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5 Places You Should Definitely Have On Your Argentina Bucket List
Argentina, officially known as the Argentine Republic, is a country in South America. It is a land of immense diversity, both in its landscapes and cultures. It’s a beautiful and a passionate place, filled with romantic viewpoints, luxury yoga retreats, and vibrant cafes.
Argentina – An Introduction
Argentina is more than a million square miles in size, and I quickly saw for myself why it’s the second-biggest country on the continent. Given its unique location, it has nearly every kind of climate you can imagine somewhere or other in the country.
The citizens and residents of Argentina are called ‘Argentines.’ Estimates say there are 37 million of them, with an annual population growth of half a percentage point. Ninety-seven percent of them are of European descent, and more than 9 in 10 is Roman Catholic. Spanish is the primary language, and the literacy rate is an impressive 97 percent. Argentines have a life expectancy of nearly 76 years.
The late 1990s didn’t treat Argentina too kindly. The nation went through a depression lasting four-years, causing massive unemployment. The government even defaulted on nearly $90 million in debt. Fortunately, the country has rebounded both politically and economically. It makes Argentina a very affordable place to visit while enjoying the amenities of growth and a vibrant nation.
Perito Moreno Glacier
When I visited Argentina for the first time, I quickly discovered why it was so sought-after by many tourists. The combination of geographical diversity and a wide variety of activities make for a great vacation. The first place I think you should see when you visit this nation is the Perito Moreno Glacier. Walking on the glacier along with a guide is one experience that you will never forget, and that is one of the reason that this short hike features as one of the 7 Amazing Hikes in South America.
You’ll find this in the southwestern region of the country, just a bit outside of a town known as El Calafate in Los Glaciares National Park. This place is notable for three primary reasons.
First of all, the place is nothing short of enchanting. Second, it’s among the few glaciers in the world which are growing instead of shrinking. It actually expands as much as 6 feet each day. I remember seeing portions of this massive 200-foot glacier crashing down into the lower water while I was standing there. Third, and finally, it’s purportedly the third-biggest freshwater reserve on the planet.
Nahuel Huapi National Parque
My second-favorite place to visit is the Nahuel Huapi National Parque. It’s a gigantic and protected tract of land. Patagonia is worth visiting as it is, but if you can get to the Bariloche area, you can visit this park filled with wildlife, lakes, and even the dormant volcano of Mount Tronador. This sprawling reserve is a treasure trove for many hikers, as well as nature lovers in general. Overnight trekkers can take advantage of many rustic cabins known as mountain Refugios. Once you spend a couple of days in the wild, the lively city of Bariloche proves to be a welcome dose of civilization. This city is well-known for its great skiing, craft beer, and chocolate.
Another city I love to visit, and the third place in Argentina that you should visit, is the city of Mendoza, especially if you love wine. It’s a beautiful urban area in northern-central Argentina. The green plazas and art deco buildings are home to the nation’s wine culture. The local name for wineries is bodegas, many of which you can tour. I personally recommend Bodega Vistalba, Domaine St. Diego, Dolium, or the Zuccardi winery. If you’re visiting during June – August, it will be winter. It is best to pack warmly and wear layered clothing. If you plan to visit the Andes whilst passing through Mendoza, heavier clothing is advised.
Valle de la Luna
My fourth-favorite spot to visit in Argentina is known locally as the Valle de la Luna. In English, that’s Moon Valley, although the official name you can find online or on maps is Parque Provincial Ischigualasto. This broadly sized protected area has some rock formations that literally look like they could be movie sets for another planet. This sight is situated only 10 kilometers from downtown La Paz. It is an interesting area featuring lunar landscapes and strange geological formations.
In fact, they have been many times, so if you have a Hollywood buff in your group, they need to see this. Everyone else might be more interested in the dinosaur remains. Find this arid place in San Juan, a north western province. You might bump into palaeontologists here as they explore the continental fossil record best known for being a complete collection going back to the Triassic Period.
The Marble Caves
Okay, so what’s my fifth-favorite place to go to Argentina? If you follow what I’ve listed already, you’ve gone hiking up mountains, tried some wine, combed a desert for dinosaur bones, and watched a glacier crash into the sea.
What could come in above all this? Honestly, nothing that’s literally above any of that. My last place I think you should visit in Argentina is actually under it. The Marble Caves as they are known are technically in Chile, but just over the border. To be fair though, the lake they’re located in straddles the two nations. These caves are actually carved from marble, thanks to millennia of water erosion. Now, they’re like hanging out in an underground cathedral.
Things To Keep In Mind Before Visiting Argentina
Make sure you have a great camera for your trip to Argentina, whether it’s a dedicated digital or a part of your smartphone. Capturing images of wildlife helps conserve nature and tell others the importance of doing so. Have a robust recharging option available and plenty of storage space for image files. You’re going to take a lot of pictures of things you’ve never seen before and might not see ever again.
Argentina is safe for the most part, but things can always happen, especially when tourists get targeted. One thing you might want to pack is a small door stopper. This will give you just a bit more safety when you are staying in a hotel. The chances of someone kicking in your door are small, especially if you’re in there. However, it does give you the peace of mind that might just help you sleep well and be ready for your next day of adventures. At the very least, it will keep housekeeping from surprising you unannounced.
Get in a good workout before your flight and pack some snacks. If you can, get an overnight flight, depending on where you’re coming from. Remember that time zones only change when you fly east or west, so even if you’re crossing the Equator, your time change might not happen. It’s also not usually bad from most of North America and Europe.
Pack for every possible season. If you are coming from the Northern Hemisphere, you could be switching from summer to winter, or vice-versa. In any event, the best places to visit in Argentina I listed covers everything from skiing and glaciers to deserts and vineyards.
We trust you will have a wonderful time during your visit to Argentina. It is a rewarding and memorable destination and one that has had a lasting impact on me. There are so many great places to visit in the country, we hope you enjoyed our recommendations about Top 5 Places To Visit in Argentina. Happy travelling.
But before you start planning your trip, sort out your travel insurance first. And we recommend SafetyWing – The Travel Insurance for Travellers
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Aron is a passionate travel blogger from South Africa who loves the outdoors and nature. There is something about the untouched wild that draws him in. If not camping, hiking or exploring, you can find him writing or taking photos. He regularly writes on topics about South Africa.