Argentina is a land of natural and man-made wonders. From the glaciers and sky-scraping peaks of the Andes to the vineyards of Mendoza and the bustle of Buenos Aires, there’s so much to see in this dynamic and incomparably unique country.
There are many reasons why Argentina is a top destination for tourists. It has the largest waterfalls, the highest peak in the Americas and some of the most extraordinary scenery that travelers will find anywhere. It’s not just the overall excellence. It’s the extreme variety of tourist attractions in Argentina that keeps visitors coming back for more.
On the border region between Argentina and Chile is Volcan Lanin, a volcano that is wildly popular with hikers and rock climbers. The truly adventurous can seek permission at the Lanín national park office, show proof of supplies, and then trek to the summit on an often snow-capped route. Alternatively, a short walk of under an hour can take visitors to the Volcán Lanín’s Cara Norte, or north face, which also offers views of the lake called Lago Tromen and the surrounding forest.
Quebrada de Cafayate is a spectacular canyon in the Valles Calchaquíes region. Sandstone, unusual rock formations and bold colors make this is a true bucket-list item for travelers. Organized tours allow for hiking or driving along the Río de las Conchas, traveling into the gorge and the heart of the canyon. In the background, the Sierras de Carahuasi are a bold contrast, creating picture-perfect vistas. Look for landmarks like the iconic monolith known as El Obelisco, the vivid rock formation castles known as Los Castillos and the chalk quarry, which is home to a unusual rock formation called El Fraile, or the monk.
Just north of Buenos Aires is the city of Tigre, a destination that serves as a hub for the surrounding delta. While the city offers an extensive museum, great shops and a bustling outdoor market, the real appeal is escaping Tigre and exploring the river delta by boat. Book a spot on a guided tour, or just hop on one of the local water taxis, and see the local homes along the canals, the many floating means of transport used in the area and even purchase goods from the floating vendors who ply their trade right in the river.
One of the most popular attractions in Buenos Aires is Recoleta Cemetery. The cemetery dates back to the early 18th century, and it contains nearly 5,000 vaults. Architectural features abound at the Recoleta Cemetery, including countless statues, Doric columns and mausoleums. What makes the cemetery so fascinating, however, is who is laid to rest there. Some of the tombs in Recoleta belong to people like Eva Peron, Armando Bo, José Figueroa Alcorta and virtually every Argentinian of political or cultural note from the past two centuries.
In La Rioja Province is Talampaya National Park, a large preserve that protects some of the country’s most important archeological and paleontological sites. Approximately 250 years ago, dinosaurs roamed in this region, and fossil remains found in the park confirm that fact. For those without an interest in archeology, the dry bed of the Talampaya River, the rich red of the gorge, the unusually shaped rocks and the magnificent scenery are enough reason to visit this amazing tourist attractions in Argentina.
Dating back to the 17th century, the Iglesia San Francisco is one of the most impressive colonial structures in the beautiful city of Salta. This Italianate church is known for its exquisite white pillars and an elaborate multi-tiered tower that is illuminated at night. With its domed ceiling and archival library, the church’s interior is equally noteworthy. This architectural landmark is worth the trip alone to the provincial capital of Salta.
Located in the Lake District near San Carlos de Bariloche, Cerro Catedral is South America’s most famous and well-developed ski resort. Challenging terrain, off-piste access and snowboarding facilities make it a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts and ski festivals. In the offseason, the resort welcomes hikers, climbers and cyclists who want to tame the terrain and take in the breathtaking mountain views.
16. Mar del Plata Beaches Where to Stay
Once a retreat for Argentina’s aristocracy, Mar del Plata today is the country’s top beach resort city. Located on the Atlantic Coast, the city attracts millions of tourists every year to its sandy beaches and lively culture. During the summer weekends it can get very crowded here but outside the summer months, the city takes on a much more relaxed feel.
This archeological site is an essential destination for anyone who appreciates art or history. The Cueva de las Manos includes a magnificent collection of prehistoric cave paintings that were completed 9,000 years ago by ancestors of the Tehuelche people who inhabit Patagonia and the Pinturas River Canyon. The cave is known for its iconic stenciled outlines of overlapping hands, but it also includes painted hunting scenes and symbolic pictographs.
Climbing Aconcagua is an activity for true adventurers. Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Andes and one of the world’s Seven Summits. It’s an exceptionally appealing destination due to its immense height and accessible climb. Using certain routes, climbers can reach the summit without ropes or technical equipment. Visitors may also explore the surrounding glaciers and many other natural sites located within Mendoza’s Aconcagua Provincial Park.
Located in northwest Argentina between the Andes and the fertile Valles Templados, Quebrada de Humahuaca is an unearthly valley with a desert-like atmosphere that’s defined by cacti, lamas, rugged mountains and colorful sandstone escarpments. Visitors today travel on ancient Incan trade routes past settlements that have been populated for approximately 10,000 years. Humahuaca is the largest town, but Purmamarca, Tilcara and Iruya also have spectacular scenery.
