11 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Argentina
Some call it the Southern Cone of Latin America. Others call it one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Still others call it the country of pampas grass and salt flats.
Argentina is certainly an intriguing destination. So diverse is the country that it contains the mighty Patagonian mountains in the far south, vast plains that sweep into the Andes and coastal strips rich with fruit plantations.
Argentina, although it can be a thrilling, romantic destination, is also one that can offer visitors a low-key journey with a dose of reality. Whether visiting Argentina for the first time or checking in with the family, we've got you covered with our list of the top attractions in Argentina.
Located in the northeast of Argentina, between the borders with Brazil and Paraguay, the Iguazú Falls (Iguazú) are the single greatest natural spectacle in the Americas, with a set of cataracts equal to the height of the Eiffel Tower. Home to a variety of flora and fauna, the region is an ideal destination for nature-lovers and includes a number of beautiful parks and wildlife reserves. Some ways to experience the falls include taking a boat trip, rafting a kayak across the river or hiring a taxi to take you up the river to the top of the cataracts. There are also more conventional hotels and restaurants.
Lying a couple of hours' drive from Buenos Aires in the province of Salta is Argentina's second largest city. Salta dates back to the 16th century, and today is the capital of a little-visited province known for its semi-arid mountains and superlative regional cuisine. One of the highlights of Salta is the Jesuit church, designed by Italian architect Filippo Juvarra. Originally built in 1630, it was reconstructed between 1950 and 1985, and a good example of 16th-century architecture with a unique shape, three floors and six naves. It is a simple but evocative place with three pairs of windows in the nave and a ceiling covered in drapes representing the heavenly host. It takes three hours to walk around the city and its vineyards. The main streets, Escalada, Tucumán and San Juan, are lined with great colonial buildings that housed the Inquisition from the 16th century. The town's pre-Hispanic past can be discovered at the Instituto de Altas Culturas de Salta, which features an archaeological site where displays explain local history. Some of the area's most well-preserved buildings, like the 16th-century cloisters of the Convent of Santa Ana, which is still used by monks to pray, are also here.
One of the prettiest places in Argentina is Puerto Madryn. Located in the country's far south, the Chubut province capital is on the estuary of the Río de la Plata, a saline river that meanders through several hundred miles of wetlands and salt marshes before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. It's one of the most attractive places to visit in all of South America. Mornings are ideal for enjoying the enchanting Chubut landscape, with cool breezes blowing from the vast estuary, then the afternoon is spent visiting the historic area, a collection of hotels, restaurants, and historic houses spread over more than 10 square miles. In Puerto Madryn, you'll find the best of Buenos Aires' fine restaurants, cafes, a theater, and a number of boutique stores. Visiting the "city of roses" on a bicycle tour is also a memorable experience in this town.
Tierra del Fuego
Northeastern Argentina's volcanic, uninhabitable landscape of jagged mountains, caves, fumaroles and forests is a little-explored destination for adventure tourists. Tierra del Fuego National Park and the towns of Ushuaia and Quellon are the main highlights. Tierra del Fuego National Park has a number of large inland lakes and stretches of empty white-sand beaches to explore. There are more than 1,000 species of bird on the island, including both land and sea birds. While you're here, also visit the Cerro Castor salt-water lake and the mighty San Martín Island. Getting there: There are direct flights to Ushuaia from Buenos Aires, while the rest of the area can be reached via Chile, Argentina or the Falkland Islands.
Situated on the southern tip of South America, in the city of Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia, is the world's southernmost city and serves as the northern gateway to the Antarctic continent. Known as the City of the Southern Ocean, Ushuaia's climate is harsh and even in summer it can drop to as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit at night. A tour of the city's highlights includes the Magellan Youth Hostel (Youth Hostel), which is very popular among tourists. Popular sightseeing options in Ushuaia include the lively, mostly pedestrian-only street; the Plaza de Armas, with its quaint cafés, historical and art galleries, and several bars; the nearby Palermo Market; and the coastal Fossa Del Diablo, which features caves, penguins, and rocky cliffs.
