Ranging from balmy subtropical reaches in the north, to the frosty Antarctic shores of the Patagonian south, Argentina is one of the world’s most geographically diverse countries. Its kaleidoscope of landscapes offer endless adventure and leisure opportunities, and this natural variety – coupled with its warm, animated locals, delectable carnivorous cuisine and fascinating history – make it a captivating and unforgettable travel destination. Whether you’re most likely to be spellbound by the spectacular torrents of Iguazu Falls, the sprawling ski slopes of Bariloche, the vibrant capital of Buenos Aires, or the age-old Inca city of Humahuaca, Argentina has something to delight and mesmerise even the most seasoned explorer.

From its tropical north to its glacial south, Argentina boasts more diversity and beauty than its fair share, and it takes time to grasp the multitude of environments and experiences on offer.  Despite the country’s tumultuous political heritage, the people of Argentina remain friendly , open and willing to share a laugh with a new amigo.  Do as the Argentines do – accept the concept of time as fluid and draw in all that life brings to greet you.

 

Best time to visit

March to May (spring)

 

Experiences

  • Being enchanted by street tango at the Sunday antique market in San Telmo
  • Listening to the deafening roar of the spectacular Iguazũ Falls
  • Indulging your chocolate cravings in Bariloche
  • Taking in the dizzy heights of Cristo Redentor in the Central Andes
  • Getting friendly with a magellanic penguin at the Peninsula Valdés wildlife sanctuary
  • Staying at a gaucho ranch in Las Pampas

 

Eat

Empanadas (turnovers stuffed with savoury fillings), alfajores ( popular seet) and facturas (sweet pastries)

 

Drink

Mate (pronounced mah-tay), licuados (milk-blended fruit drinks) and chopp (lager)

 

Surprises

World-class helado (ice cream), locals enjoying mate on the bus (and just about everywhere), gauchos still in traditional dress

 

Lake District Argentina

Argentina’s Lake District is a wilderness wonderland of pristine glacial lakes, cascading waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and forested valleys where condors fly overhead. In this spectacular setting, you can go trekking, fishing or skiing, or simply relax and soak up the scenery. While nature is the prime attraction here, the region encompasses several charming towns that act as gateways for exploring the surrounds. Arguably the most enticing of all these is beautiful Bariloche – set on the banks of Lake Nahuel Huapi against a backdrop of rugged, snowy peaks that have earned it the nickname ‘Argentina’s Switzerland’. Another lovely stop is San Martín de los Andes, located on Lake Lácar beneath the Mount Lanín volcano. This beguiling village has a shabby-chic charm – its slightly dilapidated buildings interspersed with rambling rose bushes and spiky ‘monkey puzzle’ trees.

 

Northeast Argentina

Northeast Argentina includes the provinces of Misiones, Corrientes and Entre Ríos. It is home to one of the world’s most magnificent waterfalls – the cascading Iguazu Falls. This beautiful area is traversed by the meandering rivers of Iguazu, Parana and Uruguay, vast wetlands alive with a variety of birdlife and a host of vibrant cities. Visitors can explore the colonial architecture of Santa Fe, visit the stylish city of Corrientes, and discover the capital city of Posadas, which serves as the gateway remnants of the Jesuit missions. There are also a variety of beautiful National Parks dotting the Northeast, which are home to an array of wildlife. Other popular attractions include: Mocona Falls and the serene Esteros del Ibera wetlands.

 

Northwest Argentina

Encompassing the provinces of Catamarca, Jujuy, La Rioja, Salta, Santiago del Estero and Tucumán, Northwest Argentina covers some impressive landscapes. The region’s landscape is characterised by fertile valleys, majestic Andean mountains, tropical jungles, and red-rock canyons and mountain passes. Visitors can look forward to trekking in Quebrada de las Conchas, exploring the scenic provinces and discovering an array of popular destinations including: Quebrada de Humahuaca Valley, the Cerro de Los Siete Colores, Cafayate Calchaquí Valley, Tafí del Valle, as well as many colourful, bustling cities.

