Trips to Northern Argentina showcase unique desert landforms, deep gorges that provide for excellent hiking, and the thunderous Iguazu Falls, whose billowing cascades tumble through lush subtropical rainforest.
Buenos Aires combines faded European grandeur with Latin passion. Sexy and alive, this beautiful city gets under your skin.
BA's food scene is increasingly dynamic, but for many travelers it's the city's carnivorous pleasures that shine. Satisfying a craving for juicy steaks isn't hard to do in the land that has perfected grilling wonderfully flavorful sides of beef, washed down with a generous glass of malbec or bonarda. Parrillas (steakhouses) sit on practically every corner and will offer up myriad cuts, from bife de chorizo (sirloin) to vacio (flank steak) to ojo de bife (rib eye). But leave room for ice cream, if you can – a late-night cone of dulce de leche (caramel) helado can't be topped.
Look closely: this city is beautiful. Sure, it might look like a concrete jungle from certain angles, but stroll through the streets, paying attention to the magnificent architecture around you, and you'll soon be won over. Grand French- and Italian-style palaces grab the limelight, but you'll see interesting architectural details in the buildings of even low-key, local barrios. These days the beauty of these traditional neighborhoods is further enhanced by colorful murals painted by artists involved in the city's vibrant street-art scene. For these talented individuals, the city is their canvas.
Take a disco nap, down some coffee and be prepared to stay up all night – this city doesn't sleep. Restaurants get going at 9pm, bars at midnight and clubs at 2am at the earliest; serious clubbers don't show up until 4am. And it's not just the young folk who head out on the town in this city; BA's diverse range of bars, clubs and live-music venues offers something for everyone, from DJs spinning electronica to live jazz sets. Just remember you'll be doing it all very late.
San Isidro and Tigre Small Day Trip
Spend an enjoyable day strolling along cobblestone streets, admiring centuries-old architecture, and exploring quaint canals by boat. From the affluent lanes of historic San Isidro, head to the waterfront to hop aboard a comfortable craft for a panoramic scenic ride Buenos Aires from south to north.
Meet up with your guide for the day outside your hotel, where you are picked up in a spacious coach for the quiet ride up to Puerto Madero, followed by a scenic 1.5-hour river cruise to Tigre while enjoying Buenos Aires’ skyline. Grab a seat on the spacious boat and throw off the mooring lines while your captain sets a course for the canals of Tigre.
Enjoy an afternoon bobbing between elegant waterfront mansions and charming marinas before you tie up at a nearby dock. Check out Tigre's sights on your own before heading further to San Isidro, where you get to admire its impressive Neo-Gothic cathedral. Snap photos as you go and listen to intriguing commentary about the area's history before heading back to central Buenos Aires.
Northeast Argentina is defined by water. Muscular rivers roll through plains that they flood at will, while fragile wetlands support myriad birdlife, snapping caimans and cuddly capybaras. The peaceful Río Iguazú, meandering through jungle between Brazil and Argentina, dissolves in fury and power in the planet’s most awe-inspiring waterfalls.
The river then flows into the Paraná, one of the world’s mightiest watercourses, which surges southward, eventually forming the Río de la Plata near Buenos Aires. Along it are some of the country’s most interesting cities: elegant Corrientes, colonial Santa Fe and booming Rosario, as well as Posadas, gateway to the ruined splendor of the Jesuit missions.
Dotted throughout are excellent parks that represent the region's biological diversity. The Esteros del Iberá harbor a particularly astonishing richness of wildlife.
Admire the crashing falls, tumbling cascades, and verdant, misty landscape of Iguazu Falls as you view the imposing natural wonder from the Argentina side.
After being picked up from your hotel, ride across the Argentine countryside toward the spectacular 275 waterfalls that make up Iguazu. This half-moon shaped cascade is a series of cliffs and islets, caverns and lagoons that towers taller and wider than Niagara Falls. Watch the thundering and impressive flow as the Iguazu River dips and pours in a deafening tumult over the Parana Plateau.
Trek across footpaths for panoramic views or ride a train along the misty base of the falls, where rainbows form above the rocks, and learn about the legends and folklore of Iguazu from your knowledgeable guide as you explore.
A long, narrow sliver of desert landscape, the Mendoza region is home to two of Argentina’s claims to fame – the Andes and wine. The city itself is lively and cosmopolitan and the surrounding area boasts hundreds of wineries offering tours – an educational (and occasionally intoxicating) way to spend an afternoon or a month.
If you can put your glass down for a minute, there’s plenty more to keep you busy. Just down the road is Cerro Aconcagua, the Americas’ highest peak and a favorite for mountain climbers the world over. A couple of ski resorts give you the chance to drop into fresh powder while Mendoza’s tour operators offer up a bewildering array of rafting, mountain-biking and paragliding options.
To the north, often-overlooked San Juan province is worth visiting for its small but important selection of wineries, bucolic traditional villages and desert landscapes in Parque Nacional el Leoncito and Parque Provincial Ischigualasto.