With jaw-dropping scenery, abundance of exotic wildlife, colonial towns and cities rife with superb cuisine and vibrant culture, it is no wonder that Argentina is a popular travel destination. Located in the southern region of South America in a large, elongated shape, Argentina was sparsely inhabited by a few indigenous tribes before Spain’s colonized it in the 16th and 17th centuries. Today, the country is an independent republic featuring varied landscapes from rich plains to thick jungle, majestic mountains, pastoral steppes and impressive glaciers. An overview of the best places to visit in Argentina.
1. Iguazu Falls
One of the world’s most stunning natural wonders, Iguazu Falls is a series of magnificent waterfalls located on the Iguazu River, straddling the border between Brazil and Argentina. The falls in and of themselves are a breathtaking spectacle, but their beauty is all the more enhanced by the surrounding lush forest teeming in exotic wildlife. The falls area and wildlife are protected by the Iguazu National Park. The park features many excellent walkways while boat rides are available which take people close enough to the falls to get wet from the spray. The town on the Argentine side is called Puerto Iguazu and is small and pretty. It also it offers some of the best hostels, top-end hotels and spas in Argentina.
2. Buenos Aires
Pulsating with vitality and seductive charm from colorful European architecture to animated neighborhoods, sensational shopping, gourmet cuisine and sizzling nightlife, it is no wonder that Buenos Aires gave birth to the captivating tango dance. Located off the southeastern coast of South America, Buenos Aires is the capital city of Argentina and one of Latin America’s largest cities. This vibrant cosmopolitan city is composed of several districts called barrios.
3. Los Glaciares
Los Glaciares or Glaciers National Park is home to some of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. Located in the Santa Cruz Province of the vast Patagonia region, the national park features the largest ice cap outside of Greenland and Antarctica.
4. El Calafate
Formerly a sleepy town in a remote region of Patagonia, El Calafate is now a booming tourist town thanks to the establishment of the nearby Los Glaciares National Park. Located in Argentina’s Santa Cruz Province, El Calafate serves as a starting point for many tourist excursions of which the Perito Moreno Glacier is the most popular due to its spectacular display of cracking and thundering ice breaks.
Located in Latin America’s largest wine producing region, Mendoza is a popular tourist destination not only for its wine but also for its proximity to Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas. Furthermore, Mendoza offers access to beautiful scenery and outdoor adventures such as hiking, horse riding, river rafting and more.
Formerly used as a penal colony because of its isolated location, Ushuaia’s remote beauty is now what makes it one of the most popular places to visit in Argentina. Regarded as the world’s southernmost city, Ushuaia is located on the Beagle Channel, serving as a popular base for Antarctica cruises, winter sports and wildlife viewing.
With its chocolate shops, Swiss-style architecture and picturesque setting of pristine lakes and snow-capped mountains, San Carlos de Bariloche appears more like a village in Switzerland. Instead, it is an enchanting city in the Río Negro Province of Argentina. Commonly referred to as simply Bariloche, San Carlos also serves as a gateway to spectacular landscapes and outdoor adventures.
8. Puerto Madryn
Located on the shores of Gulfo Nuevo, the city of Puerto Madryn is best known as the gateway to Peninsula Valdes. It is also a popular summer destination because of its beautiful beaches although the water can be very cold. With the explosion of tourism in recent years, Madryn has undergone rapid growth, and the town’s small permanent population swells exponentially during the summer months.
9. Cordoba, Argentina
At the geographical center of Argentina is Cordoba, the country’s second largest city. Surrounded by picturesque valleys and mountains, Cordoba is best known for its concentration of Spanish colonial buildings. Most of these historic palaces, churches and monuments are found in the city center within an area known as the Jesuit Block.
10. Mar del Plata
Once a retreat for Argentina’s aristocracy, Mar del Plata today is the country’s top beach resort city. Located on the Atlantic Coast in the Buenos Aires Province, Mar del Plata attracts millions of tourists every year to its sandy beaches and lively culture.