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From the bustling streets of Buenos Aires to the grandeur of the Andes to the untamed wilderness of Patagonia, Argentina offers a variety of experiences for all kinds of travelers. Feel the passion of tango, witness the awe of Iguazu Falls, and savor Argentine cuisine. Explore a world of limitless possibilities while on a trip to Argentina, a country replete with natural beauty, culture, art, and history. This article unveils an array of things to do in Argentina for an unforgettable holiday experience.
- Maximus Silverstone
Argentina's location in the Patagonia region of South America means this country has no shortage of glaciers to explore. In fact, it's one of the main reasons people take an Argentina tour in the first place. This country boasts some of the largest glaciers on the continent, many of them lying in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Glacier National Park. Identifying the best ones to visit is tough when you've got over 300 glaciers to choose from.
- Glacier Upsala, the largest in South America, is naturally a must-see for its sheer size of 870 square kilometers. It's not the most accessible glacier, but the journey to get there makes it all the more special.
- Perito Moreno is another big one and a definite thing to do in Argentina. This glacier is unique in that it continues to grow as opposed to retreating as many other glaciers in the region. Its towering 80-meter-tall ice cliffs are best appreciated via boat tour. The jumping-off point to both these glaciers is the small town of El Calafate offering plenty of Perito Moreno glacier tours to join.
Best season: You can embark on a glacier trip to Argentina any time of year. The high season (summer) is from December – to March and has the warmest temperatures, but also the most tourists. The shoulder seasons of spring and fall are becoming increasingly popular due to mild day temperatures and fewer visitors.
Insider's tip: Tours are recommended but aren’t always necessary. It is possible to take public transport to reach the glacier, pay the entrance fee and take a bus back but for a stress hassle-free day, arrange a tour. — by Jacob & Emily Cass from Just Globetrotting
This is one of Argentina's must-see places. You'll never experience a more breathtaking border-cross in your life. Iguazu Falls form a natural border between Argentina and Brazil, creating one of South America's coolest attractions. The Iguazu Falls are not your average waterfall — it's a compilation of 275 different cascades that spans nearly 3 kilometers in length. Devil's Throat, the main attraction standing at a staggering 80 meters, is beaten in height only by Victoria Falls in Africa. Iguazu Falls have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984 and were recently voted one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. Do you need any more convincing to visit Iguazu Falls?
- Viewing the falls up close is the top priority. This can be done via self-guided hiking on the trails around the falls and is one of the most highly recommended things to do in Argentina.
- Gain a different perspective by taking a boat tour around Devil's Throat — just be prepared to get wet.
Best season: The volume of the falls is at its peak during the rainy months (December and January). However, this makes the hiking, boat tours, and other activities less enjoyable and accessible due to bad weather. It's recommended to go during the drier months of March – April, and August – September to fully enjoy all the extras.
The southern part of Argentina draws hundreds of thousands of penguins every year who come to nest and feast on the plentiful fish supply before they prepare for migration. The tuxedo-wearing birds are adorable and they're also surprisingly comfortable around humans, which has made walking with the penguins an uber-popular thing to do in Argentina. Really, who could resist walking next to a waddling penguin?
- Punta Tombo, mid-way down Argentina's east coast, has the largest colony of Magellan Penguins, making it a great place for interaction. The 3km long trail leads travelers right past the penguin's burrows with close views of the birds lounging on the rocks and beaches.
- Isla Martillo is another prime penguin viewing spot, located at the very southern tip of the country. This island houses over 1,000 nests of Magellan and Gentoo Penguins.
- Isla Escondido is a haven for Rockhopper Penguins, known for their distinctive yellow crests. Accessible via guided boat tours, this remote sanctuary lets you observe these charismatic penguins in their element. Watch in awe as they navigate steep cliffs and playfully enjoy the crystal-clear waters.
- Isla de los Pájaros is another destination for a variety of bird species, including Magellan Penguins. Follow well-kept paths for close encounters with nesting penguins, alongside cormorants, seagulls, and other avian creatures.
Best season: Late spring, summer, and early fall months of September – April.
