Argentina is sprawling and diverse, offering endless experiences, and this guide shares the top 10 things to do when on vacation in the land of gauchos and wine, Iguazu and Patagonia, tango and colonial ambiance.
The landscape has shaped the culture, with stunning scenery sweeping from plains to rugged mountains, glinting glaciers to thundering waterfalls, enticing cities to quiet towns. In the untouched regions and bustling cities, Argentina’s alluring landscapes and dramatic history can be traced.
Whether looking for delectable wines and mouthwatering food or a trek to view a hanging glacier, the following offers just a few of the essential things to do in Argentina.
Argentina is the perfect escape for nature lovers, with hiking is a great way to discover its diverse landscapes.
While Buenos Aires may stand at the forefront of what people expect, you can get a better understanding of the true spirit of Argentina by uncovering its lush pine forests, crystalline glaciers, deserts stuffed with cacti, and national parks.
With so much geological diversity, you can easily become immersed in Argentina’s natural world. Taking the trails less traveled, you can wander within wilderness wonderlands, frosty glacial mountains, and shrub-covered plains without a soul in sight.
Best Hiking Trails to Explore: Mount Fitz Roy • El Chaltén to Villa O’Higgins • Tronador Glacier • Paso de las Nubes • Refugio Frey Hike
The cuisine of Argentina is a sensation for your tastebuds and the traditional culinary culture exudes Argentine character.
With a focus on local and seasonal ingredients, recipes change dramatically by region, bringing hints of the cultures connected to the dishes, from Spanish settlers to Austrian expats. With the landscape shifting remarkably between Patagonia to the Andes, the central plains to the subtropical north, you will not only find diversity in the cuisine, but better understand Argentine history and heritage through the flavors you discover.
From authentic Argentine Asado, a traditional barbeque with charred meat slathered in chimichurri, to stuffed pastries called empanadas, culinary tours can introduce you to the country’s flavors.
Best Foods to Try: Asado • Empanadas • Provoleta • Dulce de leche • Mate
Argentina is an enticing blend of cultures that brings together European traditions and Latin American customs.
The passion and spirit of the country are undeniable, with locals proud of their heritage, from art to literature, architecture to soccer. Museum galleries display Argentina’s natural history and contemporary art, including indigenous discoveries uncovered at Llullaillaco Volcano.
You can savor the culture and experience the elegance of tango, which will take you from the distinctive neighborhoods of Buenos Aires to the alpine avenues of Bariloche, with the past celebrated by the present at every turn.
Best Cultural Experiences: Mate tour • Art gallery and museum tours • Enjoy a soccer game • Authentic Asado experience • Learn to tango
Horseback riding is an essential part of Argentina’s culture and history, dating back to the days of Spanish colonization.
The horse is an emblem of Argentine tradition as Asado or tango give way to the customary estancia, an Argentine cattle ranch, and the legendary gaucho, a South American cowboy. Horseback riding in Argentina does not just put you on a ranch, it puts you in touch with the essence of the country.
Following leaders along the horseback riding trails from estancias, you can discover the splendor of the plains or the desert, the rocky Andean slopes, or lush vineyards draped over a secluded valley.
Best Places for Horseback Riding: Córdoba • Patagonia • Esquina • Mendoza • San Antonio de Areco
The wines of Argentina share the best qualities of European vines with the unique personality of South America, offering a soulful conversation between land, climate, and culture.
The stunning micro-climates across the country and pristine landscapes have given the grapes distinctive properties that instill in the wine quality, taste, and texture. The estates of popular regions share their unique traditions and wine-making heritage. You can visit these establishments to sample sumptuous wines while gazing across the rolling emerald and golden hills.
When you enjoy wine tasting in Argentina, you sample national and regional heritage, making an endless connection to the bold, bountiful, and beautiful.
Best Wine Regions to Visit: Salta • Mendoza • Catamarca • Córdoba • Rio Negro
Beyond the famous vines and passionate dance steps, Argentina is a fantastic ski destination, with few countries on Earth matching its extensive terrain. Mountains veiled in snow and glacial landscapes abound, inviting you to explore its frozen reaches.
