THEArgentina it's a huge country. It goes without saying that when you start planning a trip, the hardest thing is to understand what you want to visit. Unless in fact you have a lot of time, choices need to be made.
On the roads of Patagonia during my second trip to Argentina credit Stefano Giorgetti
This post just wants to give you an idea of 4 possible itineraries for two and three weeks to get the best out of your visit, but it does not claim to be a perfect vademecum to follow to the letter.
All the itineraries have been designed assuming travel by plane for two simple reasons:
- traveling by plane saves a lot of time, otherwise time will be inexorably stolen from visiting the places.
- if booked in advance, flights cost the same as buses and sometimes even cheaper. Planning well is the watchword.
If you decide to follow my advice and take the plane, know that Aerolineas Argentinas it covers all the routes necessary for the various movements.
One of the many flights taken with Aerolineas Argentinas credit Stefano Giorgetti
Otherwise, if you like to travel by public buses, know that these itineraries can also be done with those, it will only take more planning.
4 Itineraries in Argentina
I thought about 4 itineraries all based on my two month experience in Argentina. Of course if you have any doubts, concerns or questions feel free to tell me in the comments.
- Itinerary 1: Patagonia Grand Tour
- Itinerary 2: the Great North
- Itinerary 3: Argentina Nature (North and South)
- Itinerary 4: Argentina Urbana (Center)
Itinerary 1: Patagonia Grand Tour
Il Perito Moreno, Highlight of Argentine Patagonia
This itinerary is designed to give the best of Patagonia. With its glaciers, boundless plains, trekking itineraries, you could spend practically infinite time among the natural beauties that this part of the world can offer and that is able to amaze and leave even the most demanding of travelers speechless.
Clearly I left the lesser known destinations "out". Not because I don't think they are worth visiting, but simply because I have tried to optimize by putting together the things that I personally think deserve the most.
1 day: I arrive in in Buenos Aires (Read the post: what to see in Buenos Aires!)
2 day: city tour. Visit the microcentre with Plaza de Mayo, then move on to see the Colon theater. In the afternoon, the Recoleta district with its famous cemetery. In the evening tango show.
Days 3 and 4: city tour. If you happen to be on the weekend, dedicate a morning to the San Telmo district and its Feria, or to the Palermo district. Afternoon at Boca and its Caminito. Spend the evening in Puerto Madero.
Ps: Buenos Aires deserves much more than 5 days. If you have time, however, also evaluate or aexcursion on the Delta to Tigre (a nice town where the relaxed atmosphere is perfect for relaxing your nerves) or a day in Colonia de Sacramento.
5 day: transfer to Bariloche “A piece of Switzerland in Argentina” many define it. Not only for the natural scenery, but also for the chocolate. In short, there is some analogy.
6 day: Bariloche trekking: one of the most beautiful routes in Nahuel Huapi National Park it is the road that leads to the Peninsula Llao Llao and that runs all around the lake. Looking around the style is very "alpine" with the wooden chalets. In short, it is difficult to think, looking at this part of Argentina, that the country has suffered (and in some ways it still is) a serious economic crisis.
7 day: transfer (by bus) a El Chalten
8 day: El Chalten is the Capital of Trekking in Argentina. The most beautiful in my opinion is the Laguna de Los Tres but there are many others from easy to more strenuous: see the 5 must-see treks at the foot of Cerro Fitz Roy
9 day: El Chalten and in the evening transfer by bus to El Calafate (about 3 hours)
10 day: El Calafate, visit to the Perito Moreno. The glacier, within the Los Glaciares National Park, is often called the eighth wonder of the world and after having visited it you can only agree perfectly.
There are many tours and experiences that can be done: from the path on the catwalks, to the navigation on his face up to real treks on it. Absolutely not to be missed!
11 day: various activities (navigation on Upsala and Spegazzini, horseback riding… see What to do in El Calafate)
12 day: transfer (by plane) a Ushuaia
13 day: Ushuaia, Capital of Tierra del Fuego
14 day: Ushuaia and navigation on the Beagle Channel
15 day: visit and trekking in Tierra del Fuego National Park. Alternatively, the trekking is beautiful and not very tiring Esmeralda Lagoon.
Days 16 and 17: bus transfer via Rio Gallegos to Puerto Madryn. By bus it takes almost 30 hours, sometimes even longer. This is because Ushuaia is located on an island and it is therefore necessary to cross a channel that often has rough sea for which the ferries are suspended.
Puerto Madryn has an airport, but the flights are not very numerous. Trelew is the best alternative.
18 day: visit the Valdes Peninsula. The Valdes Peninsula is one of the best places in the world to get in touch with the life of the sea (with the Galapagos Islands). The ideal season to go there is from September to December, when the passage of the whales practically guarantees 100% sightings.
19 day: visit to Punta Tombo. The Punta Tombo reserve is home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in the world with around half a million specimens that come here to breed each year.
Also interesting is the museum that tells in detail the habits of the penguins, their life, their habits and their migratory routes.
20 day: return to Buenos Aires by plane
21 day: come back in
Itinerary 2: the Great North
The bursting force of nature at Garganta del Diablo - Iguazu Falls
This itinerary does not show many of Argentina's natural beauties (apart from the grandiose Iguazú Falls), but more than anything else it allows the traveler a deep immersion in Argentine culture.
