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Argentina Travel Guide

The fiery land of tango, steppes and fútbol
Argentina is best described as a sensory whirlwind. Its smells, sights and sounds come together against lively streets and lush wilderness.

This South American nation is also a study in extremes. The landscape runs the gamut from glaciers to glorious mountains and everything in between, depending on which letter on the compass you head towards. The country has had more than its fair share of political and economic turmoil, but that doesn’t take away from the zest for life the whole country seems to share.

A vibrant culture persists and meets you on every corner, every fútbol stadium. For first timers, the best way to explore Argentina is by joining a group tour or you can plan to travel with friends. Make sure to research, browse options and choose the Argentina tour package that suits you best. Pro tip: to satiate your taste buds, head to one of the many Argentine grill houses that symbolize excellence, having perfected the skill, nay the art of grilling meat over centuries. 
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Argentina is best described as a sensory whirlwind. Its smells, sights and sounds come together against lively streets and lush wilderness.

This South American nation is also a study in extremes. The landscape runs the gamut from glaciers to glorious mountains and everything in between, depending on which letter on the compass you head towards. The country has had more than its fair share of political and economic turmoil, but that doesn’t take away from the zest for life the whole country seems to share.

A vibrant culture persists and meets you on every corner, every fútbol stadium. For first timers, the best way to explore Argentina is by joining a group tour or you can plan to travel with friends. Make sure to research, browse options and choose the Argentina tour package that suits you best. Pro tip: to satiate your taste buds, head to one of the many Argentine grill houses that symbolize excellence, having perfected the skill, nay the art of grilling meat over centuries. 

Location

Located in South America’s southern half, Argentina is flanked by Chile in the West, Bolivia and Paraguay to the North and the Drake Passage towards the South. Argentina is quite a popular destination among adventurers and travellers, so flights ply from major cities in the world. Flights from India to Argentina usually take 20 hours. 

When to go 

The best time to visit Argentina, specifically Patagonia, is during their summer which lasts from December to February. If Buenos Aires is your primary stop, consider travelling between September and November when the springtime air is crisp and jacarandas are in full bloom. 

Where to go

Discerning travellers are spoilt for choice in Argentina, as are adventure enthusiasts. Of the many places to visit in Argentina, Patagonia is a must-visit for its otherworldly landscape. Call upon Buenos Aires and you’ll see why they say the city has something for everyone - one only has to look past the jangle on the streets.

Travel further south and you’ll find there’s plenty of adventure to experience in the form of national parks, waterfalls and even a ski resort. Southwest of Salta, in Guachipas, you can rekindle spiritual connections and be at one with nature. The desert town of Cafayate is also flush with stunning hiking trails, but its main draw is the crisp white wine that is sure to tickle the taste buds, whether you’re an oenophile or not.
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At a glance

Currency

Argentine Peso
The currency used in Argentina is Argentine Peso. The Argentina currency to INR conversion, at the time of posting, is: 1 ARS = 1.62 INR.

Weather

In Argentina, the weather differs depending on the city and location. Central Argentina enjoys a moderate climate with hot summers and cool winters. Patagonia experiences high winds and cold winters.

Language

Spanish
The official Argentine language is Spanish. However, this is very different from its counterpart in Spain and many have drawn similarities between Argentinian Spanish and Italian. German, English and French are also commonly spoken in bigger, more populated cities.

Expert travel advice

Travel tips and insider advice that have made the most difference to us, sourced from our
community of like-minded travellers and global experts.

Stay in Buenos Aires   

Recommended by Lonely Planet

“The Argentine capital is one of the world’s most exhilarating cities, with astounding art, fascinating neighborhoods, fabulous food and a population blazingly devoted to having fun all…night…long.”

Lonely Planet has put travellers at the heart of everything we do, informing and inspiring them with trusted content for print and digital from experts who visit every destination.

Tango the night away   

Recommended by Lonely Planet

“Go on, give it a try. So what if it’s one of the world’s most sophisticated dances. It’s so sexy; you’ll be fired up enough to make it through that long Buenos Aires night.” 

Lonely Planet has put travelers at the heart of everything we do, informing and inspiring them with trusted content for print and digital from experts who visit every destination.

