Are you planning to visit Argentina? The striking beauty of the landscapes and the generosity of the inhabitants will not stop seducing you! Discover our selection of 11 must-see places!
- 1. Buenos Aires
- 2. Iguazú Falls
- 3. The Jesuit missions of the Guaranis
- 4. The Salta region
- 5. Hornocal Hill
- 6. Mendoza
- 7. The Seven Lakes Route
- 8. Le glacier Perito Moreno
- 9. Ushuaïa
- 10. Peninsula Valdés
- 11. Cordoba
The simple word, Argentina, conjures up images as grandiose as they are contrasting. Tango, Patagonia, the Andes, wine and football are all evocations that amaze and make you want to explore this giant of Latin America. To visit Argentina is to fall under the spell of a rich and dynamic culture, which the inhabitants have been able to bring to life through the periods – good or dark – of their history. Abundant cities where art can be found at every street corner, vertiginous peaks, desert expanses, lakes and glaciers with bluish reflections… The country is full of unforgettable places!
Do you dream of going to Argentina? This article takes you to discover the places not to be missed!
1. Buenos Aires
Starting point of your trip, the Argentine capital is as attractive as it is interesting. Stroll through the streets of Buenos Aires in search of puertas cerradas ! These unique places – restaurants, bars or milongas – are hidden behind major busy thoroughfares.
In San Telmo , the historic heart of the megalopolis, taste the empa ñ adas of the old market and fall under the spell of the tango dancers of Plaza Dorrego , one of the oldest squares in the city. Take advantage of the delightfully old-fashioned atmosphere of the flea market that takes over the streets on Sundays.
A stone’s throw away, admire the Obelisk and the Casa Rosada , the seat of government. It is here that the mothers of the Place de Mai , whose sons disappeared during the military dictatorship (1976-1983), have been demonstrating every Thursday since April 30, 1977! In the evening, sit down in one of Palermo’s many trendy restaurants.
Soak up the buzzing vibe of the city that never sleeps !
2. Iguazú Falls
Visiting Argentina is a paradise for nature lovers. Among the essential things to do in Argentina, the Iguazú Falls will leave you with an indelible memory. In this northeastern region characterized by its powerful rivers, the peaceful Rio Iguazú meanders through the middle of the humid forest to fall in 275 crashing waterfalls. The beauty of the falls and their roar are breathtaking. 1,800 cubic meters of water per second flow before your astonished eyes!
A word of advice: take the time to explore the two national parks – Brazilian and Argentinian – to contemplate the Iguazú Falls from different points of view. Get away from the crowds to discover the 2,000 species of plants and have the chance to spot toucans and parrots along the forest trails.
3. The Jesuit missions of the Guaranis
In the northeast of Argentina, the province of Misiones takes its name from the missions built by the Jesuits between the 17th and 18th centuries. Among them, four have been classified as World Heritage by Unesco: San Ignacio , Nuestra Señora de Loreto , Santa Maria la Mayor and Santa Ana . In these tropical forests originally inhabited by the indigenous Guarani communities, the Jesuits built churches, schools, prisons, workshops and dwellings. The ruins of these huge villages bear witness to Argentina’s rich cultural past. If you’re short on time, focus on San Ignacio, the most beautiful and well-preserved of the missions.
4. The Salta region
The landscapes that surround the pretty city of Salta will satisfy those who come to visit Argentina to taste its immensity. Here, the Ruta 40 , the longest and most mythical in the country, crosses the magnificent Calchaquies valleys, dotted with giant cacti. Along the way, you will come across typical villages.
Stop off at the small village of Cachi ! With its central square, its cobbled streets and its colorful atmosphere, it is a real favorite! A little further north, National Route 68 reveals impressive rock faults in the Quebrada de las Conchas. Have fun entering the natural ochre-red sculptures, such as the Anfiteatro (amphitheatre) or the Garganta del Diablo (devil’s throat).
