Planning A Grand Tour Of Argentina
Planning your Argentina travel itinerary is no easy feat – there is so much to see in this vast country, plus the logistics of getting around by bus and plane can be overwhelming. Fortunately for today’s intrepid travelers, there are many tour companies who are experienced at organizing Patagonia guided tours and will be happy to help you customize your travel arrangements! Stay tuned for an example of an amazing travel itinerary for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation!
Why Should I Visit Argentina?
It’s easy to understand why Argentina is one of the most popular countries in South America. There’s the romance of the tango, the museums and architecture of Buenos Aires, the vineyards of in the Mendoza Valley, and the majestic mountains and glaciers of Patagonia. Visiting this vast country can be daunting – there’s so much to do and see that putting together an Argentina travel itinerary that takes into consideration the amount of time you will be spending in the country that even seasoned travelers can become frustrated. However, we’ve put together a Grand Tour of Argentina that is guaranteed to showcase the best the country has to offer if you have two weeks to spend exploring its mysteries.
Destination #1 – Buenos Aires
The perfect vacation to Argentina starts in Buenos Aires. The best time to visit this cosmopolitan city is during the autumn months (March–May) or in the spring (September – November) when temperatures are moderate. And, if you visit in the springtime, you’ll have the added bonus of seeing the jacaranda trees in full bloom! While in Buenos Aires, be sure to:
- Stroll through the sprawling neighborhood of Palermo and visit the local museums and urban parks.
- Visit the grave of Eva Peron at Recoleta Cemetery.
- Go shopping in the fashionable neighborhood of La Boca, which is home to trendy boutiques and art galleries.
- Take in a show at the Teatro Colon.
- Spend a day at the races at the Palermo Hippodrome,
- Visit tourist attractions like Casa Rosada, Plaza de Mayo, and El Caminito.
- Learn to dance the tango at one of the city’s Tango Cafes.
- Take a guided street tour to get a glimpse of the vibrant street art that decorates the city.
Getting around Buenos Aires is easy. You can buy a pass that allows you to ride the metro and bus from place to place. As an added bonus, cabs are fairly cheap and easily available!
Destination #2 – El Calafate
To get to El Calafate, simply take a direct flight from Buenos Aires. This small town is located on the shores of Lake Argentino and is popular with tourists who want to visit the Petito Moreno Glacier. Though small, the town boasts many excellent restaurants where tourists can enjoy the culinary masterpiece that is Argentine asado. El Calafate is a walkable city, perfect for solo explorations of local bird life around Laguna Nimez. However, if a visit to Perito Moreno is on your bucket list, you’ve come to the right place. Make sure to include a full day in your Argentina travel itinerary for the glacier. Your best bet is to book with one of the many Patagonia guided tours that can get you close to the glacier. One of these tours includes a catamaran ride that takes you as close to the southern wall of the glacier as possible, then drops you off at the southern base with a local guide who will take you on a short hike across the glacier! After your exhilarating trek, you can sample a bit of glacier water to finish off your adventure.
Destination #3 – El Chalten
Getting to El Chalten is an adventure in itself – it’s a three-hour bus ride from El Calafate! But the journey is worth it. This small mountain village is located within Los Glaciares National Park and is known as the trekking capital of Argentine Patagonia. This unassuming town sits at the base of Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. Hikers from all over the world come to make the trek along the numerous hiking trails and to hike to the foot of these famous mountains. The best time to visit El Chalten is between the months of October to May when it’s warm and the days are long. Plan to connect with one of the Patagonia guided tours that can guide you through the region’s hiking trails. Popular hikes include:
- Chorrillo Del Salto
- Pliegue Tumbado
- Mirador Del Torre
- Laguna Capri
- Laguna Torre
- Laguna De los Tres
But don’t forget – start your trekking adventure with shorter hikes to get acclimated to the activity before you sign up to take a longer or more difficult trek!
Destination #4 – Mendoza Valley
Your Grand Tour of Argentina would not be complete without a visit to Mendoza. Mendoza is one of the most famous wine regions in Argentina, with more than 900 wineries located within its boundaries and more than 358,000 acres of vineyards. The region is known for its Malbec wine, a style of dry, red wine. Mendoza is uniquely suited to producing great wines – the region is located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, where the soil, altitude, and climate all combine to create incredible winemaking conditions. With so many wineries to choose from, it’s hard to pick which to visit. Here are the top 5 wineries we suggest visiting.
- Bodega Norton – the large-scale winery has five vineyards. Founded in 1895, today guests are welcome for bike tours, wine tastings, and even to shadow a winemaker for a day!
- Bodega Cruzat – this winery is known for its bubbly, which is a welcome break from the region’s reds. Visit for a picnic amid the grapevines, or tours and tastings.
- Nieto Senetiner – founded in 1888, this winery is one of the oldest in Mendoza. The winery offers full lunches, with wine pairings, and cooking classes!
- Domaine Bousquet – known for their organic, French wines, this winery produces 4 million liters of wine a year and exports to more than 50 countries.
- SuperUco – this winery makes wines that are free of pesticides and chemical products, and allows the vines to grow freely. Add this to your list for lunch or dinner, tours, and tastings.
Now that you have an idea of where to go on your Grand Tour of Argentina, it will be easy to finalize your Argentina travel itinerary. Don’t forget to book your Patagonia guided tours well in advance – you don’t want to be left out of all the adventure if a tour fills up!