With all the excitement of our British Travel Awards nomination last week (please vote for us here if you fancy and haven’t already!), we hope you’re ready for another big announcement… Holiday Architects are adding the vibrant and diverse Argentina to our ever-growing portfolio of destinations.
It’s always an exciting day at Holiday Architects HQ when we launch a new country. Our priority is always to seek out the unique experiences guaranteed to make your visit extra-special and even more memorable. So, a great deal of work goes into ensuring we’re uncovering hidden gems and the real individuality of a location before we hit ‘launch!’
Lou, our Argentina specialist, has spent a great deal of time exploring Argentina over the years; really getting under the skin of its culture and people. So, using her invaluable first-hand knowledge and experience, we’ve just launched our Argentina website full-to-bursting with a host of top tips and insider-info to share.
Now is a great time to plan a trip to this wonderful kingdom, so here’s our roundup of 8 remarkable things to do that prove Argentina deserves a place on your ‘to-travel-to-soon’ list…
8 not-to-miss Highlights for your trip to Argentina
1. Explore colourful Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is a fantastically diverse city and a charming place to start your Argentinian adventure. A melting pot of European influence and Latin flavour, this dynamic centre really is one of a kind. With a spectacle happening on every corner, it’s a wonderful introduction to the vibrancy of Argentina.
As you stroll along the tree-lined streets, don’t be surprised if you stumble across an impromptu tango performance (or three!). The talent of these dancers and the rhythm of the music is totally infectious and radiates across the city. Your toes will be tapping in no time. The dancers are often more than happy to teach bystanders a few steps too, so don’t forget your dancing shoes!
This Latin influence lives alongside the French-inspired architecture that can be seen all over the city. Spend an afternoon exploring the breathtakingly stunning Teatro Colon (often considered to be one of the worlds’ most spectacular opera houses) before changing things up a little with a visit to the haunting Recoleta cemetery. Sprawling over an incredible 14 acres of land, with more than 4,500 ornate mausoleums filling the space, this is a cemetery unlike any other. Argentina’s iconic first-lady herself, Eva Peron, is laid to rest here.
There are countless quirky neighbourhoods to explore in Buenos Aires, each worthy of a trip in its own right. So why not join a bike tour one morning and explore a little further afield. From the trendy and hip district of Palermo (independent bars and restaurants on every corner!) to colourful La Boca, bursting at the seams with creativity and vibrant street art (guaranteed to brighten up your holiday snaps!) Each one has its own character to get to know and quirks to discover.
Rhythmic Buenos Aires really does have something for everyone.
2. Be dwarfed by the Perito Moreno Glacier
Prepare to be made to feel very small by the imposing hand of nature as you visit the Perito Moreno Glacier. Located on Lake Argentino in the Los Glaciares National Park, this magnificent natural phenomenon is an incredible 30 kilometres long and is as tall as a twelve-storey building.
What makes this glacier even more special is, where most others in the world are retreating and melting every day, Perito Moreno is one of the very few that is getting bigger.
There are many ways you can experience this majestic sight. You can enjoy a walk around the platforms to the sides of the ice, seeking the perfect spot from which to grab those impressive holiday photographs. For a more energetic option, why not pop some crampons on your feet and trek the glacier itself, feeling the sensation of ice underfoot as you navigate this icy land. You can opt for a short ice walk if you’d like a taster, or perhaps choose to take on a more adventurous day trek if you’re feeling particularly energetic. Fancy a mix of activities? Why not combine an ice trek with a paddle in a kayak and be dwarfed by the glacier from the water of Lake Argentino?
Whichever way you choose to experience Perito Moreno, this world of blue ice is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Argentina.
3. Marvel at the natural wonder of Iguazu Falls
Argentina isn’t short of spectacular natural phenomena, boasting one of the most spectacular waterfalls on earth. Shared with Brazil, this watery wonder is one of the most visited natural landmarks in the whole of South America. As the thunderous, foamy water cascades over rocks, plummeting to the lake below, be prepared to be taken aback by the sheer volume of Iguazu Falls. You’ll need to raise your voice to have a conversation here!
Iguazu (meaning ‘big water’ in the local language) is nestled amidst the sprawling and lush Atlantic rainforest. With a natural wonder at every turn, you’ll really feel overpowered by nature after spending some time
Take a stroll around the winding network of walkways, following them as they twist around the falls, allowing you to enjoy the magnificent sight and cooling spray from different angles. If you’re lucky you may just spot vivid rainbows dancing in the water.
You can’t visit this spectacular wonder without getting up close and personal with it. Why not consider adding a Jungle & Falls Adventure tour to your plans or talk to us about the best way to experience this watery wonderland.
4. Relax in Mendoza and treat yourself at the wine valleys
The wine lovers amongst you are in luck. If you didn’t know already, Argentina has a much-celebrated wine industry. With stunning vineyards nestled amidst the backdrop of the Andes mountains, a trip to the Mendoza wine region will allow you to take it all in; the wine and the views.
Mendoza is at the epicentre of Argentina’s prized vineyards. Boasting a Mediterranean climate and one-of-a-kind terrain, Mendoza is the perfect spot for winemakers to harvest the delicious Malbec grapes – and for wine-lovers to enjoy them! The climate lends itself to many varieties of red, but Malbec is, without doubt, the most popular product of the region. Why not take off on a bike and spend an afternoon winery-hopping?
