What do you imagine if you hear the word Argentina? For me personally, it would be things like tango, wine, charm, Buenos Aires, Patagonia, Asado, Gauchos and pampas but also Evita, Che Guevara, Messi or Maradona and many other people, things or places. In this post, we’re obviously going to talk about this beautiful and passionate country. In particular, we’re going to explore Argentina from the tourism point of view. We’ll therefore look at the safety as well as popular places to visit in Argentina, plus we’ll also touch on the subjects of history, food, culture, people and so on.
Before we start, I must make one thing clear. República Argentina is a very large country and this article will be only able to mention a fraction (AKA highlights++) of what it has to offer. Its massive landmass of 2.74 million km2, makes Argentina the 2nd largest country in South America and/or 8th largest in the world. To put this into a perspective, imagine that Argentina covers 63% of the whole EU or 28% of the USA’s territory.
Understanding the culture
Argentina is arguably the most “European” country in Latin America. This is mainly due to the 19th-century mass immigration wave of 6,6 million arrivals that puts Argentina in second place, right after the USA, when it comes to the numbers of immigrants any country has welcomed during that period. Except for the indigenous ethnicities, Argentinian culture has been therefore strongly influenced by Italian, Spanish, German and other European immigrants.
Bizarrely, this is also one of the elements that make Argentinians – let’s say – not exactly the most popular nation among Latin Americans. I have personally noticed a certain form of pride coming from Argentinians but it was nothing like the nationalism in Europe, which is often presented through the extreme right-wing views with links to racism. In Argentina, it felt positive, rather than hate-fuelled as it often is in Europe. Basically, an average Argentinian would let you know about the country of their origin, even if you ask him or her what’s the time 🙂
Speaking for myself, I’ve perceived it as something like “positive nationalism”, a phenomenon I’ve never experienced before. The non-Argentinian Latinos however do have a different take on that but it originates in various historical disagreements and conflicts. Thankfully, this rivalry has been reduced to some inter-cultural humour and football (as off soccer) matches. For instance, while in Europe it’s usually (mostly close-proximity) traditional rival, in Latin America everyone always wants to win against Argentina the most. And as we all know, football is huge in this part of the World.
It would be incorrect to skip the indigenous influence in Argentina. There are 35 indigenous groups with an equal number of indigenous languages in the country. Nearly 1 million Argentinians declared themselves to be of pre-Columbian origin. The most populous indigenous groups were the Mapuche, Guaraní, Huarpe, Mocoví, Diaguita, Wichí, Aonikenk (AKA Tehuelche people), Kolla and Qom.
When it comes to arts, Argentina has a lot to be proud of. It’s not just the worldwide phenomenon of tango, there are many famous artists, writers, sculptors, architects and poets. There are too many people to drop few names only. In case you’re interested in further details, here‘s Encyclopedia Britannica‘s post about Argentinian art.
Basic history of Argentina
The earliest record in what was to become Argentina is the archaeological finding of Eodromaeus, a small 1.2-metre long dinosaur from about 230 million BC. There were much more significant archaeological findings, such as Arroyo Seco 2 that contains human settlements from 14 thousand years ago, but I thought that for the purpose of this article, it would be better to move on a few thousand years ahead to the early Columbian period, in order to get on with the subject.
So if we jump to 1535, we’d witness the brave Karandias Indians driving away from the Spanish conquistadors from what was to become the Buenos Aires area. Due to the technological advantage of the Spaniards, the conquest was however only a question of time. Only a year later, Pedro de Mendoza has founded Buenos Aires, which kick-started the Spanish colonisation of the River Plate coast and inland areas. In 1776 Spain established a separate Viceroyalty of the River Plate that covered large territory (see the map below). The appointed Viceroy was however overthrown in 1810 in an act that launched the war of independence with Spain.
It gives me pleasure to mention also one non-war historical fact from this period due to its significance: in 1813 Argentina begun the gradual process of abolishing slavery as the first country in the Americas. OK. Back to wars, genocide and coups then. On July the 9th 1816, Argentina finally declared independence, however as things were in this part of the world back then, decades of turmoil, attempted foreign intervention, and civil war between centralist and federalist forces was to follow.
Economical stability and The Great Depression
The 1880s finally brought some stability to the country. The introduction of liberal economic and immigration programmes as well as progressive education and social policies led to rapid income and population growth. The results were staggering as in 1908 Argentina records the seventh-highest income per capita in the world!