Take a sip of the finest Argentine wine   

Recommended by Culture Trip

“Visit the Mendoza wine region, which attracts tourists year-round to its many wineries, known as bodegas – here you can find the best wineries.”

Culture Trip is a global startup operating in travel, media and entertainment. We create stories that reveal what is unique and special about a place, its people and its culture.

Visit the natural world wonder Iguazu Falls   

Recommended by Culture Trip

“Iguazú Falls in Argentina’s North is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Located in the midst of a rainforest connecting Argentina with Brazil, the falls on the Argentine side lie in Iguazú National Park.”

Culture Trip is a global startup operating in travel, media and entertainment. We create stories that reveal what is unique and special about a place, its people and its culture.

Embark on an exciting glacier expedition   

Recommended by NOMADasaurus

“What makes Perito Moreno one of the most interesting glaciers in South America is how active it is. Immense ice chunks constantly crack off the face, known as ‘calving’, sending huge waves across the lake.”

NOMADasaurus is Australia’s biggest adventure travel blog run by two award-winning travel writers and photographers - Alesha Bradford and Jarryd Salem.

Incredible places to visit in Argentina

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is fondly referred to as the ‘Paris of South America’, not least because of the striking architecture and cultural richness. Pride runs strong in the veins of the capital city, with residents referring to themselves as Porteños first, then Argentine. The best places to visit in Buenos Aires include –

Museo Evita

This museum is dedicated to the legendary first lady and wife of President Juan Domingo Perón, Eva Perón. As a lasting tribute to the Argentine heroine, Museum Evita is housed in a beautiful mansion that belongs to her foundation and features historical photos, books and memorabilia. The highlight of the museum is the full display of Eva Perón’s massive wardrobe- from dresses to shoes and everything in between.

Sabor A Tango

If there’s anything that Argentina has contributed to world culture, it’s tango. To get into the swing of things, dust off your dance shoes and head to Sabor a Tango. The restaurant has an exclusive menu with delicious dishes and tantalising wine. The star of the show, however, is the hour-long tango lesson spearheaded by expert dancers. If you’d rather sit back and watch, then the Tango, Folk and Andean Music Show is perfect to behold over a drink or two.

Recoleta Cemetery

A striking cemetery in the centre of the city, Recoleta Cemetery is a far cry from the stereotypical images of gloomy, dark burial grounds. The cemetery's graves are mostly all built above-ground and boast carved scroll-work and elaborate stone pillars. Declared a public burial place in 1822 but too unique to miss out, Recoleta Cemetery houses gates and structures in a panoply of architectural styles, from Greek to Baroque. It’s also where Eva Perón, the iconic first lady, was laid to rest.

La Boca

Brimming with European zest and tango beats all at once, La Boca is a neighbourhood that’s evocative of South American energy. Stroll through the cobblestone El Caminito, packed with vibrant stalls hawking trinkets and souvenirs. Visit Teatro de La Ribera to soak in some excellent theatrical performances in an intimate setting. Football fanatics must take a trip to La Bombonera, the former stomping ground of sporting legend Diego Maradona.

Visit a Gaucho Ranch

Over the years, Argentina flourished thanks to agricultural output, and traditional estancias (ranches) provide a revealing glimpse into the lives of gauchos, who are loosely similar to cowboys in North America. Most Gaucho ranches are a day’s trip away from Buenos Aires and a chance to soak in the Argentine pampas as you go hurtling through the countryside. If you can stay awhile, do partake in delicious barbeque meals and wash it down with a glass of the regional wine.

Puerto Iguazu

Perched at the convergence of Ríos Paraná and Iguazú and in the sight of Brazil and Paraguay, Puerto Iguazu’s primary draw and offering are the waterfalls of Iguazu. However, there’s so much more to explore in this communal town, with hikes, flights and falls categorising most of them. Things to see and do in Puerto Iguazu include –

Iguazu Falls

All-inclusive holidays to Brazil include a visit to the most extensive waterfall system in the world- Iguazu Falls. Comprising hundreds of other waterfalls, the phenomenon of several falls merging and cascading down with a thunderous sound is a spectacular sight. If you’re an adventurous travellers, you’ll likely want to up to the wooden decking running along the edge of the falls.

