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Before knowing the best places to visit in Argentina, we can take some short notes on about the country. Argentina is a massive nation located in South America. It is an independent republic featuring diverse landscapes from rich plains to thick jungle, pastoral steppes, grand mountains, and striking glaciers. Argentina has a huge terrain that encompasses the Andes Mountains, Pampas’s grassland and glacial lakes. Pampas’s grassland is the traditional grazing ground of the renowned beef cattle of Argentina. Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas, is located on the western border of Argentina. It also holds Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, which lies on its lower shore. Even though this country has these interesting places, it is more famous for tango, football and steak.
Buenos Aires is perhaps the most obvious reason to visit Argentina. Among the Latin American capitals, it is one of the most enthralling cities. Buenos Aires is a fascinating place where you can just wander about simply soaking up the unique atmosphere. It is one of the best places to visit in Argentina where you can watch soccer or go shopping.
Best Places to Visit in Argentina:
Probably the best places to visit in Argentina are located outside the capital. You can enjoy the vastness of the land and the varied wildlife inhabiting it by visiting Argentina. Here is a list of the most interesting places to visit in Argentina to make your tour more comfortable and easy.
10. Ibera Wetlands
Ibera means “bright water”. The Ibera Wetlands is one of the most fascinating places to visit in Argentina. The wetlands are a mix of swamps, quagmires, lagoons, stagnant lakes, natural fen and courses of water. One of the most important fresh water reservoirs in the continent, the Ibera Wetlands are the second-largest wetlands in world after the Pantanal in Brazil. Part of the wetland is included within a provincial protected area since 1982 and there are ongoing plans to further up its protection status to national park.
If you are visiting Argentina you must go to the Iberá Lake and marshlands. After all, they are among the last natural paradises on earth. Visitors can get face to face with caimans, swamp deer, capybaras, pampas deer, giant otters, howler monkeys, greater rheas, anacondas and hundreds of birds. There are over 350 species of birds living in this virgin landscape and most of them can be seen easily. The Ibera Wetlands are among the best places to visit in Argentina for nature lovers. It is a true paradise that has the richest fauna of all Argentina.
Ushuaia is ‘the southernmost city in the world’. Ushuaia is nicknamed as the “End of the World.” It is the largest city located within the Land of Fire, Tierra del Fuego archipelago in Argentina. If you visit Argentina, you must visit this wonderful resort town. The windswept town is perched on a steep hill surrounded by the Martial Mountains and the Beagle Channel.
Ushuaia has been a missionary base penal colony and naval base in the past. But now, it is a major tourist attraction in Argentina. The resort town features various casinos, hotels and restaurants. The town is commonly used as a base for hiking, skiing and cruises to Antarctica. You can also visit the nearby Isla Yécapasela, known as “Penguin Island” for its penguin colonies from this town.
Whilst Ushuaia is the main jumping-off point for the Antarctic, there is still plenty to see without leaving for a different continent. Created in 1960, only a small part of the Tierre del Fuego National Park is accessible to the public. But it does not detract from the remarkable scenery on show. The valleys seem even more spectacular with the stretching peaks of mountains while the lakes and gorges encourage wild life to their shores. Tourists visiting Argentina must see the Black Lagoon, which is an uninviting expanse of dark water colored by peat. Try to see the damns built by beavers near Los Castores stream. You must not miss the most impressive tourist attractions in Argentina, the Lookout Point, which can be reached from Lapataia Bay that will put you face to face with fantastic panoramas.
8. Mendoza Wine Regions
The Mendoza wine region is one of the thrilling places to visit in Argentina. The province is considered as the heart of the winemaking industry in Argentina. The Mendoza wine region lies in the eastern foothills of the Andes. Vineyards are planted at the some of the highest altitudes in the world in the shadow of Mount Aconcagua. You can stay in the city of Mendoza. It is the best place to stay if you plan to tour the vineyards. You can also take services from the city’s wide range of tour operators who organize rafting, skiing and other adventures in the nearby Andes.
7. Monte Fitz Roy
Tourist who loves hiking, Monte Fitz Roy is the best places to visit in Argentina. Located in southern Argentina, Mount Fitz Roy is a spectacular mountain although not one for the people with a weak heart. The superb shape and location of the mountain makes it one of the best tourist attractions in Argentina. The 3,375 meter (11,073 ft) high mountain was first climbed in 1952 by French alpinists Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone. Because of the unique shape, the mountain is like a magnet that draws photographers.
