Things not to miss

written by Andy Turner
updated 11/28/2019
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#01 Ruta de los Siete Lagos

Seven Patagonian lakes – their sparkling waters emerald, ultramarine, cobalt, turquoise, cerulean, sapphire and indigo – linked by a rugged mountain road: a magical route best explored in a 4WD.

© Felix Malte Dorn/Shutterstock

#02 Carnival in the Litoral

Like their neighbours across the river in Uruguay and Brazil, the people of the Northeast do know how to party, not least in Gualeguaychú in the lead-up to Lent.

© Gabriela Bertolini/Shutterstock

#03 Glaciar Perito Moreno

A visit to one of the world’s last advancing glaciers is a treat for the eyes and the ears; count impossible shades of blue as you listen to a chorus of cracks, thuds and whines.

© saiko3p/Shutterstock

#04 Birdlife at the Esteros del Iberá

The shimmering lagoons of these vital wetlands attract myriad birds, from tiny hummingbirds to majestic herons.

© Aleksandra H. Kossowska/Shutterstock

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#05 San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Take a stroll down the cobbled streets of this bohemian neighbourhood full of tango bars and antique shops, talented street performers and decaying grandeur.

#06 Cueva de las Manos Pintadas

A prehistoric mural, an early finger-printing exercise or ancient graffiti? Whatever it is, this delicate tableau of many hands is one of the continent’s most enchanting archeological sites.

© buenaventura/Shutterstock

#07 Climbing Aconcagua

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Despite frigid temperatures and extreme altitude – 6959m – the highest peak outside the Himalayas can be climbed with the right preparation and a knowledgeable guide, making for a world-class mountaineering experience.

© sunsinger/Shutterstock

#08 Estancias

Try your hand at cattle-herding or sheep-shearing at a working estancia – one of the great Argentine institutions – and get an authentic taste of the gaucho way of life.

#09 Tigre and the Paraná Delta

Take a boat or paddle a kayak around the swampy islets and muddy creeks of Tigre – a subtropical Venice right on the capital’s doorstep.

© Christian Saez/Shutterstock

#10 Dinosaur fossils in Neuquén

The world’s biggest dinosaurs once roamed Neuquén Province – nothing will convey their immensity more than standing underneath their skeletons or seeing their giant footprints in the rock.

#11 Andean camelids

Shaggy llamas and silky-fleeced alpacas, imposing guanacos and delicate vicuñas – all four distant relatives of the camel can be spotted along Argentina’s cordillera.

© Simon Mayer/Shutterstock

#12 Quebrada de Humahuaca

Whitewashed settlements nestled against polychrome mountains, dazzling salt-flats, lush valleys and cactus forests, windswept steppe and deep gorges – some of the planet’s most incredible scenery.

#13 Ushuaia

Once Argentina’s most feared penal colony, now vaunted as the world’s southernmost city, Ushuaia sits proudly on the Beagle Channel, backed by serrated peaks and a bijou glacier.

© mmtsales/Shutterstock

#14 Football, Buenos Aires

It is no exaggeration to say that nothing else holds the same grip on Argentine society as football – some say no trip to the country is complete without attending a match, especially at either River Plate or Boca Juniors in the capital.

© hecke61/Shutterstock

#15 Wines of Mendoza

What better to accompany a juicy grilled bife de chorizo than one of the province’s award-winning malbecs or syrahs?

#16 Asados

The local answer to the barbecue, and inseparable from Argentinidad (the national identity), these meat-roasting rituals are prepared with the utmost pride and devoured in carnivorous bliss.

© Climber 1959/Shutterstock

#17 Trekking in the Andes

South America’s great mountain range offers world-class trekking, not least in the Fitz Roy sector of the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares.

© sunsinger/Shutterstock

#18 Iguazú Falls

Known simply as the Cataratas, the world’s most awe-inspiring set of waterfalls is set among dense jungle, home to brightly coloured birds and butterflies.

© sharptoyou/Shutterstock

#19 Elephant seals at Valdés

Península Valdés is a natural wonder and home to a staggering array of wildlife – but for many the giant blubbery elephant seals steal the show.

© Joost van Uffelen/Shutterstock

#20 Winter sports

Las Leñas for the jet-set après-ski, Cerro Catedral for traditional pistes and Tierra del Fuego for the world’s most southerly resorts – winter sports in Argentina combine great snow with a lot of showing off.

© Ericsmandes/Shutterstock

#21 Talampaya

The undisputed highlight of La Rioja Province is a World Heritage Site dominated by giant cliffs of deep pink sandstone – once home to dinosaurs, now the protected habitat of condors, guanacos and foxes.

© Guillermo Caffarini/Shutterstock

#22 La Recoleta Cemetery

The prestigious resting place of Argentina’s great and good – even Evita sneaked in – this cemetery is one of the world’s most exclusive patches of real estate.

© Jess Kraft/Shutterstock

#23 The Pampas

Rugged gauchos, nodding pampas grass and herds of contented cattle are the famous inhabitants of Argentina’s most archetypal landscape.

© A Jellema/Shutterstock

#24 Volcán Lanín

Despite the unappealing meaning of its native name – “he who choked himself to death” – this perfect symmetrical cone of a volcano is both a beauty to behold and a treat to climb.

#25 Traditional handicrafts

Argentina’s looms, kilns and workshops produce fine ponchos, pots and silverware, as well as world-class leatherware, jewellery and, great for souvenirs, mate paraphernalia.

© LaryLitvin/Shutterstock

Travel advice for Argentina

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written by Andy Turner
created 11/1/2013
updated 11/28/2019
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