By Briana Seftel
As the second largest country in South America after Brazil, Argentina offers travelers an abundance of experiences, from cosmopolitan cities to soaring mountain peaks. You can have the best steak of your life while watching a passionate tango in Buenos Aires, then fly to the literal end of the world in Ushuaia. If you’re thinking of traveling to Argentina, here are nine must-see places to add to your itinerary.
Los Glaciares National Park
Lying on the border of Chile in Patagonia, this beautiful national park and Unesco World Heritage Site is home to the immense, nearly 200-foot-tall Perito Moreno Glacier, which spans an astonishing 121 square miles! The Argentinian park is also home to an abundance of natural wonders, including two other large glaciers.
Nicknamed the "Paris of South America," the capital of Buenos Aires is about as close as you’ll get to Europe in South America. Its wide, leafy boulevards and sidewalk cafes will definitely bring the City of Light to mind, but make no mistake: Buenos Aires is a fiercely proud city famous for its tango and steakhouses. Some of the most well-known areas in the city include La Boca neighborhood, Casa Rosada and La Recoleta Cemetery, where the famous Eva Peron (Evita) is buried.
Nestled at the foot of the Andes, Mendoza is Argentina’s main wine region and the largest wine producing area in South America. Sip and savor the finest Malbec as you hop from one beautiful winery to the next. The best way to see this region is by car, so rent one in the city and set forth on a wine-infused adventure!
Stemming from the Iguazu River and on the border of Brazil, the magnificent Iguazu Falls are the most powerful on the Argentinian side. Walk along a series of boardwalks that take you right up to the falls, but be sure to bring a waterproof poncho so you don’t leave soaked. The most famous of the falls is known as Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo).
For a taste of colonial history and architecture, head to the northwestern city of Salta. Founded in 1582, the city is known for its baby pink cathedral, government building (cabildo), and archeological museum. You could easily spend a weekend here, but it’s best to combine Salta with the nearby Cafayate, Salinas salt flats and the “Train to the Clouds” (Tren a las Nubes).
Ever wonder where Argentina’s famous gauchos come from? Here, in the central province of Pampas. From the Quechua word meaning “flat plain," the Pampas makes up a third of the country and even continues into Uruguay. Home of cattle ranches and gauchos, this is the place to go if you crave wide open plains and a relaxed country atmosphere.
You will literally be at the end of the world in Ushuaia, the world’s most southernmost city located on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. Adventure travelers to Patagonia and Antarctica depart from Ushuaia, which makes this port city an important and thriving hub. It’s also a popular base for exploring the nearby Beagle Channel and Tierra del Fuego National Park.
Quebrada de Humahuaca
The multi-colored valley known as Quebrada de Humahuaca will take your breath away. Located along Rio Grande, it's home to not only some of Argentina's oldest civilizations, but also some astonishing natural wonders. The key attraction is the Hill of the Seven Colors (Cerro de los Siete Colores), a rainbow-hued mountain of, yes, seven colors.
You’ll think you’re in Switzerland in Argentina’s Lake District in northwestern Patagonia. Wood chalets, breweries and verdant landscapes will certainly make you think of the Land of Milk and Honey, but the real gem here is the Nahuel Huapi National Park, one of South America's finest. Base yourself in the capital of Bariloche and traverse the crystalline lakes that make up this spectacular area.