What to see and do in Argentina
As South America's second biggest country, Argentina’s vibrant culture and UNESCO-listed natural wonders make it the ideal location for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and immerse themselves in an atmosphere that can be as buzzing or tranquil as you want, depending on what you decide to do and see during your trip. With such a large area to cover, including the Bucket List geographical gems of Patagonia which are at your doorstep, the list of activities in Argentina is endless. With enough time you can pretty much explore everything from national parks and mountain ranges to glaciers and colonial cities, stopping off at cosy lodges and hotels to sample world-renowned food and wine along the way, and whether you're looking to travel as a family, solo, with a group of friends, or on a romantic honeymoon escape, there's no better way to make the most of your holiday to Argentina than to take advantage of the specialist expertise of our local travel agents when coming up with your perfect itinerary.
As well as benefiting from 24/7 on-the-ground support during your trip, you’ll also be in the unique position of discovering places and attractions away from the beaten track of most generic holidays, meeting friendly locals and getting to see the country’s authentic side while you take in its highlights. Above all, Evaneos' local experts can be your on-the-ground support for everything, whether you need a translator, tips on the best restaurants or bars in your area, or you’re experiencing a problem. Rest assured: wherever you choose to travel on your tailor-made Argentina tour, it is sure to be an adventure, and one that you definitely won’t be forgetting in a hurry.
Best things to see and do in Argentina
What to see in Argentina
The sheer size of Argentina means that visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing things to see during their tour. Boasting over 9,000km of lush jungles, cascading waterfalls, jagged mountain ranges, and a pristine lake district, a tour of Argentina promises unique scenic diversity and the chance to experience several different landscapes in one. To help you work out what to include in your itinerary when planning a trip to Argentina, here are a handful of the best places to visit that our local experts recommend:
- Cities: any tour of Argentina should start with a visit to Buenos Aires, home to world-famous tourist sites like the May Square, the picturesque antique shops and cobblestone streets of San Telmo, the colourful Casa Rosada, and the Teatro Colon opera house. You can easily spend a good few days taking in what's hailed as one of South America's most iconic capital cities, by mixing up walking tours, trips to outdoor markets or 'ferias,' and moving your feet to the rhythms of tango in La Boca’s ‘Caminito Street,’ for those feeling particularly adventurous. Salta and Córdoba are also popular cities to look into, particularly for travellers interested in architecture, churches, and history.
- The 'End of the World': next on your list of cities to tick off the list should be Ushuaia, aptly nicknamed the 'End of the World,' where you can stay in a city truly at the edge of civilisation. As well as holding the title of the southernmost point of South America, the region is perhaps more commonly-known for encompassing Tierra del Fuego National Park, an Andean-Patagonian park featuring some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the country. Specialised local guides here can take you on excursions through forests, canoeing down rivers, and past waterfalls and lagoons, before rounding up the day with a boat trip to the Beagle Channel to check out the port and look out for sea lions lazing on nearby rocks. Against the backdrop of the staggering Martial Mountains, you'll also conveniently only be a stone's throw away from Antarctica.
- Wildlife: Argentinian wildlife is just one more incredible facet of what awaits you on a tailor-made adventure in Argentina, and no trip here would be complete without a safari tour to see and learn about all the rare and beautiful endemic species that call this place home. Valdes Peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a fantastic place for whale-watching, for example, and fans of 'Happy Feet' will fall in love with the friendly residents of Punta Tombo Penguin Reserve, housing the biggest colony of Magellan penguins in Latin America.
- Patagonia: A short flight from Buenos Aires will take you to El Calafate, one of Patagonia's most exquisite national parks, and a hot-spot for nature lovers. From an up-close view of the glistening Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentino Lake, and Los Glaciares National Park, to a picnic overlooking the staggering scenery of Torre Hills and Fitz Roy Mountain, it’s a safe bet to say that Patagonia is also a photographer’s paradise.
- Iguaçu Falls: shared between Argentina and Brazil, the thundering Iguaçu Falls, spread across 1,600m of tropical scenery and reaching a height of over 100m, are a must-see sight to add to your tour itinerary. Iguaçu National Park is also worth a guided visit in its own right, where jaguars, ocelots, eagles, toucans, anteaters, and many more roam freely in the rugged wilderness.
- National parks: Argentina boasts an impressive 36 national parks dotted around the country. Iguaçu and those found in Patagonia aside, Talampaya, Ischigualasto (the 'Valley of the Moon'), and Los Arrayanes National Park are some of our favourites. You'll find everything from trekking, mountain biking, dinosaur fossils, and wildlife-watching opportunities there. Other noteworthy parks include the Nahuel Huapi National Park, which is the perfect stop-off for a honeymoon tour thanks to its stunning natural allure and protected status; you and your partner will feel like the only people for miles around in this secluded haven steeped in the wilderness of the foothills of the Andes Mountains.
- Lakes: it's impossible to talk about Argentina without mentioning its lakes. It's no surprise that travellers from all around the world flock to the country's picturesque Lake District, spread across the rugged stretch of wilderness between Patagonia and the Andes Mountains. The best way to describe Argentina's lakes would be to say that their abundance and diversity mean there's something for everyone, from azure Alpine lakes like Traful and Machónico that are perfect for kayaking to the mirror-sharp reflections of snow-topped mountains on the surface of smaller lakes like Espejo Chico.
