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Although Argentina may be the South American country that was most influenced by Europe, you will notice it at the latest at a tango show or a football game: The Argentine heart is South American! From the turbulent capital of Buenos Aires to the endless expanses of the Pampas to the impressive glaciers of Patagonia, there are many good reasons for a vacation in Argentina.
Argentina is a fascinating travel destination that will fascinate you with its diverse landscapes and warm-hearted people. Make the long journey, because it's worth it!
Due to the enormous geographical extent, there is no clear best time to travel to Argentina. Above all, remember that Argentina is in the southern hemisphere: when it's summer here, it's winter there, and vice versa. You should visit the south with Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego in the Argentinian summer (December to March): Then it gets a mild 55 degrees warm here.
With 10.73 million square miles Argentina is the second largest country in South America. In the west, the mountain ranges of the Andes dominate, in the east Argentina borders the Atlantic and offers you the most beautiful beaches here. In the south, majestic glaciers like the Perito Moreno dominate. The most important information at a glance:
Population: 44 million
In the tourist areas, you can sometimes get by with English, but basic knowledge of Spanish is highly recommended for a vacation in Argentina!
From the US you can reach Argentina with airlines like Delta or Avianca from several locations across the US to Buenos Aires. It should be noted that these flights are quite long and have transfers.
A visa is not required for Argentina. Upon arrival at Buenos Aires Airport, you will be given a stamp valid for 90-day entry for travel and business purposes. The passport must be valid for at least three months from the date of entry.
Which region you choose for your vacation in Argentina depends on your plans. Hikers, mountaineers, and nature lovers are mainly drawn to Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego in the south. Here you will find the Los Glaciares National Park with Lago Argentino and the Tierra del Fuego National Park around the city of Ushuaia. More tips for Argentina:
The capital Buenos Aires with its sights is worth at least a stopover. Dance the tango with the locals and visit the colorful Caminito, a pedestrian street that's been declared a museum street.
The endless expanses of the Pampas are ideal for a horseback riding holiday with a stay at one of the many ranches.
The Valdés Peninsula on the Atlantic is a destination for many animal lovers who watch Magellanic penguins, sea lions, and elephant seals here.
The impressive waterfalls of Iguazu on the border to Brazil and Paraguay are worth the trip as a unique natural spectacle.
A few days in a well-known seaside resort such as Mar del Plata or Pinamar round off your vacation in Argentina perfectly.
Our pirate tip: From Buenos Aires, you can pay a short visit to the neighboring country Uruguay - the ferry to the capital Montevideo only takes a little over two hours to cross the Rio de la Plata.
So that your vacation in Argentina is a complete success, here are a few tips on the highlights of the country:
Argentina is one of the largest meat producers in the world. There is hardly a way around deliciously juicy steaks. It is best to order a mixed grill plate “Asado”. As a snack in between you can taste delicious empanadas (filled dumplings). Also try yerba mate, the traditional tea of the natives of the Andes.
Since the end of the 19th century, tango has spread in various forms from Buenos Aires throughout the world.
The tango is an Argentine cultural asset. Visit one of the enchanting tango shows in Buenos Aires or book a workshop yourself: courses are offered all over the city.
Surely you have heard of Patagonia before - most likely as part of a nature - or travel documentary. In order to really get to know the diversity of Patagonia, you should be mobile: A round trip or a road trip is just the right thing to discover Patagonia on vacation.
Patagonia is not a country with its own territory. In fact, there aren't even geographically defined borders. Patagonia is a region located between the Rio Colorado in Argentina and the Strait of Magellan in Chile. It covers parts of both countries; the Tierra del Fuego archipelago to the south is also one of them. In itself, Patagonia is divided by another natural border - the Andes - into Eastern Patagonia (mainly Argentine territory) and Western Patagonia (politically belongs to Chile). The area of Patagonia is approximately 4.027 million square miles - almost the size of Europe.
It is also the Andes that divide Patagonia into larger climate zones. The Argentinian part is a dry, extremely windy area, on the Chilean side there is a rainforest in a humid and cool climate and - in the very south - the spectacular ice sheet: the largest contiguous mass of ice in the world beyond the poles and Greenland. Also characteristic is the so-called Pampa, a steppe-like plateau.
The vast area of Patagonia is very sparsely populated. On average, just two people live on one square mile. In reality, the population is divided between large, bustling cities and vast, deserted areas. The national currency is the Argentine or Chilean peso, you can communicate in both countries in Spanish.
You travel to Patagonia by plane. There are no non-stop flights from the US. You will land in either Buenos Aires (Argentina) or Santiago de Chile (Chile) and transfer to a domestic flight from there. Landing destinations in Patagonia are Puerto Montt, Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas, El Calafate, and Ushuaia. You can continue to your destination by bus or rental car.
Our pirate tip: Be careful with border controls! You are not allowed to bring any herbal substances into Patagonia. This also applies to fruit and vegetables: Always buy and consume your travel provisions within the respective national borders.
When the dark season begins in the US, it becomes more summery in the southern hemisphere. For Americans, the best time to travel to Patagonia is between November and March. Then it's not too cold there. However, even in the Patagonian summer, it does not get overly warm: the average temperature in January is only around 50 degrees, the annual average is just 40 degrees. Of course, the temperatures vary considerably depending on the altitude, but temperature peaks are still a pleasant 68 degrees. You should take sturdy rain gear with you to southern Patagonia: It rains around 300 days a year there.
Patagonia has a lot to offer for nature lovers, water and ski sports enthusiasts, and hikers. Whether hiking in the national park or bathing in the neighborhood of penguins: look at the faces of Patagonia!
The Patagonian Atlantic coast is a steep coast that attracts nature lovers with its biodiversity and beach holidaymakers and water sports enthusiasts with dreamy bays. Important bathing resorts are Las Grutas, Playa Unión, Rada Tilly, and Balneario El Cóndor.
A large part of northern Patagonia, on the Argentine side, is ruled by the so-called Meseta. It is an extremely windy, original landscape that is crossed by several rivers and is therefore green and fertile. Away from the rivers, a barren, no less fascinating landscape prevails. However, Meseta is also an industrial center, and sheep farming on site is also worth mentioning. Here is Neuquén, with 300,000 inhabitants the largest city in Patagonia. The town of Colonia Sarmiento in a charming scenic area is important for tourism.
The southern Andes is the main tourist destination in Patagonia. The landscape is alpine with many glaciers. The southern Andes also represent the geographical border area between the Argentine and Chilean parts of Patagonia. There are dense forests and beautiful lakes in the valleys. Tourism is mainly concentrated in the city of San Carlos de Bariloche, a ski center is located in the town of Esquel. San Martín de los Andes is a popular seaside resort, and mountaineers' base camp in the small town of El Chaltén – where they head for glacier climbing.
Tierra del Fuego is a must for nature lovers. The islands were almost uninhabited until the early 20th century. In the city of Ushuaia - the southernmost city in the world! – you will find hotels geared towards tourism. The almost polar-looking, wildly romantic area is simply breathtaking and worth at least one detour.