Five Things First Time Travellers To Argentina Should Know
- Everything in Argentina starts late. People only start work from 10:00 a.m. which means it's impossible to find anything open before then. For dinner, locals also only eat around 9:00 p.m. and start hitting the bars from 12:00 a.m
- The cheek kiss is a standard greeting. Apart from business interactions, Argentinians greet each other with a quick kiss on the cheek. Waving to someone is also considered rude, so make sure you say goodbye the proper way to avoid offending anyone.
- Vegans and vegetarians will struggle travelling to this region. Argentina is a meat lovers' paradise with beef a staple on any menu. For vegans, it's even harder because everything is usually covered in cheese.
- The water quality is sometimes questionable. If you don't want to take any chances, stick to bottled water. It's also a good idea to skip the ice and check if any vegetables have been cleaned with tap water.
- The monetary system in Argentina is corrupt. It's important to examine any bills you are given to make sure it isn't counterfeit. Do your research before you leave and learn how to spot fake Argentine Pesos. Also, find out where a few ATMs are in your area as they have a withdrawal limit and run out often.
Best Time To Visit Argentina
Argentina is a massive country, home to a variety of different climates and landscapes. It's impossible to see everything it has to offer in one trip, so the best time to go really depends on what you want to do.
If you want to spend your holiday relaxing on Argentina's beaches, the best time to go is during the summer months of December to March. It's also the most reliable period for a visit to Tierra del Fuego. Summer is the busiest time of year in Argentina so expect hotel rates and flight prices to be at their highest.
For wine lovers, the best time to visit Argentina is during autumn. From March to April, the wine regions of Mendoza and San Juan are harvesting their wines, and the countryside is in awash of beautiful orange and red hues.
June to August are Argentina's winter months and the best time for winter sports enthusiasts. Head to the Andean ski resorts and tackle the country's most challenging slopes. It's also low season, and you'll have better luck finding deals on accommodation and airfare during this period.
Buenos Aires is the capital city of Argentina and the cultural capital of South America.
It's known for its lively nightlife, outdoor tango lessons, thriving music scene and world-class restaurants. There are also plenty of museums, art galleries and theatre shows to keep you entertained.
It's the ultimate destination for culture vultures who want to soak up everything that makes this region unique.
Mendoza is the capital of Argentina's wine region. It's renowned around the world for red wine, especially its Malbecs.
But there's more to this city than just wine tastings and tours. Nearby you'll find beautiful hiking trails as well as adrenaline pumping activities like whitewater rafting, paragliding and skiing.
Mar del Plata
Mar del Plata was once a retreat for Argentina's aristocracy. Today, it's a premier beach resort, boasting 10 miles of beaches that attract millions of visitors each year.
Its most famous is Playa Grande beach, known for its excellent surfing.
But the city isn't all about sun worshipping, other activities not to be missed are its museums, beautiful gardens, and buzzing nightlife scene.
Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. Established in the early 20th century, it's become a popular starting point for trips to Antarctica or around Cape Horn.
Located on the edge of Tierra del Fuego National Park, Ushuaia is surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery, glaciers and forests. Other popular attractions worth checking out are the End of the World Lighthouse, End of the World Museum and the Maritime Museum of Ushuaia.
Top Attractions in Argentina
Located on the border of Brazil, Iguazu National Park is home to the largest waterfall in the world. Made up of 150 to 300 falls, it spans across a three-kilometre edge and drops 60 to 80 metres below.
Visitors can get the best possible views of the falls from the many accessible walkways and viewing platforms, including one at the bottom of the falls called Devil's Throat.
While Brazil does offer a better panoramic view, 80% of the falls lie on the Argentinean side, and there's way more to see. Also, if you're on a budget, Argentina is cheaper for boat trips to the base of the falls.
Perito Moreno Glacier
Inside the Los Glaciares National Park is the 30 km Perito Moreno Glacier. Located two hours from the small town of El Calafate, it's the third largest freshwater reserve in the world. Named after a 19th-century explorer, this giant natural wonder is still growing.
For adventurous travellers, climbing tours can be arranged. Options range from a one hour walk all the way to five-day excursions.
Or, you can admire the glacier from the many viewpoints. While there, you might witness one of the huge chunks of ice break off, crash into the water and create a reverberating roar.
Tierra del Fuego National Park
Tierra del Fuego National Park is one of the oldest reserves in Argentina. Each year, thousands of visitors flock here to marvel at the beautiful lakes, rivers and glaciers found within the 156,000-acre area.
One of the most popular hiking trails is Senda Costera. It takes intrepid travellers along a coastal path to Lake Roca and boasts an incredible diversity of wildlife. If you're lucky, you might even see a couple of the Andean condors.
For those that prefer to take in the sights without getting sweaty, book a ride on the antique steam train. The Southern Fuegian Railway runs through the park all the way to Canadon del Toro.
Located in the city of Cordoba, only a five-hour drive from Buenos Aires, the cathedral is one of the oldest in Argentina. Its beautiful Baroque and Neoclassical architecture date back to the 18th century. But it's believed that the cathedral can trace its roots to a Roman Catholic church built here in 1580.
Its highlights include the 20th-century frescos painted by some of the country's best artists; its silver altar and collection of gold votive offerings. The cathedral also has a crypt which is the final resting place for many of Argentina's most notable citizens.
Bariloche is a small town located inside Nahuel Huapi National Park and is best known for its incredible mountainous scenery.
It's close to Cerro Catedral, one of the country's tallest peaks and most popular ski resort. Cerro has more than 100 km of ski terrain as well as stunning views of Lake Nahuel Huapi.
For the adventurous, there's a seemingly neverending list of things to do. Spend your days hiking to volcanoes, camping next to waterfalls, or climbing glaciers.
There's also a beautiful driving circuit that's over 105 km long. The route takes visitors past some of the biggest alpine lakes including Villarino, Correntoso and Machonico.
Major International Airports in Argentina
- Ministro Pistarini International Airport
- Jorge Newbery Airfield
- Ingeniero Ambrosio Taravella Airport
- Malvinas Argentinas Airport
- El Plumerillo Airport