Argentina is the second-largest country in South America, and it’s packed with breathtaking vistas, exciting cities, and rich, diverse culture. The capital city of Buenos Aires is a must-see, but there are many other places well worth exploring in this beautiful nation.
Below, read about the 15 best places to visit in Argentina. We’ll tell you where they are and what there is to see there. That way, you can plan your perfect getaway to this gorgeous country!
15 of the Best Places to Visit in Argentina
Argentina has flown under the tourism radar for many years. But recently, intrepid travelers have begun rediscovering everything that makes it so amazing.
Undoubtedly, Argentina is one of the best places in the world to visit for unbelievably diverse landscapes. You can see everything from deserts that look like the moon to Arctic glaciers. Prepare to feel like you’re on another planet!
1. Buenos Aires
It’s hard not to start in the country’s vibrant capital city, and no trip to the country is complete without seeing it. Buenos Aires displays its colonial past in the architecture of the city. You’ll see incredible European-style art and architecture everywhere.
Still, Buenos Aires is uniquely Argentinian. It’s one of the best food cities in the world. You can find local chefs blending traditional dishes with innovative techniques and ingredients.
There are also plenty of bars and nightlife. Explore the unique barrios, museums, shopping, and more. To get a thorough experience, plan to spend at least three days here.
2. Iguazu Falls and National Park
Niagara, step aside–Iguazu Falls has the world’s tallest waterfalls, and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tucked away in the northeast corner of Argentina on the Brazilian border, this nature in this entire area will take your breath away.
The Falls are the major tourist draw, but Iguazu National Park is mostly rainforest. Aside from the falls, you can explore trails and schedule guided eco-tours. See tropical birds, exotic plant life, and learn about how climate change has impacted this part of the world.
You’ll find Mendoza on the opposite side of the country from Buenos Aires, near the Chilean border. This is a must-do if you’re a “vinophile” (wine lover).
Mendoza is the heart of Argentinian wine country, with dozens of prestigious, historic vineyards producing exquisite wines. Try to visit in March during the height of the grape harvest. There’s also a major wine festival.
4. Mar del Plata and Area Beaches
For many years, Mal del Plata was a destination for the wealthy upper class. Today, millions of tourists flock here every year. Multiple beach resorts line the shoreline. There are tons of other things to do, including an aquarium, zoo, and several golf courses.
Mar del Plata also has a thriving restaurant scene and vibrant nightlife. Because Mar del Plata can get pretty crowded, you may want to check out some of the other beaches in the area.
We love Mar Azul, which is as beautifully blue as the name implies. Visit Mar del Pampas for surfing or Carilo for a gorgeous and unusual forest setting.
5. El Chalten
El Chalten is a tiny town in southern Argentina in the heart of Patagonia. It was established as an outpost for climbing and Antarctic expeditions, but it now has a community of its own.
Located at the far northern end of Los Glaciares National Park (see below), it’s a perfect place to stay to explore both regions.
Even though they aren’t the tallest Patagonian peaks, they’re nonetheless stunning and offer breathtaking views for intrepid hikers. Climb Mount Fitz Roy to make your visit complete.
6. Los Glaciares National Park
Many people think of Iceland or Scandinavia when they imagine seeing glaciers, but one of the best places on the planet is in southern Argentina. Los Glaciares National Park contains 2300 square miles of lakes, enormous glaciers, and snow-capped Andean peaks.
Millions of visitors flock to this UNESCO World Heritage Site every year. Since it’s such a major draw, you won’t have trouble finding expert guides. The most famous glacier in the park is Perito Moreno Glacier, but there’s so much to explore.
If you’re planning on staying nearby, check out the town of El Calafate or El Chalten (see above). Remember that the peak season (December-February) is short, so book your stay early.
7. Bariloche and the Argentinian Lake District
You might feel like you’ve disappeared into the Alps in the Argentinian Lake District, particularly the town of Bariloche. Breathtakingly blue glacial lakes dot the landscape, surrounded by the Andes mountains and lush, green forests.
One of the most beautiful lakes to explore is Nahuel Huapi Lake. You can also ski in the winter (June-September).
Many people know Ushuaia as the embarkation point for Antarctic expeditions since the remote continent lies just 680 miles away. But it’s a wonderful destination by itself.
Ushuaia is a thriving community existing on its own at the end of the world. Enjoy restaurants, bars, shops, and winter sports. During your time here, be sure to visit Tierra del Fuego National Park and Martial Glacier.