The 1939’s Great Depression however changed few things around. Argentinian armed forces organised a coup to oust President Yrigoyen of the Radical party. During WWII, Argentina, along with Chile continued their diplomatic relations with Japan and Germany, even after the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor, right until 1945, when Argentina declared war on Japan and Germany.
The rise of Peronism
The Argentinian involvement in WW2 however only happened after the nationalist army officers, with Colonel Juan Perón, seized power in 1943. Three years later, Perón won the regular democratic presidential election. His wife, Eva ‘Evita‘ Perón gained huge popularity among the population after engaging in Labour Rights. But in 1949, Perón introduced a new constitution that strengthened the power of the president which consequently led to the imprisonment of some of his opponents.
Peron was re-elected in 1951 but his support begins to decline after Evita died the following year. In 1955, after the violent military uprisings, President Perón resigned and fled to Paraguay before settling in Madrid. In 1973, Perón however returned after winning the elections once again only to pass away a year later. His 3rd wife Isabel succeeded him but the country has entered a period of instability.
Things escalated quickly and what followed was arguably the saddest part of modern Argentinian history. Peronism as a political movement, however, survived up until today, while it kept evolving through various rather extreme incarnations of itself.
Dirty War and Malvinas
Between 1976 and 1983, Argentina and its people suffered from what became known as the Dirty War. The US-backed regime led by Military Junta that called themselves National Reorganization Process carried out strong repression of political dissidents using the government’s military and security forces. Opponents were kidnapped, tortured and killed. During the Dirty War, up to 30,000 people disappeared in Argentina.
Only many years later it was revealed that in November 1975, Pinochet’s spy chief, Manuel Contreras, invited 50 intelligence officers from Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil to the Army War Academy to set up Operation Condor. It was a terrifying combined operation of eight US-backed military dictatorships in South America that “plotted the cross-border kidnap, torture, rape and murder of hundreds of their political opponents”.
Sadly it took another war to weaken the junta’s positions in Argentina. In an overly self-confident attempt to gain popularity through nationalism, in 1982 Argentinian forces occupied Malvinas AKA Falkland Islands, over which Argentina has long claimed sovereignty. In another political move to gain popularity on the other side of the planet, the British PM Margaret Thatcher launched an expensive military operation to get Argentinians out of the islands.
Guerra de las Malvinas or Falklands War was yet another stupid and utterly unnecessary war. The 74-day conflict claimed 649 lives of Argentinian soldiers, mostly young, inexperienced and undertrained military service lads. Furthermore, there were also 255 Brits and three Islanders that lost their lives. This military fiasco however brought an end to a brutal dictatorship in Argentina. The democracy was restored in 1983 with Raul Alfonsin becoming the new president.
Post Malvinas Argentinian history in timeline
- 1989: President Carlos Menem of the Peronist party imposes an economic austerity programme
- 1992: Argentina tights Peso to the US dollar
- 1994: Argentina’s suffers the worst terrorist act in its history when a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires is bombed, killing 86 people
- 2002: Argentina defaults on an $800m debt repayment to the World Bank
- 2005: Amnesty law that had protected former military officers suspected of human rights abuses during military rule in 1976-1983 is appealed
- 2006: Argentina repays its multi-billion-dollar debt to the IMF
- 2009: Parliament passes law claiming Malvinas as a part of its territory
- 2010: In response to plans by a British company to drill for oil near the islands, Argentina imposes tougher controls on ships passing through its waters to the Falkland Islands
- 2011: The second female President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is re-elected with a landslide 54% of the vote
- 2013: IMF calls on Argentina to implement specified actions to address the quality of its CPI and GDP data
- 2013: A referendum on the Falkland Islands results in favour of the islands remaining a British overseas territory
- 2013: Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires is chosen to become a Pope, adopting the name Francis. He is the first Latin American person to lead the Roman Catholic Church
- 2014: Argentina defaults on its international debt for the second time in 13 years
- 2015: Prosecutor Alberto Nisman who accused the government of a cover-up over the country’s 1994 bombing of a Jewish community is found murdered
- 2015: Conservative Mayor and the President of a famous football club Boca Juniors of Buenos Aires Mauricio Macri is elected as president
- 2018: Peso dramatically inflates by 34.28%, following the 25.68% inflation from 2017
- 2019: Peronist Alberto Fernández wins the presidential election
- May 2020: The Development Bank of Latin America said it will loan Argentina $4 billion to help finance projects to combat the growing impact of Coronavirus
- September 2020: Argentina is on the verge of the third default in two decades. The country has only managed to defuse the crisis with massive debt deal with bondholders. Read more here on Reuters
- December 2020: Argentina’s lower house approves landmark abortion bill to join Cuba and Uruguay as only Latin American countries where abortion is legal
Given the immigration, the Mediterranean influence is strongly present in many aspects of Argentinian culture, including the cuisine. Like Italians and Spanish, Argentinians also have a reputation for their love of eating and cooking, which is an element that IMHO plays a significant role in when it comes to cuisine. One can expect to come across Argentinian pizzas, pasta, ravioli, sorrentino and many more treats.
