Designing an Argentina itinerary can be a daunting task. But, that’s only true if you overload on information.
To figure out what to see and do, start with the top Argentina tourist attractions listed below. Then use these ideas to create your own Argentina plan (you can skip ahead using the categories linked on the right).
Best Outdoor Attractions in Argentina
Iguazu Falls, possibly the most remarkable of all Argentina tourist attractions, are a third taller than Niagara.
And here’s the kicker–Iguazu isn’t one, but 275 cascades forming one of the mightiest waterfall systems in the world. Plus, they sit in the middle of a World Heritage-listed national park, home to over 2,000 species of plants.
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares
In Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, massive sheets of ice spill from mountain slopes and into valleys and lakes. The color scheme is mostly turquoise, white, and gray. Perfect for photogs.
It’s permanently cold and wet in this world of icebergs, so dress appropriately.
Nahuel Huapi National Park
When you visit Nahual Huapi NP, you may think you’ve stepped into a scene from “The Sound of Music.” You haven’t. This is Patagonia at its prettiest and wildest.
The scenery of snow-capped mountains and lakes reminded many Nazi fugitives of home. They settled here after World War II, giving nearby Bariloche its distinctive European character.
Quebrada del Rio de las Conchas
At sunset, the deep reds and vivid greens of Quebrada del Rio de las Conchas become especially attractive. The colors and the shapes of the landscape are a result of tectonic movements. Two million years of tectonic movements, that is.
You can drive, walk, or cycle through the canyon. Just be sure to bring your camera.
Cerro Fitz Roy
The twin peaks of Cerro Fitz Roy resemble a pair of cat’s ears. They also provide one of the world’s most difficult climbs. A challenge for the most experienced mountaineers, the peaks also appeal to photographers.
But this place isn’t just for hard-core climbers. If you don’t want to go all the way up, camp near the base of the mountain–it’s a wild experience all the same.
The Hill of Seven Colors
You’ll be hard-pressed to find another scene like this somewhere else in the world. The Hill of Seven Colors is mostly pink…with white around it. And purple, brown, red, green, and yellow scattered across the landscape.
Nature took millions of years to create this setting. It will take you only seconds to capture it with your camera.
Parque Provincial Aconcagua
You’ll find South America’s highest peak in Parque Provincial Aconcagua. Only the Himalayas are higher than the park’s highest peak, rising nearly 7,000 m (23,000 ft) above sea level.
Not quite ready to channel Sir Hilary? No problem. Hike to the base camp below the snow line to snap photos and watch for condors.
Canon del Atuel
When you drive or kayak through Canon del Atuel, you’ll appreciate why the locals compare it to Arizona’s Grand Canyon.
The canon links two lakes and cuts through a mountain range. The scenery makes it one of Argentina’s most photogenic spots. The river one of its most popular white-water rafting locations.
Tierra del Fuego National Park
You’ll never be closer to nature than at Tierra del Fuego National Park.
Here’s the bad news: most of the park remains off limits to tourists.
And here’s the good: the area you can access is a true wilderness. What’s in it? Nothing but pretty lakes and lagoons, colorful plants and snow-capped mountains. And lots of big birds, like condors and cormorants.
It’s not only Argentina’s largest freshwater lake–Lago Argentino is yet another example of Patagonia’s unrivaled natural beauty. The lake owes its special color to the union of glacial waters, called glacier milk.
Cruising the pretty lago, you’ll get to see two glaciers and some mighty icebergs. So, charge your camera!
The waterfowl residing at Bahia Lapataia don’t seem to mind living at the end of the world. Why not? Because their home is made of rocky islets and rugged shorelines completely unspoiled by…well, anything.
Trails and boardwalks crisscross the landscape. As you walk, keep your eyes peeled for otters, ducks, plovers, and migratory geese.
Route of the Seven Lakes
Route of the Seven Lakes links some of Patagonia’s most important bodies of water by road. Most importantly, it winds its way through stunningly beautiful scenery of mountains, forests, and waterways for over 100 km (66 mi).
It’s the place for leisurely drives. But it’s also ideal for photographers, bird-watchers, and hitchhikers.
Eye-popping views everywhere you turn. That’s Cerro Campanario in a nutshell.
What else is it? Part of a national park, one of Argentina’s finest, it’s a great place for avid hikers.
Those who’d rather snap photos than climb can hop on a chairlift, the fastest way to go up and down the hill.
