TOP 12 destinations : must-see Argentina

Cindy, notre rédactrice globetrotteur éco-citoyenne

Argentina is one of South America's must-see destinations. Discover it with our top 12 places to visit.

Argentina is one of those destinations that make nature lovers and hikers dream. We will start our must-see tour with some of the natural wonders that Argentina has to offer, and then we will take you to 3 must-see cities. Many sites in this magnificent country are also classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Nature's must-sees

1) Quebrada de Humahuaca

This long mountainous valley, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (yes, yes, you start out strong!) is one of Argentina's little jewels! It is located in the northwest of the country, a more arid region characterized by its orange-coloured mountains, herds of llamas and charming villages such as Purmamarca, Uquia, Tilcara and Humahuaca.

One of the main attractions of the Quebrada de Humahuaca is the Hornocal, a mountain range nicknamed "the mountain of 14 colours" (even though there are about 30 shades in total!). The brightness of the colours varies according to the time of day and the luminosity. A natural splendor, not to be missed during your stay in Argentina!

4 llamas in the Argentine pampas - Toimetaja tõlkebüroo on Unsplash

2) Iguazú Falls

These impressive waterfalls, which are among the most beautiful in the world, are located between Argentina and Brazil, in the middle of the rainforest. Most of the site is located in Argentina. Get ready to get your eyes... and ears! Imagine the beauty of such a spectacle, but also the noise produced by these 275 waterfalls! They are 2.7 kilometres long and some are up to 80 metres high.

The Iguazú Falls are part of the Iguazú National Park, a nature reserve that has been (unsurprisingly) declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hiking trails will allow you to discover the impressive tropical flora of the park, but also the fauna, even if it is not always easy to see the animals, as the site is quite busy.

Iguazu waterfalls, with surrounding vegetation

3) Ischigualasto and Talampaya Natural Parks

These two beautiful nature parks are located next to each other. Ischigualasto (bless you!) is part of the province of San Juan, Talampaya in the province of La Rioja. You're going to think I'm rambling, but I still have to tell you... And yes, they're both CAPMU (classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites - I use the abbreviation used in my article on Peru, it's simpler!) You see, Argentina is really a must-see destination!

Lovers of paleontology have a great time in these spectacular places. An incredible collection of fossils from the Triassic period has been discovered here, which are of inestimable value in the scientific world.

Talampaya Park is characterized by orange-coloured rock sculptures. Ischigualasto is also nicknamed the "Valley of the Moon" because of its landscapes that seem to come from another world.

Deserted and rocky landscape, orange color

4) Mount Aconcagua

The highest peak in the Americas (nicknamed "the roof of the Americas") and in the southern hemisphere is 6,962 meters high, in the heart of Aconcagua Provincial Park. This nature reserve covers 71,000 hectares, with a sublime fauna and flora. Mount Aconcagua is part of the Andes Cordillera and is one of the 7 Summits, which explains its success with experienced mountaineers and hikers. I'll let you imagine the view from the top... But don't panic! It is also possible to observe this little marvel and its eternal snow from several observation points, along hikes of different levels.

Snow-capped mountain in the background, valley in the foreground surrounded by mountains

5) The Pampas

The Pampa, which means 'plain' in Quechua, is a region that covers around 20% of Argentina! Setting out to conquer these endless meadows will ensure that you discover grandiose landscapes and a still wild nature.

This immense campaign is the country of the "gauchos", the Argentinean cowboys. You will be able to visit some ranches, the "estancias", and immerse yourself in their traditions. If you are a meat lover, you probably know that the famous Argentine beef comes from this region.

desert landscape in Argentina, with 3 grazing hairs

6) Bariloche and the 7 lakes road

San Carlo de Bariloche is a rather unusual city since its architecture is more reminiscent of a Swiss village than an Argentine one. To add a layer, his specialty is... chocolate! It is located in the Andes Cordillera, on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi. Once again, the beauty of the landscapes is guaranteed! Numerous hikes and activities are possible from the city.  It is also a starting point for the 7 Lakes Route. This 107-kilometre route will take you (as its name suggests) to the discovery of 7 superb lakes, of glacial origin. But not only that! You will also pass through Nahuel Huapi and Lanin National Parks.

Mountains overlook a lake on which there is a wooden pontoon.

