Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina - A beautiful, multicultural, and sophisticated city with a reputation for being the ‘must-see city’ in all of South America. It's home to around 13 million people and is made up of more than 40 different barrios (neighbourhoods), each with its own unique character and appearance. Buenos Aires was once the arrival destination for European immigrants, mostly from countries like Italy, France, and Spain and each person brought with them their own customs and traditions. The people of the city, better known as porteños, are proud of this unique and mixed history and background and to this day live a sort of European/Latin culture that is apparent in everything they do, from the food and music, to their fashion and architecture of the buildings. This internationally acclaimed status has made it a truly world-class city boasting excellent Tango shows, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, cafés, shopping, museums, art galleries, theatres, concerts, football, tango, cuisine, and drink.. Argentines love to shop, and most streets and all major avenues showcase stores where you will find everything from luxury to budget shopping, truly a shopper’s paradise. Museums, art galleries, theatres, and concerts are in abundance, featuring as many international artists as local artists, and always keeping up with the latest trends in art, music, and dance.
EL CALAFATE & THE GLACIERS NATIONAL PARK
El Calafate is one of the most popular and visited places in the whole of Patagonia. A small resort town that is located in the southern sector of Santa Cruz province, within close proximity to the Chilean border and Andes Mountain range. It's a picturesque town with tree-lined streets and a multitude of hotels, restaurants, cafés, bars and shops. The name EL Calafate was derived from a small fruit berry bush commonly found in Patagonia. Most tourists use the town as a base for visiting the world-famous National Park of Los Glaciares (the Glaciers). A UNESCO world heritage site that boasts an impressive three hundred and fifty six different glaciers, the largest and most impressive being the 5km wide, 60m high Perito Moreno. Here you can hike on the glacier, observe the damming of water that it instigates and occasionally see a piece of it rupturing and breaking off into the water to create a floating iceberg. The park covers a total area of around 6,000km squared has 47 glaciers that you can actually visit, these include: Me Viedma, Bolado, Onelli, Peineta, Mayo, Spegazzini, Mayano, Moreno, Frias, Upsala, Agassiz, and Marconi. This winter wonderland of glaciers is a truly unique experience, considered by many to be “the highlight” of Argentina, so be sure to bring your camera to capture this incredible place.
Ushuaia has the famous title of being the ‘most southern city in the world’ and being the starting point for travelling in the Antartica and is known to travellers and outdoor enthusiasts throughout the world. The city is located in the Tierra del Fuego National Park, in an area of barren land, surrounded by lakes, forests, glaciers, mountains and the Ocean. It's home to around 60,000 people and characterised by steep narrow streets and small quaint homes with metal rooftops. The city has a wide range of hotels, restaurants, shops, and tourism related buildings. It features a few museums, including the Penitentiary Museum which was once a national prison, built by the actual convicts who stayed there; closed in 1947 the museum features stories of penal life, as well as an area about Antarctic exploration. There are many activities to do in Ushuaia including hiking in the surrounding mountains, boat excursions around the Beagle Channel, visits to nearby sea lion and penguin colonies, excursions into the Antarctic, visits to the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula, all places where there are few humans, lots of snow and plenty of glaciers. Just outside Ushuaia there are a few great ski resorts, the largest in the area is Cerro Castor (20 minutes from the city), it features a range of downhill slopes and cross-country options. Altos de Valle is also a great resort offering downhill skiing, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.
PUERTO MADRYN & VALDES PENINSULA
The gorgeous port city of Puerto Madryn is situated in the Eastern part of Chubut province, lying in the Golfo Nuevo, surrounded by the deep blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. This coastal gem is one of Argentina’s most popular cities, especially for viewing wildlife (whale watching in particular), it's also the country’s second largest fishing port and home to the University of Patagonia, that dedicates its studies to the protection and conservation of local marine life. Many students from around Argentina come here to study, giving the city a very young and youthful touch. The main wildlife attraction here is in the Valdes Peninsula, declared a World Natural Heritage site in 1999, and not far from Puerto Madryn, where southern right whales arrive and stay during the months from June to December. Whale watching excursions can be done either by boat, which often places you right next to these beautiful giants, or as walking tour, taking you to certain viewpoints such as the El Doradillo beach. Puerto Madryn is also a popular diving spot; there are many dive companies in the city that offer a myriad of different dives from beginner level through to advanced. Because the city and its surrounding area have a fairly mild temperature for most of the year, diving can be enjoyed throughout the spring, summer and Autumn months. Other water sports such as windsurfing and sport fishing also attract visitors throughout the year.