Why do wildlife lovers go wild over Punta Tombo? Maybe because it’s home to one of the world’s biggest colonies of Magellan penguins.
Other reasons: free entry and a chance to come within touching range of the wildlife. Plus, lots of opportunities to spot cormorants, gulls, and oystercatchers.
Playa El Doradillo
It may seem unspectacular at first sight, but Playa El Doradillo is actually quite extraordinary. Why? Because it’s one of the few places in South America where you can regularly spot southern right whales.
The whales often come to within a stone’s throw of the shore–they’ll pose for you, so keep your camera handy!
Best Historical Sites in Argentina
Here’s a challenge for you–try not to get swallowed by the acoustics of Teatro Colon.
Acoustics may be the auditorium’s main claim to fame, but it’s the architecture that appeals to many a visitor.
Outside, it’s all about Renaissance, Corinthian, and Belle Epoque details. Inside, massive frescoes, gilded promenades, and cascading staircases dazzle the eye.
And complement the auditory experience.
Monumento a la Bandera (Flag Monument)
Let’s be honest–Rosario’s Flag Monument isn’t the prettiest structure you’ll ever see. Its imposing and reminiscent of Soviet-era totalitarian architecture.
But, the column-style monument celebrates Argentinean independence and features a small underground museum.
And if that doesn’t lure you in, consider this–if you take the elevator to the top, you’ll see Rosario like never before.
Best Museums in Argentina
MAAM – Museo de Arqueologia de Alta Montana de Salta
MAAM is all about unraveling the mysteries of the Inca culture. And the best thing is that you can come shockingly close to the museum’s top attraction–the mummified and almost perfectly preserved remains of three children.
Check the website for guided tours, the best way to experience the museum’s exhibits.
Museo Historico UNC Manzana Jesuitica
At the heart of Cordoba, Museo Historico offers a glimpse into the country’s Jesuit history. It’s part of Argentina’s oldest university, established in 1613.
Don’t miss this building even if stuffy museums aren’t your cup of tea. It sits in the Jesuit Block, inscribed on the World Heritage List for its architecture and timeless charm.
Best Cathedrals in Argentina
Cathedral of Salta
Never seen a pink church? Then it’s time to visit Cathedral of Salta. The pastel facade is topped by twin spires, dazzlingly illuminated at night.
Inside, look up to see the pretty frescoes decorating the ceiling.
Basilica del Santisimo Sacramento
It looks like a grand church somewhere in Europe, but Basilica del Santisimo Sacramento is actually one of South America’s finest religious structures.
Of the five towers, three rise from the front of the building. Inside, sturdy columns, an ornate organ, and stained glass decorations draw the eye.
As does the wedding cake-like altar.
Catedral de la Plata
The first thing you’ll notice about Catedral de la Plata will be its sky-piercing twin spires. Over 100 m (360 ft) tall, they really dominate the scene. Inside, the cavernous room is softly lit by expansive windows–the space is large, yet surprisingly cozy.
Built in 1902, this Neo-Gothic building remains one of the biggest cathedrals in South America.
Best of the Rest in Argentina
El Ateneo Grand Splendid
El Ateneo is no place for Kindle lovers. The extensive collection of books–real books, not digital–housed in an early 20th-century theater turns buying and reading into a grand affair. Oh, the smell and the crinkle of paper. Nothin’ like it!
It’s a bookstore, not a library, so don’t forget your credit card.
Bosques de Palermo
Urban parks rarely get much better than Bosques de Palermo. It’s near the city center and home to a zoo, botanic garden, and planetarium.
And another thing–it doesn’t just seem like all of Buenos Aires goes there for a stroll. Since opening in 1875, this park has been one of the country’s most frequented attractions.
Puerto Madero once accommodated big cargo ships. Today, the vibrant waterfront features a restored sailing ship, art gallery, many shops, and a slew of bars. It’s one of the city’s top places to dine and indulge in some retail therapy.
It’s also the perfect place to walk, cycle, or jog after a big meal at one of the area’s restaurants.
Land of Contrasts
They don’t all it “Land of Contrasts” for nothing. Argentina is a chameleon. Its landscape seems to change with every step you take. You can go from big city to big nothing in minutes.
It’s home to the highest and lowest points in South America. Rich in heritage. Populated by hardworking gauchos and passionate tango dancers.
What will it be for you? That, dear traveler, is up to you.