Here I offer some advice about where to visit in Argentina. Every tourist has different preferences, but what are the best places to visit in Argentina? What are the best tourist attractions? And where should you visit in Argentina considering the seasons there?
When deciding where to visit in Argentina, it’s important to note that, unlike many other countries in South America, Argentina does have seasons - and a pronounced summer and winter period. Argentina is in the Southern hemisphere, so the summer/winter is in reverse to the Northern hemisphere. Visit Argentina during the months of May to August and it’s the winter, and is notably cold if you are visiting the South of the country. Only the North of Argentina (places such as Iguassu, Mendoza, Salta etc.) sees fine warm weather during the winter months. Patagonia, and other places down South, are very cold and with short days during these winter months.
So, assuming you’ll visit Argentina during the summer months, where are the best places to go?
Buenos Aires is a must visit on all tourist itineraries to Argentina. Buenos Aires is a wonderful, cosmopolitan city that is a joy to explore on foot by walking tour - there is plenty of interest for tourists all over this fabulous city. And it’s in the capital city where one finds some of the best food in Argentina - including incredible steaks! Buenos Aires just must be visited - your flight to Argentina will probably go to BA anyway, so spend at least 3 night there.
Buenos Aires - spontaneous tango street dancing!
Other than Buenos Aires, where else should one visit in Argentina?
Patagonia is another fantastic and interesting travel highlight of Argentina, and is great for adventure activities, hiking, trekking and generally enjoying the great outdoors. Patagonia is an enormous region containing many different tourist destinations, the best places to visit being Bariloche, El Calafate, the Valdes Peninsula and Tierra del Fuego. Bariloche is the closest to Buenos Aires (still a very long way to go if you travel by bus though). In Bariloche you’ll find mountains and lakes suitable for outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, playing golf or even skiing during the winter. Further South is El Calafate, where most people visit for the outdoor activities, and in particular to see the spectacular scenery surrounding some enormous glaciers. To the East, on Argentina’s Atlantic coast, is the Valdes Peninsula, a place that it is best to visit from mid June to November as this is the whale watching period. September to October are the best months to visit the Valdes Peninsula, as you’ll likely be able to see baby whales, plus it’s the seal breeding season. The Valdes Peninsula is great for wildlife watching vacations in Argentina. Furthest South in Patagonia is Tierra del Fuego, the Southernmost point in South America - this is another good destination for outdoor activities, but the other three places in Patagonia that I have already mentioned are probably better to visit for most tourists.
Travelling North from Buenos Aires there are many other great places to visit in Argentina. Iguassu Falls is one of the must-visit places in Argentina, if not all South America! You just have to go - the huge waterfalls and spectacular scenery are very special at Iguassu. North East of Buenos Aires one can visit Mendoza, where you’ll find Argentina’s principle wine growing region. Mendoza is one of the best places to visit if you enjoy fine wines and wonderful Andean mountain scenery. Further North still, Salta is an amazing place to visit for it’s scenery and small little highland villages that can be explored. Salta is a great choice for slow travel, or for exploring by hire car.
These are Argentina’s best travel destinations - the best places to see in the country. Other places of interest include the Pampas around Buenos Aires (for a travel experience), the Iberra wetlands (for wildlife), Mar del Plata (for beaches), the estancias all over the country, Cordoba - the list could go on and on…. There’s something of interest to everyone in Argentina, whether you are travelling as a family, a single traveller, male or female, young or old, travelling with friends, or looking for romantic places to share with your partner - Argentina has it all! Follows a list of the best options for tourists according to their personal preferences:
Best places to visit for families: Patagonia is ideal, with lots of outdoor activities on offer. Buenos Aires is also a very family friendly city, and a tranquil place to explore.
Best places to visit for older travellers: Buenos Aires for culture and food, Patagonia for it’s wonderful scenery, Welsh tea houses near the Valdes Peninsula will appeal to many, and Mendoza might be a good option if you like fine wines.
Best places to visit for slow travel or off the beaten track travel experiences: Patagonia is enormous but most tourists visit the hotspots mentioned in this article. You’ll find many off the beaten track destinations in Patagonia if you go exploring. Also, North Argentina around Salta has some wonderfully remote and random places to go - Iruya being on of my favourites.
Best places to visit for young romantic couples or honeymoons: Buenos Aires (pick a hotel in the Palermo district) and Patagonia. Find a secluded lodge or estancia in Patagonia - there’s many options to choose from.
Best places to visit for wine lovers: Mendoza & Salta are the principal wine growing regions, and wine tasting Argentinian wines is possible.
Best places to visit for trekking and hiking: focus on Patagonia, plus perhaps around Salta in North Argentina also? El Chalten near El Calafate has exceptional trekking, Iruya near Salta is also wonderfully scenic.
Best places to visit for backpackers: everywhere, but in particular Salta (travel onwards to Bolivia?) and Buenos Aires is very cool also.
Best places to visit for beaches: unfortunately, you won’t find any high quality beaches in Argentina. You’re best off catching a flight to Florianopolis in Southern Brazil, or stopping off at one of the Caribbean countries en route home.