Seeking variety in travels brings a Tao-like dedication into a traveler's personality. Even though most of us complain about urban living habits, contradicting it fiercely, it cannot be denied that urbanization magnetizes us. The traffic, sound, and smog may cause one to abhor cities and long for green, rural landscapes; yet, many of us cannot imagine living without the trappings of modern city life.
Argentina is your best bet if you want mega urban areas and vast natural wonders sitting in close proximity to each other. Argentina’s big cities offer plenty of urban pleasures while also acting as a springboard into the country’s greatest attraction, its scenic and often other-worldly landscape.
From mighty Iguazú Falls in the subtropical north to the thunderous, crackling advance of the Perito Moreno Glacier in the south, Argentina is a vast natural wonderland. The country boasts some of the Andes’ highest peaks, several of which top 6000m near Mendoza and San Juan. It is home to rich wetlands that rival Brazil’s famous Pantanal, mountains painted in rustic colors, deserts dotted with cacti, massive ice fields and arid steppes in Patagonia, cool lichen-clad Valdivian forests, glacial lakes, Andean salt flats, a spectacular Lake District, penguins, flamingos, caimans, capybaras and more. All unforgettable sights and adventures waiting for you to experience and be amazed by – and you will be, bet on that.
Don’t be surprised if you find the weather a wee-bit chilly in Argentina. Remember you are in the southern hemisphere; the warmest months are December, January and February, while the coldest are in June, July and August.
If you had to choose just five places to visit in Argentina, then here they are:
Buenos Aires: Spend time in Buenos Aires and you will think you have stumbled upon a long-lost European country. Away from the capital the pace is slower and the landscape striking, encompassing everything from snow-covered mountains to subtropical jungle.
The 9 de Julio Avenue, located in the city is the widest avenue in the world. Its name honors Argentina's Independence Day, 9 July, 1816.
La Boca is a working class district of Buenos Aires. It is a popular neighborhood for tourists with its colorful houses and the Caminito Street, where tango artists perform and tango-related memorabilia is sold. Other attractions include the La Ribera theatre, many tango clubs and Italian taverns.
Cordoba: In 2006 Córdoba was awarded the hefty title of Cultural Capital of the Americas, and it fits the city like a glove. Four excellent municipal galleries — dedicated to emerging, contemporary, classical and fine art respectively — are within easy walking distance of each other and the city center. The alternative film scene is alive and kicking. Young designers and artisans strut their stuff at a weekend crafts market that sprawls for blocks and is one of the best in the country. And if all this action is too much for you, quaint little mountain villages are a short bus ride away.
Meanwhile, adventurers have choices galore — from the spectacular waterfalls of Iguazu Falls to the wild glacial terrain of Patagonia.
Iguaza Falls: Taller than Niagara Falls and twice as wide, the Iguazu Falls on the border of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina are one of the most impressive sites that you will ever see in your travels around the world. The 275 waterfalls cascade through the Argentine and Brazilian national parks and once you see the Devil’s Throat you won’t regret the trip. The 80-meter Devil’s Throat Falls sits astride the border of Argentina and Brazil. Coral trees, butterflies, toucans and hummingbirds are features of the area.
Patagonia: Patagonia can be visited whenever you like to; witness great colors in April and May that cannot be seen in February. The trees turn reddish and the skies get bluer. It just depends on what you like the most. Keep in mind that Fauna Attractions like penguins are closed during winter and days are real short.
The Perito Moreno glacier in Patagonia is a territory ruled by eternal ice. The entire area is within Los Glaciares National Park, which was created in order to preserve the continental ice field, its thirteen glaciers and various sub-Antarctic forest environments and the steppe of Patagonia. Whether by land, sea or walking to the glacier, this is something everyone should see once in life.
The Perito Moreno glacier, with its unique white surface and blue toned walls that leave deep traces in the memory of the tourist, became part of World Heritage Site in 1981. It is also one of the few glaciers in the world, and the only one in Patagonia that continues to advance at a rate of 100 meters per year. This movement generates one of the most anticipated events for visitors: the breaking of the ice dam formed by the glacier.
Hill of Seven Colors (Cerro de los Siete Colores): One of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world, you are able to see the layers of several colors over these hills in a way you would think is impossible. The vibrant and unique colors are formed by the juxtaposition of some very interesting geology. The best view point is located out of the town; just before entering town on the way from SS de Jujuy city. Different colors are formed by the accumulation of river and sea sediments over a huge amount of time. The perfect time to visit is in the morning so you get to watch the sun as it rises and fills the hills with color.
Things to definitely do in Argentina
Tango: is possibly Argentina’s greatest contribution to the outside world. Although, this steamy dance form took its roots from prostitution, it had long back entered the mainstream dance. Argentines have a heart for colorful abundant life, socializing, festivities and dance. To perfect your tango, you’ll find endless venues offering to perfect your tango moves, from dance salons to milongas (dance events) to atmospheric cafes in Argentina.
Food: Perfecting the grilling of those wonderfully flavorful sides of beef, you'll find a steak house in almost every corner in Argentina. This is the time you would want to leave everything aside as your dream-laden starry eyes will sync with your senses' urgency.
If someone prepares you home-cooked food in Buenos Aires it is a sign of affection. But do not worry if you have no doting Argentine granny, the city has got some cozy private kitchens.
The lines between dinner party and restaurant blur in the intimate setting of one table shared between chatting strangersChristina Sunae, a Korean American runs the “closed door” restaurant, Cocina Sunae, from her home. Here you can sample authentic Southeast Asian Cuisine like fragrant Penang curry and crispy khao soi.
Music: One of the best places to hear live music seven nights a week is La Catedral, a funky warehouse nightclub. Some nights you will find Argentine musician Leonardo Martinelli, leader of the band Tremor, which mixes Andean folk with digital cumbia, performing live.
Gauchos: Loosely translated as the South American version of cowboys, gauchos are residents of the Argentina plains, and at ranches, they offer a fun-filled day of ranch activities, horseback rides, a traditional folk show, a BBQ lunch, and a performance of their fantastic horse-riding skills.
Futbol: Or soccer as they call it in America. More than 100,000 Argentinians have crossed Brazil's southern border in support of their national team’s quest for the World Cup; a mass migration described by Brazilian media as nothing short of an invasion. It is the most popular recreational sport played from childhood into old age. Nearly 90 percent of Argentines declare allegiance to an Argentine football club. The music of the Argentine football stadium is the raucous music of the street. The chorus will make the hair of your arms stand up as Argentina join in unison: "Ole ole ole, ole ole ole ola, ole ole ole, I love you more with every day, I am Argentina, it is just a feeling, that I cannot stop."