To land in Argentina- and basically in any country in South America- is, in itself, a great experience. The cultural and natural diversity of the country attracts all types of tourists and the time seems to short to visit each place and be satisfied. For that reason, we have prepared this list with the top 10 experiences in Argentina that you can’t miss, hoping that the reader will be able to put together the most complete itinerary without leaving out the essential excursions.
1. Great Adventure in Iguazú
Unesco declared the falls a World Heritage Site and in 2011 they were nominated as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World; these are sufficient reasons to visit Iguazú Falls in the province of Misiones in Argentina and there is no better way to do it than with the Great Adventure Iguazú. The excursion consists of a fascinating immersion in the missionary jungle that includes a wild ride in a 4×4 pickup truck, navigating through the rapids of the river that has as its destination the imposing Garganta del Diablo. The adrenaline will return to stable in the exuberant island of San Martín where you will be able to rest from this great adventure, while engraving in your memory this unique moment of your trip to Argentina.
2. Mini-trekking on Glaciar Perito Moreno
The glacier Perito Moreno is definitely one of the top 10 experiences in Argentina. Simply seeing this glacier of about 60 meters high, is already an overwhelming experience, but to walk on it and feel it literally underneath your feet is a greatly superior experience that can only be defined as sublime. The Mini-trekking across the Glacier Perito Moreno takes you through several stages: a trip in catamaran sailing through Lake Argentino, a walk through the Patagonian forests and hiking with the crampons in the boots through the ice. It will be two hours of hiking accompanied by a guide that will allow you to live a moment of introspection and admiration for nature like nowhere else.
3. Walk with penguins and Sailing in the Beagle Channel
To travel to Ushuaia is to reach the end of the world or the beginning of it, depending on how you look at it. At this point of arrival and departure emerges the historic Beagle Channel, always mesmerizing and welcoming to tourists who love birds. Because it is one of the most important bird conservation areas in Argentina, the Penguin Walk and sailing around its islands is an unforgettable excursion in Patagonia. Among the tourist sites visited are the Estancia Harberton, the oldest hacienda in Ushuaia, navigating through the islands of Lobos, Birds and the Lighthouse Les Eclaireurs, until arriving at Isla Martillo to do the walk in Pingüinera.
4. Whale Watching in Puerto Madryn
Although nearly extinct due to indiscriminate hunting, some 3000 Southern right whales come together safely from July through December to the beautiful Peninsula Valdes, on the Patagonian coast, to move within their natural habitat and offer a show not to be missed. Although this mammal that can weigh up to 5 tons and measures 14 meters, it has an admirable dexterity that is worth witnessing at least once in a lifetime. The Whale Watching Tour in Puerto Madryn can be done in semi-rigid boats or in the “Yellow Submarine”, a semi-submersible boat where you can observe them both from the surface and submerged in the ocean.
5. Train to the Clouds Salta
The tourist options in Argentina are endless and the north is as vast and fascinating as the southern end. Proof of this is found in the mythical province of Salta that houses among its emblematic attractions the Train to the Clouds. The excursion aboard this great railway is a full day that includes three of the main attractions in the region: San Antonio de Los Cobres, Viaduct La Polvorilla – one of the highest railway sections in the world located at 4200 meters – and Santa Rosa de Tastil. This tour is ideal for those who have little time to experience the best of Salta and wish to travel with family.
6. Bus vitivinícola in Mendoza
El Argentine Malbec, beacon of the southern nation, is recognized in the world for its high quality. This international reference is reason enough to embark on the trip to Mendoza – the province that produces the most wine in Argentina – and to live through the best wineries of Luján de Cuyo, Maipú and Valle de Uco the experience of tasting the national drink, accompanied by expert oenologists. The Bus Vitivinícola through the wine country is an opportunity to tour the largest number of vineyards in least amount of time and the best part, with a designated driver, so everyone can enjoy the best wines worry-free. With the full day option you can visit up to 4 wineries in 6 hours, while the half day option includes up to two wineries in 4 or 6 hours according to the the schedule selected. Not to be missed!
7. Isla Victoria in Bariloche
Bariloche is one of the most visited tourist places in Patagonia, Argentina and the Tour to Isla Victoria is among the most requested in the region due its many excursions including catamaran navigation on Lake Nahuel Huapi, Quetrihué Peninsula, and the spectacular Arrayanes Forest replete with Myrtle which are imposing trees up to 18 meters high. Travelers looking to disconnect from everything and enter the heart of nature must take partake in this excursion and prepare to mentally document the spectacular Patagonian landscape and its particular fauna where everything from woodpeckers, hummingbirds, seagulls, red deer to wild boars thrive.
8. Argentine Asado Experience
José Hernández said in his work Martín Fierro: “Any creature that walks will stop at the parilla.” Probably of all the Argentine traditions this is the most rooted, to the point that the Chronicles of the Indies already spoke of this practice that is such a part of daily life and so Argentine. Unless you are vegan or vegetarian, you can not leave Argentina without experiencing step by step the ritual of Argentine asado. It is one thing to enjoy it on a grill in Buenos Aires and an entirely different thing to be part of its preparation. The Closed-Door Argentine Asado Experience offers tourists this very possibility that ranges from purchasing the essentials to preparing fernet with coke, going through the instructions on how to light the fire and how to place the meat on the grill.
9. Football Experience
Messi, Maradona, Boca, River, Batistuta and Argentina are almost synonymous in the popular slang of the southern nation. The passion that envelops the Argentines when it comes to football is as deep as faith and in the stadium the fans cease to be mere mortals and become guardians of their teams. It may sound exaggerated but you will only be able to verify it by living the Soccer Experience in its own right. If you happen to be in Buenos Aires just when you are going to compete for the Superclásico between Boca and River, reserve your tickets with a reliable agency and enjoy this enthusiastic show. If you can not attend a match, visit the stadiums of these two great teams and hear from the locals the great cultural importance that the “king of sports” holds for them.
10. Tango Show
The tango show falls tenth on this list but we all know that the tango is to Argentina what the sauce is to the Caribbean. If we were to describe the south in a sound, it would undoubtedly be the sublime notes emitted by the bandoneon. Give yourself the opportunity to enjoy live this Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as declared by Unesco, and let yourself be enveloped by the passion that characterizes this beautiful musical rhythm. There are dozens of tango houses to enjoy this show, among the noteworthy are Madero Tango, the Esquina Carlos Gardel or Piazzolla Tango. Find the show that best fits your interests with this guide: How to select a Tango Show in Buenos Aires.
by: Keilma Rojas, Venezuelan journalist specialised in culture and actuality. Writer in Spanish for Daytours4u.
Translated to English by Anna Englund Daytours4u