You’ve got to love Argentina. It’s big, it’s beautiful, and it is literally bursting with must-see attractions for international travellers, and so it is no surprise that the country constantly ranks as South America’s best holiday destination.
Almost 7 million of us visited Argentina in 2018, and 2019 promises to be the country’s best year yet in terms of tourism, but there is so much to see and do that a well-planned travel itinerary is essential.
You’ll most likely want to do the ‘essentials’ such as Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Bariloche, Mendoza, and Ushuaia, but there are many other off-the-beaten-track places that shouldn’t be missed, and so we’ve compiled a list of 7 Iconic Places to Visit in Argentina to help you get the most out of your upcoming South American adventure…
Talampaya National Park
Situated in La Rioja Province, Talampaya National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Argentina’s most important archaeological sites. Fossils found here date back to the Triassic Period of around 250 million years ago when dinosaurs are thought to have roamed freely in the area. The scenery is spectacular and varied here, and trips are available daily from La Rioja.
If you love hiking and outdoor adventures, you should consider including a trip to Aconcagua, which is not only the highest mountain in the Andes, but it is also one of the iconic Seven Summits. You can climb Aconcagua on an organized expedition, but if the 6,962m peak is a little out of your comfort zone, you can take an Aconcagua Day Trip from Mendoza instead. It’s a beautiful part of the country and well worth a visit.
Salta is becoming more popular with international visitors, and rightly so. It has much to offer the intrepid traveller, and it’s such a friendly city that it almost feels like you are coming home. Situated in Lerma Valley in north-western Argentina, it boasts Spanish Colonial architecture, a great selection of accommodations to suit every budget, a huge choice of restaurants, and the Teleferico Tram that takes you to the top of San Bernado Hill for spectacular vistas of the city. You’ll find the Yungas Rainforest here too, along with the Tren De Las Nubes or Train to the Clouds, which is an experience quite unlike any other.
Ibera Provincial Reserve (Ibera Wetlands)
Take a safari – Argentinean style, with the trip to the Iberá Wetlands. Set in the northern province of Corrientes, it is the second largest wetland in the world after the Pantanal in Brazil, and it homes a variety of weird and wonderful wildlife including 85 species of mammals, 35 species of reptiles, and over 300 different bird species. Why not make a stop here before continuing to Iguazu Falls!
El Chaltén and Monte Fitz Roy
Often described as one of the most iconic points in the Andes, Monte Fitz Roy is an outstanding granite mountain surround by ice fields and glacial lakes. Reminiscent of Torres Del Paine, it is adored by mountain climbers and photographers alike, who flock here year after year. You’ll find Monte Fitz Roy (also referred to as Cerro Chaltén) in southern Patagonia close to the Chilean border, and it is easily accessible from El Calafate.
Mar Del Plata
If you are heading to Argentina, chances are you’ll be leaving your swimwear at home, but if you are visiting during summertime, you may want to dip your toes in the ‘refreshing’ waters of Mar Del Plata. A typical beach resort, it has some fabulous seafood restaurants and a range of activities to keep the kids entertained such as boat rides, water parks, and aquariums.
Quebrada de Humahuaca
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quebrada de Humahuaca sits on the Camino Inca cultural route along the Rio Grande. A great stopover for history buffs, it shows visible traces of the Inca Empire and prehistoric communities, and homes spectacular landscapes and rock formations. There are fabulous festivals here throughout the year, including the Pachamama Festival in August, where you will have the opportunity to try traditional Andean cuisine and locally made beverages.
It takes time to uncover the true beauty of Argentina, so give yourself at least 3-weeks, and make your trip to the Argentine Republic a trip of a lifetime!