If you are not a lover of nature, but more of a cultural encounter with another country, this is the itinerary for you.
Also in this itinerary consider to dedicate at least 4 days to in Buenos Aires. Even if the impatience to leave and see other places is great (for example I always have the anxiety to move to see new things) dedicate to this splendid city the time it deserves.
Trust me, however, it will never be enough.
1 day: I arrive in in Buenos Aires
Days 2, 3 and 4: city tour.
5 day: transfer to Mendoza
6 day: Mendoza. Located on the eastern side of the Andes, Mendoza itself will never win the prize as the most beautiful city in the world South America for sure. But you don't come here for the city anyway, do you? Come here for its fantastic wineries and the surroundings that really deserve the views.
There are many activities in the surrounding area that you can take part in. But what I recommend for the first day is a nice bike ride to visit the wineries and taste the as famous as good Malbec.
Mendoza is also famous for its steaks.
7 day: Mendoza. If drinking is not your passion (otherwise visit another winery), but you love the outdoors, then go on Aconcagua Hill. Here you can practice all kinds of sports: paragliding, trekking, climbing. If you have even more time, head to instead Cerro Arco, maybe on horseback. The surroundings of Mendoza offer many opportunities for sports and entertainment.
8 day: transfer to Salta. Salta is a small town with interesting museums, delicious squares side cafes and a strong culture for traditional music. Salta is also the most colonial city in Argentina, so walking through its streets you will have the impression of stepping back in time.
9 day: Salta, visit of the town
10 day: Skip. Why not a day spent on the famous train of the Clouds? True, it is expensive and ridiculously touristy, but the scenery of the Andean chain will literally leave you breathless!
11 day: transfer at Iguazu Falls
12 day: Iguazú, Argentine side. To visit this side of the falls you will need at least a full day. There are various paths.
13 day: Iguazú, brazilian lato. Half a day is enough for this side of the falls. But if you want to take the helicopter ride you have to come here because that's where they do it.
14 day: transfer to Buenos Aires
15 day: come back in
Itinerary 4: Argentina Nature
I wrote the itineraries for the north and the south. But I thought it would also be nice to have a mixed itinerary of the two. Of course, in this case, I recommend doing at least 3 weeks to enjoy everything a little bit more.
After all, as big as Argentina is, it is also allowed to “want a little bit of everything” in order to have the feeling of not having missed anything.
Of course, in this way you can only travel by plane, except for a few small routes.
Days 1-5 : arrival and visit of Buenos Aires
2 day: transfer to Iguazú
Days 6 and 7: visit of Iguazú both from the Argentine and Brazilian side (1 day and 1 day)
8 day: I flew to Mendoza
Days 9 and 10: Mendoza (visit to a winery)
11 day: transfer to Bariloche
12 day: Bariloche (Nahuel Huapi National Park)
13 day: transfer to El Calafate (by plane)
14 day: El Calafate (Perito Moreno)
15 day: transfer to Ushuaia
16 day: Ushuaia (Beagle Channel)
17 day: Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego National Park)
18 day: Ushuaia, transfer to Puerto Madryn
19 day: Peninsula of Valdes (whale watching) or Punta Tombo (colony of Magellan penguins)
20 day: ritorno to Buenos Aires
21 day: return flight
Itinerary 4: Argentina Urbana (Center)
Tango to the quartiere of San Telmo in Buenos Aires
Certainly Argentina is a country of a thousand natural beauties, with grandiose panoramas and boundless spaces. But the urban part is also of great importance, so someone might even want to dedicate themselves to discovering its cities.
Feasible more by bus than by plane, this itinerary is designed for those who want to explore the rich culture, history and architecture of Argentina.
Days 1-5 : arrival and visit of in Buenos Aires.
6 day: transfer to rosary by bus. In some ways, Rosario reminds us a little bit of Barcelona. She is certainly famous for two characters: Che Guevara (here is her birthplace) and the footballer Messi whose image is found practically everywhere.
Day 7: Rosario. Don't miss a walk along the Paraná River and the National Flag Monument.
Day 8: Rosario. Keep exploring the city. not only does Rosario offer various cultural and recreational proposals, but it also has splendid parks where nature reigns supreme.
Day 9: bus to Cordoba. At the foot of the Sierras Chicas, Cordoba is the second largest city in Argentina in terms of population. Although it is mostly an industrial city, there is no shortage of buildings of historical and artistic interest. Its University founded by the Jesuits in 1613 is very famous. As in Buenos Aires, here too there is a Museum of Memory to tell the tragic events linked to the period of the dictatorship.
Day 10: Cordoba, city tour
Day 11: Cordoba is also located in the middle of the land of horses, here the culture of the gauchos is still very strong, so much so that in the Sierra children still go to school in the saddle!
Therefore, you cannot miss a ranch (in Argentina it is called estancia) around the city.
Fascinated by the Gaucha culture? Don't miss out my experience when I came across a real jineteada!
Day 12: bus per Mendoza
Day 13: Mendoza, wineries or adventures in the surroundings
Day 14: Mendoza, city tour
Day 15: back to Buenos Aires (consider a night bus)
Day 16: come back in
These are alone 4 possible itineraries in Argentina. Of course, in such a large country, there are so many opportunities so you have some places to recommend, feel free to write me in the comments.