Argentina is an amazing place to visit. The eighth largest country in the world is full of variety and has something to offer everyone. The wine, the fishing, the tango, the mountaineering, the skiing, the literature, the beef, the architecture, the clubbing – and you have the building blocks for one of the most exciting journeys you’ll ever take. No joke. While so many things in Argentina are exciting, some things are better defined as ‘mind blowing.
it’s one of the world’s most sophisticated dances. It’s so sexy, you’ll be fired up enough to make it through that long Buenos Aires night. For a unique outdoor experience, head to the bandstand at the Barrancas de Belgrano park in Buenos Aires, where the casual milonga ‘La Glorieta’ takes place on Sunday evenings at around 8pm (free tango lessons are given earlier). Also try Club Gricel with its wonderful aging wood dance floor and Confitería Ideal, the mother of all historic tango halls.
2. Iguazu Falls
There are waterfalls and there are waterfalls. And then there’s Iguazú. A visit is a jaw-dropping, visceral experience, and the power and noise of the cascades live forever in the memory. An added benefit is the setting: the falls lie split between Brazil and Argentina in a large expanse of national park and rainforest. The falls are easily reached from either side of the Argentine–Brazilian border, as well as from nearby Paraguay. Most visitors choose either to stay in Foz do Iguaçu, on the Brazilian side, or in Argentina’s Puerto Iguazú.
3. Glaciar Perito Moreno
Among the Earth’s most dynamic and accessible ice fields, Glaciar Perito Moreno is the stunning centerpiece of the southern sector of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. Locally referred to as Glaciar Moreno, it measures 30km long, 5km wide and 60m high, but what makes it exceptional in the world of ice is its constant advance – up to 2m per day, causing building-sized icebergs to calve from its face. In some ways, watching the glacier is a very sedentary park experience, but it manages to nonetheless be thrilling.
Exploring Argentina by the glass will take you – and your palate – from the malbecs and cabernets of Mendoza to the crisp torrontés of Cafayate and to the succulent syrahs of San Juan. The small town of Maipú, near Mendoza, is so packed with wineries, olive oil farms and other gourmet businesses that it’s easy to hit five or six in a day. All offer tours and most finish proceedings with at least a small sampling of their produce. A few companies in Maipú rent bikes and electric scooters, making a day tour of the area an excellent outing.
5. Tierra del Fuego
Maybe it’s the austral light, or just knowing that the next step south is Antarctica. Whatever it is, this trove of mystical islands, cut off from the northern world by the Straight of Magellan, is indescribably magical. A storied past of shipwrecks, failed religious missions and indigenous extinction contributes to the powerful mystique of this end-of-the-earth location. Travelers flock here to glimpse the furthest reaches of the continent, and ah – what a view it is! The barren northern plains of Tierra del Fuego give way to peat bogs and moss-draped lenga forests that rise into ragged snowy mountains.