What to do in Argentina
Hailed as an adventurer's playground, Argentina is hugely popular with active visitors and thrill-seekers. Anything and everything, from canoeing through national parks to mini-trekking on glaciers and walking across mountain ranges can be experienced here, no matter your level of fitness. Argentina's location, bordered by Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay additionally makes it a great place to combine with another South American country on a multi-destination tour. If Argentina is your sole focus, though, here are some tried-and-tested experiences that'll please just about every type of traveller:
- River tours: a one week tour of Argentina should give you just enough time to explore the country's main tourist attractions, and if you're not planning on straying far from Buenos Aires, never fear; there's no shortage of activities and experiences on offer near the capital. 30 minutes away you'll find the El Tigre Delta, for example, where you can cruise down the river between the islands taking in the river's unique ecosystems and tranquil scenery.
- History and nature excursions: to balance out your tour with some culture and immersion in nature, why not try a half-day private 'History and Nature' excursion in Bariloche? The trip will take you along the classic route of San Carlos de Bariloche, a small mountain village which doubles up as the national capital of adventure tourism. As well as taking in postcard-worthy views across Lake Moreno and Lake Nahuel Huapi, you'll also get the opportunity to set off on a nature walk through the native forest of Llao-Llao Nature Park, ending the day at a local microbrewery for some beer tasting - a refreshing way to wind down in the evening.
- Experience life as a cowboy: you might not traditionally associate Argentina with cowboys, but if you were fond of Ennio Morricone's films growing up, you might want to try a guided venture northwest to the countryside to 'El Ombu de Areco' estancia in San Antonio de Areco in the pampas. From here, you can go horse riding in a 'sulky' (carriage), savour a traditional barbecue meal, and watch a folklore show topped off by an authentic gaucho demonstration by the resident cowboys.
- Adventure activities: setting aside a full day of hiking, zip-lining, or rafting in the outdoor paradise of El Chalten is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Argentina. Led by a friendly English-speaking guide, you and your travel companions can choose between an array of activities tailored to your particular fitness level. Depending on when you decide to visit, you can sign up for anything from cycling to rafting, camping to rock climbing, fly-fishing to horse-riding, and glacier hiking to skiing. Basically, the sky's the limit here.
Explore Inca ruins: no holiday to Argentina would be complete without delving into the country's fascinating history and returning home armed with some local knowledge to impress your friends with. Take a trip to the town of Tilcara in the Jujuy province to visit the Archaeological Museum and the nearby pre-Inca ruins or 'pukará.' Even the hard-to-please will have a hard time not being blown away by the ancient fortification, whose human activity archaeologists estimate to date back more than 10,000 years.
- Take a road trip: opting for a road trip is a good option for travellers looking to organise a two week tour of Argentina, ensuring that you have the time to appreciate everything at your own page along the way. Driving in another country can seem daunting, but our local experts can equip you with a GPS, and a self-drive tour can be a convenient solution for those who would rather steer clear of trains and internal flights during their trip. The famous National Route 40, which follows The Andes along Argentina’s longest route, is a popular option for travellers and encompasses some truly unforgettable sights.
- Go wine tasting: wine enthusiasts, you've come to the right place. Argentina's climate provides the ideal conditions for wine production, and the vineyards and lodges of Lujan de Cuyo in Mendoza, located in the northern-central region of the country, are set against a backdrop of snow-capped hills that make for a wonderfully romantic stay. A variety of guided wine tours are on offer in Mendoza, from small, family-run vineyards to world-renowned wineries where you can enjoy delicious home-cooked lunches using organic local produce.
For all the best tips, information, and inspiration to plan your holiday to Argentina, ask the experts: Evaneos' hand-picked local travel agencies based there. As well as providing unparalleled local knowledge including access to hidden gems and advice on how to avoid tourist-traps, they'll organise the trip of a lifetime for you based around your needs and interests.
Best time to visit Argentina
Since the seasons in Argentina are inverted, it can be difficult to know when the best time to visit Argentina would be, as this will largely depend on your own individual needs and interests. Luckily, our local experts are the best people to help you to choose the very best time for your tailor-made trip. Generally speaking, during Argentinian winter, August is the best time to visit, with the snow in ski resorts being at its best, but the weather remaining more or less pleasant.
April is another great choice of time to visit, since the autumn season brings cool temperatures perfect for active outdoor adventures, as well as red and golden leaves which make the views in valleys and vineyards all the more amazing. If you fancy spending Christmas somewhere new then you’re in luck; Argentina over Christmas is the perfect excuse to celebrate with a BBQ in the sun, when locations like Buenos Aires and Patagonia are truly stunning. Whenever you decide to go, you are guaranteed an unbelievable trip to Argentina on an expertly executed, tailor-made trip that's based around you.
Travel tips and advice for travelling to Argentina
Visa regulations for Argentina
Taking a trip to Argentina couldn’t be easier, with no need for a visa for citizens of the EU or the USA as long as their stay is under 90 days. For more useful information, visit Evaneos’ website or for specific requirements, we recommend that you consult your government's visa advice online.
Vaccinations for Argentina
Whilst Argentina is generally safe, its mosquito population and climate do increase the risk of contracting certain diseases. It’s best to ask your doctor or GP about vaccinations for the following illnesses; Chikungunya, Dengue, DTP, Hepatitis A, Malaria, Rabies, Yellow Fever, and Zika Virus. We also recommend bringing some good protection against mosquitoes.