A Solo Traveler's Guide to Argentina

Traveler doing a handstand in Las Conchas, Salta, Argentina | ©Ari Bakker / Flickr
Traveler doing a handstand in Las Conchas, Salta, Argentina | ©Ari Bakker / Flickr
Photo of Kristin Deasy
Contributor8 May 2017

So, you’re headed to Argentina on your own? Good for you. It takes guts to travel solo to a foreign country. You’ll have a completely different experience than if you were accompanied by a friend or partner – you’ll be forced to open up more, to explore, to grow, to learn and – most of all – to embrace Argentina in a profound way. Here’s our guide to ensure your trip to the country is an adventure in the best possible sense of the word.

Tango dancers in Buenos Aires, Argentina | ©Ralf Steinberger / Flickr

Do: Tango Adventure

The brainchild of personal coach and best-selling author Sasha Cagen, Tango Adventure is an immersion course in tango offered in Buenos Aires. It aims to explore tango as not only a dance, but also as a way to learn about your relationship with yourself and others.

If that sounds like a game-changer, that’s because it is.

“Tango was a surprise for me,” Cagen told Culture Trip. “I didn’t even really know what tango was (I thought it was a cheesy dance where a woman puts a rose between her teeth), but actually a lot of women who come on the Tango Adventure have ‘learn tango in Buenos Aires’ on their bucket list and we help them do that by helping them dive deep in the culture with the intention of learning tango as a process of transformation.”

“It’s also a great way to meet a lot of people when you are traveling solo, whether you go to a tango class or a milonga,” she added. “Often people think you need to have a partner to learn tango. You definitely don’t need a partner. Tango is a social dance, and you learn best by learning with a variety of people. So if you are traveling solo and tired of doing everything by yourself dancing tango is a great way to meet people.”

Don’t: Ask the first Argentine you meet to teach you tango

Why not? It assumes a lot – for one thing, that all Argentines dance tango. Which they don’t. Not to mention it’s extraordinarily complicated to learn and teach; asking someone to do it on the fly is asking a lot.

Do: Go to a closed-door restaurant

First, they’re called puerta cerradas in Spanish. Second, they’re hugely popular in Argentina, particularly in Buenos Aires. Third, in terms of quality and creativity, they tend to out-do the restaurant scene. Closed-door restaurants are essentially chefs cooking for you out of their own homes. For the most part you will be seated at a table with people you’ve never met, which is great on a solo adventure and an unusual experience well worth having. Check out La Pasionaria, an antique dealer’s home/old train warehouse in Palermo. The owner’s son is the cook; dinners are by appointment.

Don’t: Go to Mostaza, Nac & Pop, Almacén de Pizzas, Freddo, etc

Well, you can. They’re local chains. They’re not terrible of course, but just remember you can do better by simply taking your time and looking around!

Argentine wine | ©Jesús Dehesa / Flickr

Do: Go to a wine bar by yourself

Better yet, go wine tasting in Mendoza or Salta, Argentina’s main wine regions. Either way, wine is a big social activity in Argentina. If you’re in Buenos Aires, look for wine bars in the Palermo neighborhood, where you’re more likely to run into fellow English speakers or Argentines excited to practice their English. You can also keep tabs on the Come Wine With Us BA pop-up wine bar event.

Don’t: Go to a boliche by yourself

A boliche is a club, and the clubbing scene in this country is intense. Picture mobs of people partying quite literally until dawn, lots of very drunk teenagers screaming the lyrics to extremely loud Spanish-language music, bathrooms that ran out of toilet paper hours ago or never had any in the first place, and an increased likelihood of getting robbed. This is not to say don’t go clubbing, or that it doesn’t have a positive side – but go with a posse, because particularly in Buenos Aires things can get pretty heavy.

Traveler doing a handstand in Las Conchas, Salta, Argentina | ©Ari Bakker / Flickr

Do: Get out of Buenos Aires

Go somewhere – Patagonia, Mendoza, Salta. Get to know the country’s roots. Talk (as best you can; miming counts) to locals from small towns and be sure to take in the natural beauty for which the country is famed. Look for places like Earthship Eco-Hostel in the nature-loving town of El Bolsón, a great place for solo travelers. If you don’t like sharing a room, don’t worry – they have private yurts. What they really offer is community. With work-stay exchanges, rotating classes and communal dinners, Earthship is the perfect place for bonding and exploring Patagonia.

Don’t: Miss Buenos Aires

It’s not likely, with the whole international airport thing, but just in case. Definitely give yourself some time to get to know the capital. Enjoy your trip!

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