If you’re planning a holiday in Argentina, then you’ve probably already got a few ideas of what you want to fit in: a steak in Buenos Aires is probably on the menu, and maybe you’re keen to fit in some Argentinian wine- tasting while you’re at it? But once you’re outside the capital, where else should be on your holiday itinerary? Did you know that Argentina has South America’s highest mountain, for example? Or the continent’s biggest waterfalls? Here is a quick guide to the 5 absolute must-sees for any holiday in Argentina.
With some countries, you just want to get in and out of the capital as quickly as possible, but with Argentina that most definitely is NOT the case. Buenos Aires is one of the great world cities, and is a perfect place to settle into your Argentina holiday, so you should make sure you spend at least a few days here and enjoy it to the full. From the tree-lined avenues and boutique shops of Palermo, to the 1930s skyscrapers of Centro and the bohemian tango district of San Telmo, there’s a huge amount to take in, but a pace of life that encourages you to take your time over everything. One thing you really must do on your holiday in Argentina is take in a tango show, and Buenos Aires is almost certainly the place to do it, with everything from impromptu street performances in areas like San Telmo and Boca, to full-scale “dinner and a show” places in and around Avenida Rivadavia: an amazing way to see this sensual and provocative dance…
North from Buenos Aires, and forming part of the border between Argentina and Brazil, the Iguazu Falls
are one of the most impressive sights in the whole of South America, let alone Argentina. These immense waterfalls are truly awe-inspiring, and if you don’t take the short flight from Buenos Aires to get here at some point during your holiday in Argentina, you’ll really kick yourself. To get the most from the Iguazu Falls, you need to spend at least two full days here, so you can see them from both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides. On the Brazilian side, you get some superb panoramic view right across the Falls, and even with a cheap camera you’ll get some amazing photos from here. On the Argentinian side, however, a series of walkways projects right out into the heart of the waterfalls so you can get really close to the pounding of the water – it literally takes your breath away!
Up in the north-west of Argentina, the town of Salta is little-known outside of South America, but those who do take the time to visit it on their Argentina holidays are usually pretty evangelical about it afterwards! Perhaps because it’s slightly out of the way (although now there are several direct flights a day to Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Iguazu) Salta has preserved its original colonial architecture much better than anywhere else in Argentina, and a stroll around its historic centre is like a journey back in time: somehow it feels more South American and less European than much of Argentina.
Further south from Salta, and on the very edge of the Andes, is Argentina’s wine country and the city of
Mendoza. 90% of Argentina’s wine is produced here, and a tour of some of the local vineyards and the
beautiful countryside outside of Mendoza makes for a great way to spend a couple of days of your holiday in Argentina. If you’re not so interested in the local vintages, then a trip further up into the Andes to see South America’s highest mountain (Aconcagua) is great too, or you can always nip over the border into Chile as well.
For many people, the undoubted highlight of their holiday in Argentina, however, isn’t Mendoza’s wines or the Iguazu Falls, but the mountains, lakes and glaciers of Argentinian Patagonia. This vast region, right in the south of Argentina and over the border into Chile, has some of the most beautiful and unspoilt landscapes anywhere on earth. From the trekking across the colossal Perito Moreno glacier near El Calafate, to walking in the epic Torres del Paine national park, there is a sense of scale in Patagonia that is hard to replicate elsewhere, and the warmth and hospitality of the people in Patagonia just go to make it a part of your Argentina holiday that you’ll never forget.
Dan Clarke works for Real Argentina Holidays, the UK specialists for your tailor-made holiday in Argentina.