Cordoba is a very popular destination for young Argentinians and international tourists alike. Despite its stately Spanish colonial architecture, bars, clubs, and other hot spots line the streets.
If you’re not too tired from partying all night, the city bursts with life during the day. Local artists and vendors sell their wares, and live music lingers in the air.
You can also venture into the nearby mountains. Some believe there are spiritually-intense places where many peoples have held rituals and ceremonies.
10. Peninsula Valdes
We’ve mentioned a few places in southern Patagonia, but Peninsula Valdes at the northern edge is also a terrific destination.
You can see all kinds of incredible wildlife, including sea lions, penguins, whales, dolphins, and rare birds. Experience them on a shore expedition or nature cruise. You can visit from the quaint town of Puerto Madryn.
11. Ibera Wetlands
While this isn’t the most accessible destination on the list, it’s well worth the trek if you have the time in your itinerary. It’s another place to see exotic wildlife in this protected area. Many species call it home, including capybaras, monkeys, giant otters, and even anacondas.
If you’re planning a multi-country trip, Salta is close to the borders of Bolivia and Chile, making it a good place for a quick stop in Argentina.
Founded in the 16th century, the city has a rich history that you can see through its architecture. There are also multiple museums and other cultural attractions, as well as beautiful mountains.
13. Cuevo de los Manos Pintados
Translating to the “cave of the painted hands,” this extraordinary place is one of the few spots on earth where you can see cave drawings. Stenciled hands line the walls, but you can see many pieces of rock and natural matter with art on it.
14. San Antonio de Areco
To fully understand Argentinian life, you have to experience cowboys, or gauchos, in the Pampas region. San Antonio de Areco is the perfect place to do it.
It’s only about an hour and a half from Buenos Aires, so you can easily take a day trip. Stroll the country streets, and you’ll feel like you’re worlds away from the city.
15. Valle de la Luna and Talampaya
Both Valle de la Luna and Talampaya are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You may not be able to travel to the moon, but you can feel like it at Valle de la Luna. Found in northwest Argentina, this gray desert with incredible rock formations seems out of this world.
Better known for its deep red canyons, Talampaya also gets its fame from archaeological discoveries made here. Everything from dinosaur fossils to early human writing from indigenous peoples has been discovered here.
Things to Consider
You should consider several factors when planning your vacation to Argentina. The most critical thing to consider is what you want to do and see. Some people like a lot of outdoor activities, while others want to see nature from the comfort of an air-conditioned space.
Decide what kind of experience you want and go from there. In addition, be sure to factor in the following:
- Time of year: balance what you want to do with the time of year you visit. Not all activities and destinations are accessible all year.
- Length of trip: you may be constrained if you have a limited time to spend.
- How much traveling you want to do: Argentina is a large country, and you’ll spend a lot of time moving from place to place if you’re going to see the whole country.
- Budget: travel can get pricey, and certain activities in Argentina cost more than others. You may have to make some hard choices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s tackle some common questions people have about visiting Argentina:
Is Argentina safe?
Argentina is a relatively safe country, but like all nations, it has its share of problems. The US State Department provides travel advisories where they rank safety on a scale from 1 (use standard precautions) to 4 (do not travel). Argentina is usually a 1.
What is the weather like in Argentina?
Argentina looks like an inverted triangle, and its longest side is over 2,300 miles from north to south. Therefore, the weather varies a great deal depending on where you go.
Remember that Argentina is in the Southern Hemisphere, which means their summer occurs from December-March and winter from June-September. Check local weather forecasts for more information on your destination.
What is the best time of year to visit Argentina?
It depends on what you want to do. Buenos Aires gets really hot in the summer. At the same time, some visitors find the more southerly destinations too cold or even inaccessible in the winter. Most experts recommend visiting in the spring or fall when the weather is more temperate, and crowds are lower.
Can you see all of Argentina on one trip?
That depends on how much time you have to spend. Certainly, all 15 locations on this list are worth seeing, and there are more. While you can see the major highlights, you may not see everything.
What languages are spoken in Argentina?
The official language in Argentina is Spanish. However, you’ll encounter many people speaking Arabic, English, French, German, and several indigenous languages.
So, What Is the Best Place to Visit in Argentina?
Argentina is one of the most diverse and breathtaking countries in the world. Lounge on the beach at Mar del Plata, climb mountains in El Chalten and taste traditional and innovative dishes in Buenos Aires.
The best place to visit in Argentina depends on what you like to do on vacation. The good news is that there’s something for everyone in this historical and pastoral destination. So what are you waiting for — book your trip today!