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Argentina is one of my favorite countries in the world. It’s filled with many highlights that are so diverse it makes visiting a dream come true.
With culture, food, wildlife, architecture, and absolutely stunning landscapes, Argentina is a country that really seems to have it all.
But what are my favorite things to do and places to visit in Argentina?
Well, some of them are as small as visiting a single street in a city and others involve exploring an entire national park. Regardless though, these are all the things I love about Argentina or as I call it…my Argentina highlights!
Best Things to See & Do in Argentina
1. Visit Iguazu Falls
I’ve always been a sucker for natural attractions because nothing beats the beauty of this planet!
For that reason, I couldn’t start this list with anything less than the most amazing waterfall I’ve ever seen in my life… Iguazu Falls!
Iguazu Falls is actually split between two countries, Brazil and Argentina and if you’ve got time, be sure to visit both sides.
However, my favorite side was Argentina for the simple fact that you get so close to the power of the falls. It’s an experience that was truly mesmerizing!
Iguazu Falls is a magnificent place to visit in Argentina and should be number one on your bucket list when you visit the country.
This specific tour including transport from Puerto Iguazu includes a tour of 3 different falls from the walking circuit and you’ll also get to stand at the base of the falls, and hit many key viewpoints like Bella Vista rock, Two Sisters, Dos Hermanas, and Bosetti.
You can also choose to upgrade your tour to include a jungle boat tour to get as close to the flow as possible. You can expect the full tour to cost $207 USD per adult. Note: the park entry fee is a separate cost.
If you join a day tour from Buenos Aires it will be expensive and quite a long day but definitely worth it for the experience if you aren’t wanting to spend lots of time in Puerto Iguazu.
With this private tour (only your group goes), you will fly from Buenos Aires to explore Iguazu National Park for a full day before flying back. You’ll get to determine which order you want to see things in and where you want to spend the most of your time at. It includes flights and the park fee.
If you want to see more options, we wrote a complete guide on the best tours to Iguazu Falls from Buenos Aires!
2. Enjoy a Fuerza Bruta Show
Fuerza Bruta was the most surprising thing I’ve done in Argentina. And what I mean by that was I didn’t expect much, but it blew me away.
For those who don’t know, Fuerza Bruta is a very famous dance theater show that originated in Buenos Aires in 2003. To me, it reminds me of Cirque du Soleil mixed with more dance and abstract art.
Due to its popularity, there are now 3 full-time dance casts with one performing at the Daryl Roth Theater, Off-Broadway, New York.
Before lining up for a ticket in Buenos Aires for an hour, I had no idea what to expect. To be honest, I was a little annoyed that Bailey was dragging me along. But it turned out to be an amazing show and an all-around awesome night! The show was really spectacular even for someone who doesn’t consider himself a “dance fan.”
Fuerza Bruta originated in Buenos Aires but seeing a show there can be hard as the cast travels the world performing shows. However, if you’re lucky enough to catch them, this is a true Argentinian experience.
Related Read: If you’re going to Buenos Aires, be sure to read our blog (written by a local) on the best areas to stay in Buenos Aires! It lists the best negihborhoods and hotels in terms of safety and location!
3. Hike to Laguna de Los Tres
When people ask what my favorite hike in Argentina is I always tell them it’s a draw between two, the hike to Laguna de Los Tres/Mount Fitz Roy and another trail (mentioned below so keep reading!)
I love both for different reasons, but Laguna de Los Tres really steals the show for the unique shape of Cerro Fitz Roy in the background behind the lake. Sitting on the edge of Laguna De Los Tres and staring up at the jagged granite peaks of Cerro Fitz Roy is one of the best things to do in El Chalten, Argentina.
Of course, getting to the lake isn’t easy and involves a 21 km (13 mi) round trip hike from El Chalten. But, 19 km (12 mi) of the trail is relatively easy and it’s the last 1 km (0.6 mi) climb that gains 500 meters (1,640 feet) in elevation which is the only hard part.
