Things to do in Argentina
Wondering what to do and see on your Argentina vacation? You’ve come to the right place! Argentina is a vast country with fantastic landscapes and vibrant cities, so it’s safe to say there are plenty of things to do in Argentina for every traveler type. Our experts have put together a list of their favorite activities, tourist attractions, and hidden gems, from exploring Buenos Aires and Patagonia, taste-testing wine in Mendoza, and seeing significant sites like Iguazu Falls and the desert of Salta. Follow along as we explore everything you should do while traveling in Argentina.
Best Things to Do Argentina:
1. See Perito Moreno Glacier and Argentina’s other Glaciers
First on our list of things to do in Argentina is to see the Perito Moreno Glacier! El Calafate is the base for visiting many of Argentina’s most famous glaciers which are found in one of Argentina’s most impressive national parks – Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. The most well-known glacier in Argentina is the Perito Moreno Glacier. It is possible to get up close to the glacier and see ice calving into Lake Argentino. The adventurous traveler can trek on the glacier itself or kayak in front of it. The next most well-known glacier is the Upsala Glacier. A cruise such as the Glaciers Gourmet Cruise gives a great panoramic view of the glacier from a safe distance. Alternatively, a visit to the Upsala Glacier can be combined with a 4×4 tour to a traditional estancia.
2. Wine Tasting in Mendoza or Cafayate
For wine enthusiasts, a visit to Mendoza, the wine capital of South America, is a must. Relax in this laid-back city, taking in the stunning views of the Andes, and of course, delighting in a glass of the famous Malbec. Located in eastern Argentina, Mendoza is dotted with vineyards big and small specializing in wine varieties like Malbec, Syrah, and Cabernet. In the North, near Salta, there is a sleepy wine region called Cafayate. It is home to more white varieties than Mendoza, with a specialization in Torrontes due to the high altitude. Cafayate is also a fantastic region to wine taste!
3. Ride with Argentine Gauchos
If you’re looking for something to do in Argentina that is a bit adventurous, we recommend riding with Argentine gauchos! Famed for their skilled horsemanship and bravery in folktales, the historic gauchos are an important national symbol for Argentines. Today, these South American cowboys are proud to share their traditions and culture with those who visit. From delicious barbeques (& Asado) to horse riding lessons, be sure to experience this vital and unique part of Argentine culture.
4. Explore the “Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires
The alluring capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, combines European-influenced architecture, rich history, and lively Latin-American culture. Commonly referred to as the “Paris” of South America, Buenos Aires is a popular destination year-round and the perfect destination to not only experience the best of Argentina, but South America. Enjoy days spent strolling under Italian and French-inspired palaces, indulging in delightful cuisine, and, of course, dancing the tango, the famed local dance.
5. Hike the Varying Landscapes of Argentina
Trek through incredibly diverse landscapes of Argentina. With the arid, natural rock arches of Salta to the North and the breathtakingly beautiful mountains of Bariloche and Patagonia to the South, Argentina is ideal for hiking enthusiasts. Trails range from easy strolling to adventurous climbs, and all come with spectacular views.
6. Sample Local Dishes on a Foodie Tour
Buenos Aires was a hotbed for European immigration post-World-War II. Additionally, as one of the largest cities in South America and the world, it has naturally attracted all varieties of cuisines and experts in the culinary field. From the world’s best steaks and barbeques to pizza and mouth-watering dulce de leche, any visit to Buenos Aires will ensure excellent cuisine.
7. Dance the Tango
Even if you’re not a dancer, we highly recommend a tango tour while in Buenos Aires. Tango originated in the port neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. Today this area is known as La Boca. The world-renowned seductive dance is a staple in Argentina and those who visit the city are beckoned to try the sultry dance moves. On a Buenos Aires city tour, it’s common that we include a Tango Lesson & Show into a traveler’s itinerary. This is where one can attend a dance lesson and show at a Tango House. It’s a great way to really appreciate the dance after having tried to do perform it yourself. Outside of the Tango House, you may also find the locals dancing into the night at a Milonga (a house where the locals dance the Tango).
What are the Best Things to See in Argentina?
Travelers from around the world come to Argentina to see its land of contrasts. Visitors often start their journey among grand metropolitan cities or quaint countryside towns. Venturing out, they find mighty snow-capped mountain peaks in the south and the warm, humid climate in the north. Keep reading for all the gorgeous sites and attractions to see in Argentina.