Enjoy beautiful views of the lakes and mountains from the summit of Mount Tronador. Reach the mountain by car from the city of Bariloche, or take a bus from the city's bus terminal, departing throughout the day. Lakes at Bariloche are home to black-necked swans, tufted ducks and harlequin ducks. The Lake Yungay attracts migratory birds and offers excellent bird-watching. Around the lakes, there is a rich flora and fauna due to the open landscape and protected land. In addition to the park, you'll also find moorland, rainforest and mountain peaks. Various roads lead from Bariloche to the city. The most popular is Ruta 40, but others such as Ruta 38 and Ruta 52 also lead to Bariloche and have their own charms.
Cordoba is a city steeped in history that has remained a source of education, commerce, and artistic expression for more than 1000 years. At the heart of the thriving commercial and artistic hub of the province of Cordoba is the spectacular mosque-cathedral of the city, the largest mosque in Latin America. The city sits on a peninsula in the middle of the Rio de la Plata, surrounded by plains and open farmland. The city features beautiful arches, balconies, and a maze of alleys and streets that can be explored on foot. The city is home to some spectacular monuments, including the charming Argentinean fashion house Beba Camper's massive villa, La Leona, and the Salas Reales, the largest former residence in Argentina.
With its skyscrapers, large avenues and bustling sidewalks, the capital of Argentina is a highly urbanized city. What it lacks in natural features, it more than makes up for with a myriad of historical attractions and the Latin charm that is evident in its traditional, modest architecture. The best-known attraction is the Cathedral of Our Lady of Luján. When visiting, visitors can watch the building's progress as it rises from the ground and finishes its spires. Completed in the late 19th century and designed in the Neo-Gothic style, the building dominates the landscape and is visible for miles around. The Memorial Nacional Pellegrini is dedicated to the history of the city. It includes a map of Buenos Aires and a guided audio-visual tour of its most historic neighborhoods. In addition, a shopping center provides a close-up look at the city's elite residents. There is a small archeological museum in the city and, also within walking distance, a Jesuit university founded in 1622. Perhaps the most important place in the city is the Obelisk of Buenos Aires, which symbolizes the oldest structures in the country. Located in the northern suburbs, it was built in 1641 as a square obelisk. It has been moved to the capital so it can be seen by people all over the world. The tower is visible from the Iguazu Falls in northern Argentina.
Read more 👉 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Buenos Aires
This charming little town in the northern reaches of Argentina is a popular destination for many travelers on their way to/from Peru. Founded by Jesuit missionaries in 1603, Trelew is a picturesque colonial town that is situated on a mountainous hillside with great views. Highlights of a visit include visiting the church in the little park across from the Hotel Chileco (1901) and Plaza Lavalle. The park, called the Parque Chacra is home to many cafes and shops, and includes an observation tower, an 18th century Spanish house, a small theater, a bandstand, and much more. There are also souvenir stands, a small market with a bakery and cafés, a small museum, and even a hot-air balloon ride.
Mendoza Wine Country
A stunning little wine region carved out of the San Juan Hills, Mendoza offers scores of pretty towns where life revolves around the grape. Near the main town of the same name, travelers can find a number of charming historic villages, where narrow streets are lined with elegant wine houses and crumbling wooden churches. A collection of outdoor museums shows off the state's centuries-old winemaking traditions. Rincón de los Sauces, the center of wine-growing in the province, offers three blocks of quaint, charming buildings on the main street (Mendoza), each dating back more than a century. The wine-related Sama Gallery here shows off some of the more notable local wines. Along the scenic route that crosses the Jujuy and San Juan rivers, popular hikes include the 3-hour hike to the pristine, easily reached Laguna de las Conchas Lake, and the 2-hour walk up to the stunning waterfall of Tablon.
Located just on the southern tip of Argentina, in Patagonia, is the famous Chilean Lake District, named after Lake District of England. The scenery is dominated by a flat plain and windswept shoreline. Each season offers new attractions: from April to June, the climate is mild enough to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, bird-watching and swimming. July to October, however, is the height of the rainy season, when this beautiful area experiences frequent afternoon thunderstorms. There are many activities in the area including surfing, hiking and fishing. Interesting places to visit include the famous Valle de la Luna, the most southerly city of Argentina.