Southern Patagonia

The Argentine section of Southern Patagonia is a phenomenal place where sheep outnumber humans at the end of the world. It is known for its icy windswept landscapes, vast expanses of remote empty Patagonian Steppe and diverse wildlife. This scenic remote landscape is home to the region’s top highlights: the Torres del Paine National Park which spills over into Chile and the Los Glaciares National Park, which both feature deep fjords, snow-dusted mountains, expansive glaciers and ancient forests. Visitors to this area can enjoy some of the most beautiful natural attractions in the world including: the annual rendezvous of the Southern Right Whale at the rugged Peninsula Valdes and the stunning Patagonian Ice Fields boasting colossal glaciers. Popular activities include: hiking, camping, whale watching, mountaineering, climbing and horse riding.

 

Northern Patagonia

Northern Patagonia’s remote stark interior draws visitors looking for a unique adventure. It is known for its breathtaking unspoilt beauty featuring lush valleys, dense rainforest, scrubby steppe, clear cascading rivers, turquoise lakes, massive glaciers and labyrinthine fjords. This spectacularly scenic area expands across both Argentina and Chile. The famous Carretera Austral dissects Northern Patagonia, cutting its path through untouched wilderness passed soaring snowcapped mountains, Ice Age glaciers, lakes, rivers and fjords, and one of the world’s largest swaths of temperate rainforest. Don’t miss the San Rafael Glacier in the Northern Patagonian Ice Field within the magnificent Laguna San Rafael National Park.

 

Northern Patagonia

Northern Patagonia’s remote stark interior draws visitors looking for a unique adventure. It is known for its breathtaking unspoilt beauty featuring lush valleys, dense rainforest, scrubby steppe, clear cascading rivers, turquoise lakes, massive glaciers and labyrinthine fjords. This spectacularly scenic area expands across both Argentina and Chile. The famous Carretera Austral dissects Northern Patagonia, cutting its path through untouched wilderness passed soaring snowcapped mountains, Ice Age glaciers, lakes, rivers and fjords, and one of the world’s largest swaths of temperate rainforest. Don’t miss the San Rafael Glacier in the Northern Patagonian Ice Field within the magnificent Laguna San Rafael National Park.

 

Buenos Aires

Situated on Argentina’s Rio de la Plata coast, Buenos Aires is a thriving portside capital defined by a rich history, vibrant culture and strong European influence, with the result that it’s sometimes called The Paris of South America. Countless museums covering a cornucopia of subjects; an active theatre culture; carnivorous buffets second to none; sensuous tango performances; a mosaic of architecture; and shops to fit all fancies – all these facets and more make up the seductive blend that is Buenos Aires. Some of the city’s highlights include the buzz of the La Bombonera Stadium; tango and milonga venues such as the Bohemian La Catedral; and heritage architecture such as that at the Cementerio de la Recoleta, where visitors can wander through a ‘city’ of massive statues and marble mausoleums. Don’t miss the International Festival of Independent Cinema and the vibrant annual Pride Parade.

 

Perito Moreno

Perito Moreno is a settlement in Argentina’s Santa Cruz Province. Cattle rearing, agriculture, and tourism are the major economic activities in the town. Some nearby tourist attraction in Perito Moreno includes Parque Nacional Perito Moreno, Museo Gradin and Cueva de las Manos. There are a variety of hotels and guest houses for tourists to lodge in. Authentic Argentine cuisines can be enjoyed at any of the local restaurants in the town

 

Perito Moreno National Park

Perito Moreno National Park is located in Argentina’s far southwest near the Chilean border and is not to be confused with the Perito Moreno Glacier, which is located further south. Named in honour of the explorer Francisco Moreno, the park was established in 1937 and is one of the country’s oldest reserves, as well as one of its most isolated. Visitors who travel here will be rewarded with serene seclusion and striking vistas of snowy mountains and bright turquoise lakes. The stunning surrounds are home to a rich diversity of wildlife, including pumas, wildcats, foxes, falcons and eagles.

 

El Calafate

Located in deep in Patagonia’s snow-capped netherlands, on the southern shore of Lake Argentino, El Calafate has become a key stopover for travellers headed to nearby Los Glaciares National Park. This icy wonderland that is best known for the spectacular Perito Moreno glacier – a massive, shifting ice cap composed of dozens of smaller glaciers. While Los Glaciares may be the main draw card here, El Calafate has plenty of its own charms: it’s a fun, scenic destination offering a host of outdoor and adventure activities.