If visiting Argentina takes you to the southern end of the country, you can enjoy a glorious day trip in the mountain and the park where it can be found. Or you can join in a trek. Some of the treks take many days but it will be a trip of a lifetime. Whether you take a day trip or want to experience the adventure of trying to climb it for yourself, you will enjoy the amazing display of Mother Nature’s beauty either way.
6. Beagle Channel
The Beagle Channel is a strait separating islands of the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago along the southern edges of South America. The channel is one of the best places to travel in Argentina. Charles Darwin sailed through this somewhat narrow body of water on his way to the Pacific Ocean during his 1831 world voyage. Afterwards, this channel is named for the famous ship of Darwin, the Beagle.
Cruise ship uses the Beagle channel to travel south to Ushuaia and Antarctica now-a-days because its waters are sheltered and calm unlike the often turbulent South Pacific Ocean. Besides, it is one of the most beautiful water passageways on the planet. In addition, some of the most impressive glaciers in South America fronted the superb channel.
The best way to experience the Beagle is by sailing (particularly in autumn). You can choose any kinds of boats that leave from Ushuaia. There are also many companies that offer exciting half or full day tours. To the west, the channel is surrounded by the Martial Mounts and to the east and the Cinco Hermanos (Five Brothers) that creates a fantastic view of the sea, sheer rock and glaciers. You can visit the Les Eclaireurs lighthouse. From here you can view parts of the shipwrecked boat Monte Cervantes that met its fate in 1930.
Take a trip to the island of Los Lobos (Sea Lion’s Island). It is one of the most fabulous tourist attractions in Argentina, where you can hear the barking calls of the sea lions at the end of the world and experience seabird and Antarctic fur seal sightings. Don’t miss the Los Pajaros (Bird Island). You can see some fascinating bird species here including cormorants, squash, petrels and albatross. Another island worth a trip is Martillo Island where you can visit the Penguin Rookery.
5. Valdes Peninsula
Valdes Peninsula is an important nature reserve noted for its unique fauna and geology. It is especially noted for its lively coastline that features a dazzling array of tall cliffs, rocky reefs and veiled inlets surrounded by deafening surf. Valdes Peninsula is considered one of the most valuable wildlife habitats in the world. Including penguins, seals, sea lions and whales, it houses some of the most exotic marine creatures in the world. You can easily spot huge whales meandering off the gulfs. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
A trip to Peninsula Valdes is not complete without a visit to the Chibut River valley located a few miles south, and its huge continental penguin colony of Punta Tombo. You can have a fascinating look at one of the last – and most unlikely – migrations from Europe to the New World from the picturesque towns of Puerto Madryn and Trelew. The most southeastern area of Peninsula Valdes is the Punta Delgada. An excellent viewing of elephant seals is offered by its long beach. In addition, you can observe countless other wildlife in the area especially during the months of October and November. It is the breeding season for many of its seasonal inhabitants. Sea lions and elephant seals inhabit the coastline.
You can even see penguins from October till March. Between May and December, you can find whales in the waters located between the Valdes Peninsula and the Patagonian mainland. All of those wonderful marine creatures make the Peninsula Valdes one of the best places to travel in Argentina.
4. La Boca
La Boca is one of Buenos Aires’s 48 barrios or neighborhoods. If you visit Argentina, you must visit La Boca. The neighborhood is located at the southeastern part of Buenos Aires, near the old port in the mouth (boca in Spanish) of the Rio de la Plata. Because of the old port where the Italian, Basque, Spanish, French and German immigrants arrived, many of the residents of this district are of European descent.
La Boca is one of the most exciting places to visit in Argentina. The neighborhood still retains its Genoese look with traditional colorful wooden houses. It makes you feel like you have stepped back in time. The neighborhood features numerous colorful houses, pedestrian-friendly walkways, little shops and restaurants. You can spend a pleasant day of sightseeing and shopping in the district. The center of tourist activity in the barrio is the street of Caminito. Tango artists perform in the many tango clubs found on the street here. Most shops sell Tango-related memorabilia. La Boca is also the home of the Boca Juniors, one of Argentina’s biggest soccer teams.
If you are a fan of art, then you can visit the Fine Arts Museum of La Boca. As it is used to be the home and studio of the artist, it is also called the Museo de Bellas Artes Quinquela Martin. The La Ribera theatre, many tango clubs and Italian taverns are among the other attractions offered by La Boca.
For many, Bariloche is synonymous with winter, snow and skiing. Bariloche is also known as the “American Switzerland”. The city and its surrounding mountains and lakes are unquestionable tourist attractions all year long. It is a resort town located on the South margin of Lake Nahuel Huapi in the Province of Rio Negro. The town lies inside the National Park of the same name. The town is renowned for its Swiss-like atmosphere and its chocolate shops.
