The Best Things to See and Do in Argentina
Sunset over Iguazú © SF Brit / Flickr
Want to make the most of your stay in Argentina? Right then. Here’s what you do: Ride a horse over the Andes, see a colossal glacier up close, visit one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, drink some fine red wine, hike up a mountain in Patagonia, and last but not least, experience tango. Read on to find out how to fold these activities into your trip to Argentina – and how each experience will take you deep into the history (and heart) of the country.
The journey through The Andes from Argentina into Chile is considered one of the most spectacular in the world. You’ll be taking in incredible mountain vistas and experiencing life on horseback, just like the gauchos of Argentina’s past. To arrange your ride, do think about how to prepare your body for the trek in advance, as it’s a lot of hours in the saddle. Check out Unicorn Trails and plan your trip. This UK-based company has an excellent reputation worldwide and offers two different Andes routes.
Contemplating the mountains of Cordoba, Argentina | © Marina Balasini & Juan Montiel / Flickr
The Perito Moreno Glacier in Southwest Argentina is not to be missed. One of the world’s only glaciers that is growing larger rather than smaller, the movement causes sheets of ice to peel off and crash into the sea – and it’s pretty amazing to see. More information on how to visit the imposing 60-meter glacier here.
Sunset over Iguazú | © SF Brit / Flickr
Iguazú Falls in Argentina’s North are one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Located in the midst of a rainforest connecting Argentina with Brazil, the falls on the Argentine side lie in Iguazú National Park in the Province of Misiones. The enormous waterfall is part of The Iguazú River zigzagging through the two countries. Discover visitor information here.
There are a couple of ways to go about this. One is to visit the Mendoza wine region, which attracts tourists year-round to its many wineries, known as bodegas – here you can find the best wineries. Another option is to head North to Salta, the nation’s other valle de vino (wine valley), which will take you to a completely different climate, and by extension, terroir. The third option is to stay in Buenos Aires and let the wine come to you by visiting wine bars (check these out), talking to sommeliers, and doing some tastings.
Mount Fitz Roy, Argentina's must-do mountain summit | © Pixabay
Monte Fitz Roy is one Argentina’s most iconic sites. The magnificent Andes peak outside El Chaltén attracts hikers the world over for its views, the singular beauty of the summit, and the simple glory of Patagonia itself. Located near the immense Southern Patagonian Ice Field, the mountain sits on the border between Argentina and Chile. Many visitors to Fitz Roy go for treks that last several days and stay in refugios (rustic cabins) along the way. Fun fact: Fitz Roy is the mountain depicted in the logo of outdoors clothing brand Patagonia. More information on visiting Fitz Roy here.
Tango is, quite simply, the sound of Argentina. You don’t need to speak or understand Spanish to touch the soul of this nation – just listen to tango music, watch it danced, or better yet, take a class yourself. Tango arose among the lower classes in Argentina and Uruguay in the late 19th century and soon spread worldwide. Alongside the intimate dance form came tango songs, characterized by their heart-rending melodies and nostalgic, often romantic lyrics. Many Argentines know classic tango songs off by heart, and will sing along to them in little bars or cafes frequented by tango musicians in Buenos Aires. If you want to hear tango music in Buenos Aires, follow the tango duo, Siete Cuerdas. If you want to see a tango dance performance, go to a milonga at La Catedral – a milonga is the name for this tango-dancing group event. If you want a multi-day immersion experience into the world of tango, check out Tango Adventure. Alternatively, ask your Argentine hosts or friends about different ways to experience tango music. It won’t be hard to find tango in Argentina – and once it’s found you, you’ll never forget it.