 

Puerto Madryn

Stretching along the wide lip of the Nuevo Gulf, Argentina’s Puerto Madryn offers spectacular ocean views and marine wildlife watching, a vibrant restaurant culture, and an array of outdoor sports. There is a variety of beaches to enjoy, including the town beach, lined by restaurants and often hosting concerts, the pristine El Doradillo where visitors can spot whales, and the quiet Playa Parana pebble beach. Seals, dolphins and whales flourish in the waters, and can be seen in a variety of ways: from the shore, as part of boat tours to islands, or up close as part of scuba-diving expeditions. An abundance of wonderful restaurants serve traditional Argentine cuisine like steak or lamb, as well as fantastic seafood and Italian dishes. The many adventure sports on offer include kayaking, boating, diving, kiteboarding, windsurfing, water skiing, hiking, sandboarding and cycling.

 

Tierra del Fuego Province

Set at the southern tip of South America, Tierra del Fuego Province is a scenic province in the southernmost reaches of Argentina. Said to be one of the world’s final frontiers, this region boasts breathtaking scenery, incredible wildlife and rich cultural heritage. This corner of Patagonia provides endless activities and attractions for thrill-seekers and nature lovers. It boasts an array of natural wonders including ancient glaciers, untouched wilderness, national parks, soaring snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, rivers and waterways. Don’t miss a visit to Ushuaia, the city set at the ‘end of the world’, which serves as the jumping-off point for expeditions to the Antarctic.

 

Tierra del Fuego National Park

The world-famous Tierra del Fuego National Park is situated on the Argentine part of the island of Tierra del Fuego and was the first shoreline national park established in Argentina. The park is famous for its sublime views, fascinating history and unique environment. Featuring bright turquoise fjords, green forests close to the coast, and lush valleys created by parallel mountain ranges, the stunning scenery offers breathtaking views and extraordinary photographic opportunities, especially from the renowned lookout point at Lapataia Bay. History enthusiasts can see the ‘concheros’, circles where mollusks accumulated, showing that there were ancient yamanas aboriginal tribes living in the area hundreds of years ago (their main food was seafood). The remarkable Canadian Beavers can be seen from a distance along with their incredible dam systems, which have played a significant role in the environment.

 

San Martin De Los Andes

San Martin De Los Andes has something to offer holidaymakers all year round. In winter, its position at the foot of the Andes, only 19 kilometres (12 miles) from one of Argentina’s most famous ski slopes, Chapelco, makes it a hit with snowboarders and skiers. In summer, the resort town offers a host of adventure sport activities on the shores of Lago Lácar. The Hua-Hum international pass for travel to Chile lies only 45 km (28 miles) from town and is one of the few passes that is open almost all year round, making it a convenient route for travel between the two countries.

Santa Cruz Province

Located in southern Argentina’s, Santa Cruz Province is dominated by the Andes and the ice fields of Patagonia on its western side and meets the Atlantic Ocean on its east. Its native people are the Telhuelches, who remained independent until the late 1800s through almost three centuries of colonialist expansion in the region. The top natural highlight of Santa Cruz is Los Glacieres National Park – particularly the Perito Moreno Glacier, which collapses thunderously every few years in an awe-inspiring spectacle. The town of El Calafate is the main gateway to this frosty wonderland, while the nearby village of El Chaltén is a prime hiking destination at the base of Mount Fitzroy. Puerto Deseado, at the mouth of the Deseado River on the province’s east coast, is a small fishing village with dramatic scenery and rich coastal wildlife, including dolphins, sea lions and both Rockhopper and Magellanic penguins.

 

Purmamarca

 

The ochre cliffs of the Cerro de los Siete Colores (The Hill of Seven Colours) form a magical backdrop to this charming rural village. The colourful layers have been formed over 600 million years by the accumulated deposits of sea, lake and river sediments. The unmistakeable image of the village against these multi-hued mountains can be found on postcards across the country. Every day there is a vibrant market in the central square, where locals and tourists can purchase clay pots, woven goods and handicrafts. Don’t miss a visit to the village church, Iglesia de Santa Rosa de Lima, which was declared a national monument in 1941.

