Average cost p/day: US$75 (expect to spend even more if you go to Patagonia!)
Time frame: 1 month +
Currency: Argentinian peso
Such a massive and diverse country, you could spend months in just Argentina alone. From the ecclectic city of Buenos Aires to the vast mountains of Patagonia and the immense waterfalls at Iguazu… Argentina has just about got it all!
Not only does it have many impressive sights, but it also boasts some of the best food and drink you’ll find in South America. Their steak is the best. The BEST. Seriously. And the wine? I’m not even a wine drinker and I loved it! Don’t miss the chance to enjoy an Argentenian asado (barbeque) where you’ll be fed endless incredible meats.
Take American cash to exchange in person, in order to get the best rate.
WHERE TO GO
Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, is often considered a very European city. Largely, this is because of the architechture, but also because it is such a big, clean, modern, fascinating city. The best thing to do while in BA is just to roam the streets; discover all the different neighbourhoods. La Boca is famous for its colourful streets and popular football stadium. In Recoletta, you must do a tour of the cemetery – not only are the huge tombs beautiful, but the stories are intruiging. Palermo is the hip and cool neighbourhood where you’ll find many bars and restaurants, including La Cabrerra which was the best steak I’ve ever had! Make sure you go to La Bomba Del Tiempo on a Monday night for a wild drumming show in a massive warehouse! The nightlife here is insane too. All the clubs open at about 1am and go loooong into the night (/morning.) If you have time, it’s also worth doing a day trip to Colonia del Sacremento. Just a short boat ride away, this quiet Colonial town in Uruguay is a nice break from the hectic lifestyle in Buenos Aires.
Hostel recommendation – Milhouse Hostel
Sitting across the border of three countries, you’ll get the best views of Iguazu Falls from the Argentinian side as 80% of the falls are in Argentina. The Devil’s Throat is the main part of the waterfall, but it is surrounded by hundreds of smaller falls. It is 2680m wide and the waterfall drops roughly 82m. You can walk around the park to get many different views of the falls and then hop on a boat that will take you right underneath it!
Hostel recommendation – Bambu Hostel
A wine-lovers heaven, Mendoza is surrounded by endless wineries. A short bus ride out of town will land you in Maipu, right amongst the wineries. Hire a bike and give yourself a self-guided tours of the wineries. Many wineries offer stunning views to accompany your wine tasting. If you need a break from the wine, there is also a beer garden and a distillery. Be sure to stop at La Botella, a lovely little shop where you can do very cheap tastings while you chat away to the friendly owner.
Hostel recommendation – Banana Hostel
The Andes Mountain range sits on the border between Argentina and Chile. If you do a bus ride between Mendoza and Santiago/Valpairiso you will get to drive through. For the chance to stop off and see a bit more, there are many day tours operating from Mendoza. If you choose this option, you’ll get to play around in the snow, admire the Puente Del Inca and see the highest peak of the Andes. Absolutely stunning mountainous area!
Cordoba is full of churches, parks and university buildings. Paseo de las Artes, a market by the canal full of wonderful crafts was the highlight for me. So…perhaps not the most interesting city. However, it’s worth a stop simply for all the possible day trips from here. La Cumbrecita is a beautiful little Bavarian village with only pedestrian walkways. It turns out a bunch of Germans came over to Argentina and began setting up the town as a “holiday destination” and then after WW2 many Germans ended up settling there. In La Cumbrecita you’ll find traditional German buildings and if you take a short walk out of town, you’ll end up at beautiful waterfalls. Villa General Belgrano is another German village, this one the home of Argentina’s Oktoberfest. Lots of singing and dancing and beer. If you’re visiting at the right time of year – definitely check it out! Villa San Carlo is only a very short bus ride out of Corboda and is a really nice village to walk around, including a cable car ride up to the top of a hill for a view of the area.
Again, Salta is not the most interesting town. It’s full of pretty churches and plazas but all this can be explored within a few hours. The real reason to go to Salta is to go to a ranch in the nearby countryside and have a traditional Argentinian barbeque – known as an asado. While there, you’ll be treated to endless trays of the most delicious meat. It just keeps coming and coming! Many ranches also offer the opportunity to go horse riding through the countryside.
Still on my to do list —
El Chalten & El Calafate: Patagonian glaciers, mountains and hikes.
Ushuaia: The southernmost city in the world.