The Most Beautiful Towns in Argentina

Backdropped by the Martial Mountains and facing the Beagle Channel, the charming Ushuaia is an outdoor lover’s paradise
Backdropped by the Martial Mountains and facing the Beagle Channel, the charming Ushuaia is an outdoor lover’s paradise | © Juan Pablo Mascanfroni / Unsplash
Audra Clemons

From the sophistication of Mendoza to the charm and history of small towns set in panoramic, rugged scenery, there are many captivating destinations to visit in Argentina. Here’s our pick of the most beautiful places in this diverse South American country you should put on your must-see list.

1. Villa La Angostura

Natural Feature, Architectural Landmark

Elk199-1150 Argentina, Villa La Angostura, Lago Nahuel Huapi, lakeside landscape with hotels
© John Elk III / Alamy Stock Photo
Villa La Angostura is known as the sophisticated heart of Argentina’s rugged Patagonia region. The town sits on the coast of Nahuel Huapi Lake, a popular summer spot for sunning, swimming, sailing and fishing. However, if winter sports are more your thing, travel the short distance to Cerro Bayo – a skier’s dream.

2. Puerto Iguazú

Natural Feature

Puerto Iguazú is a short drive from one of the most incredible natural wonders in the world, Iguazú Falls. Located along the Iguazú River, the falls straddle both Brazil and Argentina. The city offers excellent hostels and spas, alongside the awe-inspiring might of the falls.

3. Mar del Plata

Architectural Landmark

Crowded Beach Aerial View in Mar del Plata
© Rudimencial / Getty Images
Mar del Plata is the top beach resort in the country and the holiday destination of choice for the Argentinian aristocracy and other high rollers. In the summer, millions of tourists flock here; however, during the low season, the city takes on a much slower pace and becomes far more relaxed.

4. Puerto Madryn

Natural Feature

Puerto Madryn is best known as the gateway to the Península Valdés, on the bank of the Golfo Nuevo – another popular summer destination for Argentines on account of its beautiful beaches. Indeed, the secret is out about the town’s charm, and tourism has recently exploded here. The city has undergone rapid growth over the past few years, so go now while it’s still quiet.

5. Bariloche

Natural Feature, Ski Resort

Bariloche offers chalet architecture, bright-blue lakes and snow-capped mountains
© Kalistratova / Getty Images

Chalet-style architecture, bright-blue lakes and snow-capped mountains are just a few of the things that attract tourists to Bariloche. More akin to a Swiss village than what you might expect from the Río Negro province of Argentina, this spectacular town offers some of the most talked-about ski slopes around, as well as an abundance of other outdoor activities.

6. Ushuaia

Natural Feature

Ushuaia’s isolated location made it the perfect place for a penal colony, which is what it used to be. However, today, the remote beauty is what makes this place one of the most sought-after destinations in Argentina. The southernmost city in the world sits on the shore of the Beagle Channel, serving as a popular base for winter sports, wildlife viewing and Antarctica cruises.

7. Mendoza

Natural Feature

As the largest wine-producing region in South America, Mendoza is often compared to Napa Valley in California. The area’s a popular tourist destination for wine connoisseurs and mountain climbers, as it’s close to the highest mountain in the Americas, Aconcagua. Mendoza is surrounded by beautiful scenery, lending itself to outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding and river rafting.

8. El Calafate

Natural Feature

El Calafate used to be a sleepy town in an isolated region of Patagonia, but its proximity to Los Glaciares National Park has made it a bustling tourist destination. In the province of Santa Cruz, this town is the starting point for tourist excursions to the popular Perito Moreno Glacier.

9. Salta

Natural Feature

Cityscape with Cathedral and Iglesia San Francisco, Salta, Salta province, Argentina
© imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo

In Lerma Valley in northwestern Argentina, Salta is surrounded by fertile land, canyons and the desolate plateau of La Puna. It’s also home to the best-preserved colonial architecture in the country.

10. Rosario

Architectural Landmark

Rosario is an up-and-coming city along the banks of the Río Paraná. Alongside the tea-colored river, there are boardwalks, bars and restaurants serving a plethora of seafood dishes. Rosario is famous for being the birthplace of both Che Guevara and Lionel Messi.

Kieran Morris contributed additional reporting to this article.

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