 

Rio Gallegos

 

Located at the mouth of the Gallegos River in Argentina’s far south, Rio Gallegos is a busy harbour city and the capital of Patagonia’s Santa Cruz Province. With its emphasis on industry, it is less of a tourist destination and more of a connection point for onward journeys to El Calafate, Puerto Natales or Ushuaia. However, this coastal port is steadily gaining popularity as an attraction in its own right due to its beautiful natural surrounds and as a base for keen flyfishermen, who come to hone their skills at trout-rich spots along the river. To find out more about the natural history of the area, pop into to the Museo Provincial Padre Jesús Molina in the centre of town, where exhibits include various dinosaur fossils that were discovered nearby. At nearby Cabo Vírgenes you can see candy-pink flocks of flamingos and visit a penguin colony, which is busiest from December to February when it is full of fluffy chicks and fledglings. Laguna Azul is an excellent bird watching spot, located less than an hour’s drive from town and named for its striking shade of turquoise – the effect of its rich mineral content.

 

Villa La Angostura

 

An idyllic ski hub on the shore of Nahuel Huapi Lake, Villa La Angostura welcomes throngs of winter sports enthusiasts each winter. Cerro Bayo ski resort is only 15 minutes (nine kilometres) from town. This quaint town is known for its traditional alpine architecture, chocolate shops, tea rooms and gourmet eateries. Situated inside the Nahuel Huapi National Park, Villa La Angostura also offers magical views of the lake’s glassy surface reflecting the snow capped mountain peaks of the surrounding ridges.

 

Rosario

 

About 300 km up the Parana River from Buenos Aires, lies the major river port city of Rosario. The city is best known as the birthplace of both the Argentine flag and Che Guevara with the two primary attractions being the impressively large National Flag Memorial and Guevara’s first home. Visitors can look forward to a vibrant party scene particularly along the riverbank where the rather charmingly ramshackle buildings have been transformed into hip galleries, trendy restaurants, lively bars. and popular skate parks. The banks of the river also feature some wonderful beaches and islands which buzz with life particularly in the summer months. While adventure lovers will find a variety of services, such as kayaking, city tours on bike, skydiving, and horseback riding, culture enthusiasts will discover an abundance of excellent theaters and museums. There really is never a dull moment in Rosario.

 

Talampaya National Park

 

Set in Argentina’s La Rioja Province, southwest of La Rioja City, the UNESCO-listed, protected area of the Talampaya National Park is famous for its breathtaking red rock formations, its array of fascinating archaeological sites, and its many dinosaurs’ remains. The 150-metre-high red clay walls of Talampaya Canyon are an incredible sight to behold, with their strangely carved shapes exuding the same splendour they have for millions of years and providing some truly swoon-worthy photographic opportunities. History enthusiasts will delight in the chance to explore the remains of ancient indigenous peoples’ settlements (make sure to see the petroglyphs of the Puerta del Canon). There is a gorgeous botanical garden where the canyon narrows and animals such as foxes, condors, hares and guanacos can be spotted. This is also a prime star-gazing location.

 

Esquel

 

Set at the base of the Andes Mountains in northeastern Chubut Province, the town of Esquel was the southernmost stop on the La Trochita railway route. The line once connected stops along 400 kilometres of Patagonia via steam locomotives and was dubbed ‘the railway almost at the end of the world’. While most of the railway has long since been discontinued, some of the original trains still operate in Esquel, taking visitors the 20 kilometres to the hamlet of Nahuel Pan. This tiny village rests the below the mountain of the same name and has a visitor centre where you can engage with locals and learn about traditional customs and handicrafts. Another cultural attraction in the area is the Leleque Museum, located just outside Esquel and housing a vast collection of native relics. The town also serves as a kick-off point to the Los Alerces National Park, with its primeval forests and sparkling lakes, and the dazzling San Rafael Glacier, located just across the border in Chile.

 

Trelew

 

Located in the Chubut Valley in northeastern Patagonia, Trelew is a relatively small Argentinian city which serves as a busy commercial, industrial, and service hub. The town was founded by the Welsh in 1884 and this Welsh influence remains evident in a few remaining chapels in the town centre. The main attraction is undoubtedly the impressive paleontology museum which boasts exhibits of the world’s largest dinosaur fossils. Other highlights include the lovely shady Plaza Independencia in the town centre, packed with mature trees, and hosting a small handicraft market at weekends; the Museo Municipal de Artes Visuales, a fantastic little art gallery featuring local artists; and the Museo Historico Regional Galles, an interesting collection of artifacts detailing the city’s Welsh history.