The dominant factor of Argentinian cuisine is however elsewhere. Being home to 10 more million cattle, Argentinian cuisine is somewhat dominated by its famously tasty beef. Anyway, here are few meals I would personally recommend trying when you visit Argentina.
In case you were a vegetarian, please note that this article focuses on the most common and traditional cuisine that normally contains meat. However, as opposed to the 90s, modern Argentinian cuisine currently offers quite a few yummy meatless alternatives. So in case, you were interested in vegetarian options, here‘s a guide for vegetarians in Argentina on Phoren Yatra.
- Asado is the country’s national dish. For Argentinians, asado serves the purpose of a social occasion, rather than being just a dish, which is perhaps why it partially represents their national identity. The main ingredient is beef ribs flavoured with chimichurri sauce (see below) and cooked on a parrilla grill. The meal includes embutidos (cured sausages) as well as different meats such as chicken. It comes with sweetbreads, bread, mixed salad and verdurajo (grilled vegetables)
- Steaks: I’d say that the major two types to try in Argentina are: Bife de lomo (sirloin) is usually the most expensive. Its biggest competitor is a bit fattier but juicier Bife de chorizo (strip loin steak)
- Locro is also sometimes considered to be Argentinian national food. We’re talking about a yummy stew made of white corn, beef (or pork), chorizo and tripe. Beans and pumpkin are added
- Milanesa is basically a meat breaded cutlet, similar to those ones one can get across in Central Europe. It’s either beef, chicken, veal or pork. It normally comes with salad and fries
- Carbonada is a tasty stew made of meat, potatoes, bacon, corn on the cob, peppers and carrots. It’s usually served in a pumpkin, topped with fruits, such as peaches, pears, grapes or dried apricots and raisins
- Empanadas. Like every other Latino nation, Argentina is no stranger to empanadas. Here they are smaller and perfect for someone who’s just a bit hungry. In case you have never tried one, the best description I can think of is Cornish pasty with cooked fillings, usually made of minced beef, chicken or various vegetables. Yummy.
- Choripán is basically a glorified chorizo hot dog in a French baguette with red chimichurri sauce
- Chimichurri is a popular sauce that comes in either green or red versions. The green one is made of chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and red wine vinegar. The red one normally consists of tomato and red bell pepper
- Matambre arrollado: is a delicious stuffed steak served with guess what? Chimichurri sauce 🙂
- Provoleta: Finally something for vegetarians. It’s a grilled cheese typically seasoned with oregano or other herbs and spices
- Tartas could be another vegetarian option. They are something like richer and less eggy quiche. They could be made of tomato, mozzarella, basil, mushroom, pumpkin, spinach and zucchini. Ham could be involved sometimes though…
- Dulce de leche is a delicious sweet made of heated thickened milk and sugar
- Alfajores is the most popular cookie in Argentina. We’re talking about shortbread-like cookies filled with dulce de leche and rolled in coconut
- Humita is another option for vegetarians is a steamed fresh corn cake made off a mixture of ground corn, onion, garlic, cheese, eggs, and cream, all placed inside corn husks
- Llama Steak: From this list, this one is probably the most tricky dish for animal lovers. In case you wanted to know, Llama steak is high in protein and low in cholesterol and it tastes like something between beef and lamb
- Maté is not exactly a meal, as we all know but it certainly belongs to this list, given its omnipresent status in Argentina and some neighbouring countries
Tourism in Argentina
Together with Mexico and Brazil, Argentina is one of the 3 most visited countries in Latin America. To mention few numbers, 2016 brought just over 5.5 million tourists to Argentina, while in 2017, the country welcomed nearly 6 million visitors. The industry contributed ARS 775.3bn (USD 52.5bn), 9.7% in 2017. Overall, I’d say that tourism in Argentina is well organised, especially in Patagonia, where it provides a lot of support for the remote communities.
The services are fantastic from every possible angle I can think of, whether it’s transport, accommodation, restaurants, tours or trekking. Speaking for myself, I have encountered exactly zero hustle in Argentina. Well, that’s except the horrible ATM charges as well as the functionality of some cash points, which you can find out more about in one of the links at the bottom of this piece.