The province of Salta lies in the far north west of Argentina, sharing borders with Chile, Bolivia and Paraguay. It stands out from the other Argentine provinces for its geographic and climatic uniqueness and diversity. On one side of the province you have the desert coldness of the Andes and the high-altitude grassy plains of the Puna, On the other side the sub-tropical heat of the Yungas jungle, with cool fertile valleys, mountains and rivers in between the two. The spectacular landscape varies greatly too, from desert terrain and cactus-filled hills, to vast salt flats and ancient, colourful rock formations. The beautiful, city of Salta is the capital of the province and one of the most exciting, thriving cities in the north of Argentina. It's situated in the Lerma Valley, one of the most fertile areas of the whole province. The city has an incredible history and yet many modern influences both apparent in its appearance and atmosphere. The city boasts some fabulous old Hispanic architecture, characterised by the whitewashed, balustrade buildings with detailed façades, tall entrances and open-air courtyards, in contrast to its more modern apartments and office buildings. The roads in the city are very narrow, as are the pavements, and typically arranged in a grid-like pattern, making navigation easy. One of the most impressive sights of the city are the plazas and their colonial churches, a very typical construction of the Spaniards, and these can be found throughout the city. Another popular activity in Salta is to take a ride on the famous and breath-taking ' Tren a las Nubes' – the train to the clouds, one of the highest railroads in the world. The journey takes you along a twisted route of bridges and tunnels and climbs across awesome, sun-burnished mountains to reach the dazzling salt flats of the Salinas Grandes at nearly 4,000m above sea level.
Correctly pronounced “hoo hooey”, this is Argentina's most north-westerly province. It lies directly on the Tropic of Capricorn, sharing borders with Bolivia to the north and Chile to the west. The entire province consists of a range of spectacularly arid landscapes, with high mountains (up to 5000m), and deep, narrow canyons and immensely colourful rock formations. Jujuy has lived through an incredibly turbulent history that dates back over 10,000 years, this has led to it developing one of the richest cultures in the whole country, thanks largely to its large population of indigenous people, who still preserve their old traditions here. San Salvador de Jujuy is the capital of the Jujuy province; it lies about 1,525km northwest of Buenos Aires. An old city founded by the Spanish around 1593, for its strategic location as the northernmost town on the military and trade routes between Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. Like most provincial capitals it's a bustling commercial centre with good banking, communication systems and transportation facilities. The city is inhabited by just fewer than 240,000 people and has a good selection of hotels, restaurants and a casino. Traditional festivities and craft fairs are held frequently in and around the historic centre. If you’re heading north, Jujuy is the where you start to feel the proximity to Bolivia; you see it in people’s faces, the chaotic street scenes, the markets that spill out onto pavements and restaurant menus, which offer locro, humitas and sopa de mani (spicy peanut soup) as a matter of course, rather than as ‘regional specialties.’
Tucumán is the most densely populated and smallest province by land area in Argentina. It's located in the northwest of the country, its capital is San Miguel de Tucumán. The province is characterised by its huge variety of landscapes including tall mountains, flat plains, thick wooded areas, fertile plains, and even desert areas. Tucumán has many natural protected areas of mountainous forest that have remained virtually untouched by man. Because this fortunate geographical layout the area has become a popular destination for recreational sports like trekking and mountain biking. Not far from the capital San Miguel de Tucumán you can find El Cadillal where there is a dam and large artificial lake, this is a popular area for fishing and water sports. Around Tucumán there are also numerous archaeological sites you can visit where evidence of Pre-Columbian cultures exist, two of the best examples are those found in Los Menhires Park and the Quilmes Fortification Ruins. San Miguel de Tucumán is the capital of the province and one of Argentina's main economic hubs. It's a big, bustling city with infinite restaurants & bars, theatres, art galleries, museums and shopping centres. It's home to around 1,450,000 people and is often referred to as ‘El Jardin de la Republica’ (Garden of the Republic) for its thousands of unique and colourful flowers that bloom throughout the city every summer. Tucumán has a long history that includes being the city that declared Argentina’s independence in 1896. It has also been heavily involved in making major economic and political decisions over the last century, and has become the leader in sugar production in Argentina. During the day, there are numerous parks and plazas to visit, there's also plenty of historical sights worth seeing; Casa de la Independencia, Casa Padilla, Obispo Colombres, Plaza Independencia,Santo Domingo Church. Tucumán also has a vibrant nightlife with something going on almost every night of the week
The primary highlight of Misiones province is unquestionably the world famous Iguazú Falls - an enormous, powerful waterfall (often compared to the Niagara Falls). It's located at a meeting point of three big rivers: The Paraná, Uruguay and Iguazú. This immense waterfall is set deep in the heart of the Iguazú National Park and is an impressive 80m high and 2.7km wide. It's made up of many different cascades, each contributing to the 5,000 cubic meters of water that tumble down it every second. The biggest and main waterfall of them all has been aptly named 'The Devil's Throat'. On entering the national park you can find a whole system of hair-raising walkways that literally hover just inches above the water and take you right to the cusp of the fall, allowing you to be surrounded by huge curtains of water and enveloped in the mist that rises up from the base. There's also a number of terrifying boat trips available that take you into the water and up to the base of the falls, not for the faint-hearted!! Apart from the waterfall, within the park you can also find the protected Paranaense Forest which is home to over eighty different mammals. There's also a fabulous array of butterflies and bird life to discover, including toucans.
