Argentina is in all ways the definition of fabulous, as most Argentineans would be more than happy to tell you. South America’s darling and second largest nation (after Brazil) is teeming with fantastic culture and biodiversity, ultra hip cities like Buenos Aires and an unabated passion for fine wine, scrumptious steak and an uncompromised quality of life. Following a recent economic crisis, the country is just as splendid a destination while leaving a far smaller hole in your wallet.
Raise Your Glass, Your Consciousness and Your Elevation
Argentina’s central fertile plain of the Pampas is the main agriculture hub and South America’s world renowned wine producing region. Córdoba, Argentina’s second city, is the heart of this region and full of universities, historic museums and an extremely posh and youthful nightlife. Just southwest of Córdoba is the wine capital of Mendoza. Come for the harvest festivals at the end of February and stay to enjoy the warm hospitality during a vineyard tour of the many bodegas in March and April. Explore the surrounding rocky desert by hopping on a horseback riding expedition or paddling down some whitewater with a local guide.
Nestled against the Andes Mountain Range, the Mendoza region is also home to South America’s tallest peak, Cerro Aconcagua, at 22,834 ft. Guided trekking expeditions to the top can be arranged for those with appropriate expertise. Others may find the trip to base camp exhilarating enough. The area is an extremely popular Andes ski destination as well, including the winter resorts of Las Leñas and San Carlos de Bariloche.
Global Heritage, National Treasure
The diversity of wildlife and terrain in Argentina is arguably unmatched in South America. Península Valdés is a World Heritage Site on the east coast of the Patagonian region with more visible biodiversity than any other region in Argentina. Sea lions, penguins, whales, armadillos, guanacos and gray foxes all grace the shores with their regular presence at certain times of the year. Enjoy the pristine quality of surrounding Patagonia, quite possibly the cleanest place on earth. Farther south, Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (Glacier National Park) is literally an incredibly moving experience. Strategically placed cat-walks and guided tours allow visitors to see the remarkable sliding ice blocks from stable distances, including the gargantuan Perito Moreno Glacier. This also might be the closest you have ever found yourself to the South Pole!
Argentina’s unique north-south axis makes for a most dynamic single-county travel opportunity. Jungles in the far north, glaciers in the deep south, the Incan Andes to the West and just about everything imaginable in between make up just a few reasons why anyone must explore Argentina – not to mention the wildly alive and electrifying epicenter that is the capital city of Buenos Aires. Don’t forget that in the southern hemisphere the seasons are reversed. January is extremely hot in the north, with temperatures exceeding 110F in places. The south is cold, still with the coldest months from May to September.