Country guides South & Central America
Argentina Travel Guide
Seductive, spirited and intensely beautiful, Argentina beckons those with a zest for adventure. Spanning a massive 2,263 miles (3,650km) from north to south, the narrow country has a huge variety of landscapes and attractions for active visitors, ranging from the vast, desert cattle ranges of the Pampas in the north to the penguin colonies and starkly attractive glaciers of Tierra del Fuego in the south.
In between those extremes lies Buenos Aires, the sultry heart of Argentina. The birthplace of the tango, Buenos Aires is a fascinating city of history and culture, and is overflowing with amazing restaurants, theatres, nightclubs and dance halls. Two hundred and thirty miles (400km) south of Buenos Aires lies Argentina's most popular beach resort, Mar del Plata, which attracts around three million local tourists every summer.
Many of Argentina's most popular attractions are not in the cities, however, but are spread across its verdant landscape. The famous Iguazu Falls, voted one of the natural wonders of the world in 2011, draw tourists from all over the globe, as do the excellent vineyards of the wine region in Mendoza, and the popular ski resorts Bariloche and Las Lenas.
Argentina is a patchwork made up of colourful panoramas and even more colourful people. A hugely popular tourist destination in South America, a holiday here is an experience likely never to be forgotten.
Best time to visit Argentina
The weather in Argentina varies widely from north to south, so deciding the best time to visit depends on where travellers are going. The best time to visit Patagonia and the southern region is in summer (December to February), when temperatures are moderate, while the northern region and Iguazu Falls are best visited in winter (June to August) for the same reason. The best time to go to Buenos Aires is in the spring and autumn (September to November and March to May) to avoid extreme temperatures and large crowds. The ski season in Argentina runs from June to October.
What to see in Argentina
-Visit Iguazu National Park and the only remaining Guarani settlements in Argentina.
-See the grand Casa Rosada, the bright pink home of Juan and Eva Peron.
-Hike on the spectacular ice formations of Los Glaciares National Park.
-Visit the penguin colonies in southern Patagonia.
What to do in Argentina
-Learn to tango in the nightclubs of Buenos Aires.
-Go skiing at Argentinian ski resorts such as Cerro Catedral and Los Penitentes.
-Sample local wines in the vineyards of Mendoza.
-Go white-water rafting down the Rio Manso in the Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi.
Getting to Argentina
Getting to Argentina is a long process, as flights to Argentina from London take between 11 and 16 hours. There are direct flights to Argentina from a few major US cities, as well as London. Most flights to Argentina land in Buenos Aires at Ministro Pistarini International Airport.
On Heroes and Tombs by Ernesto Sabato, and Evita: In My Own Words by Eva Peron.
La Revancha del Tango (Gotan Project)
Evita (1996), Naked Tango (1991) and X-Men: First Class (2011)
Mate and Argentinian wine.
Hot empanadas and Dulce de Leche.
Buy in Argentina
Argentinian wine, tango albums and leather goods such as handbags and jackets.
Pack for Argentina
Bring some nice clothes for evenings in Buenos Aires; restaurants and bars lean toward chic dress codes and casual establishments can be hard to find.
What's on in Argentina
See the twirling dancers at the Buenos Aires Tango Festival in autumn. The world's best polo players show off their talents at the Argentine Open every summer. Listen to traditional flamenco guitar at the International Guitar Festival, held each October.
Did you know?
-The official national sport of Argentina is pato, a combination of polo and basketball.
-Thirty percent of Argentina's population lives in Buenos Aires.
-The largest dinosaur to ever walk the Earth was discovered by a Patagonian shepherd in 2014.
A final word
The sultry lure of the tango and colourful culture of Argentina makes it an exotic and romantic holiday destination.