Argentina, in southern South America, is the land of Lionel Messi and the reigning World Cup Champions! Besides great football, this country has a lot to see and do, from marveling at the magnificence of Iguazú Falls, to hiking in Tierra del Fuego National Park, watching Magellanic penguins, learning to tango, and enjoying a juicy steak and a nice Malbec in Mendoza.
We went to Argentina right before the pandemic, in February 2020. We flew into Buenos Aires, then spent a few days getting to know the place, including a food tour. We took a fantastic bike tour through Recoleta, stopping for a memorable picnic in a park. (We shared maté – a caffeine-infused herbal beverage shared among friends – with our guide, something that would seem unthinkable just a few weeks later!)
Then we left on a cruise which took us south to Puerto Madryn, and from here we took an excursion to the Valdés Peninsula. This place is excellent for whale watching – just not when we were there! But no worries, we saw guanacos (similar to llamas), a crested tinamou, a large hairy armadillo, a burrowing owl, a Patagonian cavy, Darwin’s lizard, a turkey vulture, rheas (like emus or ostriches), elephant seals, sea lions, and Magellanic penguins. Then it was on to Ushuaia, the End of the World. We hiked some in gorgeous Tierra del Fuego National Park and really wished we’d had more time there.
🇦🇷 Top Things to See and Do in Argentina
Buenos Aires: Explore the Capital
- See a football match
- Visit Recoleta Cemetery and Evita Peron’s grave
- Learn to dance the tango
- Visit elegant Teatro Colón
- Take a food tour and get to know choripán, provoleta, Gancia Batido, empanadas
- Visit El Ateneo, “the world’s most beautiful bookstore”
Tierra del Fuego National Park
Tierra del Fuego National Park is renowned for its magnificent scenery featuring coastlines, glaciers, mountains, lakes, forests and waterfalls. It is home to 20 species of mammals and 90 species of birds.
Mendoza: Malbec Wine Country
The top wine-producing region in South America is in the eastern part of Argentina, on the other side of the Andes. Olive oil production is also a leading industry here.
A Unesco World Heritage site shared by Argentina and Brazil, these spectacular falls are the top attraction in both countries and the largest waterfall system in the world. Aerolíneas Argentinas has direct flights from Buenos Aires to Iguazú International Airport.
Whale Watching at Valdés Peninsula
Also a Unesco World Heritage site, the Nature Reserve teems with wildlife. It is also a breeding ground for endangered right whales, which can be seen from June to December (August to October is the best time!)
Where to Stay in Buenos Aires
We stayed at Palladio Hotel MGallery in Recoleta, which was really nice and centrally located. Other great neighborhoods to stay in are Palermo, San Telmo, and Puerto Madero.