Insider's tip: There is only one company that goes into Martillo Island to walk with penguins, so be careful to choose the correct one! Penguins arrive in this area to hatch their eggs between October and until the end of March. To ensure a spot on the tour my recommendation is to book it in advance (one or two month is ok) and not wait to book it upon arrival — especially if you are traveling in November/December/January that is high season! — by Clara Barciela from Across Argentina and South America
One of the fun things to do in Argentina is hiking in Patagonia. The mountain village of El Chalten in Argentinean Patagonia charms with its small-town authenticity and wows with its world-class hiking trails. Sitting at the base of Mount Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre on the border of Chile and Argentina, El Chalten beckons to adventurous travelers wanting to discover the Patagonian Andes. Visiting El Chalten, nicknamed the 'Trekking Capital of Argentina' is definitely a top place to visit in Argentina. Once there, you ought to explore some popular hiking trails.
- Mount Fitz Roy reaches over 3,300 meters, making successful summit climbs few and far between. Not to worry — there are many other scenic trails around the mountain. The most popular is the Laguna de Los Tres trail (20km round-trip) which leads through stunning valleys and forests, past glaciers, lagoons, and glacier lakes, and yields spectacular views of the peak.
- A few hundred meters shorter than Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre is another mountain located in the Patagonian Ice Field. The 22km Laguna Torre trek is of low difficulty and leads to an optimal viewing point of the peak with the Torre Lagoon in the foreground.
- Witness Perito Moreno Glacier's majesty via the glacier walkways. These pathways offer intimate encounters with the glacier's towering ice formations. Navigate the walkways, accessing diverse vantage points for stunning perspectives of the glacier's icy expanse, crevasses, and vibrant blue hues.
Best season: Summer (December – March) has the mildest temperatures and most preferable weather. However, it's crowded. We suggest the months of March – April (end of summer/early fall) and November (end of spring) for a more intimate experience with tolerable temperature.
Insider's tip: Extra clothing or gear is not always available in the small town of El Chalten, so be sure to take all you need for your hikes. On your day treks, always take some food and a flashlight, and don't forget your water bottle — you can refill it in the lakes and rivers! — by Laura Rosales from Say Hueque Argentina Journeys
A trip to Argentina is not complete without its wine-tasting tours. Argentinian wine is at the top of its game. Thousands of miles away from the glaciers in the south, Argentina’s wine regions are mainly grouped in the north of the country. As the 5th largest wine producer in the world, Argentina proudly produces top-quality bottles with distinct flavors and sought-after aromas. Hence, wine tasting cannot be missed when in Argentina.
- Mendoza is the heart and soul of wine country. This region houses more than half of the country's wineries and is responsible for roughly two-thirds of all wine production in Argentina. One of the country's best wines, Malbec, is a must-try variety in Mendoza. Besides, several things to do in Mendoza from wine picnics and wine barrel room tours to taking part in vibrant grape harvesting festivals.
- Salta province is famous for having some of the oldest and most unique vineyards. At 1,700 feet, the Cafayate region produces fruity cabernet sauvignons and full-flavored whites cultivated from some of the highest vineyards in the world!
Best season: Mendoza should be visited from November to February for the warmest temperatures. Visiting Salta is different; April – June, and August – November are best.
One of the top things to do in Argentina is getting swept away by Salta & Jujuy. Salta and Jujuy are neighboring towns that are like yin and yang. Scenic Salta is known for its gorgeous Andean landscape. Jujuy receives lesser attention but is a definite not miss. These provinces hold some of South America’s most awesome natural wonders. The rocks in this region are full of different minerals, creating a sort of rainbow-color effect that’s simply mesmerizing. A trip up north is worth it for Salta and Jujuy alone.
- Serrania de Hornocal in the Quebrada de Humahuaca of Jujuy is a geological wonder that will leave you breathless. The carefully carved V-shapes of the limestone mountains are impressive, but its most spectacular aspect is definitely the rainbow of colors that have seemingly been painted in large stripes across the formation.
- Quebrada de las Conchas or Shell's Ravine/Gorge, is in the south of Salta province. This 40km area of multi-colored rocks has taken on a unique form after being whipped into different shapes by the wind and rain. One look and you'll think you've landed on Mars! From strolling through the colorful stalls of Mercado San Miguel to visiting the Salta Cathedral, and Salinas Grandes salt flats, there are several interesting things to do in Salta.
