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Must See Argentina Attractions
1. Buenos Aires
As the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires is not only a political hub, but also one for sports and the fine arts. The unmistakable Pink House, or “Casa Rosada,” is the Argentinian president’s office and executive mansion. Centrally located along the “Rio de la Plata,” travelers in Argentina can arrange for group tours through it.
The panoramic views from its many balconies and the opportunity to see politics in action are difficult to pass up. As fútbol fans will recognize, the cheering for Argentina’s soccer team, “Boca Juniors,” reaches its peak on match days in the neighborhood of La Boca. Travelers in Argentina are encouraged to visit their stadium, whether or not they are fans, as the team spirit at La Bombonera is like nothing else.
For those less inclined to busy streets and spirited fans, the Recoleta Cemetary is a large-scale homage to the many educators, politicians, and other influential individuals within Argentina’s past. Solo tours through the famous cemetery are possible, although guided ones are useful for explaining the significance of those who are memorialized.
2. Cerro Aconcagua
At its highest point, Cerro Aconcagua stretches 22,841 feet (6,962 meters) into the air, making it the tallest point in the Western and Southern hemispheres and a veritable challenge for any hiker. Group or private tours are the only ways to safely scale the mountaintop, as there are just 8 official camps that span the journey.
Similarly, it is important to book tours in advance, as this is a popular hiking location for many international climbers given the site’s famous claim to height. There are three typical routes for tour companies in Aconcagua to use: The Normal Route, Vacas Valley Polish Variation, and the Guanacos Glacier Route.
As of recent years, the last route has been closed to allow for the proliferation of the native guanaco animals that reside within the same area that travelers in Aconcagua would use. Regardless, being able to view the surrounding lowlands and glaciers that ring the mountain make the trip well worth its challenges.
3. Iguazú Falls
As a natural boundary between Brazil and Argentina, Iguazú Falls are the largest cataract waterfall chain in the world. While the Iguazú River flows through Brazil, nearly all of Iguazú Falls are located within and accessible to international travelers via guided tours arranged in Argentina.
Iguazú Falls boasts not just 275 cascades, but also multiple hiking trails that weave in and around the falls, as well as boat rides to the island of San Martin inside Argentina’s Iguazú River.
Catwalks to the famed “Devil’s Throat,” U-shaped falls are also available to travelers in Argentina, depending on the season. A single day may not be enough time to fully explore all that both sides of Iguazú Falls have to offer international visitors.
An integral part of Los Glaciares National Park, the 97-square mile (250 square kilometers), swath of ice that is Glacier Perito Moreno is hard for travelers to miss. As other glaciers continue to melt around the globe, Glacier Perito Moreno stands as an anomaly for the fact that it continues to grow in size and height.
Guided tours through Argentina’s Patagonia region often stop at this glacier, not only for its startling blue-hues and tranquil glacial waters but also for the fact that its ice fields may be explored on foot (with ice spikes!). Other tours to Glacier Perito Moreno offer guided navigation of the many catwalks that overlook the site.
Should international visitors plan their guided tours for the right times, they may view from afar entire sheets, the size of full-scale buildings, as they collapse off the main glacier.
5. Peninsula Valdes
While it was given UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1999, Peninsula Valdes has been home to a vast microcosm of world biodiversity and natural land formations. From Southern Right whales to Magellanic penguins along with other animals who make their homes both in and out of the water, Peninsula Valdes in an important stop on many Patagonian nature tours.
While being able to see all of these animals in their natural habitat is not always guaranteed, the opportunities to explore the beautiful coastline by kayak, plane fly-overs, or even by foot are highly recommended.
Considered to be one of “edges of the world,” Tierra del Fuego is a part of Argentina’s Patagonia region, with its town of Ushuaia being the southernmost one in South America. By taking a trip on the Southern Fuegian Railroad, travelers in Argentina can see an overview of Tierra National Park as they plan the rest of their time in the region.
For those who are more adventurous and seek to drive through the mainland nations of the Americas, the Pan American Highway (which starts in Alaska, USA) ends in this region. Luckily, since the weather fluctuates during winter and summer months, Tierra del Fuego offers the ability to ski and also hike by foot through the national park.
For those who wish to visit Antarctica, this region is the last stop before crossing into the other continent. Many guided tours in Argentina offer transportation and lodging, as well as entrance into the Antarctic Coast Reserve Interpretative Centre, which serves to educate travelers about the biodiversity of the continent and the alterations to glaciers across the globe.
