Argentina is a vibrant, fascinating country and is in fact, the 8th largest country in the world, taking up much of the lower half of the South American continent. Fiercely Spanish in its cultural heritage, vacations in Argentina are also in a cosmopolitan and trendy land. The country’s sheer size means that with a vacation in Argentina there is something for everyone. If you just want to know something about it or are looking for the best reasons to visit Argentina, read on.
1. Visit the Lake District
This stunning area lies along the border with Chile and is a landscape of wild mountain peaks and lakes of crystal clear waters. Mostly contained within the Nahuel Haupi National Park , it is one of the best hiking spots in the world. Take short or long trips to view snow capped volcanoes and remote lakes. Visit wonderfully charming little towns like San Martin with its distinct European feel or El Bolson with its bohemian vibe and hippie markets.
2. See the Perito Moreno Glacier
Los Glaciares National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the area alone would be sufficient reason for a vacation in Argentina, but at its heart is the Perito Moreno Glacier. This wall of ice rises 74m out of Lake Argentino, but what you see is but 15%, with the rest being underwater. Perito Moreno is one of the world’s few advancing glaciers and is an incredible 30kms in length. Chunks that fall off it into the lake are as big as houses. You can see the massive ice field from boat trips on the lake, or from various vantage points from trails around it.
3. Visit El Chalten
This little town is one of the reasons hikers take holidays in Argentina. Occupying a small flat plain, El Chalten is surrounded by the jagged peaks of Fitz Roy and Torre. The very distinctive and impressive peaks attract hikers who walk the trails and use the town as a base for further exploring and rock climbing. The town is a little gem – not yet spoiled by high rise tourist hotels but with enough facilities to keep the modest tourist happy.
4. Visit Buenos Aires
Exciting, flamboyant, noisy, busy yet beautiful, seductive yet relaxed, the capital of Argentina is an absolute treasure. There are great sights and fabulous experiences to be had in Buenos Aires, and give more than enough reasons to visit Argentina. Go hunting for antique bargains in San Telmo, take pictures of the colorful urban scenes in La Boca, sip coffee in trendy bars in Palermo, learn to tango, or dine on the best steak in excellent restaurants.
5. Ride with the Gauchos
Forget the American Wild West, the cowboy life is still alive and very much kicking in rural Argentina. Gauchos, as they are known, are found in most rural areas but the gaucho capital is San Antonio de Areco. In the pampas about 115kms north west of Buenos Aires, this little town even has an annual festival, the Dia de la Tradicion, to celebrate their special culture.
6. Visit the Grand Canyon
There are many fabulous geographical sights that make for good reasons to visit Argentina if sightseeing is your main travel motivation. Argentina has its own Grand Canyon, created by the Rio Grande and is full of interest. The area has a strong indigenous heritage which can be seen in the adobe houses and markets and crafts of the region, but the sights are the draw card. All along Route 9, you can view the wondrous work of Mother Nature, and the most celebrated is the Hill of Seven Colors, near to the small town of Purmamarca.
7. Get Happy with the Penguins of Tombo
We don’t always associate animals with vacations in Argentina, but there are some wonderful places to view wildlife. One of these places is Punto Tombo Wildlife Reserve. Every September, this narrow strip of southern coastline is invaded by 400,000 Magellanic penguins, who make the rocky terrain their breeding ground. Also, the waters off this coast are home to whales, dolphins and sea lions.
8. Learn to Tango
I know I have mentioned the tango in the point about Buenos Aires, but if you’re looking for one single sole reason for a holiday in Argentina, make it learning the tango. This sultry and seductive dance is the symbol of the country and its passionate people. Head to the district of La Boca, in BA, be charmed by its pastel colored buildings, but be bowled over by the fluid moves of tango experts. Take a masterclass, or grab an impromptu lesson in any of the dimly lit bars.
I hope I’ve tempted you with my reasons to visit Argentina. It is a magnificent country with wonderful sights and friendly, welcoming people. Have you booked your flights yet?
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