From standing spellbound before the thundering torrents of Iguazú Falls or loping across the Pampas with a gaucho by your side to the electrifying frenzy of a fútbol crowd in Buenos Aires—Argentina is a million dizzying experiences in one. Whether you’re a city slicker with a penchant for opulence and opera, a nature-lover seeking out kingfishers and hummingbirds in the Ibera Wetlands, or a foodie in search of awesome asado and marvelous malbecs, we’ve got your private, luxury Argentina tour covered.
Things to do in Argentina
1. Marvel at the sight of Iguazú Falls
Stand in awe at the foot of one of the planet’s most powerful natural wonders: Iguazú Falls. Witnessing the spectacle of the Río Iguazú cascading through the emerald-green rainforest towards a two-mile-long chain of waterfalls handily ranks among the top things to do in Argentina.
- Water levels do fluctuate, but the season (and, subsequently, the weather) doesn’t usually impact your viewing experience.
- Adventurers will want to hike to Garganta del Diablo (“Devil’s Mouth”), which plunges 269 feet. Alternatively, board a boat to catch a fun, bottom-up perspective.
- The falls sit right on the Argentina-Brazil border. The crossing is easy, so view them from both countries.
2. Take a hike through the Patagonian Andes
Experience one of South America’s most spectacular hikes: Mount Fitz Roy. Along the way, you’ll take in sublime views of Los Glaciares National Park—a natural wonderland of lakes, rivers, and mountain peaks. Other show-stopping hikes include the trail from Ushuaia to Laguna Esmeralda and Bariloche to Mirador Bahia Lopez.
- The most popular time to visit Los Glaciares National Park is during the warm South American summer (December through February). The shoulder months in autumn or spring are sunny but windy. In the winter, snowfall reduces accessibility.
- Geology enthusiasts will adore the hike to Laguna Esmeralda, which crosses two glacial valleys: the Tierra Mayor and the Esmeralda River.
- Bariloche attracts skiers and snowboarders from across the globe. Check out the town’s après ski scene.
3. Watch a fútbol game in Buenos Aires
Gain a little insight into the psyche of the country that produced Maradona and Messi by attending a fútbol match in Buenos Aires. Join the frenzied chorus of singing fans at the city’s famous La Bombonera Stadium, home to the Boca Juniors, to enjoy an Argentine rite of passage—it’s truly one of the most exciting things to do in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Serious fans might enjoy a behind-the-scenes stadium tour.
- The Buenos Aires soccer season runs from late January through to early August.
- Football fans in Argentina love to shout at the players and referees, so don’t hold back and go wild when the team scores. Don’t plan on sitting for the duration of the game, either!
- If you’re lucky, your Buenos Aires visit will coincide with a superclasico derby game where the Boca Juniors face down their rival team, River Plate. (We recommend viewing a frenzied superclasico from a local sports bar.)
4. Learn how to tango in San Telmo, Buenos Aires
Originating in Buenos Aires in the late 19th century, tango blends African candombe with Cuban habañera, Bohemian polka, and the waltz. Our travel designers can arrange a tango lesson for you at a historic conventillo in La Boca. Afterward, head to a traditional milonga dance hall to try out your moves on the dance floor.
- For some beginners, a milonga can feel intimidating. Consider taking a class before you take to the dance floor with the locals.
- Travelers who prefer to admire tango instead of dancing it will enjoy a tango show.
- Soak up a little tango history in La Boca—one of the colorful neighborhoods where tango was born.
5. Ride horses with gauchos
Getting in the saddle and riding along winding trails with a bona fide Argentine gaucho—a horseman who is known for his bravery and skills—is one of the most memorable things to do in Argentina. An Extraordinary Journeys South America specialist can arrange a gaucho ride-along when you stay at a traditional estancia farmhouse in Buenos Aires Province, Cordoba, Mendoza, or El Calafate. Estancias range from the rustic to the luxurious, but they always offer a warm Argentine welcome and serve hearty cuisine.