 

Mendoza

 

Resting in the foothills of Argentina’s Andes Mountain Range, Mendoza has a rich gastronomic heritage, and produces some of Argentina’s most exceptional wines and olive oil. Gourmands can participate in tours and tastings at the many wineries and sample delicious local cuisine at the laid-back cafes. The city also boasts a number of historic attractions, most notably the Museo Fundacional which displays the town’s progress through human evolution, and the Museo Historico General San Martin which honours Jose de San Martin, the general who liberated Argentina from the Spanish. Other highlights include: charming, well-kept parks; bustling, fountain-adorned plazas; and the opportunity for picturesque hiking, skiing and rafting in the nearby Andes. Several exquisite churches and art-deco architecture add to the town’s landscape.

 

Mendoza Wine Region

 

The name Mendoza is synonymous with wine. Surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful Andean scenery, the Mendoza Wine Region is known for its vast vineyards, a wide variety of exceptional wines, and spectacularly majestic scenery. The landscape features desert terrain and mountain vistas interspersed with lush Visitors can look forward to sampling the regions vast selection of world-famous, award-winning vintages including a variety malbecs at an endless array of fantastic wineries. Other popular activities include: white-water rafting, rock-climbing skiing, horse riding and other adventures in the nearby Andes. Don’t miss the opportunity to hike several magnificent peaks on the Cordon del Plata reaching over 6000 metres above sea level and take on the highest peak in the Americas, Mt Aconcagua.

 

 

Los Glaciares National Park

 

 

Situated in the Austral Andes in the Santa Cruz Province of southwest Argentina, the Los Glaciares National Park is known for its magnificent natural beauty. Glacial lakes, towering mountains and majestic glaciers merge to create an awe-inspiring spectacle of nature. It is the largest national park in the country, stretching over 7000 square kilometres. This UNESCO World Heritage site features a sprawling collection of spectacularly beautiful glaciers. Perito Moreno, one of the most famous glaciers because of its dynamic changes, can be seen in the southern area of the park; whilst granite peaks and forests characterise the northern area of this world-renowned park. Visitors can explore the mountain village of El Chalten, soak up the dramatic views of the glaciers with their calving ice falls into Lake Argentino, and discover the various types of Andean-Patagonian Forest, Patagonian Steppe and unique high-altitude vegetation blanketing the landscape.

 

Cordoba Province

 

Situated in the stunning Pampas region, Cordoba is a province in the heart of Argentina. It is home to the Sierras de Cordoba comprising three breathtakingly beautiful mountain ranges. It has some spectacular countryside which features dense woodlands, endless lush green belts, rivers, valleys and amazing mountain scenery. This province boasts a fascinating blend of traditional and modern, cultural and historical; offering everything from adventure activities, quaint mountain villages, delightful cuisine and countless natural, historical and cultural attractions. Must-see sites include: the Che Guevara Museum; the exquisite Alta Gracia Cathedral; the mystical Uritorco Hill; the beautiful city of Villa Carlos Paz; the popular Punilla Valley; and the 17th-century Jesuit Estancias, World Heritage Sites and undoubtedly the star attractions of Cordoba Province.

 

Cordoba

 

Located in northwest Argentina, the province of Cordoba is a growing tourist hub offering a diverse selection of sights and activities. The capital of Cordoba is known as ‘Argentina’s second city’, and boasts a wealth of magnificent buildings around the UNESCO-listed area of Manzana de los Jesuitas, as well as hip nightlife and shopping in the neighbourhood of Barrio Guemes. Elsewhere in the province, Estancia Los Potreros is a renowned centre for horse riding trails through the Argentine pampas (grasslands), and history lovers will want to check out the museum of Villa Beatriz in Alta Gracia, the former home of revolutionary figure Che Guevara. Finally, Villa General Belgrano features a curious German aesthetic, with Alpine-style buildings and many ‘traditional’ beerhouses to choose from.