The town is full of Chalet-type building construction introduced in 1905 by Swiss immigrants. These buildings provide a fitting setting for skiing in the winter months on the slopes of the nearby V. López and Otto peaks. In addition, there are many lakes and streams that offer a splendid opportunity for fishing. The lovely scenery of the area inspired the setting for Walt Disney’s film Bambi. You can enjoy the attractions that nature offers any time of the year in San Carlos de Bariloche. This is why Bariloche is among the places to visit in Argentina.
In winter, you can take part in various winter sports that includes going from ski to mountain biking, snow polo and snowboard. You can even practice paragliding in Cerro Catedral. In summer, the offer simply enlarges. Among various activities, there are fishing, horse riding, trekking, rafting and all the traditional excursions to the most gorgeous spots of the region including the trip to Chile along the lakes. You can enjoy the night in the modern casino, pubs, discos and restaurants located in the town.
You can also practice golf in one of the most tranquil views of the area. Campers and bohemians can also enjoy stupendous sunsets from inns, shelters and camps enclave in the mountains or on the shore of some lake. If you want to have fun any time of the year, visit Argentina. Many travelers combine a visit to Bariloche with touring through the Andean Lakes area and in particular along the Road of the Seven Lakes.
2. Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno is an advancing glacier in the heart of Southern Patagonia. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Argentina. It’s like there is a different sense of scale in Patagonia and Perito Moreno Glacier is a prime example of it. The glacier has a wall of over 200 perpendicular feet or roughly the size of a 15-story building that goes back 3 miles. It is one of the largest glaciers not only in Los Glaciares National Park but in South America. The most interesting fact is that unlike just about every other glacier in the world, this one is swelling and growing steadily. The glaciers grows at a rate of up to 7 feet a day and that is not counting the massive chunks of ice that fall off the veneer into the Canal de los Tempanos as well. Of course, the constant changes of the glacier are part of its beauty.
It is one of the most thrilling places to visit in Argentina. There are various ways to get closer to this natural wonder including guided glacier trekking tours and glacier viewing cruises on Lake Argentina. This enormous glacier is located within Los Glaciares National Park about an hour and a half drive from El Calafate. There are viewing platforms and trails that make the visit and the observation easy and enjoyable. You can also visit many other glaciers and places in the National Park Los Glaciares by boat.
1. Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls is not only one of the best places to visit in Argentina but also one of the great tourist destinations of the world. Iguazu Falls are waterfalls located on the border of Argentina and Brazil, dividing the Iguazu River into upper and lower levels. The name “Iguazu” comes from the Guarani or Tupi words “y”, meaning “water”, and “ûasú “, meaning “big”. According to the legend, there was a deity who planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipí. But she fled with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoe. The deity sliced the river in anger and created the waterfalls. By doing so he condemned the lovers to an eternal fall. The first European to set his eyes on Iguazu Falls was the Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in 1541. Iguazu Falls was declared one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in 2011.
Iguacu Falls was born as the result of a volcanic eruption and from the slow but steady movement of tectonic plates. It was simply but aptly named “Great Falls” by local Indians. The falls are one of the world’s greatest natural wonders and originated some two hundred thousand years ago at the site known today as “the Three Borders Landmark”, where the Iguazú and Paraná Rivers meet. The actual number of waterfalls fluctuates depending on the water level and how much water is flowing. The number ranges from 150 to 300 falls at any given time.
The original waterfall has turned into two winding 2,700-metre long arcs. The most impressive fall, Devil’s Throat, is found on the main portion of the river. The “Devil’s Throat” is a natural wonder in its own right. Mist rises from the heavy water beating down below, which creates dazzling rainbows. There are a species of birds called Great Dusky Swifts that often nest behind the falls. They are even seen plunging right into the falls. In the rainforest, there are about 2000 plant species. Iguazu Falls can be seen in many movies including: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Miami Vice, Mr. Magoo and many more.
Most visitors reach the falls from the Argentine side through the city of Puerto Iguazú. Departing from Puerto Canoas, visitors on boat tours can get very close to the falls. You can even experience the falls from underneath by catching a speedboat. There are a range of trekking trails or boat tours that allow visitors to take in the thundering falls as well as the native animal and plant life. A train brings visitors directly to the entrance of Devil’s Throat. Now, you can feel why I consider Iguazu Falls as the best of the places to visit in Argentina.