7. Punta Tombo
As one of the more adorable creatures found in nature, penguins are not just found in Antarctica. In fact, over a million and a half of Magellanic penguins call the Argentinian peninsula of Punta Tombo their home during the course of a year. As they are still a protected species, certain areas of the coastline with nesting burrows are inaccessible to travelers.
However, as is usually the case, many of the penguins make their way to the footpaths and will even walk up to those who are viewing them. Even still, touching or interacting with them in any way is expressly prohibited by Argentinian law.
Guided excursions to Punta Tomba usually begin in Puerto Madryn, Rawson, or Trelew and have housing and travel arrangements, given the remote location of the site. The best time to visit Punta Tombo is usually during Argentina’s spring, September to March, with the population peak being during November when the next generation of penguins hatches.
8. El Chalten
While the village town of El Chalten is small, its popularity as the gateway to many of Argentina’s famous hiking trails is not. However, even as the rates of travelers to the village continue to grow exponentially, the village maintains its small scale and nature-oriented values.
Located within Los Glaciares National Park, it is nestled at the feet of both Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy. As only 350 Argentinians live there year-round, it is important to arrange for group excursions in advance so as to secure both transportation and lodging before embarking on hikes.
Considerations of weather are also necessary, given the way that El Chalten is enclosed by snow and ice from May to September, with few dirt roads to access it. Even still, should travelers in Argentina not wish to spend multiple days scaling mountains, they can still access the glacial lakes of Laguna Torre and Fitz Roy, both of which are sites for tranquil reflection that can be found in few other remote places in the world.
9. Province of Salta
As one of the larger provinces in Argentina, Salta provides international travelers with a range of wines to taste, national parks to tour, and cities to explore. “La Linda” is a city that lives up to its name as “the Beautiful,” not only for its picturesque cathedral that can be toured but also its Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña, Salta.
While smaller than some of the other museums in Argentina, this one is home to the three famously well-preserved Incan mummies, named “the Children of Llullialliaco.” In the small town of Cafayate, where grape-vines were first planted in Argentina, visitors can participate in unique wine tours of Argentina.
Its altitude of 5,600 feet (1,700 meters) is what supports the growth of the famous Torrontés white grapes, along with various, region-specific red-wine blends. Since the city is rapidly growing in popularity, it is crucial to take advantage of the guided wine tours in Argentina while they are still unsung.
10. Quebrada de Huamahuaca
Along the famous Inca Trail are many popular sites for adventurous travelers in Argentina to explore. While the Inca Trail was used extensively during the 15th century, travelers who continue to use it today may still consider themselves “off the beaten path” when exploring Quebrada de Humahuaca.
The 155-kilometer valley of ancient farmland and terraces may still be viewed today, along with various indigenous communities that preserve traditional farming techniques. The striking color gradient that the rocks demonstrate as they slope into the Earth and back out again is one that pictures cannot capture.
Through a guided tour of Quebrada de Humahuaca, not only can these natural landscapes be explored in a safe manner, but the rich history of past indigenous communities that they hold can also be better understood.
1,195 Argentina Tour Reviews - Summary
Adventure Smith was exceptional. Antarctica 21 corporate office was deplorable. August 20193.0
My mom, brother, and I booked with Antarctica 21 (A21) in February 2018 with an initial deposit and paid for the remaining balance in Sept 2018 for a late Jan-early Feb 2019 Antarctic cruise. We booked through Adventure Smith Explorations (ASE)—who were amazingly helpful throughout. Mom completed the A21 travel and health information when we each paid the trip deposit in Feb 2018, and she disclosed that she was in her early 80s and on anti-coagulant medication. Mom’s doctor also certified in writing to A21 that she was fit and able to take this trip. Then, 20 days before the start of the cruise in late Jan 2019, A21 sent an email to cancel Mom’s trip and refused to refund her $11,995 cruise price—citing medical concerns. We were stunned. When we asked the A21 representative to clarify which medical concerns led them to cancel Mom’s trip, she cited Mom’s age and use of anti-coag--- but all of this had been disclosed a year prior when the trip deposit was first paid in Feb 2018. Our representatives from ASE tried to appeal with A21, but to no avail. A21 flatly refused our offer for both of Mom’s doctors, whom she had visited within 40 days prior to the cruise, to provide additional fitness certification. A21 stated that no further information would be accepted and that their decision to remove Mom from the cruise was final.