When to visit Argentina
I am a big fan of shoulder seasons because they provide a traveller with lesser crowds, better prices and generally more options. I’d say that late September to late November, as well as April to mid-June, would be the ideal timing to visit Argentina. The main season is November to March, which could get rather hot in places such as Iguazú Falls, Buenos Aires or even in the northern parts of the country.
Latin America doesn’t come with the best reputation when it comes to safety. According to the Global Peace Index, Argentina isn’t to be considered the safest country with its raking at 74th position (October 2021), but that is according to stats, which btw places the USA at 117th place. It is therefore impossible to generalise about safety when it comes to such a large country, plus the safety of a traveller depends on many factors, such as what kind of tourism is he or she into.
I’d say that there are certainly some neighbourhoods, you’ll be warned not to enter by the friendly locals. Having said that, I must say that all tourist areas are as safe as anywhere else in the world. Patagonia, in particular, is probably safer than Vienna or Prague, two cities regarded as the safest for travellers. Metropolitan areas could be however different case. Generally speaking, if you stick with the places popular with tourists, you should be absolutely fine.
Of course, there would be scammers, pickpockets and all that unavoidable second-hand products that come with every tourist destination on the planet. But as I said, if you don’t decide to visit the dangerous outskirts of large cities and if you act responsibly and if you don’t advertise your valuables around, you should be fine. That is when it comes to criminal dangers. Argentina, however, has the highest mortality rate in South America, when it comes to traffic so be careful out there, when you are on the road.
Furthermore, there are various natural elements. Do not overestimate your fitness levels when trekking in remote Patagonia. The rather extreme weather conditions also often play a role in many accidents. More safety tips on how to secure your valuables, what to watch out for and more could be found in a separate piece here.
Places to visit in Argentina
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Built on a strategic trade route spot, where River La Plata meets the Atlantic ocean, Buenos Aires or La París de Sudamérica became a prosperous city quite fast, which is visible at the first sight anywhere in the wider centre of the Argentinian capital. It, therefore, comes with extraordinary charm; friendly people; impressive neoclassical, art nouveau and art deco architecture; a lot of amazing culture; beautiful parks and proper lust for life. Even if you are not much into city tourism, I’d definitely recommend spending at least a few days in Buenos Aires because it is undoubtedly worth it.
So whether it is watching Tango dancers in contemporary places, such as Café Tortoni; enjoying the culinary treats with a glass of Malbec in San Telmo neighbourhood; experiencing the pulsating nightlife of Palermo; visiting Barrio de La Recoleta with one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world or just admiring art in one of the numerous city museums, in Buenos Aires there’s something for everyone. A rather comprehensive barrio-to-barrio guide, filled with many tips about this amazing city could be found here. For a more general piece that describes the vibes of the city, please click here.
Mar del Plata
I am not much into resorty locations, Mar del Plata, therefore, wasn’t on my itinerary when I was in the area. This resort town is located only 400 km away from Buenos Aires. Except for the beaches, the area is also praised for its wide bays and wonderful cliffs. More info could be found on Welcome to Argentina‘s page here or on its official website here.
The word has it that Eleanor Roosevelt‘s first reaction upon seeing Iguazú Falls was: “Poor Niagara”. Now, whether or not that’s a myth, Eleanor would have a point. Iguazú is nearly three times wider than its US-Canadian counterpart, plus its overall atmosphere is more of a National Park, with animals and nature to enrich the experience.
Anyway, enough with this useless comparison. This UNESCO World Heritage site Iguazú Falls consists of numerous islands along the 2,7-kilometre-long edge that divides the falls into many separate waterfalls, their height varying between 40 and 82 metres. The result is that the spectator is literally surrounded by 150-300 waterfalls, depending on the water levels of River Paraná that feeds them.
The falls are located on the border between Argentina and Brazil, which rises an eternal dispute about which side is better to visit. In case you wanted to find out the answer, together with few tips on how to avoid the large crowds, how to get to the site as well as how much would, it all cost you, please click here.
Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glaciar is one of the most visited places in Argentina for few reasons: it’s easily accessible, it comes with great infrastructure and mainly because it provides a truly mind-blowing experience. Apart from the visual element of Perito‘s beauty, which you get to observe from a relatively close distance, there’s also the majestic sound of cracking ice the glacier makes.
Speaking for myself, Perito was the first glacier I’ve ever seen in real life, so in my case, visiting the park took the meaning of taking one’s breath away to a whole new level. More information about Perito Moreno Glacier, including some useful tips on how to avoid crowds as well as how much would it cost you and how to get to the park without a tour provider could be found here, in case you were interested.
