Argentina is country like no other with magnificent mountains, stunning waterfalls, a rich culture & history and welcoming locals waiting to say hello.
What you need to know about Argentina
Language: Spanish is spoken throughout Argentina. Many locals also understand English but some basic Spanish phrases will be helpful for you to know before travelling.
Currency: Argentine Peso
Banking: ATMs are found all over the country and all major cards are accepted.
Weather: It has get very hot in the summer, quite humid and if it rains it can be a serious downpour. Expect whatever the weather is at the time to be pretty fierce.
When you travel Argentina you need to plan it
One of the main things to consider when planning a trip to Argentina is the size of the country itself. It is well over ten times the size of the United Kingdom so travel there should be properly planned. If only there was a handy guide to where to go and the places to see in Argentina to help you out.... 😉
Getting around is your biggest logistical challenge so do not think it is simple or to be left to chance. The most efficient way to hop from one city or major attraction to the next is to take internal, domestic flights. Rail travel in South America is not the best so the main alternative option if you’re not wanting to fly is the much longer, but decidedly more scenic, trip via road. There are coaches that you can jump on to cover long distances with some having relative luxury options to sleep on a flat bed - something not to be sniffed at when on a seriously long trip.
Natural backdrops to lovely hikes
In the west of Argentina you will find Bariloche in the Rio Negro province. This is a great place to call home for a few days while you explore the Lake District that contains Nahuel Huapi National Park. It is a brilliant area to hike in and check out the mountain huts that you can walk to and from. You can reach the neighbouring town of Copahue by driving the lovely ‘Lakes Route’ - your reward being the chance to ease your hiking aches & pains in the local thermal spas. Another little surprise is the selection of chocolate shops that you will come across that are a legacy of early European settlers.
Iguazu falls is the no.1 travel destination in Argentina
The crown jewel of Argentinian travel destinations is Iguazú Falls. Located on the border with Brazil and accessible from both sides, the world-famous waterfalls are one of the main tourist and traveller draws in the whole of South America. Take your position safely on the viewing platform’s walkway and stare straight down the Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat) as an incredible & unstoppable body of water surges over the falls. You can also jump on a boat ride under the less fierce parts of the falls if you don’t mind getting wet (highly recommended!) before getting your explorer’s hat on and checking out the trails that lead into the nearby jungle. Depending on what area you are in at and around the falls it is best to check in advance if you might need a visa for Brazil as you’re literally on the border between the two countries and it’s best not to fall foul of any unexpected border control issues. Iguazú Falls are the most amazing sight to see in Argentina certainly, and probably the entire continent.
Travel to Buenos Aires and other cities has much to offer
The main event of any Argentinian travel trip is visiting Buenos Aires. The capital city seems to never sleep and completely dances to the beat of its own drum. Expect to find people eating at midnight as the pre-event to meeting up in bars that are open all through the night until morning. The architecture is beautiful and heavily influenced by Hispanic colonial settlers. San Telmo is probably your best bet in the city to see some well preserved examples of colonial masonry and design.
Away from the capital city are plenty of other delights like Córdoba. Found closer to mountains and hills than Buenos Aires the area surrounding Córdoba gives a great chance to take in some Argentinian nature by hiking, paragliding or buggy driving through the hills and trees. The city itself offers a vibrant, cultural scene where music and hedonism abounds in a Jesuit architectural setting. Cuarteto is a music style that originated from Córdoba and you’ll hear a cool, local blend of that and contemporary tunes emanating from the city’s music spots.
Wildlife is waiting if you know where to look
Near the border with Paraguay is an enormous national park called Esteros del Ibera. Over 13,000 square kilometres of lagoons, lakes, wetland and small islands make up this fantastic inland archipelago that is begging to be explored. If you love nature and wildlife this will be right up your street. Monkeys, terrifying caimans (an alligator-type predator), exotic birds and the adorable CAPYBARA are all to be found in the area. You can make a local lodge your base before exploring the area on foot, by boat or even on horseback!
Torres del Paine is frankly sensational
Glacier National Park & Torres del Paine are natural wonders you 100% must see. The glaciers of Los Glaciares National Park are incredible. Some, like the stunning Perito Moreno, move at an astoundingly fast pace of up to two metres per day which in glacial terms is pretty darn fast! The mountains of Torres del Paine (you will need to cross the border into Chile to get there) are renowned for good hiking trails and its Fitz Roy famous spiky peaks are super recognisable to all. The area of El Chaltén is so synonymous with good hiking that it plays host to a trekking festival every February. There is even a microbrewery there to take the weight off your well used feet post-hike. Whether or not you’re a big rambler or hiker shouldn’t define whether you visit the region though. The scenery is staggering and well worth the visit as part of your travel to Argentina.
Patagonia has more to offer than just amazing glaciers
When people mention Patagonia you immediately no doubt cast your mind to towering glaciers and unique access up close to these icy behemoths. That is certainly a main reason to head there but as well as that there are other gems to experience along the way. A road trip through part of Argentina is a truly magic day to spend some time travelling and Ruta 40 will take you past amazing mountains, glaciers, crystal lakes and open, expansive roads that seem to go on forever - it is an amazing, amazing, amazing road trip!
You might not climb nearby Aconcagua but the Andes city of Mendoza offers great wine and good times
The tallest peak in South America is Aconcagua which forms one leg of the fabled ‘Seven Summits’ climbing challenge. It is to be found in the Andean mountains and a cool stop in the Andes area is Mendoza. The city is in the area of the main wine-producing region so a fun place to stay in (hit up Maipu for the best wine options), and the old buildings that remain as remnants of the past are truly lovely to wander around.
Get your ranch on with a stay in some traditional Pampas towns
Fancy staying on a traditional ranch? You’re probably going to end up visiting the Pampas region that covers vast swathes of Argentina. They are the flat lowlands that are traditionally used for staple industries such as cattle rearing and wool production. Small towns like Tandil and Areco are quaint and cute options to stop in when seeing some real, rural Argentinian life.
The gateway to Antarctica
The gateway to Antarctica is not the most well travelled part of Argentina but it is definitely worth visiting if you can work it into your travel itinerary. Tierra del Fuego is a national park that is vibrant and full of life and luscious forests that you can easily hike and bike around. The capital city of the region is Ushuaia which is often referred to as the most southerly city in the world. As a poet city it is the last stop before you could take a boat over to Antarctica but as few people are equipped to explore the icy, barren continent, you’re more likely to indulge in a relatively placid bit of canoeing or kayaking a short distance from the coast to see penguins, seals and maybe even orcas if you’re lucky.