6. Go birdwatching in the Ibera Wetlands
Parque Esteros del Ibera protects one of the largest freshwater wetlands on the face of the planet. Take a slow boat trip along its breathtaking labyrinth of lagoons and channels, and you may come face to face with kingfishers, greater rhea herons, eagles, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, green-winged macaws, and jabiru storks.
- The best time for birdwatching is between September and April, when a large number of birds pass through on their annual migration.
- The Ibera Wetlands are home to more than 300 species of birds, 85 mammals, 45 amphibians, and 35 reptiles.
- On dry ground, keep your eyes peeled for capybara, capuchin monkeys, and elusive jaguar.
7. Visit “the end of the world” in Ushuaia
Sitting where the Andes meet the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia is a remote outpost that’s known as “The End of the World.” Soak up the wild frontier vibe in this striking port town before going hiking in Bahía Encerrada Urban Natural Reserve, taking to the ski slopes at Cerro Castor, or kayaking through glacial lakes in Tierra del Fuego National Park.
- The best time to visit is between early October and the end of April. If you’re into winter sports, go between June and August.
- Treat yourself to some centolla, king crab plucked straight from the Beagle Channel—it’s one of the best foodie experiences in Argentina.
- Nature lovers will enjoy exploring the subantarctic tundra, glassy lakes, and dramatic coastline of the Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego.
8. Experience wine tasting in Mendoza
When it comes to things to do in Mendoza, the answer is wine. Make a beeline for the laid-back province, where you’ll have 1,500 area wineries to choose from. Witness age-old wine-making traditions in Lujan de Cuyo, take in views all the way to the Tupungato Volcano in Valle de Uco and sample some superb olive oils and signature malbecs in the Maipú Valley.
- Each year, Mendoza hosts the Fiesta Nacional de Vendimia, with the main event celebrated in early March. If you can swing the timing, you can participate in the harvest itself—a delicious way to connect with the local viniculture.
- There’s no bad time to visit Mendoza. December to February is warm, and the vines are laden with grapes, but it can be crowded; March (harvest) is very busy with a festive, party atmosphere; October, November, and April are lovely for relaxed vineyard stays.
- Mendoza is more than its vineyards. Surrounded by the Andes, you can choose your own adventure: white water rafting, horseback riding, hiking, or fishing.
9. Take a boat trip in the Beagle Channel
The Beagle Channel is a stunning waterway that separates the islands of Tierra del Fuego from the mainland. Boats leave Ushuaia and take you on a breathtaking journey to see nesting cormorants, lounging sea lions, mighty whales, and orange-beaked gentoo penguins.
- The Beagle Channel (named for the Royal Navy ship that Darwin traveled to Patagonia on) is one of just three navigable passages between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
- It can be quite cold, even during summer, so dress warmly.
- Ready your camera to take photos at the “Lighthouse of the End of the World.”
10. Visit one of the best theaters in the world: Teatro Colón
Famous for its timeless elegance and astounding acoustics, Buenos Aires’ beloved Teatro Colón is one of the finest opera houses in the world. This opulent building, which was inaugurated in 1908, is seven stories tall and occupies an entire city block.
- Culture vultures should take a behind-the-scenes tour. It’s one of the best cultural experiences in Argentina.
- Art and architecture lovers will appreciate gazing upon the auditorium ceiling, which was hand-painted by the Argentine artist Raul Soldi.
- If you go to see the philharmonic, don’t clap between movements. Many visitors make this innocent mistake, but the locals will disapprove. Instead, save your applause for the end of the piece.
11. Experience the mausoleums of Recoleta
Take an eerily beautiful stroll around the cemetery at Recoleta—a labyrinth of towering marble mausoleums featuring more than 6,000 statues, sarcophagi, coffins, and crypts—90 of which are national historical monuments. Stop to pay your respects at the resting places of Eva Perón, Carlos Pellegrini, and the Paz Family—it’s one of the most popular things to do in Buenos Aires.
