Argentina is a whirlwind – exciting, intense, stylish, and beautiful. But where to begin exploring? In Buenos Aires? With its frenzied street life of tango, elegant portenos (its residents), gourmet fare, and boutiques? Or perhaps the rushing misted splendor of Iguazu Falls, one of the world’s mightiest waterfalls? Then there is Patagonia, with its crystal lakes, massive glaciers, mountain forests, and alpine lifestyle.
From city adventures to the Andes snow-capped peaks, life is a celebration for Argentines with their love of dance, drink, grilled cuisine, music, futbol, and adventure. But let’s begin in Buenos Aires, the vibrant capital city by the port.
Just walking the streets of this enchanting metropolis you’ll be struck by the French and Italian inspired architecture surrounding your journey. It’s wonderfully classic, but don’t for a moment think this place is stodgy. Buenos Aires truly comes alive at night. Step into one of its many neighborhoods for an evening steak, glass of Malbec wine, and a nightlife scene that parties until dawn. This especially includes BA’s suave and elegant Tango salons – milongas, where aficionados revel in this signature dance as they have for a hundred years.
Few travel to Argentina without making a stop at one of the planet’s most astonishing spectacles – Iguazu Falls, a series of hundreds of spectacular waterfalls. The falls lie between Argentina and Brazil, drawings millions of visitors from both sides. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, you’ll approach the falls through the national park of Puerto Iguazu.
Heading south, to the tip of Patagonia, the foothills of the Andes Mountains will greet you. At the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake lies San Carlos de Bariloche, or just Bariloche, a perfect little mountain town nestled around these glacial waters. Explore the town on foot or take the chairlift to the top of Cerros Catedral. The views are immense up here, practically never-ending. Bariloche is a four-season town offering skiing, fishing, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
Traveling further into Patagonia, you’ll arrive at the doorway of glacier country at the town of El Calafate, not from Glaciar Perito Moreno. Located in the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, this immense glacier is made up of many smaller bodies of ice. The town itself sits on the shore of Lago Argentino and has become quite trendy with lots of restaurants and chic chocolate shops, all of this in the middle of Patagonia!
Moving deeper into Patagonia you’ll arrive at Ushuaia, Argentina’s southernmost city. Set on a bay at the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia has an end-of-the-world feel as you maneuver its steep streets with landscape views of glacial waters and ancient forests. It’s an active port and stopover for ships headed for Antarctica. Take a quick trip to nearby Martial glacier for a hike or winter-time skiing.
Whether you’re a culture-seeking city-goer or an outdoor adventurer in thrall to nature’s beauty, you’ll find Argentina to be a never-ending celebration of life.