Things to see and do in Argentina
Attractions in Argentina
Discover vibrant La Boca
Marvel at the rainbow of painted houses and artistic talents of La Boca – a colourful portside neighbourhood in southern Buenos Aires. One of the area's star attractions is Boca Juniors' home ground, best known as La Bombonera (the chocolate box). This football ground is a fun place to visit by day, but it gets rowdy at night, especially after a match.
Feast on a meaty parilla
The traditional Argentine parrilla (grill) is the heart and soul of its national cuisine: sample morcilla (blood sausage), chinchulines (intestines) or simply plump for a slap of prime Argentine beef. For a reliably delicious meat experience Buenos Aires has many famous parrilla restaurants or try an open-air barbecue in the Pampas, for an authentic meat feast.
Go wild in the Lake District
With glacial lakes, towering mountains and dense forests, Argentina's Lake District is certainly one of the country's star attractions. It's the ideal destination if you're looking for tranquil wilderness, and for adrenaline-filled activities, from kayaking to rock climbing and more. Continue on to Lanín National Park, dominated by the extinct, snow-capped Lanín Volcano, which stands at 3,776m (12,386ft).
Have a mountain break in Bariloche
Set in stunning Andean scenery, beautiful Bariloche is enthralling whatever the season. In the summer, you can hike hillside trails, kick back with a fishing rod or hop on a horse or mountain bike. As winter arrives, so do the skiers, with reliable powder attracting snow fanatics worldwide. Last but not least, don't leave without trying its famous locally-made chocolate.
Head north to colonial Salta
This lively university city is peppered with colonial Spanish architecture. Drop in on the nearby pre-Inca ruins at Santa Rosa de Tastil, before travelling through the stunning red gorge of the Quebrada de Humahuaca, scattered with verdant oases. Horse riding treks amid the arid, rose-tinted mountains around Salta are a popular way of taking in the area's distinctive natural backdrop.
Hike around Nahuel Huapi
This superb national park in the Argentine Lake District tempts trekkers and sightseers alike with its many natural beauties, including extinct Tronador Volcano, alpine meadows and amazing fauna. The sprawling glacial lake, Lake Nahuel Huapi, stretches over 100km (63 miles) to the border with Chile; the lake contains a nature reserve, Isla Victoria, which you can visit by private boat or organised excursion.
Raft down the Manso
Charge down wild rapids on the River Manso, near Bariloche. This thunderous force of nature, shooting through rocky canyons and forests, rises from the glaciers at the foothills of Mount Tronador and wends its way through to Chile. Other top white water rafting options are the River Atuel near San Rafael or the Juramento Rapids near Salta.
Ride like a gaucho in the Pampas
These flat and fertile lowlands near Buenos Aires provide optimum respite from hectic city life. Head out into the Pampas and stay at an estancia (Argentine-style ranch), many of which offer horse riding around the local beauty spots, open log fires in the winter months and a banquet of fine grilled meat.
Sample Mendoza’s fine wines
Mendoza is one of Argentina's key wine regions, with nearly two thirds of the country's wine produced here, in the Andean foothills. Taste some of the New World's best tipples and learn about winemaking at a traditional bodega (winery). You can tour the region's wineries, from boutique bodegas to major wine labels, many offering guided tours, fine dining and lodging.
Ski down the Andes
When the snow falls, it's time to zoom down the eastern slopes of the Andes. The best time to go skiing in Argentina is May to September. Bariloche is the most established ski destination, while Las Leñas is a large upmarket resort; this remote, purpose-built ski centre, near Malargüe, offers a well-stocked village and access to world-class advanced slopes.
Take a shower in the Iguazú Falls
Aptly named 'great waters' by the Guarani Indians, the magnificent Iguazú Falls are set in the lush jungle of Iguazú National Park, packed with exotic birds and plant life. The highest of the 275 separate falls is the Garganta del Diablo, standing nearly twice the height of the Niagara Falls; visitors can get up close via viewing platforms and spray-drenched catwalks.
Tango til dawn in Buenos Aires
The heady capital city is a vibrant mix of Argentine culture and cosmopolitan city life. This is a full-on, round-the-clock city, with a bustling centre by day, street cafés packed well into the evening, late night feasting at gourmet grills and tango halls that go on way past dawn.
Travel to the ‘Ends of the Earth’ at Tierra del Fuego
Gateway to the Antarctic, Tierra del Fuego is a windswept archipelago of craggy peaks, ancient forests and sprawling estancias, shared by Argentina and neighbouring Chile. A magnet for naturalists and adventurers, the region offers boat safaris through the Beagle Channel, fishing, horse riding, hiking, or exploring Ushuaia, the world's most southerly city.
Watch glaciers calve at Los Glaciares National Park
This magnificent park runs for 170km (106 miles) along the border with Chile; it is characterised by rugged mountains and clear lakes. The most popular glacier is the mighty Perito Moreno, where massive chunks of ice shear off and fall into Lago Argentino to form icebergs. You can view the advancing Perito Moreno Glacier from catwalks, from boat trips or even by walking on it.
Watch whales in Puerto Madryn
The beautiful nature reserve Peninsula Valdés situated near the Patagonian town Puerto Madryn is Argentina's prime whale-watching location. From June until December is the best time to spot southern right whales in its temperate waters. Head there in September and October to see the whales with their young, as well as the bulky masses of elephant seals basking on the shoreline.
Argentina Government Tourist Office in the USAAddress: 12 West 56th Street, New York City, 10019
Telephone: +1 212 603 0443.