- Often described as “a city within a city,” you’ll definitely want to grab a map at the entrance. Better yet, enjoy a guided tour.
- The mausoleums emulate everything from Greek temples to baroque cathedrals.
- Keep your eyes peeled for the ghost of David Alleno, a former gravedigger. It’s said you can hear keys jangling as his ghost walks the cemetery at dawn.
12. Feast on Argentinian asado
Pack your comfy jeans, carnivores, Argentina is home to asado barbecue. If you enjoy a juicy, full-flavored steak cooked to perfection and other grilled delicacies, you’re going to enjoy the asado experience. You can get it anywhere in Argentina, but Buenos Aires and Patagonia are asado hotspots.
- A genuine asado has three courses. The first course is a variety of sausages, followed by sweetmeats. Save room for the star of the show; the third and final course is a big juicy steak.
- In Buenos Aires, you can sample asado everywhere, from a hole-in-the-wall like Club Uros, to a chic, upmarket eatery such as Don Julio.
- If you’d like to experience sharing traditional asado with some locals in Buenos Aires, our South America experts would love to add it to your luxury Argentina trip. It’s one of the most fun—and delicious—things to do in Argentina.
13. Explore the San Ignacio Ruins
Get off the beaten track and explore the incredible San Ignacio Ruins, located three hours southwest of Iguazú Falls. Dating back to 1696, these atmospheric mission ruins are the most complete in the whole of Argentina. Stroll through the main plaza and past the town hall, hospital, priest’s house, and cemetery. The elaborately carved angels, doves, and flowers that adorn the buildings are breathtaking.
- The best time to visit is between July and October and from February to April when the temperature is cooler and there’s little rain.
- Sound-and-light shows take place on rain-free evenings. Using projections, these 3D performances are haunting and beautiful.
- Pop into the museum to see the scale model of San Ignacio as it would have looked at its peak.
14. Check out the glaciers of Patagonia
The Parque Nacional Los Glaciares in Patagonia is one of the best places on earth to get close to a glacier. This park’s 18-mile-long Glacier Perito Moreno is a sight to behold as it juts out onto the iceberg-dotted Lago Argentino. Alternatively, check out the even bigger Upsala Glacier, which covers 336 square miles and is the largest glacier in South America. Witnessing this incredible collection of natural beauty is, inarguably, one of the best things to do in Argentina.
- The best time to visit is between October and April, when there’s a good chance you’ll hear glacier creaks echoing across the park in the afternoon.
- Parque Nacional Los Glaciares encompasses 47 giant glaciers and more than 200 smaller glaciers
- Getting close to the icebergs is easy; the park has a series of viewpoints connected by steel walkways. A boat will take you even closer, and it’s possible to kayak in front of Perito Moreno or even hike atop it.
15. Experience the wonders of whale watching
See southern right whales glide mere yards from the shoreline, or orcas beach themselves in the hunt for sea lions in Patagonia’s Puerto Madryn. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Peninsula Valdés, a pristine wilderness, to find elephant seals, Magellanic penguins, and a myriad of bird species.
- Sightings of southern right whales are pretty much guaranteed during August, September, and October.
- The best time to see orcas beaching is in March and April when the sea lion pups are just beginning to explore.
- It’s possible to spot penguins from October to March, but the best time to see them is after November when the chicks are born.
Some of our favorite Argentina luxury trips
The untamed beauty of Patagonia: from Tierra del Fuego to the Northern Lake District
Otherworldly landscapes, award winning vineyards, and ancient cultures
Wine tasting in Mendoza, natural wonders at Iguazu Falls, urban charms in Buenos Aires
Wildlife encounters in the jungles, wetlands, and coasts of Argentina
Argentine lakes, glaciers, waterfalls and wine-tasting
Glaciers, Lakes and Peaks Of Patagonia
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