But once you’re at the top the views will take your breath away – that’s if the hike didn’t already!
Related Read: If you want some other ideas in Patagonia make sure to read our Patagonia highlights guide which breaks down why each activity made the list!
4. Wine tasting in Mendoza
If you didn’t already know, Argentina produces amazing wines, and my favorite wine region in Argentina is of course, Mendoza.
What I love about Mendoza, is that the vineyards sit beside the Andes mountain range and use the clean, fresh water that melts from their peaks to water the grapes. As they say, it all starts with the water and if you’ve tried a Malbec from the region you’ll likely agree!
All jokes aside though, Mendoza is a very famous wine region and you’ll find bottles from here all over the world. Trying Mendoza wine right from the winery while enjoying the warm weather in Mendoza is a distant, but fond memory of mine. One I desperately want to enjoy again!
5. Visit Perito Moreno Glacier
I’ve visited many glaciers before but honestly, my favorite is… you guessed it, Perito Moreno Glacier. Perito Moreno Glacier is located in Patagonia in Los Glaciares National Park and is a highlight of the region itself. This amazing piece of ice is really something you have to see with your own eyes.
For one, it’s one of the only glaciers in the world that continues to grow and reseed at a similar rate. This means that you can see huge chunks of ice fall from its face and into the lake below. It’s crazy to see and the sound so loud!
Bailey and I were lucky enough to join the Perito Moreno glacier trekking tour which was amazing. For an hour and a half, we hiked on the glacier staring into deep crevasses and drinking pure glacier water! You can check prices and book the mini trekking in advance here. It was one of the best tours from El Calafate we took.
Seriously, visit Perito Moreno Glacier, I guarantee you’ll love it!
6. Explore Buenos Aires
Of course, we couldn’t have a list of my Argentinian highlights without the beating heart of the country, Buenos Aires. To be honest, Buenos Aires didn’t appeal to me straight away. It took a bit of time for this massive city to no longer intimidate me but once it didn’t, wow, what a place!
There are literally endless activities to keep you busy in Buenos Aires. Around the city, you can visit a range of museums, eat at amazing restaurants. spend an evening at The Argentine Dining Experience, drink wine from around the entire country, dance like you’ve never danced before, and just enjoy its craziness. We highly recommend taking in one of the incredible tango shows in Buenos Aires while you’re here – the dancers are amazing to see!
One of the simplest ways to get to know the city is on one of the sightseeing tours of Buenos Aires. I love this guided 3-hour tour as it covers many of the famous landmarks, beautiful streets, and historic sights. While taking in the city views your guide will inform your small group of some of Buenos Aires’s most interesting facts.
I guess Buenos Aires is one of the places not everyone will love but give it some time (I recommend at least 3 days in Buenos Aires!) and you might just find it’s more your style than you first thought!
Related Read: For more ideas of all the fun adventures in this city, check out a local’s recommendations on the best tours in Buenos Aires you won’t want to miss!
7. Drink Craft Beer
Argentina has a thing for craft or “Artisinal” things as they call it. And well, beer is high up on that list as well as other great products like ice cream and chocolate…but back to the beer.
Yes, the beer. Well, not only can you get amazing beers from IPA’s, Porters, and Lagers as well as lots of fruit and berry beers, but they’re also dirt cheap. In fact, even in touristic towns like El Calafate in Patagonia, you could get a pint of craft beer for as little as $1.50 USD on happy hour!
It’s safe to say Argentina is one of the up-and-coming places to try craft beer and it’s everywhere! So hit the bars, streets, or breweries and enjoy some Argentinian artisanal beer.
Related Read: If you aren’t planning on visiting Chile, you will want to after seeing our list of Chile highlights.
8. Salsa, Salsa, and more Salsa
If you’ve come to Argentina then you really can’t leave without visiting a salsa club, going to a salsa show, or joining a salsa class! Salsa is a part of their culture here in Argentina but to be honest, it can be daunting to give it a go for the first time.