Three Borders Landmark

The Three Borders Landmark, or the Triple Frontier, is the meeting point of Argentina’s borders with those of Brazil and Uruguay. The Landmark is composed of three unique structures, each standing on the territory of its respective country and characterised by national colours. The site is one of culture and history and is also a great vantage point for Foz do Iguaçu’s beautiful sunsets. A restaurant samples regional gastronomy while a nearby playground keeps children entertained.

San Martin Waterfall (Salto San Martin)

Salto San Martin is the second-largest waterfall after Devil’s Throat in the chain of Iguazú’s waterfalls. Between the two cascades sits Isle of San Martin, whose physically-taxing hiking trails are justified by the stunning views it offers of San Martin falls. Access to Isla San Martin, and therefore views of the falls, are determined every morning by authorities depending on how high the water is.

Visit Guarani Tribe + Spirit of the Trees walk

Yet another exclusive Argentine offering, a visit to the Guarani Tribe’s village is a must-do while in Argentina. Learn about the culture, heritage and practices of the indigenous tribe and partake in song and dance around a campfire. With an expert guide, explore the dense forests and lush flora and fauna around the village during the ‘Spirit of the Trees’ Walk.

Iguazu Biocentre

A new alternative among other traveller destinations in the country, the Iguazu Biocentre was founded to raise awareness on the preservation of and care for the environment. The natural theme park is owned by Patricia Durán Vaca and is home to regional and exotic flora and fauna. Mud trails snaking through the park put visitors in close proximity to tortoises from the Galápagos Islands and Caribbean Iguanas.

Ushuaia

Positioned right below the snow capped Martial Mountain Range, Ushuaia is a port city that doubles up as a hub for adventure. The town comes with a tacked-on title, ‘The End of the World’, which is further perpetuated by the many Antarctica-bound ships that stop by for refuelling. A panoply of outdoor sporting options – from scuba diving and sailing – await thrill-seekers in anticipation.

Tierra del Fuego National Park

With a whopping 63,000 hectares of lush forests and diverse ecology to its name, the Tierra del Fuego National Park is perched on an island at the End of the World. Only a selected portion of the protected reserve is open to the public; many of its rugged peaks and frozen valleys are out of reach. However, the rest of the park is worth a day’s exploration. The main entrance to the park is less than 20 km away from the heart of the city.

Laguna Esmeralda

The trail leading to Laguna Esmeralda has all the makings of the best hikes in the country. Laguna Esmeralda itself is a natural treasure, a glacier lake flanked by the Albino Glacier on one side and the peaks of Las Torres and Cordón Toribio on the other. It’s a relatively easy hike to get to the lake, but the scenery and unbeaten peat moss trail make it one to remember.

Cerro Castor Ski Resort

Only 26km from Ushuaia, the Cerro Castor Ski Resort spans 400 hectares and packs 15 snow runs, one area for beginners and one off-piste. It’s the continent’s southernmost ski resort and receives a lot of powdery snowfall despite sitting at a lower elevation. The resort’s 34 slopes cater to different levels of experience. The ice-skating rink and artificial snow network allow for snow sports other than skiing, ranging from skating to making snow angels.

Isla Martillo

At Isla Martillo (location: southern Patagonia), you’ll be delighted to find a large variety of penguin species, such as King and Gentoo- all in one place! The island houses a penguin colony and is accessible only by boat. Only a few tours actually take you onto the island; most others hover idly around the island for photos and then head back, so make sure you choose the former!

Martial Glacier

Martial Glacier rests on the peak of Martial’s mounts and is named after French explorer Captain Ferdinand Martial who landed in Tierra del Fuego while on an expedition to the Cape Horn region. A beaten uphill trail will take you to the glacier. But to slip off the map and reward yourself with stunning views of Ushuaia, consider taking the smaller trails by the creek at the foothills.

The Beagle Channel

This 240km-long channel is considered by many as the gateway to Antarctica, indeed one of the navigable routes connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The channel is a must-see, not least for its staggering views of ragged ridges on either side. If you choose to navigate the channel on a boat, you won’t be the first to make that voyage – Charles Darwin explored the area between 1833 and 1834 aboard a vessel named the ‘Beagle’, which gave the channel its name.