My brother and I left for the trip without Mom, although this was supposed to be a memorable family trip together. On board, as we shared our experience with other passengers, people readily described their own medical conditions and were appalled that our Mom was not allowed on the cruise. Many of the 50-80 year old passengers said they were also on anti-coag and had various medical issues. At least six people told us they had significant health issues-- one had extensive knee surgery 3 weeks prior to the cruise, another had a stint placed in her heart a week before the cruise, two people had fused spines and very limited mobility, two others walked with canes and needed assistance. Three of the A21 team on board the ship told us directly that Mom had been too honest in noting that she took anti-coag. Many other passengers, including the six with major health issues and those on anti-coag, said they had not shared any of their conditions with A21. The last day of the cruise, we spoke with the cruise manager, and at first she would not give us any information about the decision or contact information at their corporate office. Several hours later, she reconsidered and shared one contact information at their Santiago corporate office, but she discouraged us from meeting with their team in Punta Arenas in person.
Also: Be careful with travel insurance. Mom paid over $1,800 for travel insurance for the trip. However, the insurance company denied her claim for reimbursement when A21 canceled her trip. A21 refused to put any reason in writing for us to use with the travel insurance claim. Most thankfully, Adventure Smith Expeditions reimbursed Mom the price of the cruise of $11,995, although Mom still lost the airfare to and from USA to Punta Arenas, Chile. Adventure Smith Expeditions deserves my most stellar recommendations for their help and information throughout our initial booking, during the trip, and once we returned.
Part 2 of the review: Onboard with A21: If you are able to take the trip, the on-board experience with A21 is good quality. My brother and I enjoyed the trip, although it was deeply bittersweet without Mom. The landscape, wildlife, and pristine Antarctic views were truly amazing. Many other reviews describe the actual cruise experience well, so I will be brief on this. A21 used the Ocean Nova ship for our cruise. The ship is well laid out, the ship staff (including captain, dining, and cleaning teams) were very helpful, rooms are tiny and spartan but as advertised, all public areas were very clean, and food quality is reasonable. The A21 tour manager (admin and logistics), expedition manager (excursion leader) and guides on board are enthusiastic, and many of the guides have extensive experience in the Antarctic and are happy to talk with passengers. With ship activities, including two landings on average each day, we stayed busy with information briefings and excursions plus three meals. A21 has other ships, including a new one they will launch in 2020, so look at the options carefully. This cruise option on the Ocean Nova worked well for us, with just 70 passengers for a smaller group although more modest accommodations.
As noted above, definitely buy travel insurance, as our flight from the Chilean military base back to Punta Arenas was delayed two days given bad weather, and we stayed on the boat during this time. A21 has some of the same investors as DAP, the airline for these flights, so our ship had priority with DAP once flights resumed, while other ships (major tour companies, researchers, etc) had to wait further. Travel insurance covered my revised ticket home, hotel in Punta Arenas, and other minor expenses, which were all more than the cost of travel insurance.
Luggage Handling and follow up August 20195.0
Operator Holland America Line
3 Star Cruiser Won't Travel On Holland American Anymore. July 20191.0
Operator Holland America Line
Looking at different options what would… June 20193.0
Traveling with ACIS takes all the… May 20195.0
My experiences with ACIS have always… May 20195.0
These companies are either based in or near Argentina and have solid destination expertise.
1. Say Hueque - Based in Buenos Aires, Say Hueque is definitely a top tour operator choice for traveling to Argentina. They offer numerous kinds of travel, though their largest offering is private guided trips - great for family groups or honeymoons. Say Hueque tours are affordable, designed by experts in the region sprinkled with local insights, and often customizable to suit your travel needs and interests.
2. Qwerty Travel Argentina - With Argentina right in the name, there’s no doubt that Qwerty Travel is another top company if you’re looking for a local perspective. They offer small group tours as well as custom designed travel experiences and are 5 star rated.
3. Lost World Adventures - A luxury operator specializing in South America, Lost World Adventures is the perfect tour company if you’re looking for upscale accommodations and custom designed itineraries. Lost World Adventures currently offers around 10 tours in Argentina, some of which also visit other major countries in South America - a great choice if you’re looking for a multi-country trip.
- Argentina's Weather Overview: Live Weather, Forecasts, and Averages
- There are currently no travel advisory alerts about Argentina (updated August 7, 2017)
- Additional Information About Argentina
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