Everywhere you go in Buenos Aires there is someone performing Tango on the street. Crowds gather, the music play, the dancers put on their show in full dance regalia. There are many Tango dancers and some are very good and some just put on a good show for the viewing public and have more dash than talent. In any event it gives the city a unique atmosphere and many tourists find it fascinating.
11. Ushuaia Where to Stay
Situated on the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia is commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world. In the past, Ushuaia has been a missionary base, penal colony and naval base but is now a major tourist attraction in Argentina, complete with casinos, hotels and restaurants. The town is commonly used as a base for hiking, skiing and cruises to Antarctica.
⇒ related: Ushuaia Attractions
The Ibera Wetlands are the second-largest wetlands in world after the Pantanal in Brazil. The ecological preserve is home to many iconic South American animals, including anacondas, armadillos, caimans, capybaras, howler monkeys, the ostrich-like rhea and more than 350 rare and endangered bird species. This boggy area in northern Argentina can be explored by foot, on horseback or by kayak.
9. Mendoza Wine Regions Where to Stay
The Mendoza wine region is considered the heart of the winemaking industry in Argentina. Located in the eastern foothills of the Andes vineyards are planted at the some of the highest altitudes in the world. The city of Mendoza is the place to base yourself if you plan to tour the vineyards. The city’s wide range of tour operators also makes it a great place to organize rafting, skiing and other adventures in the nearby Andes.
Located in southern Patagonia near the Chilean border, Monte Fitz Roy is one of the most iconic points in the Andes. This granite mountain is surrounded by glacial lakes and dramatic ice fields. The rugged terrain and sheer rock faces are beloved by mountain climbers for the extreme challenge and by photographers for the extreme beauty. Those who don’t know the name may recognize its sharp silhouette from the logo of the clothing brand Patagonia. It was first climbed in 1952 by French alpinists Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone.
Dozens of estancias, or rural estates that were once the private getaways of wealthy families have opened their doors to the public. Many of these country hotels offer a día de campo (country day) that’s ideal for day-trippers. After breakfast visitors typically follow the estancia’s resident gaucho into the fields for a morning horse ride. Then it’s back to the farmhouse for a barbecue and a quick hammock siesta before hitting the trails again.
6. Beagle Channel Tours & Activities
The Beagle Channel is a strait in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago, in the extreme south of Argentina. The channel is one of the three navigable passages around South America, the other ones are the Straits of Magellan to the north, and the open ocean Drake Passage to the south. A boat trip is the best way to view the Beagle Channel, with attractions such as the sea-lion colony at Isla de los Lobos, and Isla de Pájaros.
This remote Patagonian peninsula is an excellent place to see a phenomenal variety of marine mammals. Depending on the time of year, the peninsula attracts a great number of penguins, sea lions, seals and orcas. Whales can be found in the waters located between the Valdes Peninsula and the Patagonian mainland between May and December. Visitors may also spot foxes, guanacos, rheas, maras, shorebirds and other endemic species on the sparsely populated landmass. The peninsula’s varied geography supports many colonies of protected animals. This diversity makes it one of the best destinations in South America for viewing endemic wildlife.
4. Caminito Where to Stay
Located in the La Boca neighborhood, Caminito is one of the most photographed parts of Buenos Aires. This bohemian street museum is filled with colorful houses, shops, cafes and quirky statues. The area celebrates Italian immigrants who arrived in Argentina in the 1800s. This foreign influence is alive and well in this thriving area where artists sell paintings, music fills the air and performers dance the tango as immigrants did centuries ago.
3. Route of the Seven Lakes Where to Stay
To best explore the region of Bariloche, a mountainous region known for its incredible scenery, the Route of the Seven Lakes is a great option. This driving circuit, which is just over 105 km (150 miles) in total, brings visitors to the alpine lakes in the region including Lagos Nahuel Huapi, Espejo, Correntoso, Escondido, Villarino, Falkner and Machónico. There are also opportunities for short hikes to admire waterfalls or walk at the foothills of the Andes Mountains.
2. Perito Moreno Glacier Tours & Activities
The Perito Moreno Glacier is an enormous glacier located in the Los Glaciares National Park. It is one of the most important tourist attractions in Argentina due to its size and accessibility. It is less than two hours by bus from El Calafate while viewing platforms and trails make the visit and the observation easy and pleasant. Boat tours are also a popular way of seeing the Perito Moreno Glacier and many other glaciers and places in the National Park Los Glaciares.
1. Iguazu Falls Where to Stay
Iguazú Falls is the crown jewel of Iguazú National Park, which is located in the northeastern corner of the country near the borders of Paraguay and Brazil. This is among the largest and most majestic waterfalls in the world. It’s taller than Niagara Falls and nearly twice as wide. The falls and surrounding jungles can be viewed by foot and from observation decks that are ideal for photographing the torrents of water that pour through the Devil’s Throat.