Where is it? • Visa Requirements • Getting there • Where to stay • Moving around • Food • Safety • Prices • Weather • Best time to visit • Money matters • What to see? • Interesting facts
Argentina is a huge South American country with land stretching from the mountains of the Andes, through glacial lakes and the grassland of Pampas to the Argentine Sea in the South Atlantic Ocean and from Iguazu Falls in the north all the way to the ‘End of the World’ in Ushuaia.
It’s a land of immigrants, most of their current inhabitants are originating from different countries, manly European (majority Italian, Spanish and German) and that is the beauty of this great country: all the cultures mixed together in an incredible melting pot. There are also 35 different indigenous ethnic groups, such as Mapuche, Toba and Guarani.
Argentina is famous for tango, football, cattle and gauchos, asado, mate and Malbec wine, and spectacular landscapes worth exploring. Its capital, Buenos Aires is South America’s center of art and culture and it is a great starting point to explore this beautiful country. Enjoy!
- Official name: Argentine Republic
- Capital: Buenos Aires
- Population: 44 million
- Area: 2.8m sq km (1.1m sq miles)
- Major language: Spanish
- Major religion: Christianity
- Life expectancy: 73 years (men), 80 years (women)
- Currency: Peso
Where is it?
Argentina is located in South America and it shares borders with five countries: Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil. Argentina is large country – based on its size, it is the 8th country in the world..
As with many countries, your passport must be valid for at least three months after you complete visit to Argentina, so please plan ahead. Most of EU countries, US, Australia, Canada, South American countries and Japan do not require visa for tourism.
Getting to Argentina is the best via one of several international airports: Buenos Aires , Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE) and Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP), Mendoza (MDZ), Rosario (ROS). Also, you can travel by bus from any neighboring country if you happen to be there or even via boat from Uruguay.
Here are some flights to Argentina from the US:
- Las Vegas — Buenos Aires from $469
- New York — Buenos Aires from $471
- Fort Lauderdale — Buenos Aires from $477
- Miami — Buenos Aires from $523
- Los Angeles — Mendoza from $537
- Los Angeles — Buenos Aires from $585
- Dallas — Buenos Aires from $609
- New York — Rosario from $621
- Miami — Mendoza from $661
- San Francisco — Buenos Aires from $686
Where to stay
Argentina is a large country and accommodation options differ quite a bit from city to rural area. You can go with standard and high end hotels throughout country, Eco resorts in several national parks, estancias – functional ranches that offer firsthand experience of life in the country side, winery accommodations or, for budget rentals, hostels and individual rooms and apartment rentals.
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Most common ground transportation in Argentina is by bus, either within a city or between places. For inside city you can also use taxi, which is fairly cheap. Railway is not in good condition and it is not recommended.
For moving outside of cities, you can rent a car, especially if you want to visit several places/attractions.
If you need to travel longer distances, and if your budget allows it, we recommend local airlines as this would be fastest way, otherwise, prepare for 10+ hours of bus or driving.
Argentina has great cuisine, it is a mixture of food styles brought by all the immigrants arriving through centuries, mixing up the recipes and creating unique dishes and flavors. There are dishes originating from Italy, Spain, Germany and the rest of Europe and several indigenous influences.
Empanadas and Medialunas are both popular pastry type in Argentina and former comes in many variety and made with a twist of family or regional recipes, ranging from meat, cheese, vegetables or even a tuna filling. There is entire universe of empanadas, you check here more info and recipes.
Medialunas are light version of croissant and are popular breakfast meal.
Milanesas are favorite dish of Argentinians, especially ones originating from Italy. It’s a classic breaded steak prepared similar to Vienna schnitzel, but please do not misname them when ordering! J Provoleta, melted cheese dish, made with provolone cheese, often spiced with chimichurri, sauce also commonly used for steaks.
Humitas are indigenous food, popular throughout South America in various shapes and flavors; Choripán is literally sausage and bread – grilled sausage is placed into bun of fresh, crusty bread; Morcilla – blood sausage, somewhat acquired taste if you ask us. J
Argentine beef steak from famous Argentinian beef is a must (if you are not a vegetarian) and Asado (or Argentinean BBQ) are both something to be enjoyed while vesting.
From sweets menu, we recommend Alfajores, sweet biscuits with chocolate and dulce de leche filling and cover, popular in the rest of South America as well; Dulce de leche, also popular in the rest of South America, is a sweet condiment used everywhere, as a bread and pancake spread, enjoyed just like that, in a spoon or added to cookies, cakes and even to ice cream (this last one we strongly recommend!); Churros, sweet pastry rolled in icing sugar or cinnamon, filled with, you’ve guessed it – dulce de leche, are all great desserts to end any meal.