In addition to the many boutique wineries and vineyards that can be found out of town, the historic centre of Mendoza itself is absolutely worth a visit. Spending a few days in this tranquil region is definitely one of the most relaxing things to do in Argentina.
Choose to stay between the vineyards and the city for the best of both worlds. Close enough to the hustle and bustle of Mendoza to sample food at some of its many restaurants and explore the historic centre, but far enough out to still enjoy the peace and beauty of the countryside. (And be that much closer to the wine, of course).
5. Spot wildlife off the rugged coast of Peninsula Valdes
Perched on the southern Atlantic shores of Argentina, Peninsula Valdes is pure heaven for any wildlife lover.
Many Patagonian species including marine mammals, birds and penguins all call this rugged area of the coast home at some point in the year. So, whenever you go, you’re in for a treat.
The deep waters that surround the Peninsula could give you the rare chance to encounter the endangered southern right whale. These magnificent mammals arrive around June, to give birth to their calves and raise them in the waters off the coast until around November. Being humbled by the grace of these humongous creatures is a rare experience not to be missed. Why not consider taking a small boat whale-watching trip out onto the water to get even closer to the action?
Not visiting during these months? Not a problem! Equally stunning Orcas can occasionally be spotted around the coastline between December and April as they attempt to feed off the seal pups that call the shoreline home.
Whatever time of year you visit Argentina, Peninsula Valdes is a worthy addition to the itinerary.
.6. Experience the cultural heart of Argentina with the Pampas Estancia Tour
You can’t visit Argentina without submersing yourself in the gaucho culture. Gauchos are the cultural symbol of Argentina and you don’t need to go too far outside of Buenos Aires to really experience this tradition in all its glory.
The vast, flat grasslands and cattle ranches (or estancias) of the Pampas are just an hour and a half’s drive from the centre of Buenos Aires yet feel a million miles away.
Begin your Pampas Estancia Tour in the quaint town of San Antonio de Areco where many gaucho traditions are well-preserved. You can learn first-hand from the locals how they work on fine silverware and make saddles for the gauchos.
Then head to a beautiful estancia where you’ll meet your hosts and be treated to an Argentine delicacy – the asado barbeque. Incredible Argentinian beef is paired with red wine and delicious empanadas… all this alongside the wonderful Argentinian hospitality… you won’t want it to end!
Finish your time in the Pampas by watching the gauchos work with their horses as the sun sets over the ranch.
7. Take an exhilarating hike through the Fossil Canyon
From ice-capped mountains through to jagged Jurassic terrain, this excursion is one that encompasses real adventure and exploration. Only accessible by boat from El Calafate (in the south of the country), the Fossil Canyon Trek really gets you away from it all.
After a 1.5-hour crossing, you’ll reach the jaw-dropping region of Estancia Cristina and be greeted by your hosts. Your adventure starts with a daring 4WD ride along a glacier-carved mountain trail to reach the base camp. This is where your feet take over and lead you to some of the most mesmerizing views you’ll ever see.
After a short walk, you’ll reach the spectacular viewpoint of Upsala Glacier with the magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Andes dominating the horizon. The fossil canyon trek really does allow you the opportunity to take in some of this region’s most striking scenery. This is true pinch-yourself stuff.
You then have plenty of time to take in the dramatic landscape as you make the 14km gradual downhill trek through the magnificent Fossil Canyon. You’ll absolutely want to make sure your camera is charged for this one.
8. Enjoy bird watching by boat in the Ibera wetlands
One for the wildlife lovers now… head to the Ibera wetlands and take a boat trip to explore the maze of waterways that weave their way through the swamps and marshes. The wetlands are a huge flood plain and an absolute haven for a whole host of wildlife – there is said to be more than 350 species of animal living in the Ibera area.
The extensive birdlife is definitely the main draw of this area and you’re guaranteed to see a wide variety of flying friends… From beautiful storks to colourful kingfishers, spotting these winged beauties whilst cruising along the calm waters is a real joy.
If you’re lucky, you may even spot a caiman ominously floating through the water or a family of capybaras basking in the sun. Keep your eyes peeled!
Why now is the perfect time to plan a trip to Argentina
In our opinion, it would never be a bad time to start planning a trip to Argentina. But, right now happens to be a particularly good one. Why you ask? For two reasons!
Reason 1. Argentina makes great financial sense at the moment with your pennies stretching almost 50% further this year than they did in 2018. That’s a lot more holiday for your money!
Reason 2. Southern Argentina will be plunged into darkness during an incredible daytime eclipse in 2020. Imagine it… having the chance to really getting away from it all in Argentina’s lake district. Nestled in the foothills of the Andes mountains and gazing skywards as the moon crosses the sun and you witness this amazing natural spectacle. There are some incredible overnight camping options available for those really wanting to experience this one-off astronomical event from a stunningly rural location. Give Lou a call to find out more on this!
Argentina might just be for you if you love losing yourself in the great outdoors, get goosebumps when faced with dramatic sweeping landscapes, live for wildlife encounters and enjoy learning about new cultures. Oh and not forgetting if you’re partial to delicious food and good wine. Argentina has it all.
Is this sounding like the holiday you’ve been looking for? Give Lou a call on 01242 253 073 to chat through what you’d love to get out of a trip to Argentina.
As always with Holiday Architects, by chatting with Lou or any of our other travel specialists, you’re guaranteed personal, honest, first-hand knowledge and opinions every time. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!