 

 

Valdes Peninsula

 

 

Situated on the Atlantic coast just off central Argentina, Peninsula Valdes is connected to the mainland by the narrow isthmus of Carlos Ameghino. Arid and barren, the landscape is harsh, but its shores and protected ocean bays support a profusion of marine life. It is a key breeding site for the endangered southern right whale, as well as the southern elephant seal, southern sea lion and Magellan penguin. It was here that the iconic wildlife scene of orcas bursting onto the beach in their hunt for sea lion pups was first filmed for the BBC’s Trials of Life documentary.

 

Mar del Plata

 

Golden beaches lined with hotel skyscrapers typify Mar del Plata. Holidaymakers cram the shoreline in between to stake their spot on the sand as the hordes flock from Buenos Aires for the cooler climes of Argentina’s sought after beach resort every summer. Dubbed the ‘Happy City’, this seaside metropolis has packed-out theatres, a thriving nightlife and bustling Casino Central. Since the 1900s Mar del Plata has been the summer residence of choice for Argentina’s aristocrats, and many of their decadent historical homes can be seen in the suburbs on the outskirts of town.

 

Tigre

 

Tigre is located in the province of Buenos Aires in northeast Argentina. The most scenic way to access this popular tourist hub is via the Tren de la Costa, which arrives from Maipu. Tigre boasts some excellent sights, such as Puerto de Frutos – a craft fair located in a historic riverside fruit market – as well as an interesting Naval Museum and the Museum of Fine Art, housed in the grand Tigre Club building. However, Tigre’s greatest drawcard is the access it offers to the nearby Parana Delta, a vast and biodiverse area of river tributaries, wetlands and islands. Tours of the Delta vary in length, from gentle day trips to more intense excursions that can include canoeing and kayaking on the open waters.

Quebrada de Humahuaca

 

 

Located in northern Argentina and flanking the Rio Grande River, the UNESCO-listed Quebrada de Humahuaca is a narrow mountain valley known for its mesmerising rock formations and its indigenous Quechuan villages. The Hill of the Seven Colours (Cerro de los Siete Colores) is a rainbow masterpiece, while the limestone formation called Serrania de Hornocal presents a sculpture of triangular-shaped striped rockfaces. The desert valley holds evidence of life dating back 10, 000 years, from early hunter-gatherer tribes to pre-Hispanic communities, Incan culture, Spanish colonizers, and into the 20th century. The villages of Quebradea are filled with ancestral roots, as the indigenous peoples of the area still practise the same rites, festivals, art, music and agricultural techniques as they did hundreds of years ago, making this a unique place to experience traditional culture firsthand.

 

Cachi

 

Cachi is a lovely little town located in the province of Salta in northwest Argentina. The ‘Jewel of the Calchaqui Valley’, Cachi boasts picturesque adobe (mud brick) architecture, spectacular highland scenery and popular local vineyards. While there are some lovely walks in and around Cachi, as well as horse riding opportunities, don’t miss the chance to take a day trip to the Parque Nacional Los Cardones, located just 40 kilometres away. This incredible National Park is home to rugged desert landscapes, towering cacti and interesting, colourful rock formations. Guided tours of the park are available and easily organised from Cachi. Finally, another must-see natural attraction near Cachi is the Quebrada de las Flechas (Ravine of the Arrows), an astounding area of jagged, vibrantly red rocks.

 

Ushuaia

 

Widely regarded world’s southernmost city, Ushuaia is a strikingly beautiful destination on the southern coastline of Tierra del Fuego Island, backed by mountains and facing onto Beagle channel. The city’s elegant commercial centre offers a variety of cultural and entertainment activities, while its natural location means that adventure enthusiasts are spoilt for choice, with kayaking, skiing, hiking and sailing all on offer. For a more serene excursion, boat cruises are a popular way to view the glacier off Ushuaia’s coast.

 

San Carlos de Bariloche

 

The Argentinian Lake District’s most popular destination, Bariloche is a city for all seasons, with a setting second to none – stretching along a lake shoreline, surrounded by national park. The region offer myriad activities and leisure opportunities: whether you want to go skiing, hiking, fly-fishing, or simply kick back and indulge in an epicurean feast, it’s all there for the taking. The cities numerous cafés and chocolate shops are a delight to explore by day, while after sunset, the city lights up with bars and nightclubs, where locals and visitors dance the night away.