Whether in Patagonia or the Andean foothills, finding a luxurious resort among volcanic peaks or witnessing the world’s most southerly ski slopes, the influence of European emigres is palpable in the mountainous scenery. The snowy sanctuaries are also a gateway to the wondrous glaciers of Argentina.
You can ski the powdery slopes, cross the icy plains to view impressive glaciers, and veer off the beaten path to explore the chilly corners of Patagonia for a different perspective of Argentina.
Best Places for Skiing and Glaciers: Bariloche • San Martín de los Andes • Malargüe • Esquel • Perito Moreno Glacier • Upsala
Argentina’s wildlife features southern right whales and their calves in Península Valdés and the exotic wildlife of Iberá.
Peninsula Valdés, in Puerto Madryn, is one of the best places in the world to see whales. From June to November hundreds of southern right whales, distinguishable by their black bodies with white bellies, chin patches and large heads covered in callosities, congregate on its shores to breed. Depending on the time of year it is even possible to walk along the beach and see young mothers with their calves.
Far from Peninsula Valdés and near Iguazú Falls, wildlife lovers visit Iberá Wetlands. With over 350 species of birds, this magical place is a bird-watcher’s paradise. There are also over 60 types of animals, including caimans, capybaras, howler monkeys, foxes, anacondas, and more.
Best Wildlife to Spot: Giant anteaters • Long-beaked toucans • Southern right whales • Caimans • Magellanic penguins
Shopping in Argentina is a must, bringing you face to face with priceless treasures connected to local, regional, and national culture. Every region has its own distinct style, reflected in traditional garments and fascinating curios crafted in charming villages.
Boutiques, souvenir shops, and antique markets add to the glamor of the cities or the rustic charms of different towns. Window displays swell with chocolates or leather goods. There are traditional villages that display the colors of ancient Argentine textiles and endearing towns that create distinct ceramics.
Art, design, music, and literature capture the spirit of artisans, whether in vintage furniture or the essential mate gourd, an enticing alfajor or traditional gaucho knife.
Best Places for Shopping: Buenos Aires • Bariloche • Mendoza • Córdoba • Ushuaia
Tango is one of the most popular dance styles in the world and it originated in the colorful towns of Argentina. Dance and performance sit at the heart of Argentinian culture and lessons can introduce you to the country’s rhythms.
You can join instructors to twirl to traditional music or wander the charming neighborhood of La Boca for an impromptu dance lesson on the street. As you become accustomed to the music of Argentina, you will more freely express yourself through dance.
You can also visit theaters to see professional dancers perform elaborate tango shows or delve into other styles of folkloric dance, including malambo, cumbia, and chacarera.
Best Dance Styles to Learn: Tango • Malambo • Cumbia • Chacarera • Zamba
Argentina is a spiritual country with a diverse set of religious beliefs brought by European settlers and stemming from the ancient Argentine people.
Gilded cathedrals dominate many cities, modest churches can be found down quiet streets, and Baroque basilicas honor the diversity of Argentina’s spiritual history. As you explore the country you can visit these incredible spiritual sites on tours that are as awe-inspiring as they are informative.
You can view elaborate frescoes and stained-glass murals, gaze upon the glistening golden spires, and touch the ivory towers of sites that respect Argentina’s rich heritage during your vacation.
Best Spiritual Sites to Visit: Basílica de San Francisco • Iglesia Catedral de Cordoba • Cathedral of Salta • The Cathedral Basilica of SS Peter • Stella Maris Church
Argentina is a rarity in that it possesses so many fascinating things to do, all the while representing nature and culture.
Whether you want a seductive getaway with a tango lesson or a family-friendly horseback excursion in the plains, our Argentina Tours & Vacations can be tailored to include the top things to do in Argentina according to your preferences.
To learn more about Argentina, the best time for your vacation, and the best places to visit, browse our Argentina Travel Guide. We share what you need to know to bring your dream Argentinian adventure to life.