Mendoza province is known throughout the world as the wine capital of Argentina. It's located in the central western part of the country, nestled into the foothills of the Andes, and is home to South America´s highest mountain the Aconcagua (6,959m). Due to its mountainous landscape, the province has become a popular destination for outdoor activities like hiking and mountaineering. In fact, one of the favourite activities here is to go horseback riding with a gaucho in the foothills. There are two rivers that run through the province the 'Mendoza' and 'Tunuyan', great places to enjoy river rafting and canoeing. Not far outside the capital city you can also find the popular ski resort of Las Leñas, the highest ski mountain in the area. This fabulous resort attracts thousands of visitors every winter who come to enjoy the fantastic skiing conditions, various ski slopes of all levels, and first-class amenities. However, the main draw to this sunny province is of course its wine production. Thousands of visitors come here every year and head into the countryside to visit the countless vineyards, and wine tasting houses and discover the famous wines that are being produced, consumed, and exported from here. The capital city of the province, Mendoza, is one of the most talked about cities in the country, thanks to its elegant beauty, world-class wines, and fantastic outdoors sports. The architecture of the city is a mix of traditional past (influenced strongly by Italian and French immigrants), and modern flair, due to the amount of times the city was rebuilt following an earthquake. Today the city is clean, well-constructed and offers fantastic restaurants, museums and great shopping. As you walk around the centre you'll discover wide tree-lined avenues leading to elegant plazas and plenty of peaceful parks to escape the midday heat. The biggest is the Parque General San Martin, a large park with a tranquil lake and some beautiful flower gardens and comfortable benches to sit and enjoy the view. As the city is at the centre of the province's wine region, most of the establishments here cater to wine drinkers and offer a wide range of local wines for you to try. Every year the city celebrates a National Wine Festival where wine, music, dancing, and even a beauty show celebrate everything there is about wine. When visitors are not enjoying the local wines, they can head to one of the city's museums to learn about the city’s interesting history.
SAN CARLOS DE BARILOCHE
San Carlos de Bariloche is one of the most enchanting towns in Southern Argentina. It's best-known for its Swiss-style, wooden-chalet architecture and beautiful surroundings of snow-capped peaks, lush forests and a shimmering mountain lake. It's one of the top ten most visited attractions in Argentina, in the summer it is hugely popular for outdoor activities and in the winter for its world class skiing. The town's situated in the middle of the Nahuel Huapi National Park and lies on the banks of Lake Nahuel Huapi. The town's population is mainly of European origin, mostly Swiss, German, and Northern Italians and these eclectic backgrounds are very apparent in the town's architecture, cuisine and local traditions. Because of Bariloche's high number of visitors, the town offers excellent accommodation options, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, cinemas and spas. Outdoors activities in the area include hiking, mountain biking, rafting, horseback riding, forest walks and fishing. During the winter the area turns into a winter wonderland, proudly claiming to be one of the most fantastic places to ski in all of Argentina and even Latin America. Other activities not to be missed include taking the town’s cable car to the top of 'Cerro Campanario' where you get incredible views of the surrounding area, or take part in one of the special safaris that take you on a tour of the famous Siete Lagos (7 lakes). However, the best way to start and end your stay in Bariloche is to try the famous chocolate made in the town. Famous around Argentina for this special treat, there are numerous chocolate shops offering you a taste and chance to buy this delicious sweet.
The province of Córdoba is located in the central region of Argentina. Argentina’s second city, Córdoba long rivalled Buenos Aires for political, economic and cultural supremacy; indeed, while Buenos Aires languished through neglect in the 17th century, Cordoba was the country’s architectural treasure house. Today, a fine collection of colonial buildings is concentrated in its compact centre. They include the old market, the Cathedral (featuring a Romanesque dome) and the Jesuit “Iglesia de la Compañía” Church of the Company of Jesus). The Historical Museum Marqués de Sobremonte is one of the most important historical museums in the country. Cordoba is the second most important tourist attraction in the country for its striking combination of mountain scenery, waterways and reservoirs.