As the world becomes ever more global, Argentina is getting in on the action. Low-cost carrier Norwegian Air has started to operate flights to Argentina, and was granted the permission to launch 152 new routes to Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Mendoza and Salta. Outward bound flights from Buenos Aires should also be heading towards London, Los Angeles, Istanbul and New York.
As more and more foreigners come to Argentina and more locals explore exotic destinations abroad, Argentina is becoming something of a culinary wonderland, which is proving to be a change for the conservative palette of older generations. New burger joints, craft breweries, Asian-style steakhouses and sushi restaurants are widening the gastronomic landscape, and Buenos Aires in particular has seen a wealth of food from far-off places whetting diners appetites.
Buenos Aires was incorporated into the Art Basel Cities program in 2017, and 2018 sees the capital set to expand its cultural horizons even more with the benefit of backing from this internationally renowned art fair. Conferences, events, exhibitions, installations and design, art and architecture festivals will all be happening with increased fervour as the global spotlight focuses firmly on the Argentine capital, which was chosen for its rich artistic and cultural heritage, in the year to come.
Taking place in November every year in the small town of San Antonio de Areco in Buenos Aires province, the Festival de Tradicion celebrates Argentine and rural traditions, starting first and foremost with the culture of the gaucho, or the Argentine cowboy. Come to see countrymen and women display their equestrian skill and horsemanship at this weekend-long festival, and marvel at the traditional dress and their command of their steeds, and enjoy some traditional Argentine dishes while you watch the festivities.
February sees the annual ATP Tennis World Tour taking place on the clay courts of the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club in Palermo. International tennis stars descend on Buenos Aires for this week-long event, and battle it out in a test of skill, wits and determination as they go volley for volley in one of the world’s favourite sporting events.
In November, put on your finery and head to the Hippodrome in Palermo – aka Argentina’s Cathedral of Polo – to see the fancy stylings of the polo set. This is certainly an event for the rich and famous, and you can sip champagne in the sun while you watch this elegant sport played out in front of you.
Carnaval is one of the best times of the year in South America, and the same is true for this period in Argentina. Over the course of the summer months in January and February, see and hear the murga, a traditional show of street performances including dance, theatre and music, across the country, and head to Gualeguaychu in the north of Buenos Aires province to experience the true culture of Argentine Carnaval.
2018 is going to be a big year in Buenos Aires, and the fact that the city has been chosen to host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics is testament to that. Young athletes from around the world will arrive in Buenos Aires in October to put their practice into play in the hopes of going home with a gold medal. The Olympics will also result in the creation of a new neighbourhood of social housing in the south of the city, a move designed to cement the positive legacy of the games on the city.
As always, 2018 will be a year to come to Argentina to see the vast array of incredible wildlife living in the mountains, forests, pampa and coasts of this vast country. Head to Puerto Madryn and the Valdes Peninsula to see the Magellanic penguins and the Southern Right Whale, and in Iguazu you will meet lots of native creatures such as monkeys and coati.
No visit to Argentina would be complete without experiencing the melancholy and elegance of tango, but one of the best times to visit if you are seriously into this dance, which could also be considered a sport by many, is in August when the Tango World Championship takes place in Buenos Aires. See local tangueros return from teaching around the world to teach classes and compete in dance competitions, and maybe even take a class if you’re feeling ready to brave the boards.
From the undulating mountainous landscapes of Salta and Jujuy to the monumental glaciers and granite peaks of Patagonia, Argentina does not disappoint when it comes to breathtaking scenery. Drive the route of the sierras in Cordoba, or hit the lake district in Bariloche, or if you want something with a little less commitment, head to the incredible Iguazu Falls for a day or two.