Argentina is a country that has a lot to offer: From its vibrant capital to miracles of natures like Foz do Iguacu, you can find almost everything that a traveler would like to! Today I want to present you 14 of the best locations in Argentina, together with some of my fellow travel bloggers. And I’m sure you will find some inspiration for your next trip with these amazing places in Argentina.
As one of the main tourist attractions in Argentina, Bariloche is a hub for adventure sports and nature lovers. Located in northern Patagonia, along the border with Chile, the region is blessed with an abundance of lakes and mountains to discover. Sparsely inhabited until the Argentinian government decided to create a centre for winter sports in the 1930’s, Bariloche has a feeling of being in the Swiss Alps. The streets of the city are lined with fondue restaurants, chocolate shops, and outdoor stores.
However, the highlight of Bariloche is undoubtedly its nature. World-class day hikes take you to viewpoints to see the surrounding lakes that stretch out as far as the eye can see and up mountains to beautiful lodges. If you are more of a fan of water sport, Kitesurfing, white water rafting, kayaking, and supping can all be practiced nearby. In winter, the city turns into a top ski resort.
Unfortunately, all of this tends to come with a high price point, which can make it difficult for those on a budget to explore. Have a look at Tales From The Lens’ post for a full list of what activities can be done in Bariloche for free or on a budget.
Submission by Jenny & Steven, Tales From The Lens
If you fly to Argentina, Buenos Aires will most likely be your starting point for your adventure. The bustling capital is an exciting place to explore – you can feel the vibe of European influence, combined with unique Argentinian culture, in many of the city’s cafes, streets, and architecture.
Buenos Aires is rich in culture – don’t miss the most famous café in the country, Café Tortoni. While sipping your latte and trying a churro dipped in chocolate – a delicacy here – look around at the beautiful décor of the café. And if this is not your cup of tea, you can hit some of the best restaurants in Argentina for its famous meaty cuisine.
There are tons of tourist highlights in Buenos Aires. You can visit the famous Pink Palace, as well as the elaborate cemetery where they interred Evita Peron, one of the most famous Argentinians who ever lived.
My favorite area of Buenos Aires is the up and coming Puerto Madera neighborhood. Here, you will find modern steel and glass architecture, including the famous Calatrava bridge and the Floralis Generica flower sculpture. This beautiful metallic sculpture is designed to bloom during the day and close at night. It has become a new symbol of Argentina and Buenos Aires. Altogether, Buenos Aires is a location in Argentina you can not miss.
Submission by Halef & Michael, The Round The World Guys
Cachi may not be high on the Argentina travel bucket list. Indeed, the whole of northern Argentina is often skipped over by visitors in favour of vibrant Buenos Aires or the mountains of Patagonia or the wineries of Mendoza. But those who make the effort will be rewarded with mountainous landscapes and a relaxed city that’s easy to explore for a few days.
Despite not knowing much about this tiny town (population 2,600), we added it to our north Argentina road trip itinerary. We arrived after a stunning journey that made it hard for our driver (my husband) to keep his eyes on the road.
There are a few walking tracks around Cachi, or horses for hire, but we chose to take a little easier, spending our days sampling the local wines. Cachi is on the Salta Wine Route, which winds its way through the small towns of the north of the country. We started at Miraluna, where we sipped wine straight from the tank. A few bottles were taken back to our hotel where they were consumed with picada, a plate of cheeses and hams.
When we weren’t tasting the local varietals, we simply wandered around, ducking into small shops and avoiding the heat of the day in the shady town plaza. We ate lunch in restaurants where there was no written menu and had to rely on the waiters who reeled off the daily specials.
After long days of travelling on our nine-day road trip through northern Argentina, Cachi was the perfect place for some downtime and is a great addition for every Argentina itinerary.
Submission by Rebecca Arnold, Rebecca and the World
When you think of Argentina and wine, Mendoza is what always pops up in people’s mind. And Mendoza with its Malbec is definitely one of the finest wine regions in the world! However, Argentina has a second world-class wine region and that is Cafayate!
Not only has Cafayate a stunning number of 360 days of sunshine per year – it also lies at an altitude of 1,600m above sea level, making it one of the highest wine regions in the world. Due to the altitude, the wine that is produced there has a very complex taste with lots of tannins and less acidity.
But it’s not so much about the latest-trend high altitude wines why I fell in love with this place when visiting it in November 2017 – it’s about how close together all the wineries are! While in Mendoza you need to book an expensive wine tour or have a car and a designated driver, in Cafayate you can simply walk from winery to winery! And I can tell you-you better start your day early – there is LOTS of wine to taste.
