazu, Hito Tres Fronteras (the main hotel area), the main bus station, and ruta 12. The bus runs every 45 minutes and costs about $1 USD per person each way.
EL CALAFATE TOURISM
Located deep in Patagonia, the small town of El Calafate serves as the gateway to Los Glacieres National Park—the home of Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the most visited glaciers in the world. El Calafate is situated on the southern border of Lake Argentino and was named for the little bush with yellow flowers and dark blue berries found throughout Patagonia. Calafate in Spanish means “caulk”.
Today the town is an important tourist destination as travelers use it as their base to explore Patagonia’s glaciers.
Ushuaia, the capital of the Tierra del Fuego province, is located on the Beagle Channel and bordered to the north by the Martial Mountains. As the southernmost city in the world, one can truly say that Ushuaia is the end of the world, but make no mistake, it is also one of Argentina’s most visited cities. It features a large ski center that stays open all the way into spring (October-November in Argentina). Also worth seeing is the Museum of the End of the World and the Sea Museum, featuring exhibits on the Indians that inhabit the Tierra del Fuego province, the stunning nature that surrounds Ushuaia, and local history.
Speaking of skiing, San Carlos de Bariloche, or just Bariloche as it’s more commonly referred to, is Argentina’s primary skiing destination. Nestled in the foothills of the Andes, Bariloche lines a shore of Lake Nahuel Huapi and is surrounded by Nahuel Huapi national park. In the winter, skiiers flock to Cerro Catedral, the main ski resort, while in the summer visitors and residents sunbath on the beautiful lake beaches of Playa Bonita or Villa Tacul or brave the chilly waters for a swim. Fed by glaciers, Lake Nahuel Huapi’s temperature only averages 14 C (57 F) in the summer.
The city itself boasts an intense cultural scene and is famous for its likeness to towns of the Swiss Alps. Its distinctive Swiss architecture is complemented by its quality chocolate.
Wine has become one of Argentina’s chief exports, and the best Argentine wines come from the vineyards of Mendoza. Subsequently, this western city supports a booming wine tourism industry with many wineries offering tours and tastings. Even if you don’t enjoy wine, the city is well worth a visit. Along Mendoza’s tree-lined streets visitors will discover numerous museums, theatres, and art galleries as well as universities and a thriving culture.
By virtue of its location next to the Andes, Mendoza also acts as a hub of outdoor adventures including hiking and rafting. El Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Americas at 6,962 meters or 22,841 feet and rises to the northwest of the city. Las Leñas also lies in the Mendoza province. Along with Bariloche, it is another favorite ski spot for Argentines and is known for its compact, dry powder.
Anyone planning a trip to Argentina should look into these prime destinations. Buenos Aires is a must see, and visitors should plan to spend at least a few days exploring its neighborhoods and culture. However, we strongly suggest you take the time to travel around Argentina and discover some of these places. It will be time and money well spent!