Argentineans like to drink mate, herbal infusion drink, containing caffeine and for non-Argentineans difficult to adopt as a regular drink. It is not only a drink, but a socializing and bonding agent as it is shared from a single cup and a straw.
And for alcohol lovers, there is selection of great Argentinian wines, especially Malbec, and several brands of beer, such as Quilmes and Kölsch.
How safe is Argentina for tourists and to move around?
Argentina is moderately safe country; years of economic crisis have left impact on general population and poverty has increased crime rates. Tourist areas are generally safe, both for single tourists and groups or families, but extra caution for pickpocketers is advised. You are advised to keep close to you any bag or backpack you have as it can be snatched by thieves on a motorcycles.
Argentina is not that costly for tourists, and you can always find great deals on accommodation, meals and attraction tickets. If you travel throughout Argentina, your biggest expense might be flight tickets due to large distances between cities. For detailed pricing information for various items, click here.
Prices throughout Argentina vary a bit, while Buenos Aires is most expensive for general tourism.
Since Argentina is in the south hemisphere, seasons are inverted from the ones in the northern part of the planet. When it’s a summer in the US, it’s winter in Argentina and vice versa. Also, due to size of the country and its orientation north-south, there is a huge difference in temperature in the areas in north or in extreme south.
Best time to visit
Since seasons are inverted from the ones in northern hemisphere, visiting Argentina can be great during winter, as it is summer over there (December-March). Buenos Aires is ideal to visit during Argentinean fall (March-May) and spring (September-November), when temperatures are moderate.
Winter in Argentina (June-August) is the best time for visit to Iguazú waterfalls and the Northwest in general, when there is less rain and heat.
Official currency is Argentinean Peso (ARS) and recent economic problems devaluated the currency quite a bit, so exchange towards dollars and Euros favors tourists.
Major credit cards are accepted in most of the establishments, but please check with your bank about international charges before traveling to Argentina. Smaller shops and restaurants might not accept credit cards, which is also usually a case with taxis, so you will need to have certain amount of cash (but not too much, for security reasons) on you for this purpose.
There are ATMs from major banks in all cities and safest ones are the ones inside shopping malls. Please check on the display of the ATM what are the charges for withdrawal, as they are usually displayed before confirming transactions.
What to see?
Argentina has plenty of attractions for you to visit and it would take regular tourist several weeks to see them all. We are listing here top 50 for your info:
Perito Moreno Glacier. Popular tourist attraction, this glacier is located in the Los Glaciares National Park in Santa Cruz Province, in southwest Argentina.
Los Glaciares National Park. Vast protected area in the southwest of Argentina, with ice fields, forest and lakes.
Iguazú National Park. Massive national park with spectacular waterfalls. Located in the northeast, on the border with Brazil.
La Boca, Buenos Aires. Neighborhood in Buenos Aires, famous for Caminito, artistic alley, and La Bombonera, football stadium of Boca Juniors.
Aconcagua. The highest mountain peak in South America. Located in mountains of the Andes, in Mendoza province in west Argentina. Popular with mountain climbers and features several base camps.
National Route 40. The longest route through Argentina, and one of the longest in the world, stretching alongside Andes, in the west of Argentina and it is more than 5,000 kilometres (3,100 mi) long.
Nahuel Huapi Lake. Located in Nahuel Huapi National Park in Patagonia, this glacial lake is popular with fishing, kayaking and hiking.
Casa Rosada. Famous presidential palace in Buenos Aires. Pink colored mansion offers guided tours.
Plaza de Mayo. A 19th-century square, commemorating Argentinian fight for independence. Central area of Buenos Aires and popular for walks and taking photos.
Garganta del Diablo. A horse shoe shaped waterfall in Iguazu National park. Accessible to visitors by hiking trail and a suspended pathway.
La Recoleta Cemetery. Unique cemetery site, located in Buenos Aires Recoleta neighborhood, full of art statues and mausoleums or famous people. Some of them include Eva Perón, presidents of Argentina and Nobel Prize winners.
Quebrada de Humahuaca. Narrow mountain valley with unique, multi-colored rock formations. Located in north Argentina, it is also place of indigenous Quechuan villages.
Cerro Catedral. A large mountain featuring several ski slopes, located inside Nahuel Huapí National Park in Patagonia.
Obelisco de Buenos Aires. Iconic landmark in Buenos Aires, this white obelisk dominates Plaza de la República and it is popular meeting and photoshoot place. Installed in 1936.