Wineries are wherever you look in Cafayate!
Some of the wineries are even directly in the tiny city center and those are:
- Bodega Nanni (organic wines, small fee for tasting, they have awesome food as well!)
- Bodega Domingo Hermanos (bigger industrialized product, wine + cheese tasting for a small fee)
- Bodega El Transito (free tasting, but only few wines for tasting, only their cheapest ones)
- Bodega Salvador Figueroa
And guess what – we tried them all and it was definitely a fun thing to do! We especially liked Bodega Nanni for their laid-back vibe, extensive tasting options, and their awesome restaurant! In fact, their steak was one of the best we had during our whole trip to Argentina!
But don’t worry – it doesn’t stop with only four wineries – once you leave the city you will find even more wineries:
North of Cafayate:
- Bodega Vasija Secreto (good selection of wines, super beautiful scenery!)
- Bodega El Esteco (very few wines for tasting, mostly sell bottles)
- Piatelli Vineyards (American run, super professional and friendly tasting, awesome food as well!)
- Bodega San Pedro de Yacochuya
South of Cafayate:
- Bodega Finca Las Nubes
- Finca Quara Valle de Cafayate
- Bodegas Etchard Cafayate
We only went to the northern wineries and unfortunately, we managed to get one of the 5 rainy days in the year! It was actually such a torrential rain, that the Argentinian police came, collected us on the road to Bodefa San Pedro and advised us to go back as it would dangerous because of the slippery path. Luckily, they were nice enough to drive us back to Piatelli Vineyards were we then had a terrific lunch! Piatelli also has a winery in Mendoza – so you can try both and compare how different the same grape taste from those two wine regions!
How to get to Cafayate and where to stay
We only spent a little over 48h in Cafayate before we went back to Salta with the local bus. This is by far the easiest way to reach Cafayate – and from Salta, you can either connect to the south via Cordoba or to the north via Tupiza heading into Bolivia!
There is no shortness of nice hotels and cheaper pension to stay in Cafayate – just try to be close to Parque Plaza 20 de Febrero. We stayed in Hostal de Suri – it was totally okay for the low price and everyone was very friendly!
Besides the closeness of the wineries, there is also another benefit to visiting the lesser known wine region of Cafayate – and that is that there are much fewer tourist around! It’s definitely not a hidden place – but at least you will also meet a decent number of Argentinians there as well, which makes it one of the loveliest locations in Argentina.
Submission by Sarah, Fernwehsarah
Cave of Hands
In the middle of Patagonia, far from anything else you might otherwise visit, is one of Argentina’s most incredible sites. It’s called the Cave of Hands (or Cueva de los Manos, in Spanish) and it’s a testament to the fascinating history of Argentina.
These caves are where the hunters of Patagonia would stay as they passed through more than 9000 years ago. They followed the animals and the seasons and would spend time here each year. On the walls, they left their mark with handprints and paintings of their lives. These ancient images in the caves show animals, humans, hunting methods, and aspects of daily work.
It is very hard to get to the Cave of Hands because of the distances involved. It’s a bit easier if you have your own vehicle but I found a bus company that stopped nearby overnight on a two-day trip between Puerto Madryn and El Chalten.
But the benefit of the site being so isolated is that it is rarely crowded. When I visited, I was the first person to come that day. The local guide showed me around on my own, which gave me a much more intimate experience. It’s nice to have a calm and quiet atmosphere at the Cave of Hands because there’s a lot to think about when you see something this special.
Submission by Michael Turtle, Time Travel Turtle
The village El Chaltén located in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park in the Santa Cruz province is referred to as the hiking capital of Argentina It’s a gateway to a huge variety of trails surrounding the peaks of Cerro Torre and Mount Fitz Roy. The colourful town fringing the Southern Patagonian Ice Field today only exist for tourism. We really enjoyed the vibe in the town, everybody is here to hike. There are four free campsites in the park where you can camp to do a multi-day hike; most people, however, do one-day routes returning to town every night. It is a major trekking destination due to the wide variety of trekking routes that are accessible to all fitness and experience levels. There are several trails that lead to the main viewpoints, each taking between four and eleven hours to hike from the town.
The trails are well marked and free maps are available all over the town. The most popular one-day hikes are named after the viewpoint where the respective trails end. The one-day trails are Laguna Capri, Laguna Torre, and Laguna de Los Tres. There are also two well-known, structured multi-day hikes in the park; Piedra del Fraile and the Huemul circuit known as the toughest hike in the region.