Surprisingly though, once you pick up some basic moves, relax, and enjoy yourself, it all begins to fall in place. That’s not to say you’ll be good, but the trick with salsa is to have a good time anyway!
All over Argentina, you can join salsa classes but Buenos Aires is one of the best places in the world for salsa, so if you have the choice, make Buenos Aires the place you learn to salsa!
9. Eat Argentinian Steak
For the meat-eaters reading this, I’m sure you’re already aware of Argentina’s amazing steaks and lamb. Paired with a nice red wine or beer, this is one meal I love every time I visit.
Good steak can be found all over the country however it can differ in quality. To get the best steak you need to go to a well-reviewed restaurant and we found lots in Buenos Aires and throughout Patagonia.
If you do travel to Patagonia, then be sure to try lamb al Asador too! This delicious slow-roasted lamb is amazing and cooked traditionally over a bed of hot coals.
Just don’t hold your breath waiting for greens, they tend to have a hearty diet down there serving mostly meat and potatoes!
10. Walk around La Boca, Buenos Aires
Breaking down Buenos Aires even more, brings me to my favorite part of the city… La Boca! This vibrant neighborhood is a must-visit for anyone new to the city.
The buildings, and in some cases, the roads have been painted in a very random but beautiful array of colors. Artists, musicians, and restaurants line the small streets. La Boca takes you far away from the busy streets of Buenos Aires to a more hipster and artistic part of the city.
If it’s your first time to La Boca be sure to do a walking tour of the neighborhood so you can really get to know the area. This is what I did on my first visit and I highly recommend it!
11. See Wildlife on Peninsula Valdes
The east coast of Patagonia is often the forgotten side of the region as visitors head to the breathtaking views of the Andes. However, the east coast is a hidden gem and Peninsula Valdes is one of the most remote but also wildlife-rich places you can visit.
For many, whale watching season between the months of July and September is what brings them to the area, but I came for the Elephant seals, penguins, armadillos, and the opportunity to see an Orca.
Of course I also saw whales, and if you visit early in the season you can actually see whales from the shore in the nearby town of Puerto Madryn.
This Peninsula Valdes tour from Puerto Madryn will pretty much take you through all the peninsula’s best areas to see the wildlife I mentioned above and you’ll also have the option to add whale watching.
Your tour starts by learning about the flora, fauna, and geology of the area and panoramic views from Golfo Nuevo, San Jose before hopping into your whale-watching boat (if selected), after, your transportation will drive you to the peninsula in search of some of the native land animals such as the armadillo, guanacos, and rheas.
Regardless of how you choose to visit this place, don’t write off the east coast of Argentina’s Patagonia, it’s a wild place to explore!
Related Read: Wondering how we’ve been able to travel to so many place? Read our guide on how we afford long-term travel here.
12. See Magellanic Penguins in Punta Tombo
Another must-visit east coast Patagonian attraction is the Punta Tombo penguins. Ok, so yes you can see penguins in other parts of Argentina but Punta Tombo is home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in South America.
In fact, some 1 million penguins visit this area every year and over 200,000 breeding pairs come here to lay their eggs and raise more cute cuddly penguins.
Although you won’t see 1 million penguins at once you’ll still see lots! In Punta Tombo, you can walk along the boardwalk and enjoy their friendly company. Don’t be surprised if they join you on the boardwalk, humans barely seem to phase these curious little guys!
13. Explore Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego is the southernmost island in South America and belongs to both Chile and Argentina. It’s essentially the end of the earth!
The main attraction here for me (aside from the next destination on this Argentina highlights list) is the King penguin colony.
The King penguin is the second-largest penguin in the world second only to the Emperor penguins in Antarctica. Tierra Del Fuego Island is the only place to see them other than on the sub-Antarctic island.