Nahuel Huapi National Park. Largest and oldest established national park in the Andes area (1934) features lake, forest and massive mountain area. Located in Patagonia, in southwest Argentina.
Talampaya National Park. Located northwest from Cordoba, this elevated desert landscape is filled with fossil record and unique rock formations.
Los Alerces National Park. Located in Patagonia on the border with Chile, this large protected area features mountainous forests and lakes, intersected with rivers.
Ischigualasto Provincial Park. Located in the northwest Argentina, this park, also called Valle de la Luna, featuring desolate desert landscapes with unusual rock formations.
Road of the Seven Lakes. Scenic route between the towns of San Martín de los Andes and Villa La Angostura in the Neuquén Province, in Patagonia, popular with camping and featuring great lake views.
Lanín. A cone-shaped stratovolcano between Argentina and Chile, covered in ice and snow. Part of the Lanin Nationl Park in Argentina, located in Neuquén Province.
Los Arrayanes National Park. Formerly part of Nahuel Huapi National Park, this forested area features ancient, 300 year old Arrayan trees and many scenic walking trails.
Teatro Colón. Great theater in Buenos Aires, founded at the beginning of 20th century, featuring classical performances of music, operas and ballet. Offering guided tours.
Cerro de los Siete Colores. A multicolored hill, a unique natural phenomena, located in Jujuy Province in the north Argentina.
El Ateneo Grand Splendid. Founded in 1919, a large theater converted into a bookstore. Considered by many as a most beautiful bookstore in the world.
Lanín National Park. Famous for namesake Lanín volcano, this national park is in central west Argentina on the border with Chile. Featuring many glacial lakes and hiking trails.
Southern Fuegian Railway. Named poetically as “The Train of the End of the World”, this vintage train ride gives exciting scenic view of the area in Tierra del Fuego Province.
Parque Tres de Febrero. A massive park in Palermo district in Buenos Aires, also known as Bosques de Palermo. Featuring lakes, gardens and rare tree species.
Punta Tombo. Located in central east Argentina, this Nature reserve is famous for its penguins colony.
San Ignacio Miní. A 17th century Jesuit mission ruins, located in the northeast, near the border with Paraguay.
Plaza Dorrego. Central square in San Telmo district in Buenos Aires. Dates back to 19th century and it is famous for cafes, antiques markets and Tango dancers.
Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral. Main Catholic cathedral in Buenos Aires, built in neoclassical style in early 17th century, overlooking Plaza de Mayo. It is famous also by being former seat of Pope Francis.
Cerro Otto. Mountain in central west Argentina, popular with hiking, biking and seasonal skiing. Accessible via a cable car offering spectacular views.
Belgrano. Famous neighborhood in Buenos Aires, comprising of several iconic areas, including Avenida Cabildo, famous for upscale shopping and Chinatown. Popular with tourists.
Cueva de las Manos. Series of caves, listed as UNESCO heritage, famous for ancient hand paintings. Located in Santa Cruz province, south of Petro Moreno.
Plaza San Martín. Famous park and public space located in the Retiro neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Featuring monument to José de San Martín, South America’s independence hero.
Japanese Gardens. Located in the heart of Buenos Aires, Japanese garden is an urban oasis featuring koi ponds, cultural center, restaurant, and a greenhouse.
Los Cardones National Park. Protected area located in the north of Argentina in Salta province. Diverse natural habitat for many birds and especially condors.
Salinas Grandes. High elevation salt plains, located in provinces of Jujuy and Salta in north Argentina. The unique scenic views with blue sky backdrop.
Potrerillos. Scenic district in the foothills of Andes, with Mendoza river and Potrerillos Dam. Wine region, famous for Malbec.
Buenos Aires Cabildo. Former colonial government seat, now a museum with exhibits from 18th century Argentina’s history.
Palacio Barolo. Once the tallest building in South America, this iconic office building opened in 1923 in Buenos Aires.
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. A 19th century National museum, located in Recoleta district in Buenos Aires. One of South America’s largest public art collections, featuring local and international exhibits.
MALBA. Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, or MALBA, is a modern museum hosting 20th century and current exhibits of Latin American art. Located in Palermo district in Buenos Aires.
Parque de la Costa. An amusement park with various for rides, located in northern Buenos Aires.
Del Desierto Lake. Also known as the Lake of the Desert, located in Santa Cruz Province, south west Argentina. Popular for camping and hiking.
Interesting facts about Argentina
- Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego, is the world’s southernmost city.
- The world’s widest street is the 9 de Julio, located in Buenos Aires.
- Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara was Argentinean.
We hope you enjoyed reading about Argentina!