The following itineraries will take you to every corner of the country, via both well-known sights and less visited ones, from the crashing Patagonia glaciers to off-the-beaten-track villages. Given the size of the country and cost of internal flights, don’t worry if you can’t complete the list – just visiting some will give you a good flavour of what Argentina has to offer.

03_Argentina_Itineraries-01

Wonders of nature

Much of Argentina’s “wow” nature highlights are in Patagonia, but there are unmissable sights further north, too, if you can spare a month or so.

1 Península Valdés

Watch whales, seals and sea lions basking in the rich, cool waters off this peninsula in Chubut, northern Patagonia.

2 Punta Tombo

The biggest colony of penguins in South America is a delightful sight, and the trip there will likely take you past guanacos, armadillos and more.

3 Ushuaia

At the very end of the road, Ushuaia sits on the Beagle Channel, teeming with birds, sea lions and giant crabs, and provides a base for exploring nearby Tierra del Fuego national park.

4 Glaciar Perito Moreno

Justifiably one of Argentina’s most visited sights. Watch enormous chunks of blue ice carve off the city-sized glacier and even don crampons to walk on top of it.

5 Fitz Roy

The northern part of Los Glaciares national park provides some of the country’s best trekking, among jagged peaks and turquoise lakes.

6 Quebrada de Humahuaca

Up in the dry northwest, the multicoloured hues of the pinnacles and strata of Humahuaca make it the pick of the region’s sights.

7 Iguazú

The enormous Iguazú waterfalls by the Brazilian border, set in subtropical rainforest, make a steamy, stunning contrast to the icy southern sights.

8 The Delta

A surprisingly verdant riverine community, right on Buenos Aires’ doorstep, makes for a gentle but impressive end to a tour of Argentina’s natural highlights.

Ruta 40

Like Route 66 in the US, Argentina’s Ruta 40 – the country’s longest highway, running from Patagonia to Bolivia – has a legendary status, inspiring songs, books and of course road trips. Count on six weeks if you want to take in all 5224km.

1 Cabo Vírgenes

La Cuarenta’s beginning by the Straits of Magellan, marked by a lighthouse, heralds the start of a zigzagging route through the windswept Patagonian steppe.

2 Estancia Lagos del Furioso

Consider splurging at this Santa Cruz estancia, where you’ll find glorious views, excellent fishing and every creature comfort.

3 Bariloche

Gateway to the Nahuel Huapi park, Argentina’s Lake District has pristine alpine-like scenery, dramatic mountain lakes and ancient trees.

4 La Payunia

A remote land of rosy lava, ebony gorges, deep karstic caves and flamingo-flecked lagoons in Mendoza Province.

5 Laguna Diamante

Often inaccessible, this lagoon rewards the adventurous. Enjoy a picnic on the banks of a crystalline brook as you admire the silhouette of Volcán Maipo.

6 Cuesta de Miranda

The road in La Rioja Province winds through polychrome mountains that contrast with the verdant vegetation along the riverbanks below.

7 Belén

Stop off at this Catamarca highland village for a top-notch poncho – methods of weaving have been maintained since pre-Hispanic times.

8 Salinas Grandes

Ringed by mountains, this area of snow-white salt flats is a good place to spot llamas and vicuñas.

Wine and dine

Wherever you travel in Argentina, you can find excellent-quality food and drink. Beef plays a part of course, but there’s more to the country’s culinary offering. Allow two to three weeks.

1 Buenos Aires

The country’s capital has, unsurprisingly, the most cosmopolitan selection of restaurants, with inventive cooking at reasonable prices easy to track down.

2 The Pampas

Stay on an estancia to enjoy the best barbecued beef you’re likely to taste anywhere, right in the fertile heartland where it comes from.

3 Mendoza

Spend your days – and nights if you wish – at a bodega, tasting fine malbec wines with the snow-capped Andes as a backdrop.

4 Salta

A good place to try the distinctive northwestern cuisine, including the classic empanada, a pasty filled with meat or vegetables, or locro stew.

5 Estancia Santa Inés

Set among plantations of mate, the tea-like beverage drunk avidly throughout Argentina, this estancia in verdant Misiones also serves delicious food.

6 Rosario

Vibrant and stylish Rosario overlooks the Río Paraná and is an excellent place to dine on the local river fish, such as dorado, boga and surubí.

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