Argentina - A Great Destination
“Welcome to the end of the world.”
You will surely hear this at least once when you visit Ushuaia in Argentina. Often dubbed the “end of the world” because of its geographic location, this Argentine metropolis is the world’s southernmost city. However, the sights and events in Ushuaia and the rest of the country are far from apocalyptic. In this South American paradise, bliss knows no end. All you need to do is explore.
Where to Go
Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world and the second largest on the continent. Given this vast territory, expect to see a multitude of unforgettable places. The entire country has significant historical sites and natural wonders. This tourism-healthy mixture ensures the country of a constant influx of tourists, which all leave the country in awe. Here are some of Argentina’s most visited tourist spots that will introduce your jaws to the ground.
Located on the coast of Rio de la Plata, Buenos Aires is Argentina’s largest city. This is exactly the place to visit if you want a taste of South America’s rich history and culture. This Argentine capital is home to numerous breathtaking attractions, including the Cathedral Metropolitana. This religious structure contains the remains of the country’s liberator, San Martin. You’ll also find the internationally-recognized Teatro Colon, the world’s largest opera house.
If you’re an art junkie, Buenos Aires is the place to be. It harbors several impressive museums including the Ambrosetti Museum, the Isaac Fernandez Blanco Museum of Spanish-American Art, and the Museum of Colonial History. You can also visit San Telmo’s flea market, as well as the old artists’ quarter of La Boca.
Most of the Buenos Aires’ tourist spots are important historical sites, but this doesn’t mean the city lacks entertainment centers. In fact, it has a very colorful and vibrant nightlife. Before going home, make sure to drop by any of the city’s eccentric bars and clubs to party with the locals and other tourists. You should also try some of the continent’s finest restaurants found at the heart of the city.
Of course, an exciting Argentine tour won’t be complete without getting in touch with the country’s rustic marvels. If you’re coming from Buenos Aires, the first place to visit is the Basilica Nuestra Senora de Lujan, standing just 43 miles west of the capital. This is one of the region’s most important devotional sites.
You should also see what the Andean province of Tucuman has to offer its visitors. The place is famous for its green valleys surrounded by snow-capped mountains. If you can’t get enough of mountain trails, then you should proceed to Catamarca and try trekking, hiking and horseback riding tours to its mountains. If you want more action than just trekking, then you might want to stretch those muscles by climbing up the scenic peaks of La Plata. Don’t forget to be awestruck by the Iguazu Falls in the province of Misiones.
Another mountainous paradise in Argentina is the arid central-west area called Cuyo. Here you can enjoy mountaineering, rafting and other adventure activities. If you’re the “thirsty” traveler type, then you’ll want to stay here longer than planned for its world-famous wines and grape harvest festivals. Before you pack your things, make sure you have stayed for at least a day in any of the country’s marvelous seaside resorts.
What to Do
“Don’t cry for me, Argentina,” says Evita. One thing is for sure: there will be no crying once you set foot on the nourished South American soil of Argentina. You have to be prepared, though, for you’ll find yourself surrounded by countless enjoyable activities that will make you want to stay there for good. Here are some of them.
Walk with Borges
The best way to experience the city of Buenos Aires is on foot. If you want to be amazed by how simple and pleasurable Argentine life is, do what Jorge Luis Borges, the country’s greatest writer, did: walk. Borges walked every single day along Florida to the Centro Nacional de la Musica. Imagine yourself walking with him by following his route from his apartment at Maipu 944 to the splendid Galerias Pacifico to the Richmond Cafe and Av Corrientes. This walk is popular among tourists. Grab a map and follow Borges’ footsteps and experience Buenos Aires in a slowly-but-surely way.
Embark on an Adventure
Much of Argentina’s beauty can be seen outside cosmopolitan areas. Rent a car or take the bus to the countryside. Visit tiny villages and mingle with friendly people who are more than willing to give you a free tour. You also have to see rarely visited provincial parks such as the Parque Nacional Sierra de las Quijadas. If walking in the park isn’t thrilling enough for you, you may choose among hiking, trekking, climbing and horseback riding and get blown away by complex canyons. Rafting and sailing beneath Argentina’s magnificent peaks are great, too!
Eat, Eat, Eat
South American cuisine is some of the most tempting in the world. If you are afraid to eat too much, then prepare yourself for the most delicious temptations you’ll ever lay eyes on. Asado, chinchulines, mate, fideos and scones are truly irresistible. There’s no way you’ll leave the country without breaking your diet. If you’re a wine lover, head to the Andes-flanked wine capital of the country, Mendoza. Follow the grape-juice trail and give yourself a delightful sampling of the continent’s finest libation.
When everything fails, shopping prevails. Indeed, when you’ve done everything and you still want more, there’s nothing else left to do but to shop! One of the largest cities in the world, Buenos Aires is a center of commerce, making it a shopper’s paradise. It is also one of the continent’s few fashion capitals. If shopping is your thing, then give Argentina a try and experience the city of great deals and fantastic discounts.
What to Remember
If you’re planning to pay Argentina a visit, you have to bear in mind several things about the country. Having sufficient knowledge about the country is extremely useful, especially for first-time travelers. Here are some tips.
How’s the Weather?
The first thing you have to remember if you’re planning to visit Argentina is that the country is in the Southern half of the globe. Its climate ranges from subtropical (north) to humid and steamy (central region) to cold (south). The Northern portions of the Andes region experiences erratic rainfall, searing heat, flash floods, snow and hot, dry wind. Meanwhile, the lowlands enjoy sufficient precipitation, good for upland savanna and swampy forests.
How Much Is This?
Make sure you have Argentine pesos with you. US dollars and other currencies are not accepted by most establishments, except some high-end hotels and restaurants. Although prices of commodities in Argentina skyrocket every year, you’ll be glad to hear that the cost of living here is relatively cheap. Where else can you enjoy a delectable double scoop of ice cream for less than $2? Where else can you gorge on a heavenly steak dinner complete with a bottle of wine for less than $10?
Some people see Argentina as a second-rate Brazil. The truth is that Argentina has its own identity spilled all over the country. Its unique culture and history add color to its natural beauty. If this is the end of the world, then let the world end right now. If you enjoy reading this informative article, you’ll surely be interested to learn how to cruise cheaply.