Located in the same National Park as Perito Moreno Glacier (Los Glaciares Parque Nacional), El Chaltén is a cute little town that’s surrounded by stunning Andean scenery with numerous options for free trekking in the area. The most iconic of them would arguably be Laguna de Los Tres with Monte Fitz Roy, also known as Cerro Chaltén or Mount Fitz Roy, which is also immortalised on the logo of Patagonia sportswear brand.
The town itself is a charming little village of fewer than 2000 people that lives of the tourism in the area. Upon your arrival, you’ll be instructed by park rangers about your safety and few rules you should obey while being in the park to protect nature. Overall, I’d say that if you like to get a taste of Patagonia, I’d say that trekking around El Chaltén is as good as it gets when it comes to experiencing the region’s natural beauty.
Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago located in the very south of South America. The territory is divided between Argentina and Chile consists of the main island, Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego and a group of many islands, including Isla Navarra, Cape Horn and the Diego Ramírez Islands. The whole area truly defines the word ‘remote’ up to perfection.
The largest human settlement on the archipelago is the Argentinian town of Ushuaia. Being the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia promotes its tourism as “the end of the world” and the actual feeling is rather authentic. Most of the main island belongs to Chile and is just a flat land that comes with some farms, a lot of cattle and truly hardcore antarctic winds.
The southern (Argentinian) part of the Isla Grande is however entirely different story because this is where Andes rise again. One can visit Glaciar Martial to get a stunning view of the city, Beagle Channel as well as Isla Navarino (see the picture below). Upon your visit to Ushuaia, I’d also recommend checking out the beautiful Tierra del Fuego National Park. More details about this part of the world that include various trekking and travel tips can be found here.
Puerto Madryn and the Valdés Peninsula
Unfortunately, I haven’t personally had the pleasure of visiting the Valdés Peninsula, that’s known mainly for its extraordinary marine life. The whole area is an important breeding location for populations of elephant seals and southern sea lions.
If you manage to visit the area in October or November, you could enjoy the privilege of seeing orcas hunting the seals. Until I will be able to share my own experience with the area, here‘s the UNESCO site information about this Eastern Patagonian location. For travel-related info, check out this post on the Patagonia Argentina website.
San Carlos de Bariloche and El Bolsón
Bariloche is one of the largest and most visited cities in Patagonia. Like in most of Patagonia, the region comes with beautiful scenery and multiple activities such as trekking, skiing, rafting or doing anything that’s on the menu in Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. More information about Bariloche and its Chilean “counterpart” Puerto Varas could be found here, in case you were interested.
El Bolsón is a small bohemian-ish town only about 2 hours drive south of Bariloche. A little reminiscent of the above mentioned El Chaltén, the area is mainly known for its beautiful landscapes as well as artisan crafts. It, therefore, comes with great trekking options and a rather good social life. Welcome To Argentina portal published this article about possible activities in the area, in case you were interested.
Córdoba and Mendoza
I must humbly admit that those two cities remain on my bucket list for my next visit to Argentina. No article about places to visit in Argentina however can’t be complete without mentioning Córdoba and Mendoza. Córdoba is the second-most populous city in Argentina and the capital of the province.
The city is known for its preserved colonial centre and the bohemian vibe that’s mostly down to the 100k+ large student population, which naturally comes with rich nightlife. Córdoba is also known for its iconic Cathedral and stunning nature that surrounds the city. More info about the city could be found here. Information about Córdoba Province is here.
The “wine capital of Argentina” Mendoza is located about 700km west of Córdoba, at the foot of Andes, in the desert Cuyo region. It is also located near the Aconcagua, the highest peak outside the Himalayas. So we’re talking about numerous wine-tasting and hiking opportunities that aren’t recommended to combine with each other.
Salta and Jujuy regions
If you have decided to visit northern Argentina, you’ll most probably end up in the town of Salta that comes with quite a few popular attractions for tourists. Whether it is visiting the cute winery town of Cafayate, riding the overpriced but spectacular Tren a las Nubes (April to December) with its major attraction La Polvorilla, which is a viaduct located at an altitude of 4 220m above the sea level, Salta has a lot to offer. The city itself comes with few museums, colonial architecture and a rather lively nightlife scene, particularly at Calle Balcarce.
