Travel Argentina? Where is it? What is the weather like? So many questions about this gorgeous Latin American country find their answers today in this article. Destinations, currency, means of transport, and cultural milestones, are all for you to get ready and enjoy your trip to Argentina.
Updated to November 2023
1. Where is Argentina located?
Not many people know that Argentina is in South America. Argentina is one of the southernmost countries on the continent. To make a real picture of its location, let’s say:
- It borders Chile, Bolivia, Perú, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil.
- If you try to look at Argentina on a world map, you’ll notice that a vast part of Argentina is even more southern from the equator than Southern África
Argentina is a long and large country. It features an extensive coastline, but also the Andes Mountain Range, and tons of lakes. Its capital is Buenos Aires built at the Río de la Plata. This river, often confused with the sea, is the natural border between Argentina and Uruguay. And one of the widest rivers in the world.
To sum up, if you travel to Argentina you will be flying to the “south” of South America. And if you reach Tierra del Fuego, a Patagonian province, prepare to be closer than ever to Antárctica!
2. What is Argentina famous for?
Argentina is visited all year round for its natural landscapes which combine tropical jungle, arid Pampa, and glacier hubs like Patagonia.
So, we can say that Argentina is famous for its landscapes. These are the most popular among travelers:
- Iguazú Falls is a system of more than 200 falls flowing inside the jungle.
- Patagonia is a legendary region of pioneers and a hikers’ paradise.
- North Argentina, has humble people, and the most colorful mountains.
- Mendoza, the cradle of Malbec wine and other popular vineyards.
- Ibera Wetlands, one of the newest destinations open to tourism, focuses on wildlife conservation.
- Buenos Aires, where every trip starts, with stunning architecture and an exhaustive cultural agenda (jazz, literature, independent movies).
Argentina culture and must-try things
However, Argentine culture is also world-renowned – Messi and Che Guevara may ring a bell. Apart from talented people, Argentina’s food and passions are worth trying on a trip. Here you have a list of:
- Barbecue (“asado” in Spanish), Argentina’s meat needs no presentation…try it at a restaurant or a traditional ranch.
- Pizza, yes! With a huge amount of cheese and many more ingredients, try this Argentine version of an Italian classic. Downtown pizza shops are the best.
- Mate is an herbal infusion and a real must to understand the day-to-day routine of Argentinians.
- Fútbol is a true religion among soccer fans. La Boca stadium is one of the most visited.
Learn more about Argentinians’ favorite traditions and landscapes.
3. Top destination of Argentina
The capital features the most important international airport, and others for domestic flights. It’s a megalópolis, neighborhoods extending widely around downtown. Museums, bars, nightclubs, parks, restaurants, theaters, libraries, local designer shops, craft markets, and historic sites – There is a lot to see here. Including the coastline of Río de la Plata which can be visited, and sail on a day trip to visit the beautiful town of Colonia in Uruguay, a different country just on the other side.
Iguazú in Misiones
The falls are the main attractions, however, Misiones is a spectacular place to explore. Of course, you have to visit the National Park and reach the jaw-dropping Garganta del Diablo, an enormous-endless water hole. Also, the National Park is spread on Brazilian territory so a half-day visit to check out the amazing views it’s necessary. Once you visit the park, book a visit to San Ignacio Mini, and discover the incredible ruins of a Jesuitic Mission. And travel to Wanda’s Mine and see what kinds of gemstones are found in Misiones. Finally, you can also enjoy the mate route and learn where and how this traditional infusion is made.
Read more about Iguazú here.
Neighboring Misiones there is the province of Corrientes and the National Park Ibera. This is mostly an ecological project to restore native wildlife in Ibera and protect wetlands from extinction. The foundation running the place has done amazing work on restoring native wildlife like the yaguarete. Most lodges are outside but near the park which makes it easy to enjoy excursions during the day. Some of the activities include: boat tripping between the esteros to see crocodiles and capybaras, horseback ridings, and hikes in wildlife spotting places.
When talking about North Argentina (NOA), people usually refer to Salta and Jujuy, two of the three provinces of the NOA region. Salta is the place to learn about the fusion between European and local architecture. Also where the Train to the Clouds departs, and trips to Cafayate wine region are organized. On the other hand, Jujuy features a UNESCO World Heritage called Quebrada de Humahuaca, a gorge where most natural attractions are placed like Purmamarca and its Seven Color Hill, or the Pucarà de Tilcara.
Talampaya National Park, a Moon-type landscape
Talampaya National Park is an amazing place not many travelers know about. It’s located in La Rioja province (there is another “La Rioja” in Spain, but without Talampaya…) which is heading to North Argentina.
Like Salta and Jujuy, the weather in La Rioja is extremely hot. So, the best season to travel is during the southern winter (March to September).
Although it’s a bit out of the regular circuit to the north, it’s worth making a detour and living the Talampaya experience! Meet canyons and petroglyphs.