Patagonia

South America’s southern frontier is represented by illusive Patagonia, with its alien landscapes and looming silences. Boasting massive glaciers and bewitching peaks, Patagonia is as ‘off the beaten path’ as it gets.

Torres del Paine National Park

Towering over Patagonia’s steppe landscape, the Torres del Paine National Park holds within its boundaries vistas beyond imagination. The diversity in landscapes is intriguing. Skirt azure-blue lakes into lush green forests and you’ll stumble upon an incandescent glacier! Part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve System, the national park sees travellers on the daily but still retains its wild, untamed charm

Los Glaciares National Park

A multitude of glacial lakes and rugged mountains encircle the massive Glaciar Perito Moreno and form the Los Glaciares National Park. The 30-km long glacier is the focal point of any trip to Argentina because of its constant advance towards land– up to 2 metres per day. This enchanting park is nestled into the Patagonian Andes shared by Argentina and Chile.

Nahuel Huapi Lake

With a name that literally translates to ‘Jaguar Island’, Nahuel Huapi Lake sits in the middle of the Nahuel Huapi National Park. The midnight-blue waters of the lake are dotted by several small islands, while the periphery of the water body contains several

Salta City

In the northwest of Argentina, Salta City stands as a remembrance to the country’s colonial past. With churches, old buildings and peñas that form the backdrop for street performances, the city is full of life and culture and is worth a visit. Step into the neoclassical Salta Cathedral for a few quiet moments and then visit the Cabildo, with its Spanish-style patios and panoramic balcony views.

Córdoba

Awarded the title ‘Cultural Capital of the Americas’ in 2006, Córdoba city is a must on any Argentina tour itinerary. It's a university city, which means party-goers can count on being able to stay out till the wee hours knocking back a drink or ten. Córdoba province turns this reputation on its head; the outskirts are a wonderland of rivers, falls and rolling hillsides.

Agua de Oro

Perched on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Chica, Agua de Oro boasts lush natural landscapes split by the Chavacaste river. The name translates to ‘Golden Water’, no doubt because of the metallic glint that catches the eye when sunlight reflects off the river. It’s an offbeat gem, ideal for Argentina honeymoon packages and those looking for special Argentina tours. Indulge in a lazy stroll along the riverbank, or dine at one of the many cafes and restaurants in the area.

Cathedral of Cordoba

The Cathedral of Cordoba, or the Iglesia Catedral, took over two centuries to build, having jumped from Jesuits to Franciscans and other architects in between. As a result, the exterior is a glorious mess of architectural styles, but this doesn’t take away from its beauty. The interiors are just as breathtaking, having been richly painted by the Córdoban painter Emilio Caraffa. The Cathedral’s Roman-style dome rises into the horizon and towers over the Plaza San Martín.

Convent of San Jose

Also known as San Cayetano, the Convent’s main draw, apart from spiritual significance, is the fresco paintings on the inside. The altarpiece features a statue of San José, the patron saint of the convent. The building itself dates back to the 1600s and is said to be in the shape of a cross. Aside from being a lovely photo backdrop for your Argentina holiday snaps, the convent is perfect for enjoying a few quiet moments.

If you’ve got time to go travelling around Argentina, consider adding a few more cities onto your lists, such as Salta, Jujuy and Tilcara.

Salta and Jujuy are gems in the Northwest of Argentina that often fall off regular itineraries. Cerro San Bernardo offers the best views of Salta, with cable cars transporting travellers from downtown to the top. Calle Balcarce lights up after dark and students take to the streets when parties are in full swing. In the Jujuy region, pay a visit to the Hill of Seven Colours, to watch peaks come to life in the wee hours of the morning. In the valley of Quebrada de Humahuaca sits the small town of Tilcara, with a history of human inhabitation that dates back more than 10,000 years. Its indigenous culture is worthy of experiencing.

El Calafate, located in Santa Cruz, is a little tourist town that forms the gateway to Glaciar Perito Moreno. Souvenir shops and cafes persist along the main strip, but further afield, there are beautiful wide-open pastures

Top things to do & experience in Argentina

Nobody wants to be a tourist. Here are curated experiences in art, music, food, culture and communities
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