Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world. A trip from the North all the way down to the South is almost 2,300 miles long. For years, I called Buenos Aires my home, and I made my way through this immense country several times. Its diversity left a big impression, and I absolutely fell in love. This fantastic country has so much to offer. In this article I’m sharing 9 incredible things to do and places you cannot miss when traveling through Argentina!
1. Buenos Aires
I have an ongoing love affair with Buenos Aires. The charming and passionate people, the atmosphere, and the stories are making this city so unique. It’s easy to stay in one neighborhood for days and not get bored. Each neighborhood has its own specific vibe and character. Walking through the chic Recoleta neighborhood feels like walking through Paris. I love the old San Telmo neighborhood and its many tango bars, the port of Puerto Madero and trendy Palermo, the SOHO of the city. But also the Argentinean Broadway, its lively city center, its numerous parks, museums, and markets. Buenos Aires is the New York of South America, a Cosmopolitan metropolis with a European atmosphere. And that is why this city definitely belongs in the list of 9 incredible things to visit and do in Argentina.
2. Whale watching at Peninsula Valdés
Peninsula Valdés is a protected nature reserve where animals such as sea lions, birds, penguins, orcas and whales return every year to mate. Between September and December, it’s the place for spotting humpback whales along the coast. Hop on a boat at the village of Puerto Pirámides and observe these amazing animals. Skippers are well trained and bother the animals as little as possible. Something very important to me. An up-close encounter with these beautiful creatures is definitely a moment to remember!
Read more about Puerto Madryn in the following article. This city in Argentina is the gateway to numerous sea life experiences such as whale watching, snorkling with sealions and penguin encounters.
3. Ushuaia and a Beagle Channel boat tour
Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. It is the place where many boats leave for Antarctica. The city is wedged between the Beagle Channel, numerous glaciers and snow-capped peaks. On a Beagle Channel boat tour, you will pass sea lions and seabirds on the big rocks. On the island of Martillo, you will encounter large penguin colonies. It’s an unforgettable experience! If you’re lucky, you’ll even see a couple of king penguins. The National Park Tierra del Fuego is perfect for going on a hike. It also offers breathtaking views of the Beagle Channel.
4. Perito Moreno glacier, one of the incredible things to do in Argentina
At 230 feet in height, Perito Moreno is one of the most famous glaciers. Take a walk on the platforms to admire this glacier and its beautiful blue glow. The glacier moves about 6.5 feet a day, and if you listen carefully, you can even hear its crackling. When the ice breaks off at the front of the glacier, it produces a deafening noise. You can go on an adventurous ice-hike as well.
The Perito Moreno glacier is located in the National Park Los Glaciares. Read more about the most beautiful National Parks to visit in the following article.
5. Viedma glacier hike
If you are feeling even more adventurous, I’d recommend going on a hike to the Viedma glacier. A boat will bring you to a gigantic rock formation. Hike over the rocks for a couple of hours and enjoy the most spectacular view of the ice sheet. Once you reach the major viewpoint, you can even abseil and touch the ice floes.
6. El Chaltén, a hiker’s paradise
The typical Patagonian landscape and its vast steppes and grasslands are only part of the reason you should go on this trip. As you approach El Chaltén, you will already catch a view of the incredible Fitz Roy massif. This small village at the foot of this mountain range is considered a true hiker’s paradise. It’s where people go on the most amazing and diverse mountain trips. Don’t miss the breathtaking views of Laguna and Mirador Torre, Mirador Fitz Roy and Laguna de Los Tres.
7. Iguazú waterfalls
The waterfalls of Iguazu are located in the northeast, on the border with Brazil. It’s a landscape of tropical vegetation and rock formations, including 275 waterfalls plunging into the Iguazu River. On the Argentine side of the border, you can cross several bridges along the waterfalls. Along the way, you will encounter bromelias, orchids, iguanas, butterflies and cotis. One of the highlights is the hike to La Garganta del Diablo, or the Devil’s Throat. At the top of the waterfall, surrounded by gigantic water clouds, is where you’ll get the most spectacular view of the crashing water. It’s one of those places that can give you a sense of how truly astounding nature can be and this makes it one of the places not to miss in Argentina.
8. Visit an Argentine estancia
To get a better idea of the Argentine gaucho life, a visit to an estancia, a typical Argentine farm, should not be missed. The best thing to do is to stay one or two nights and learn all about the rural life. You can go horseback riding on the vast pampas, help out on the farm and enjoy the most delicious asados, a traditional Argentine BBQ, Argentine wines and empanadas.
9. Bariloche and the Lake District
The last but certainly not least in the list of 9 things to do in Argentina: Bariloche, people compare it to the Lake District in Switzerland. During the winter, this is where the Argentineans enjoy their winter sports. But it can be the ultimate summer holiday destination as well. Hop on a boat and experience the vastness of the Nahuel Huapi Lake, or go on a hike through the mountains and deep green forests in Puerto Blest or Brazo Tristeza. Other popular activities include rafting, canoeing, and chocolate tasting tours. You can also take a chairlift and catch breathtaking views at Cerro Catedral or Cerro Otto. Or you could hop in your car or camper van and take the Road of the Seven Lakes to catch a glimpse of the beautiful blue lakes.
Read more about South America with the best tips, background information, history, art and adventures.
This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)