 

Salta

 

An enticing mix of historical architecture, picturesque views and sprawling vineyards awaits travellers to Salta, located in the lovely Lerma Valley in the Andean foothills. Simply wandering through the streets of the central city area will take you past a variety of impressive 18th and 19th century buildings, including the neoclassical Cathedral of Salta, the ornate Church of Saint Francis and the Museum of High Mountain Archaeology – housing a collection of ancient Inca relics. A more hedonistic attraction is the area’s array of wineries, while for panoramic views over the region visitors should head to the top of San Bernado Hill.

 

Jujuy

 

Jujuy is the capital of the region of the same name in northwest Argentina, a geographical area known for the outstanding natural beauty of the UNESCO-listed canyon known as Quebrada de Humahuaca. Jujuy itself is home to some excellent sights: chief among these are the Museo Arqueologico (a stunning archaeological collection); Government House, which is home to Argentina’s original flag; and the fine 18th-century Iglesia Cathedral. Jujuy, most importantly, makes a fantastic base for exploring nearby Purmamarca, the start of the 155-kilometre canyon that draws visitors from all over the world. Purmamarca is located at the base of the astonishing natural sight of Cerro de Siete Colores, a hill consisting of seven different colours, stacked up in layers caused by millions of years of mineral deposits.

 

Puerto Iguazu

 

Resting at the confluence of the Parana and Iguazu rivers, Puerto Iguazu is a charming tourist city that serves as the gateway to Iguazu Falls on the Argentinian side of the border. It is surrounded by red rocky landscape interspersed with verdant forest inhabited by abundant wildlife. The city a popular tourist destination and draws visitors from around the globe to visit the Iguazu National Park and its breathtaking waterfalls. Visitors can also explore the spectacularly scenic surroundings through a variety of activities including: jumping on one of the many tours on offer, enjoying an array of outdoor activities, visiting the Guira Oga- ‘The House of Birds’ and soaking up the views from the Hito de las Tres Fronteras.

 

Tilcara

 

Resting in the picturesque of Quebrada de Humahuaca valley, the enchanting town of Tilcara is set in the Jujuy Province in northern Argentina. It is known for its rich traditions, scenic landscapes and delicious cuisine. The steep streets lined with earth-and-straw brick buildings in this city are well worth exploring. The archaeological heritage of the area is also interesting and visits to the pre-Hispanic Pucara Ruins, the Sculptures Museum and a Carnival Museum are a must. Other activities in and around the city include caravanning with lamas, visiting the local botanical gardens and meandering along the Garganta del Diablo, an imposing waterfall in the Huasamayo River. Don’t miss a visit to the Dr Eduardo Casanova Archaeological Museum and the Jose. A. Terry Museum displays paintings of local life.

 

Ibera Wetlands

 

This watery Eden in northern Argentina is a natural paradise of flora and fauna, covering an area of approximately 15,000 km². It is one of the most important fresh water reservoirs on the continent and the second-largest wetland in the world after the Pantanal in Brazil. Located 800 km north of Buenos Aires, the wetlands are of pluvial origin, formed by abundant rainfall over thousands of years. Bird-watchers flock to its watery canals to seek out the 350-plus avaian species that can be found there. The Ibera Wetlands are also home to capybaras, howler monkeys, caiman, deer, otters and anacondas.

 

Huacalera

 

Tucked away in the mountainous province of Jujuy in northwestern Argentina, the tiny village of Huacalera is located about 16km north of Tilcara. A roadside attraction, Huacalera’s favourable latitudinal location on the Tropic of Capricorn brings throngs of tourists travelling on the Ruta 9 to stop for a ‘selfie’; just outside of town travellers will find the Tropic of Capricorn monolith and oversized sundial. For fans of historical architecture, the small chapel in town is worth seeking out, as is the neo-colonial homestead of the Hotel Huacalera.

 

Mar del Plata

 

Golden beaches lined with hotel skyscrapers typify Mar del Plata. Holidaymakers cram the shoreline in between to stake their spot on the sand as the hordes flock from Buenos Aires for the cooler climes of Argentina’s sought after beach resort every summer. Dubbed the ‘Happy City’, this seaside metropolis has packed-out theatres, a thriving nightlife and bustling Casino Central. Since the 1900s Mar del Plata has been the summer residence of choice for Argentina’s aristocrats, and many of their decadent historical homes can be seen in the suburbs on the outskirts of town.

 

 

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