Best season: Spring and early summer months of October – December for pleasant temperatures that haven’t yet reached their summer-high peak. It’s also a drier time in the region which is best for outdoor tours and activities.
Insider's tip: When in Salta you should definitely try some delicious food & wine from the region. Famous dishes that are a must try are locro, tamales salteños, humita. Also try the empanadas salteñas; although empanadas are eaten everywhere in Argentina, each region has its own recipe. In Salta the empanadas are made with minced meat, dried salted meat called charqui, potatoes, hard boiled egg and chives.
A typical white wine from Salta, made from the torrontés grape, is highly recommended. In the Calchaquíes valley there are famous wineries around Cafayate (Etchart, Nanni) who produce excellent torrontés wines. They are reknown for their aroma, smooth texture and moderate acidity. Nothing better then enjoying a cool glass of torrontés on a hot afternoon on the main square of Cafayate! — by Jan Lettinga from Heart of Argentina Travel
Discover the heart of Buenos Aires through the mesmerizing world of tango. The city pulses with the rhythm of this passionate dance. Wander the enchanting streets and uncover hidden tango clubs, where couples move in perfect harmony, lost in each other’s steps. Whether you are captivated by the performances or eager to learn the steps yourself, tango in Buenos Aires weaves its magic into your Argentine experience.
- Buenos Aires is the birthplace of the lively and energetic jig which has been declared the country's national dance. Leaving Argentina without seeing or trying the national dance, the Tango, is a crime! Experience the dance with a dinner-and-a-show combo or sign up to take classes at one of the multiple venues throughout the city.
Best season: October – November is spring and offers warm temperatures, gorgeous blooming jacaranda trees, and cheaper, shoulder-season prices!
Known for its picturesque setting surrounded by lakes and nestled in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, a trip to Bariloche is a must. European architecture, local brews, and chocolate are some of the town's special aspects. But, above all, Bariloche is renowned for its laid-back albeit stunningly scenic hikes. It's hard to choose just one, so plan to stay for a while to experience them all.
- Refugio Frey is an 8-hour round trip trek to the lodge of the same name. However, a reservation is needed if you want to shack up the night. The hike is pretty easy in terms of terrain. It can be completed in one day and yields vistas of rock torrents and sparkling lakes.
- Cerro Campanario is another easy hike that offers rewards far greater than the effort exerted. After just 30 - 45 minutes of hiking, you'll be treated to panoramas of lakes, peninsulas, and the distant Andes Mountains. You can also scoot to the top in 7 minutes via chairlift if you're short on time and/or energy!
- Cerro Llao Llao is also another trail in Bariloche. It takes just half a day, requires little effort, boasts super views, and even includes a dip in a glacier lake if you're so inclined!
Best season: Summer (December - March) for warm, sunny, ideal hiking weather.
The Beagle Channel offers waterways access to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Ushuaia is a tourist attraction in its own right and a known jumping-off point for all things Antarctica. However, a boat cruise through the Beagle Channel — the famous body of water separating the mainland of Tierra del Fuego in Argentina and the Navaro Islands in Chile — should not be passed up.
Tours through the channel range from four hours to four or five days. Tourists can see historic lighthouses, colonies of sea lions, penguins, and seabirds, visit the End of the World Museum, all while being surrounded by the pristine scenery of the Olivia and Cinco Hermanos Mountains.
Best season: Summer season (December – March) for the warmest temperatures and most pleasant all-round weather.
Argentina may be a paradise for the outdoorsy traveler, but it can be an equally fulfilling journey for the glutton. Think meat, and more meat! Feast on the legendary Llama steak or just sample through each of the brilliant delicacy during your vacation. Vegetarians need not worry! There is plenty for you to indulge in too. Warning: You may come back from the vacation with a few more pounds on you.
- Our mouth waters just thinking of it. Simply put, asado is barbecue, but featuring a plethora of different meat. You can’t say you’ve visited the country unless you’ve spent a slow afternoon besides a toasty grill with the hissing sounds of quality, chunky meats cooking on it.
- Locro is a warm, hearty stew made of corn, potatoes, chorizo and other vegetables and meat. Garnished with chimichurri, onions, parsley and a splash of olive oil it is a delight to soul as much as it is to the taste-buds.
