It is little wonder that the world’s eighth largest country and one so geographically vast has such astounding extremes, from the steamy jungle of the subtropical northwest to the wild, glacial landscapes of Patagonia to the south, via desert canyons, lake districts, gaucho estancias, vineyards and cosmopolitan cities. Visitors seek out Argentina for these and so many more reasons, usually finding that the lively culture and Argentine passion for life can be intoxicating, and - more often than not - leaving them wanting more.
The largest of the countries in the Southern Cone – South America’s most prosperous region – Argentina has a strong cultural identity and personality, and the Argentinians are extremely proud of this. Buenos Aires is arguably South America’s most elegant capital city and can easily get under your skin. From the most intensely emotional Tango in the world to some of the finest cuisine and nightlife,’ BA’ as it is affectionately known, is a place of style and pure energy. However, despite having such a sophisticated at its hub, Argentina also has vast tracts of rugged, remote scenery and coastline which are every bit as intoxicating as the most romantic images suggest.
To the northeast, Iguazu Falls and her fiercely cascading waters will take your breath away and have to be seen to be believed. The Lake District area around Bariloche has a network of stunning lakes set against snow-capped peaks, like the incredible views from Cerro Otto. Patagonia and the Tierra del Fuego, the ‘the land of the end of the earth ‘whose tip points toward the Antarctic, will mystify with its unending sense of space and majestic landscapes. The appeal of the winelands surrounding Mendoza is obvious - the area produces 70% of the nation’s wine, and we defy you to leave empty handed, but the scenery here is also picturesque and aching to be explored by foot or horseback.
It is possible to stay in a variety of accommodation that represents both adventure and luxury for the avid traveller, from boutique and urban hotels in the capital and to family-owned working ranches or ‘estancias’ or wine lodges in the countryside. Hotel rooms that overlook the ice wall at the Perito Moreno glacier or the waterfalls at Iguazu contrast with the more intrepid options of camping at the foot of craggy peaks in the Lake District or Patagonia. To see as many of these faces of Argentina as possible, we recommend at least two weeks and some domestic flights between locations. Argentina combines naturally with Chile, as it shares its western border and several Andean crossings. It also combines well with Brazil, reached through the mighty Iguazu Falls. Although English is widely spoken in all major tourist centres and by our local guides, a few words of Spanish will be received by a smile from the friendly Argentines.
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