Plus, you don’t need to extend your budget that much. The natural reserve offers reliable campsite services . And the stars you’ll see at night….!
Read about the top things to do in Talampaya National Park.
Like the French or North American wine routes, in Argentina, we have our own wine road starting in Mendoza. From the city, you can visit two regions concentrating most of the production and vineyards, Lujan de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. This destination is perfect for sybarites looking to enjoy local wine production, guided tours to learn about the making process, and tasting high-class cooking.
Mendoza is waiting, read more!
This is the biggest destination of Argentina- Patagonian territory features almost half of Argentina’s lands looking to the south. It is impossible to define Patagonia without referring to all the cities and places where icebergs, lakes, and wildlife can be found. Check this list of Patagonian top selected destinations in Argentina, from north to south Patagonia.
- Bariloche is probably one of the first stops in Patagonia. This is the capital of the Argentine Patagonia Lake District. And a beautiful place to hike and sail through different arm lakes.
- Puerto Madryn, a bit more to the south, here is where the southern right whale comes to breed and mate. This is the wildlife sanctuary in Patagonia. Here you can go whale watching, snorkeling with sea lions, and spot penguins.
- El Calafate, where ice started to get serious. The international attraction is the Perito Moreno Glacier. However, ranch day visits are also very popular and recommended.
- El Chaltén, just a couple of hours away from El Calafate will find a little town surrounded by imposing mountains like Mount Fitz Roy. Woods, strings, and wildlife like the woodpecker are common in this place, called the Hiking Capital of Argentina.
- Tierra del Fuego and its capital, Ushuaia, is the last province of Argentina. A secluded place only reachable by crossing the Andes, and yet full of life and the history of the bravest Argentine natives. This is the hometown of the southernmost things, a lighthouse, a national park, and an ancient jail which is nowadays a museum. And it is also the last stop before Antarctica.
Keep reading about Patagonia.
4. When is the best time to travel to Argentina?
It is really up to you. Argentina can be visited all year round, especially Buenos Aires where summer or winter is not unbearable (yet). However, it is true that weather conditions can limit some destinations.
- Iguazú is better during Argentina’s winter (May to September) because jungle weather can be harsh during summer, and insects love warm weather. Nevertheless, Iguazu is open to international and local tourism all year round.
- Iberá, similar to Iguazu, wetlands is humid and dense vegetated places that are better to see during low-temperature seasons.
- Northern Argentina is better to visit during Argentina’s winter too, to avoid high temperatures and the rainy season which can be hard.
- Mendoza is worth visiting during the four seasons. In winter it may snow, but there are places to go skiing if you’re into that sport. Spring and Autumn will feature amazing colors to enjoy looking at the Andes mountains. And summer is worth enjoying in a pool in one of the boutique hotels in the vineyards.
- Patagonia, it depends on which part of Patagonia you want to visit. Bariloche is beautiful during springtime because the tree colors are amazing in the lake routes. Puerto Madryn from December through April so you get to see the whales. On the other hand, southern destinations like Calafate, Chalten, and Ushuaia can be hard to visit in winter. Many roads and attractions can be closed by the snow.
5. Currency to travel to Argentina
The national currency in Argentina is the “peso argentino”. Currency exchange is possible in regular banks and private exchange houses all over Buenos Aires. So you can make it with pesos rather easily once you get here, even from the airport and before traveling to the city.
The best is to get all the pesos you need in Buenos Aires because exchange offices may be less common in other provinces. The same with ATMs which, in Patagonia, can easily run out of cash. Although credit cards are widely accepted in Argentina, some destinations -little villages mostly- may not feature this service. Plus, in Argentina, people usually use cash in little grocery stores and shops rather than credit cards.
Keep reading more about Argentina’s currency.
6. Transportation in Argentina
Being an enormous country, flights are the best choice to travel to Argentina in a few days. The biggest airports are in Buenos Aires, like the International Ministro Pistarini and the domestic Aeroparque Airport. Both connect international destinations to Argentina and Buenos Aires with the rest of the provinces. Other regions like Patagonia, Mendoza, Salta, and Iguazú count with airports too, but very much smaller than Pistarini or Aeroparque. On the other hand, trains are not spread in the country. Not many destinations count with railways. But, there is not the case for Roadtrippers. Argentineans are great at driving long distances. It is the favorite way of exploring the country chosen by many locals, and now for foreign tourism.
Keep reading about airports and flights to Argentina.
Learn about self-road travel experiences in the country.
7. Travel Argentina as a local
There is much to see and do, many people to discover, and landscapes to explore in Argentina, and you can do it like a local! Just need the right information and guidance, and there are tons of good travel tips to learn and share. The most important is to keep an open mind, and bump into the adventure, whenever you find it. Argentina is a majestic place. Take your time to savor it. And as we say in Argentina, “¡disfrutá, che!” (enjoy, che!).