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From the sophistication of Buenos Aires to the charm and history of small towns set in panoramic, rugged scenery, there are a multitude of captivating places to visit in Argentina. Culture Trip lists the 10 must-visit towns in this diverse South American country.
Villa La Angostura is known as the sophisticated heart of Argentina’s rugged Patagonia region. The town is perched upon the coast of Nahuel Huapi Lake, which is popular for summer sunning, swimming, sailing and fishing. If winter sports are more your thing, however, travel the short distance to Cerro Bayo – a skier’s dream.
Puerto Iguazú is the tiny town that hosts one of the world’s most incredible natural wonders, Iguazú Falls. Located along the Iguazú River, the falls straddle both Brazil and Argentina. The town offers excellent hostels and spas, alongside the awe-inspiring might of the falls.
The country’s top beach resort city, Mar del Plata is the holiday destination of choice for the Argentinian aristocracy and other high rollers. In the summer, million of tourists flock here; however, during low season, the city takes on a much slower pace and becomes far more relaxed.
Puerto Madryn is best known as the gateway to Península Valdés, located on the bank of the Golfo Nuevo – another popular summer destination for Argentinians on account of its beautiful beaches. The secret is out about the charm of the town, and tourism has recently exploded here, as the city has undergone rapid growth over the past few years. Go now, while it’s still quiet.
Chalet 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 one 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 outdoor activities.
Ushuaia’s isolated location made it the perfect place for a penal colony, which is what it used to be. Today, however, the remote beauty is what makes this place one of the most sought-after refuges in Argentina. The world’s southernmost city is located on the Beagle Channel, serving as a popular base for winter sports, wildlife viewing and Antarctica cruises.
As South America’s largest wine-producing region, Mendoza is often compared to California’s Napa Valley. The area is a popular tourist destination for wine connoisseurs and mountain climbers, as it is close to the highest mountain in the Americas, Aconcagua. Mendoza is surrounded by beautiful scenery, and lends itself to outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding and river rafting.
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. Situated in Argentina’s Santa Cruz Province, this town is the starting point for tourist excursions to the popular Perito Moreno Glacier.
Located in the Lerma Valley in Argentina’s northwest, Salta is surrounded by fertile valleys, canyons and the desolate plateau of La Puna. It’s also home to the country’s best-preserved colonial architecture.
Rosario is an up-and-coming city along the banks of the Río Paranà. 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.