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Spanish-speaking Argentina is the second-largest country in South America. Spanning between the Tropic of Capricorn and the tip of the Antarctic Circle, the Argentinian terrain covers a rich landscape of glacial lakes, steppes, wetlands, flatlands, waterfalls, snow-capped peaks and beaches. Packed with a plethora of exciting experiences – from the bustling streets of the stylish capital to the ‘end of the world’, from its natural treasures to diverse cultures, from its legendary beef to tango and of course, football, the country is brilliant in every way.
The capital Buenos Aires welcomes most of the visitors to Argentina. And what a grand welcome, indeed! This large lively city displays impressive European architecture and a strong cultural flavour of its own. Plaza de Mayo, the heart of the city is surrounded by iconic 19th-century structures like the Casa Rosada. Buenos Aires is remarked as the ‘city that never sleeps’ and has an amazing nightlife. It has a rich culture of art and entertainment and you will find plenty of live music bars, opera houses, film screenings and tango everywhere! Buenos Aires has several exciting neighbourhoods or ‘barrios’, each adding its own flavour to this remarkable city. Walk around La Boca, the city’s most photogenic and colourful neighbourhood and visit San Telmo, the birthplace of tango. In Recoleta, you will find the artistic Recoleta Cemetery, beautiful gardens, high-end boutiques, cafes, galleries and museums.
Cordoba, the country’s second largest city, is popular for its Spanish architecture and love for cuarteto music. Start with the city square, Plaza de San Martin and make your way through the many museums, cathedrals and parks that the city offers. Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, one of the oldest universities on the continent, the Evita Fine Arts Museum and the Cathedral of Córdoba are the city’s highlights. Also don’t forget to sample the excellent cuisine and try a Fernet and coke, Argentina’s national alcoholic drink. Villa Carlos Paz, a resort city and La Cumbre, a mountain town with a British touch are popular places near the city.
Medoza is a lovely city with scenic landscapes of snow-capped peaks, lush greenery and popular for its wine and sprawling vineyards. It houses great resorts in Las Leñas and Los Penitentes, which are a paradise for skiing in winter and hiking in summer. With charming public squares, beautiful gardens, art deco architecture, first-class wine tours and a laid-back vibe, Mendoza is a delight to explore.
Talampaya National Park
This UNESCO listed site with its dominant red sandstone landscape and rocky formations is an important archaeological and paleontological site. Over the years, multiple dinosaur fossils, ruins of indigenous villages and petroglyphs were unearthed here, making it a delight for history buffs and dinosaur enthusiasts.
Parque Esteros del Iberá
It is one of the lesser known parks in Argentina and consists of bright green marshes and wetlands, packed with rich flora and fauna. The ecosystem here thrives without human intervention and you can experience raw wilderness at its best.
Iguazu Falls is one of Argentina’s most treasured natural wonders, which it shares with Brazil. This jaw-dropping spectacle is a group of around 300 waterfalls that combine to create one of the largest waterfalls in the world. When you stand on the viewing platform, nicknamed as ‘Devil’s Throat’, you will be overwhelmed by its sheer magnificence and the thunderous crashing of the waters.
Argentina’s biggest selling point is Patagonia, a grand pristine landscape of mighty mountains, steppes, rainforests, glaciers, fjords, lakes and grasslands, located in the southernmost part of the continent. Given this diverse geography, it teems with wildlife – rare southern right whales in Golfo Nuevo bay, elephant seals, sea lions and other marine life in the UNESCO listed Valdes Peninsula, Magellanic penguins in Punta Tombo and native animals like the Patagonian Puma, Guanco, Patagonian Mara and Patagonian Fox in the steppes and plains and various bird species. The ideal way to see the most of Patagonia is a road journey through its iconic routes – RN 3 and RN 40; be prepared to witness changing landscapes every day in the road trip of your life!
The Patagonian region contains the Los Glaciares National Park, popular for its colossal Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the few glaciers that grow in size. From its El Chaltén village, you can visit the Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre mountains, which contain excellent hiking trails.
San Carlos de Bariloche or simply Bariloche is a hub for adventure seekers within the Nahuel Huapi National Park in Patagonia. With its jagged snow-capped peaks, endless lakes and dense forests, it is perfect for skiing, hiking, sailing, trekking and snowboarding. Located on its highest peak is Cerro Catedral, a massive ski resort with breathtaking views of the Nahuel Huapi glacial lake.
It is located near Bariloche and is popular for its glacial lakes, hiking trails and the Chapelco Ski Resort. The highlight of the park is the Lanin Volcano – a snow-capped grandeur that is 3776m high.
Popularly called ‘the end of the world’, Ushuaia is the southernmost settlement on the map and serves as a port that sees off ships to Antarctica. From here you can visit the Tierra del Fuego National Park, where you can experience a scenic train journey on the Southern Fuegian Railway.
Why should you visit?
Argentina is much more than football and tango. From the buzzing metropolitan cities to quaint picturesque villages, vibrant cultural mix to electrifying outdoor adventures and the intoxicating beauties of Patagonia, Argentina is simply stunning and demands to be experienced.
San Telmo – a neighbourhood in Buenos Aires is the birthplace of Tango music.