Submission by Stingy Nomads
Foz do Iguacu
Without a doubt, Foz do Iguacu is one of the most spectacular locations in Argentina, if not the whole world. With the pure power of these waterfalls, that is one of the main attractions of the country, they attract visitors from all around the world.
But you can’t just mention the main waterfall when talking of Foz do Iguacu, as there are dozens of other interesting places, such as hidden (smaller) waterfalls, mainly on the Argentinan side, a bird park and several options to explore the region by safari or helicopter.
In my opinion, the Iguazu Falls should be on every traveler’s bucket list – and can not be missed as one of the most incredible places in Argentina.
Would you expect the world’s second largest wetlands to be in Argentina? Welcome to the Esteros del Iberá! At the core of these wetlands is a protected area of a staggering 13,000 square kilometres.
To visit, it’s best to stay in the village of Carlos Pellegrini. It’s a fairly basic and very relaxed small settlement with dusty sand roads and only one small general store. You can find all kinds of accommodation, from basic to a nice guest house, set in a lush tropical garden. Carlos Pellegrini has a nice shady campground too.
The local Guarani people offer numerous activities to explore the wetlands: longboat trips, walks along the raised boardwalk or through the forest, night spotting of wildlife, and so on – all with a focus on preservation and respect for the fragile environment.
You will encounter many rare or endangered mammals, like marsh deer; watch countless tropical birds, and discover unusual plants and insects. For a beautiful sunset over the water, stroll to the large village lagoon before dusk. On the way, you might even stumble across an alligator or a capybara crossing the road. Capybaras are large rodents, who graze on plants in the swampland.
The Iberá Wetlands are best reached from the town of Mercedes. If you are travelling by road, they make a nice stopover between Buenos Aires and the Jesuit Missions in Misiones Province of Argentina, on the way to Iguazu Falls. In any case, the Ibera Wetlands are one of the most beautiful places in Argentina.
Submission by Juergen Klein, dare2go
Jujuy is a small province in Northwest Argentina that isn’t given the love it deserves. This region of the country (that strongly resembles a combination of Bolivia and the American Southwest) is often visited as a day trip from the city of Salta. I’m here to make the case that you should make Jujuy a destination of its own. We spent 3 days in Jujuy and left with plenty remaining unseen.
There are more than a few beautiful little villages to visit in Jujuy. Purmarca is a quaint town that’s perfect for shopping for hand-woven tapestries and is home to the stunning 7 colored hill. In Tilcara you can visit a pre-Incan fortress. Further north in Humahuaca, after strolling through the old village, drive to the 14 colored mountain and prepare to have your breath taken away (both from the beauty and the altitude!). And the more elusive Iruya is a village that is practically clinging to the cliffs in the mountains, offering magnificent views of the landscape and condors soaring in the sky.
Have I mentioned the food? How have I forgotten the food?! The empanadas in this area are some of the best in Argentina, with some including more unusual ingredients such as quinoa. You can try llama (which was surprisingly tender and flavorful) or one of the many traditional stews that will keep you warm on the cold nights. If you want to get off the beaten track and see one of the most beautiful locations in Argentina you absolutely have to include a visit to Jujuy!
Submission by Erin, Sol Salute
La Brava Lake
Here is a beautiful lake that will keep you coming back for more with its huge selection of gorgeous views and wildlife. If you’re a birdwatcher, get ready for herons, ducks, swans, and gulls, among others. If you like to fish, fishing is permitted, and the main species you will find include silverside and dentudo.
You will also see some capybaras and otters-so if you’ve never seen them, get ready. You also might consider bringing your tent and sleeping bag because camping is allowed. The views are what makes this destination a must-see.
Bring a camera or a sketchbook if you’re an artist. The different colors of mountains and water are dazzling and will leave you impressed beyond belief. There are salt lakes nearby…and because of this and the landscape’s colors, we loved it.
The elevation here is around 10,000 feet, and you will need a guide with a 4×4 vehicle to reach the place. You are also going to see things like Pissis, which is a volcanic peak at 22,297 feet, and even some pink flamingos among other forms of wildlife. You might even continue your journey to Corona Del Inca, another breathtaking lake of the most beautiful locations in Argentina at 18,000 feet altitude.