In case you headed further north, close to the Argentinian border with Chile and Bolivia, you’d arrive in Jujuy province. While the provincial capital San Salvador de Jujuy isn’t exactly the most beautiful town I ever visited, the surrounding nature certainly provides several rewarding treats for a visitor. Out of many attractions in the area, I’d personally recommend Humahuaca Valley, which would mesmerise you with its extensive stunning trekking options and cute little towns, such as Tilcara, Purmamarca or Humahuaca.
Talking about the highlights of the region, unless you’re heading towards its larger and apparently more impressive competitor Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia, you should also consider checking out the salt flats Las Salinas Grandes. I’d say that both provinces are definitely worth a visit, not only for their extraordinary and diverse natural beauty but also for experiencing a touch of indigenous culture. A rather comprehensive guide to both provinces could be found here, in case you were interested.
Carnivals are obviously not exactly a location but they play a very important part in Argentinian as well as whole Latino culture. If you were in the country during the last days of February, I’d definitely recommend experiencing at least one of the Argentinian carnivals.
Off the beaten path
When it comes to “off the beaten path” locations in Argentina, let’s just say that few websites state some of the destinations I’ve listed above under such category. I personally believe that in order to get to the truly “off the beaten path” place, one needs to go a bit further than that, regardless of the fact that there’s a certain philosophical angle to the whole debate about the less-visited locations. Anyway, in case you were a slightly more adventurous traveller, here are some modest suggestions for you:
- Bahia Bustamante, Patagonia. According to New York Times, Bahia Bustamante is “Argentina’s Secret (and private) Answer to the Galapagos” (in case you have the subscription, read more here). Just the headline suggests a lot of what to expect from the place. So in case you wanted to explore the Atlantic marine life in Patagonia in a more secluded location, this could be just the right spot…
- Parque Nacional Sierra de las Quijadas, San Luis Province. Somewhere between the above-mentioned cities of Mendoza or Córdoba, there’s one of the less known National Parks in Argentina. In case you wanted to explore the stunning land filled with desserts and canyons. FYI, please carefully consider the weather patterns, it can get very hot down there in the summer..
- Iberá Wetlands, Corrientes Province (a possible/complicated stopover between Buenos Aires and Iguazú). I guess that the name explains the type of nature one can expect upon his or her visit. We’re talking about one of the most important freshwater resources in the whole country. In other words, it’s 15,000–20,000 km2 of land filled with 60+ lakes. Fauna and flora that can be spotted in the area are of course a match to those impressive numbers. Here‘s an El País piece (in English), in case you wanted to find out more about Iberá;
- Ojos de Mar, Tolar Grande, Salta Region. Often listed as “off the beaten path” because of its remote location, Tolar Grande is a small rural village surrounded by beautiful scenery. More info about this stunning place could be found here on Turismo Argentina (in Spanish, with Google Translate option).
As I’ve mentioned at the beginning, Argentina is a huge country, filled with many beautiful places, people, culture and nature that has something to offer to pretty much every kind of tourist. Given its size, it’s therefore important to have at least a rough plan of what would you like to see and/or experience, depending on your time and budget.
Only to see the ultimate highlights mentioned in this article would take up to a month if you were fast. What I mean is that most likely, you would not be able to see everything in one go, unless you’re on a Sabbatical leave or something like that. Otherwise, I’d recommend leaving a few places/regions out for your next visit. Less is sometimes more 😉
As far as I am aware, it is rather easy to enter Argentina for the vast majority of visitors, unless there are exceptional circumstances such as the Covid-19 restrictions. You could either check out your government websites if there are any special requirements for you or you can look at the official website of the Argentinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is here.