Unfortunately, the King penguin colony is technically in Chile, however with the border so close and the island being shared, I’d say it’s close enough to Argentina!
There is a great guided tour option from Punta Arenas that will take you over to the penguin viewing platform on Tierra del Fuego and includes round-trip transfers, ferry crossings, and some additional scenic viewpoints throughout the day.
What can I say, seeing the king penguins in Punta Arenas are definitely a highlight to consider doing!
Related Read: Did you know that there are Torres del Paine tours that you can join from Punta Arenas?
Ushuaia is another place to visit on Tierra del Fuego but this time is actually in Argentina (sweet!) Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world!
This isolated place is at the very beginning of the longest mountain range in the world – the Andes.
If you do venture this far south then it’s most likely you’re here to sail the Beagle Channel, head to Antarctica, or go skiing at the most remote resort town in the world!
However, there are also some amazing hikes and expeditions in and around the city including spider crab fishing, horse riding and kayaking trips. Honestly, there are some great tours on offer in Ushuaia. On top of that, the town itself is also very touristic and you can try some great craft beers here and enjoy fabulous meals!
15. Cerro Tronador, Bariloche
Last but certainly not least is one of the best things to do in Argentina and my other favorite hike, Cerro Tronador. This trail takes you far away from the touristic hikes of Bariloche and out to an amazing part of the Lakes District.
Hiking Cerro Tronador is an off-the-beaten-path experience that sees you camp or sleep (in a hut) next to two glaciers with panoramic views of the Andes Mountain Range. On the way to the hut, you can view the Hanging Glacier that pierces over the edge of a cliff into many waterfalls.
Once at the hut you can enjoy a range of tours and even warm meals, however just being there is amazing in itself.
While there is no tour that takes you all the way out to the huts you can hike a portion of Cerro Tronador in a day hike tour that includes a ride with stunning views along the river, a quick stop in the town of Pampa Linda, and a small hike out to Ventisquero Negro glacier.
Related Read: Flying into or out of Chile’s capital? Here is a one day in Santiago itinerary to check out.
Planning your Trip to Argentina
Accommodation in Argentina
Booking accommodation is one of the biggest aspects of your trip, and we should know as we stay in a new hotel up to 40 times per year! Funny enough, we make 99% of these bookings on one website and that’s Booking.com – and there are a few reasons why we use this site!
Number one is the website is easy to use and sorts accommodation options. That takes the stress out of planning which honestly still affects us and we do it more than not.
Second, is the price guarantee. We have literally booked a hotel months before and then 1 week out found it cheaper (we always do a quick search), and they’ll match that price from anyone’s website including the hotels!
And third, is the Genius loyalty program. If you make a certain amount of bookings per year you get a Genius discount. We are level-two geniuses because we make more than 5 a year. At participating hotels, we get things like free breakfast included, early check-in, and up to 15% off.
You can check out all their accommodation options throughout Argentina!
Renting a car in Argentina
We enjoyed a rental car for our second trip to Argentina when we travelled in Patagonia – and wow, what a way to travel! But the best part was that we only paid $40 USD per day for a 5-person sedan!
But how? Well, if you’re renting a car in Argentina, the cheapest company is Discover Cars. We often get questions from readers asking us if the website is fake because it seems too cheap! It’s a great website and the one we used for our rental.
If you do want to compare prices (and you should), do a quick search on Airport Car Rentals too. They’re another big competitor and each company often has its own deals to offer!
Tours in Argentina
Tours are a tricky one. We love booking online because we can check reviews of that exact tour but they can be pricier than booking directly in person. So for this, we often do it 50/50 – half of the time in person and the other half of the time we book tours online in advance.
Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!
If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)
It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!
Thanks for reading!
Wow, it’s safe to say I really love Argentina and I am sure you will too! I hope my Argentina highlights list has helped inspire your amazing trip to this beautiful country!
If you have any questions please leave them in the comment section below and I will get back to you.