- Provoleta is for the cheese lovers. Usually an appetizer to the asado, it is a thick slice of provolone cheese grilled to a crispy top and gooey underbelly, garnished with chilli flakes, herbs, and drizzled with olive oil. Feast on!
Best time: All day, every day!
Take a breathtaking journey off the coast of Argentina to witness the majestic giants of the ocean in their natural habitat. Catch sight of the elegant humpback whales as they breach and reveal their colossal forms against the backdrop of the vast sea. Be awed by the acrobatics of the playful orcas, showcasing their intelligence and social dynamics. Encounter the graceful southern right whales, known for their gentle nature and distinctive V-shaped blow.
- Puerto Madryn is a mecca for whale-watching enthusiasts. Set against the backdrop of the Golfo Nuevo, this charming town becomes a sanctuary for southern right whales between June and December. Embark on guided boat tours that navigate these calm waters, granting you an up-close encounter with these gentle giants.
- Chubut's ecosystem adds another layer to your whale-watching experience in Argentina, allowing you to explore diverse wildlife reserves and coastal habitats. Take a journey through the Valdés Peninsula to witness not only whales, but also penguins, sea lions and a rich array of seabirds.
Best season: The best time for whale watching in Argentina is from June to December. During this time, southern right whales migrate to Golfo Nuevo and Golfo San José to give birth and mate, providing excellent opportunities for observing their behaviors.
If your idea of touring Antarctica is a barren tundra, think again. The world's seventh continent is a stunning landscape full of glaciers, icebergs, mountains, and sprawling bodies of water. If you think it's too cold for life in Antarctica, you'd be wrong again. It's home to an abundant amount of wildlife including penguins, seals, whales, and a variety of seabirds. And finally, contrary to popular belief, there's a whole lot of sunshine (if you visit at the right time, of course). A cruise to Antarctica is for adventurous and dedicated travelers who truly want to see and experience things that much of the general traveling population doesn't.
The majority of the cruises depart from Ushuaia and head through the aforementioned Beagle Channel. Cruise highlights include crossing the Drake Passage, visiting the South Shetland Islands, glacier gazing in Paradise Bay and admiring the scenery and wildlife all around the Arctic Peninsula.
- Best season: Late spring, summer, and early fall (November – April) is best for wildlife viewing, mild temperatures, and the most hours of sunlight.
Among other unique things to do in Argentina is bird-watching. In the lush wetlands of the Iberá Marshes, catch a glimpse of the striking Scarlet-headed Blackbird with its vibrant red and black plumage. Observe the Andean Condor, a symbol of freedom, as it soars gracefully over the rugged terrain of the Andes. Listen to the melodious tunes of the Rufous Hornero, a national bird known for its intricate nest-building skills. Birdwatching in Argentina offers a meditative escape into nature's wonders and a chance to appreciate the remarkable avian diversity that enriches the country's ecosystem.
- Esteros del Iberá, a captivating wetland reserve in Corrientes, is home to an astonishing variety of over 350 bird species, including the Scarlet-headed Blackbird and the striking Roseate Spoonbill. This haven offers unparalleled bird-watching opportunities.
- Corrientes province unveils a realm of avian wonders beyond Esteros del Iberá. Explore the province's diverse ecosystems, from savannas to riversides, to spot elusive species like the Black-fronted Piping Guan and the Great Rufous Woodcreeper. Wander through Corrientes' varied terrains, and be captivated by the serene beauty of the birdlife and the harmonious symphony of their calls.
Best season: The best season for birdwatching in Argentina is during its spring and summer months, which roughly span from September to March. During this period, numerous bird species engage in breeding and nesting, leading to increased activity and vibrant displays of plumage.
At first, Argentina might seem overwhelming in size and in its abundance of demanding activities. If you've got the energy and passion for all-out travel in a country that's just as challenging as it is rewarding, then don't hesitate to book a trip to Argentina. The things to do, places to see, and experiences to be had are truly second to none.
Wondering how long it takes to cover all of Argentina? You can check out our travel guide on how many days to spend in Argentina for more ideas and insight and find a seasonal overview of the best time to visit Argentina. You can also browse our recommended tour itineraries:
If you need help with planning a customized trip to Argentina, you can always reach out to our local travel experts who can devise a tailored itinerary for you.