5. Hornocal Hill
From the village of Humahuaca, in the Argentine northwest, a small bumpy road takes you to Cerro Hornocal , the mountain of fourteen colors. A real delight for the eyes, the landscape is made up of sedimentary strata forming a palette ranging from ocher to green, with touches of yellow and purple.
Take your time to walk to the edge of the precipice (the most grandiose place) because the altitude literally takes your breath away, especially during the final ascent. To get there, if you can’t find a driver at the bus station, go near the bridge at the entrance to the village: this is often where cars wait for visitors.
At the gates of Chile , the narrow region of Mendoza brings together two essential attractions of Argentina: wine and the Andes mountain range. There are indeed the best bodegas (wine cellars) in the country. It is easy to discover, by car or bicycle, the secrets of the vine and the production of the precious liquid.
Sleeping in a wine estate is an excellent way to see how far we have come since the first vines were planted by the Jesuits five centuries ago. For athletes who are wondering what to do in Argentina, rest assured: the summit of Aconcagua awaits hikers from the top of its 6,962 meters above sea level!
7. The Seven Lakes Route
North of Bariloche , at the entrance to Patagonia, the route of the seven lakes – a portion of the famous Ruta 40 – stretches for nearly 107 kilometres. Punctuated by forests, mountains and rivers, this road trip will make you discover magnificent sparkling lakes symbols of this region which is nicknamed the Argentinian Switzerland .
Don’t miss a visit to Villa Traful ! Renting a cabin by the lake in this small village is a magical experience. Sports enthusiasts will not be left out: the region is one of the best spots for skiing, fishing, hiking or climbing!
8. Le glacier Perito Moreno
Among the natural splendors to visit in Argentina, is the majestic Perito Moreno glacier near El Calafate, in Patagonia. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the forty-eight glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park. Among the most mobile on the planet, it travels close to two meters a day and forms icebergs the size of buildings!
The spectacle of bluish blocks of ice breaking away from their walls with a shattering noise is fascinating. We are easily hypnotized by the magic – visual and auditory – of the place. To get to the foot of the glacier, it’s very simple: you can opt for an organized excursion or go there on your own from El Calafate (the most economical solution).
How not to approach the mythical city of Ushuaïa when talking about visiting Argentina? Capital of Tierra del Fuego, windswept and located in the southernmost part of South America, Ushuaia has fueled the imagination of generations of adventurers. A unique atmosphere at the end of the world reigns in this port from where boats leave for Antarctica. Beyond its past filled with legendary shipwrecks, the city captivates by the story of its first inhabitants, the Yahgan (or Yámana) Indians.
Here, there is no question of getting bored: hiking in the Tierra del Fuego National Park , sailing, kayaking and diving are among the many popular activities for travelers.
10. Peninsula Valdés
Lions and elephant seals, guanacos, penguins and seabirds call Peninsula Valdés Nature Reserve home , one of the world’s leading marine wildlife sanctuaries. The place concentrates an exceptional variety of animals. But the stars here are the southern right whales! They come to breed and give birth every year, from June to December. If it is easy to find a boat to observe them, the threat which weighs on their reproduction imposes the greatest caution.
Make sure you choose a service provider who complies with the legislation in force (engine cut off 100 meters from cetaceans, prohibition on pursuing them). Let yourself be carried away by the emotion of this magical experience!
Second largest city in the country, Córdoba owes its nickname of Athens of the Americas to its rich architectural and cultural heritage. With its seven universities, its abundant nightlife and its four excellent museums, it subtly combines the old and the modern. You will find there the best electro-tango DJs in the country, exhibitions of contemporary or classical art, historic churches built by the Jesuits from the 17th century. Córdoba is located in the Argentine Pampa, cradle of the Gauchos, these men of the land and horses who cultivate a lifestyle unique in the world.
Sleeping in an estancia (farm) is an excellent opportunity to discover the customs and legends of the country, its succulent meats and its equestrian games. Finally, if you want to experience strong sensations, know that the surroundings have paragliding sites renowned throughout Latin America.
To organize your trip to this wonderful country, find our complete guide to Argentina!