Submission by Nylon Pink
One of the top things to do in Argentina is visiting its incredible glaciers. The most iconic one is the Perito Moreno. Seeing it from a distance, it looks like a huge river of ice slowly moving towards a lake and surrounded by beautiful mountains. Looking at it from a closer perspective, as it can be done during a boat trip on Lake Argentino, it looks like a wall of ice. The boat usually goes along the Canal de los Témpanos, and eventually right to the bottom of the glaciers, from where it is possible to see small icebergs floating on the lake.
What’s incredible about Perito Moreno is that one doesn’t just see the glacier: it is possible to also hear it. The sound it makes as big chunks of ice crack from the main body of the glacier and then fall into the water is unique, and from a distance, it sounds a bit like a thunder.
Those that enjoy extreme adventures may be happy to know that it is possible to hike the Perito Moreno – on a guided tour and carrying all the appropriate gear. One word of warning though: it is colder than one may expect, even in the summer months, so make sure to wear appropriate clothes when visiting this beautiful place in Argentina.
Submission by Claudia Tavani, My Adventures Across The World
Puerto Madryn was one of the first stops of my trip around the world. There are two main highlights why travelers find their way to this small town in Northern Patagonia:
- You can do a trip to the penguin colony in Punta Tombo. It’s quite a long ride – three hours with a jeep so make sure you’re taking the full-day tour. But it’s so worth it! Once you get there, you will wander around on wooden pathways getting close to the Magellanic penguins. Every year, Between September and April, they come here to nest. When the chicks are freshly hatched, the colony consists of around 2 million penguins – the largest in the world.
- I did my first whale watching tour here. Sometimes, you can even spot them from the promenade of Puerto Madryn but it’s recommended to do a tour to the Peninsula Valdés. I was standing in awe on board of the boat while a few Baleen Whales females took care of their little ones. They come here between May and December for mating and giving birth. It’s also possible to spot Orcas.
For me, there is also a personal touch why I loved Puerto Madryn so much: Yes, I do love penguins and whales, and seeing them both for the first time was truly breathtaking. But it was my first stop on the trip around the world at the sea. And somehow it was there that I understood where I was and what I was actually doing. It was the beginning of my life as a digital nomad!
Submission by Barbara Riedel, Barbaralicious
San Ignacio is an off the beaten path destination in Argentina. The town is in Misiones Province and is a pleasant three-hour drive from the often-visited Iguazu Falls. But those in the area, shouldn’t hesitate to make the drive to San Ignacio. The town provides good insight to Argentinian culture and history. San Ignacio town is home to San Ignacio Mini, a UNESCO World Heritage Site Jesuit Ruin. San Ignacio Mini is the best- preserved Jesuit Ruin in all of Argentina.
To avoid overcrowding, there are timed entrances into the ruins so make sure to plan your day accordingly. There is also an interesting sound and light show held at the San Ignacio ruins at night. Unfortunately, entrance for the sound and light show is a separate ticket. The show highlights the story of the Guarani people during the height of the Missions. In addition, San Ignacio is a great base to explore many ruins in the area and some are still shrouded in the jungle. The town can even be a jumping off point for trips into Paraguay.
Besides learning about the Guarani culture from visiting the ruins, it is also possible to visit a present-day Guarani community. The tribe is less than an hour drive away from the town. The tour is guided and provides a good insight into how the community is balancing modern culture while maintaining their traditions.
Submission by Christina, Wandering Wagars
Ushuaia proudly calls itself the City at the End of the World and lays claim to being the southern-most city. (In fact, Puerto Williams in Chile is slightly further south, but it’s a town, not a city). Labels aside, Ushuaia is a highlight of visiting Argentina and worth the trip down to the end of the Pan-American Highway (by bus, car or plane). Its location on the shores of the Beagle Channel at the foot of the Martial Glacier mountain range is spectacular.
Most people come here to take a cruise to Antarctica, but it has a lot to offer itself. There is a small museum in town (The Museum at the End of the World), but the reason to come here is nature. Days are long in summer and the Beagle Channel in the golden light of an extended twilight is incredibly beautiful. Walk up the hills behind the town and then take a cable car the rest of the way up to the Martial Glacier, where the hills are snow-capped even in summer, for incredible views over Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel. Go hiking in nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park or take a cruise to see seals and stunning mountain scenery.
Ushuaia is one of the best locations in Argentina (and the world!) to see penguins and a trip to Martillo Island is an absolute must-do. There are three kinds of penguins roosting here in the thousands! You will not regret making the effort to get to Ushuaia!
Submission by James, Travel Collecting