1. Iguazu National Park
Iguazu National Park is the home of the world’s largest and most impressive waterfall system, Iguazu Falls. The dramatic falls serve as a significant sight to not only Argentina but Brazil and Paraguay, bordering these three nations. On the Argentinean side of the falls, tourists can take a boat ride close-up to the rushing waterfalls. Some boats will even take you underneath the cascading falls for a misty water experience!
2. Recoleta Cemetery
It may seem unusual to visit a cemetery but don’t be fooled. Recoleta Cemetery is one of the world’s grandest cemeteries, featuring thousands of decorated tombs imitating greek temples, gothic cathedrals, and fairytale oases. The cemetery is a showcase of art, history, and the resting place of some of the world’s most notable celebrities. From Eva Peron, past presidents, Nobel Peace Prize winners, military geniuses, and even relatives of Emperor Napoleon, strolling through and seeing the elaborate tombs of this cemetery is a unique highlight of South America.
3. Avenida de Mayo
On a Buenos Aires city tour, you must see Avenida de Mayo. The Avenida de Mayo is the most significant avenue in Buenos Aires. Extending 1.5 km, the avenue connects the grand Palace of the Argentine National Congress with the famous pink residence of Argentine presidents, Casa Rosada. Along your descent down toward the bay, catch sight of famous architectural sights like the Palacio Barolo, or the Museo Nacional, which once served as the seat of the council during Argentina’s colonial age.
4. The Andes Mountains
The Andes is the largest mountain range in the world and claims Mount Aconcagua (6962m), South America’s tallest peak. Major cities along the Andes in Argentina are El Calafate, Bariloche, Cordoba, Mendoza, and Salta. Simply catching a glimpse of these mountains is an experience in itself. Additionally, Its diverse terrain of glaciers, volcanoes, grassland, desert, lakes, and forest are popular among nature enthusiasts after an adventure.
5. Watch the Tango
While some may not wish to dance the Tango, you will surely see professionals or locals dance the Tango in Buenos Aires. Whether you visit a local Milonga or a professional Tango House, watch as a couple dances the impressive moves of the tango.
6. La Cueva de las Manos (Cave of Hands)
The UNESCO listed Cave of Hands is found in a distant and barren corner of Patagonia, about seven hours from the nearest airport at Comodoro Rivadavia. Travelers who make the effort to tour the Cave of Hands will be rewarded with the chance to explore the series of caves and rocky overhangs decorated with 9,000-year-old handprints and depictions of Patagonian animals such as guanacos and rheas. A visit to the caves makes for a fascinating diversion during a road trip along with Argentina’s famous Ruta 40 – the road that runs north to south along the line of the Andes.
Festivals / Events
Grape Harvest: The Vendimia in Mendoza is a famous festival that takes place each year to celebrate the grape harvest. Events begin in January though the majority of the celebrations take place in March. Folkloric music is played and the festival culminates with the crowning of the Queen of Vendimia. Of course, there is plenty of good wine, especially Malbec to lubricate proceedings and wine enthusiasts descend on Mendoza from around the world.
Tango Festival: In August each year, the Buenos Aires Tango Festival takes place. The best tango dancers from around the world travel to Buenos Aires and perform in a series of concerts and classes, some of which are free. If you love tango – this is definitely the festival for you!
Food & Drink in Argentina
Argentina’s food of steak, empanadas, and wine is very popular. However, these aren’t the only food and drink that travelers should be looking for in this country. Due to Italian immigration, Argentina is also well known for its pizza, pasta, and ice cream. However, the national dessert, dulce de leche is what every tourist is left craving after visiting Argentina.
Is Argentina Safe?
Yes, Argentina is safe. On our tours, our travelers will be accompanied by a local guide, and all transportation will be arranged, ensuring the utmost safety. However, we always recommend travelers use the same caution as they would in any foreign place.
Best Time to Visit Argentina
The best time to visit Argentina is between March and late June or September to mid-December. During these times, it is the shoulder season of Argentina. Meaning there will be fewer crowds, mild weather, and many activities are available to travelers due to the agreeable climate.
What is Argentina Known for?
Argentina is known for a myriad of things. One of the most notable being the Tango! Learn how to dance the sultry steps of the Tango in Buenos Aires, the home of the popular dance, at one of the famous Tango clubs. In addition to the Tango, Argentina is also famous for its wine, its gauchos, futbol (Maradona and Messi are from Argentina), and its art.
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