Tips for making the most of your time in the land of tango: Argentina
There are almost 6,500 kilometres between Salta province in the north of Argentina and Santa Cruz in the south. Shoehorning everything the country has to offer into one trip isn’t easy.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the country's most unmissable sights and experiences – from visiting the thunderous Iguazu Falls to taking a tango lesson in Buenos Aires.
Top things to do in Argentina
Discover the city by bike
Exploring on two wheels is a good option in Argentina. Guided cycling tours are available in big cities like Buenos Aires that take in sights like The Obelisk, La Bombonera Stadium and Plaza de Mayo.
Or you can take a bike tour with a specific focus like urban art and graffiti. For something a bit more white knuckle, you can take a mountain biking tour and go off road in places like El Calafate. This place is the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, which is spiky with mountain peaks. Downhill biking is a popular activity here.
Explore the parks and heritage sites
Mother nature had a bit of a field day in Argentina. This country is canvassed with national parks.
One of the most eye-popping is the UNESCO World Heritage Los Glaciares National Park on the southern tip of Argentina. This park is home to the Perito Moreno Glacier – a 250 square metre ice formation that glows spearmint blue.
At the other side of the country, meanwhile, there’s Ischigualasto provincial park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features a landscape of strange rock formations known as The Valley of the Moon.
Go chasing waterfalls at Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls is one of Argentina’s top sights and the waterfalls here spread out for three kilometres. There are almost 300 cascades to see and water freefalls for 82 metres from the top of the tallest.
The sound here is like a natural percussion band. You can listen to the baseline of the water as you walk around the bridges and pathways that lead from fall to fall.
It’s possible to take a guided tour of the site, or for something more adrenaline-inducing, you can ride a speedboat up to the base of the falls.
Explore the region’s food and wine
Argentinian wine needs no introduction. This country is one of the world’s biggest wine producers and it’s responsible for some seriously good malbecs, tempranillos and chardonnays.
You don’t have to leave Buenos Aires to go wine tasting, either. Some of the city’s best bars offer tasting sessions.
Argentina takes its food seriously, too. Asado is one of the country's great traditions. It is basically the Argentinian version of a barbecue in which everything from sausages to ribs and huge dinosaur-sized steaks are flame grilled.
Shop until you drop
If you don’t like off-the-peg fashion, you should bring your shopping bags with you to Buenos Aires.
The city is renowned for its boutique clothing stores, leather shops and jewellery makers. Recoleta and Palermo are two of the city’s hottest districts for snapping up designer labels and seeing the work of Buenos Aires’ up-and-coming independent designers.
As well as clothing stores you’ll find homeware shops, bookstores and antique shops here.
Spend a night at the theatre
A roll call of legendary artists has taken to the stage at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires over time. Pavarotti, Margot Fonteyn, Maria Callas and Rudolf Nureyev have all stood beneath the theatre’s spotlights.
You can learn all about their appearances on a guided tour of the theatre. Tours last around 45 minutes and showcase the building’s architecture as well as its history.
As you explore you’ll see everything from frescoes and marble to chandeliers and stained glass.
Tango, tango, tango
Tango is a national passion in Argentina. There are places all over the country where you can experience the art for yourself.
You can book seats at a dedicated staged tango show or find a traditional milonga and join the locals as they practise the dance for themselves.
For the full experience, you can book an organised night of tango that includes a sample lesson, a show with live music, and a traditional Argentine dinner with dishes like empanadas and steak with potatoes on the menu.