Sources and possible further reading for a curious reader
Culture, language and demographics
- Demographics: Here‘s demographic profile, according to Index Mundi
- Gaucho: Here‘s South American history of gauchos article on Encyclopedia Britannica
- Pampas: an article about these enourmous plains between the Atlantic coast to the Andes in Encyclopedia Britannica
- Indigenous groups of Argentina: Find out more about Mapuches, Guaranís, Huarpes (Encyclopedia Britannica) Mocoví people (Every Culture), Diaguita, Wichí, Aonikenk, AKA Tehuelche people (Encyclopedia Britannica), Kolla and Qom (Wiki)
- Culture in Argentina: Learn more about Argentine culture, identity, social stratification and more here, on Cultural Atlas
- The arts of Argentina: Discover the basics about the local arts here in Encyclopedia Britannica
- Carnivals: Here‘s a post about the major carnivals in Argentina at the Vamos Spanish Language school website
- Eodromaeus: Read more about a significant archaelogical finding that adds context to dinosaur origins here in an article by Riley Black for Smithsonian Magazine
- Arroyo Seco 2: Read more about the campsite that places humans in Argentina as early as 14 000 years ago here in a post by Jason Daley for Smithsonian Magazine
- Slavery in Argentina: Find out more about the Argentine slave trade and its abolition here on Oxford Bibliographies
- Hipólito Irigoyen: Read more about the first democratically elected President of Argentina here on Encyclopedia Britannica
- Juan Perón: Learn more about the controversial Argentine President here on Biography
- Eva‘Evita’ Perón: Learn more about life of the popular Argentine lady here on Encyclopedia Britannica
- Peronism: Find out about the history and evolution of the long-lasting political movement in Argentina here on Encyclopedia Britannica
- Dirty War: Further reading into the Argentine military dictatorship could be found here on History by Erin Blakemore or here on the Global Security website
- Operation Condor: Giles Tremlett writes about the joint cross-border kidnap, torture, rape and murder of hundreds of their political opponents by eight US-backed military dictatorships in his rather heavy piece for The Guardian
- Guerra de las Malvinas, AKA Falklands War: here‘s a brief history of the conflict by Meilan Solly in Smithsonian Magazine
- 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing: Find out more about the worst terrorist attack on Argentine soil in history in this piece in Deutsche Welle
- Cristina Fernández de Kirchner: Read about life, political career and policies of the popular as well as divisive first directly elected female elected president of Argentina here on Encyclopedia Britannica by Mark P. Jones
- Murder of the prosecutor Alberto Nisman: Here‘s Yossi Melman article from Haaretz about the murder of the Argentine prosecutor who died hours before he was due to testify against former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner about covered up alleged Iranian involvement in a deadly bombing at a Jewish centre in the city in 1994
- Mauricio Macri: Find out more about life, political career and policies of the former Argentine President here in Encyclopedia Britannica in an article by Mark P. Jones and Jeff Wallenfeldt
- Alberto Fernández: Here‘s Reuter‘s agency post in The Guardian about the current Peronist President of Argentina
- Abortion bill: Uki Goñi and Tom Phillips write about the significant change of the pregnancy termination policy in Argentina for The Guardian
Food (incl. recipes)
- A guide for vegetarians in Argentina: Phoren Yatra describes your vegetarian options in Argentina
- Asado: David Taylor talks about history, interesting facts and ways of preparing the Argentine national dish on Web Food Culture website
- Locro: Here‘s yet another piece by David Taylor, this time it’s about the popular Argentine winter stew for Hispanic Food Network website
- Milanesa: Here‘s a post about the popular breaded meat cutlet from Travel Food Atlas website
- Carbonada: Noah Charney writes about the yummy stew here for Fine Dining Lovers
- Empanadas: A history of empanadas by Amigo Foods could be found here. In case you wanted to make some, here‘s a recipe for the beef one by Olivia Mesquita at her blog Olivia’s Cuisine
- Choripán: Read more about the tasty chorizo “hot dog” here on Sunny Side Circus site
- Chimichurri Agostino Petroni writes about the popular sauce here for the BBC
- Matambre arrollado: Here‘s Sarah Ozimek‘s post about the stuffed steak on Curious Cuisinière
- Provoleta: Read more about the yummy Argentine provolone appetizer here by John Bek on Honest Cooking
- Tartas: Read about the quiche-like dish here by Rebecca Caro on From Argentina With Love site
- Dulce de leche: Manu writes about the epic sweet on her blog Manu’s Menu
- Alfajores: Here‘s the BBC Good Food‘s recipe of the popular cookie
- Humita: Here‘s how to make the corn cake by Slow Food
- Maté: Daniel Neilson writes about the legendary drink for The Real Argentina
- An insider foodie guide to Buenos Aires: Here‘s Raquel Rosemberg‘s listings post that claims to deliver you some hot dinning tips from the chefs of Latin America’s 50 best restaurants on The World’s 50 Best website