7) Peninsula Valdés

Peninsula Valdes is without a doubt one of Argentina's must-see destinations for nature and animal lovers. This incredible nature reserve is obviously CAPMU. It is located near the town of Puerto Madryn and is accessible by an isthmus, which seems to hold it at your fingertips. 

The fauna is simply exceptional, and people come from all over the world to have the chance to see whales, seals, elephant seals, penguins, guanacos, armadillos, and many other little wonders. Many boat trips are organized, but you can also observe all this little world aboard a kayak or even go diving! (A one-on-one with the Whale?)

A particular microclimate would explain this exceptional fauna. The meeting of warm and cold sea currents produces ideal conditions for the reproduction of all these animals.

A penguin coming out of his nest in front of the water...

8) The Perito Moreno Glacier

CAPMU alert! This famous glacier is located in Los Glaciares National Park, a wonder of nature that UNESCO has recognized, as it should. First of all, let me give you some impressive figures about the Perito Moreno: the surface area of this incredible glacier reaches 250 km2, with a length of 30 kilometers. It is up to 180 meters high (with about 60 meters visible). 

This Argentina must-see is located in Patagonia, on the Lago Argentino, and is part of the 3rd largest ice cap in the world, between Argentina and Chile.

One of the peculiarities of the Perito Moreno (and it is not the least!) is that it advances up to 3 meters per day! The fact that it touches the top of the lake makes it more stable. In addition, the amount of ice that is created in the mountain is equivalent to the amount of ice that breaks off at the front of the glacier. Why is he moving forward, then? Just because of gravity, that's all.

A glacier surrounded by a mountain and a forest

9) El Chalten and the Fitz Roy

El Chalten is a charming village, ideally located in Patagonia, not far from Los Glaciares National Park. In addition to the glaciers, this park is home to a star in the world of hiking, I named the Fitz Roy. This splendid massif culminates at an altitude of 3,441 m. Several treks, of different levels and duration, are organized from El Chalten. One of the most famous hikes is the Laguna de los Tres, which takes you to a beautiful turquoise lake, and the Cerro Torre, also located in the park and rising to 3,138 meters, is also one of the stars of the Andes.

a mountain with a lake below, whose water is turquoise blue

The must-sees on the city side

10) Buenos Aires

The capital of Argentina must definitely be on your list of things to see in Argentina! This cosmopolitan city has a European feel, from Madrid to Paris, depending on the district. This is not surprising since most of the city's inhabitants are descended from settlers who came mainly from Spain and Italy. 

Buenos Aires is also the capital of Tango. That's where this hot dance was born! You are therefore in the perfect place to party in the streets as well as in the many bars and clubs. 

Some districts will make you discover the historical aspect of the city, others, more chic, will undoubtedly evoke Paris. Here are some sights not to be missed during your stay in Buenos Aires: The Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada (historic square of the city and its presidential palace), the Recoleta district (more chic district) and its cemetery, the La Boca district, the San Telmo district (lively district where you can dance the Tango until dawn!).

A city whose buildings are made of white stone, people crossing the pedestrian passage

11) Salta

Situated in the northwest of Argentina, at an altitude of 1,200 meters above sea level and at the foot of the Andes, Salta was founded in 1,582 by the Spaniards. There are many buildings from this colonial past. She is nicknamed "the Linda", the beautiful one, and not for nothing! It's a colourful city where it's good to live. Take the time to stroll through the streets and admire the different buildings. 

The city comes alive at night and you will be able to enjoy the warm atmosphere of the bars and the street.

Do not hesitate to visit the mountain villages of the region, which have been able to preserve the traditions of the local people.

A red building with the coca cola logo erased by time, with a person in a butcher's outfit crossing the road.

12) Cordoba

Cordoba is the second largest city in the country. This charming town is certainly worth a visit. It is mainly known for the Manzana Jesuita, the Jesuit quarter (CAPMU! It's been a long time...). The district is magnificent: cloisters and churches, but also the "Universidad Nacional de Córdoba" whose architecture is just splendid.

Don't hesitate to wander around the city to discover other beautiful monuments.

Interior of a cathedral, stone walls decorated with gold elements

Thus ends our "best of" dedicated to Argentina. Don't hesitate to share your favorites and photos on the YUPWEGO Facebook group!

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