Things to see
For many travellers, Argentina as a country has the same seductive appeal as the tango it's famous for. Just like that iconic partner dance, Argentina embraces you, constantly moving to the rhythm of the streets and improvising every step of the way.
Its large cities all bustle with life. The famous capital, Buenos Aires, is the most visited city in South America and a place like no other. Of course, there's fancy cosmopolitan boutiques, top of the line nightlife and gourmet cuisine. However, it's the classic, unpolished side of the city that makes it a world wide traveller's magnet. The downtrodden but colourful neighbourhoods where crazy traffic sounds drown out distant accordion tunes, the pleasant street-cafés and parillas (steak houses), busy outdoor markets and the lovely old centre with its European colonial architecture. San Telmo is the oldest neighborhood of the city and a good place to indulge in the city vibe of cafés, street artists, tango parlors and antique markets in a colonial surrounding. The atmosphere is perhaps Buenos Aires' biggest attraction, but some of the main sights include Recoleta’s cemetery and the Plaza de Mayo. Argentina's other big cities share the energetic buzz of BA, but have a distinct character of their own. Mendoza is a lively yet laid-back town, characterized by broad avenues. It's famous as a wine capital far beyond the borders of Argentina and a perfect starting point for the Argentina Wine Route along the hundreds of wineries in the area. As it's close to the Andes, it's also a good base for winter sports and other outdoor activities. The old university city Córdoba is known for its particular musical culture with the cuarteto as its number one music style. The city also boasts some of the best colonial heritage sights in the country. Bariloche, also at the base of the Andes mountains, is a major tourist destination, popular for its skiing opportunities, lovely beaches and chocolate shops.
Fascinating as Argentina's urban life may be, the country's mighty natural attractions are at least as good a reason to come. The landscapes are incredibly various, from the high peaks of the Andesand the famous Perito Moreno Glacier to cacti filled desserts, sandy Atlantic beaches and biodiverse wetlands. With some 30 national parks in the country, there's always a good place nearby to see some of the country's natural wonders. A highlight in the subtropical north are the spectacular Iguaçu Falls, easily one of the most impressive waterfalls on earth. Argentina's wildlife includes ﬂamingos, penguins, caimans and capybaras, sea lions and -at times- even whales. Especially when you're visiting in autumn, the coastal town of Puerto Madryn is a must. From there you can easily make your way to Punta Tombo and Peninsula Valdes to go whale-watching and meet up close and personal with some of the million penguins who come to Patagonia each year to nest and raise their young. Head to El Calafate to organize your tour to the highly popular Los Glaciares National Park and see the famous glaciers and the icy Argentino Lake. Be amazed by the many colours and remarkable rock formations of Quebrada de Humahuaca, a mountain range in the north that extends far over the Bolivian border. Drive through and spot traditional villages and indigenous women and their goat herds. Other great destinations for nature lovers include the Ibera wetlands (with the most diverse fauna in the country) and Talampaya National Park, a primary site for archaeological and palaeontological finds.
Some other highlights
The countryside in general is a most pleasant side of Argentina; laid-back and with a taste for life close to nature. Rural villages are a breath of fresh air compared to the country's hectic big cities and a nice way to experience traditional culture. The north is as South-American as Argentina gets. Its wine regions are famous throughout the world and an increasingly popular tourist destination. If the bustle of Buenos Aires is too much for your taste, Mendoza and Salta are an excellent choice. They also make for a good base to explore the scenic regional vineyards and friendly villages with the Andes mountains in the background. Salta is also the starting point for the Train to the Clouds, a heritage railway that seems to be running solely to provide some unforgettable panoramas for travellers. The Traslasierra Valley is a pleasant green valley and one of the many places where you can enjoy a world class spa, as hot springs naturally occur around here. Finally, if you like a day at the beach, Argentina has plenty to offer for you. Mar del Plata is one of the top destinations for beach resorts.