Climate and safety
- Safety: Few safety tips on how to secure your valuables, what to watch out for and more could be found here
- Global Peace Index: Check out the current tandings here on Visions of Humanity website
- Climate: Here‘s Climates to travel‘s climate guide to Argentina
Places to visit in Argentina
- Buenos Aires: Here‘s a rather comprehensive barrio-to-barrio guide of the city. For a more general piece that describes the vibes of the city, please click here
- Mar del Plata: Here‘s the Welcome to Argentina‘s page on the city and here‘s the city’s official website
- Iguazú Falls: To find out which side of the falls is better to visit, as well as tips on how to avoid the large crowds, how to get to the site as well as how much would, it all cost you, please click here
- Perito Moreno Glacier: Some useful tips on how to avoid crowds as well as how much would it cost you and how to get to the park without a tour provider could be found here
- El Chaltén: Some practical tips, trekking options and so on, as well as El Chaltén comparison to its nearby Chilean “competitor” Torres del Paine could be found here
- Tierra del Fuego: Travel tips about this part of the world that include various trekking could be found here
- Puerto Madryn and the Valdés Peninsula: Here‘s the UNESCO site information about this marine life-rich location. For travel-related info, check out this post on Patagonia Argentina website
- San Carlos de Bariloche: Read more about Bariloche and its Chilean “counterpart” Puerto Varas here
- El Bolsón: Here‘s the Welcome To Argentina article about this popular Patagonian location
- Córdoba: For more info about the city click here on Wikitravel and for additional information about Córdoba Province click here for Chris Moss piece in The Guardian
- Mendoza: Here‘s Swoop Patagonia‘s informative page about the city as well as Cuyo region
- Salta and Jujuy regions: A rather comprehensive guide to both provinces could be found here
- Bahia Bustamante: Check out this piece by Danielle Pergament for NY Times
- Parque Nacional Sierra de las Quijadas, San Luis Province: Here‘s Welcome To Argentina‘s page about the park and here you can check out its UNESCO page
- Iberá Wetlands, Corrientes Province: Here‘s an El País piece (in English) about the place
- Ojos de Mar, Tolar Grande, Salta Region: More info about this stunning place could be found here on Turismo Argentina (in Spanish, with the Google Translate option)
- While the most updated information you can get is to contact Argentinian Embassy in your country, you could also check out the official website of the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is here
Other Traveller’s Guides to explore
Some general tips about travelling in Latin Americas
- Budget: in case you were interested, here‘s an article listing the country-by-country basic expenses for a traveller in Latin America
- Safety: Few safety tips on how to secure your valuables, what to watch out for and more could be found here
- Transport: Information, safety and some other practical advice regarding public transport in Latin America can be found here
- ATM withdrawal charges: Some practical info, including the list of free-of-charge ATMs in Latin America, can be found here
- Border fees: To find out how much will you have to pay to enter or exit certain countries in Latin America, please click here
- Pre-trip preparations: Few things you can do ahead of time before you’ll become frantically busy prior to your departure are listed here
- Packing list: What to take with you for an extended trip as well as some security tips could be found here
- Cheap Flights: few tips on how to score a cheap/er flight, better seat on a plane, where to get a nap at a particular airport and so on
All locations covered on Quaint Planet
Santiago de Chile ► Valparaíso ► Santiago de Chile ►Punta Arenas – Ushuaia – Punta Arenas ► Puerto Natales – Torres del Paine – Puerto Natales ► El Calafate (Perito Moreno Glacier, Arg) ► El Chaltén (Los Glaciares National Park) ► Chile Chico (Ch) – Puerto Rio Tranquillo (Marble Caves) ► Coyhaique – Puyuhuapi – (Carretera Austral) ► Puerto Chacabuco – Quellón/Castro ► Puerto Varas – San Carlos de Bariloche (Arg) ► Buenos Aires ► Colonia (Ur) ► Montevideo ► Punta del Diablo – Cabo Polonio ► Montevideo ► Salto ► Concordia (Arg) ► Puerto Iguazú (Iguazú Falls) ► Salta ► San Salvador de Jujuy ► Tilcara ► San Pedro de Atacama (Ch) ► Uyuni Salt Flats Tour (Bol) ► Uyuni ► Sucre – La Paz (Death Road Tour) ► Copacabana (Lake Titicaca) – Isla del Sol – Copacabana ► Cusco (Per) ► Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) ► Cusco ► Lima ► Máncora – Montañita (Ecu) ► Puerto López ► Quito ► Ipiales (Col) – Pasto ► Tatacoa Desert ► Bogotá ► Medellín ► Villa de Lleyva ► Santa Marta – Cartagena – Rincón del Mar Necoclí ► Capurganá ► Puerto Obaldía (Pan) ► Panama City ► Las Lajas ► Cerro Punta ► David ► Bocas del Torro ► San José (Costa Rica) ► San Juan del Sur (Nic) – Ometepe ► Granada ► Managua – El Rama – Bluefields – Corn Islans ► Léon ► El Tunco (El Salvador) ► La Antigua Guatemala – Lake Atitlán ► Lanquín (Semuc Champey) – Flores (Tikal) ► Belize City ► Bacalar – Tulum – Playa del Carmen – Mérida – Valladolid – Cancún ✈️ .