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12 of the best places to visit in Argentina

Argentine gaucho family enjoying outdoor midday meal

Argentina is one of the most popular destinations in South America, and it isn’t hard to see why – lively cities and tranquil wildernesses, majestic waterfalls and soaring mountains, not to mention wildlife-filled wetlands, glorious architecture, rich culture and renowned steakhouses. It’s the whole South American package.

But Argentina is a big country, measuring 3800 km (2360 miles) from end to end, so there’s some serious ground to cover. For those unsure where to start, we can help you narrow it down with this list of our favorite 12 places that shouldn’t be missed, from national parks carved by glaciers to vineyards in the shadow of the Andes.

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1. Buenos Aires

Best for eating out

Sultry tango clubs and cacophonous football matches, beautiful barrios (neighborhoods) and historic cemeteries, world-class museums and raucous nightlife – Buenos Aires has everything you need for an immersive, big city experience.

Above all, the Argentinian capital is a fantastic place to eat out. Its parrillas (steakhouses) – such as Don Julio, named the best restaurant in Latin America by 50 Best in 2020 – serve what could be the finest beef on the planet. You’ll also find a multitude of international joints, serving everything from Armenian to Peruvian cuisine, plus an ice cream parlor on virtually every block.

Planning tip: Buenos Aires is a big city, so it pays to base yourself close to the areas you want to explore. The neighborhoods of Recoleta, Retiro, Palermo and San Telmo offer a great mix of sights, places to eat, and local character.

Learn about all things gaucho in The Pampas © JohnnyGreig / Getty Images

2. The Pampas

Best for experiencing cowboy life

The flat, fertile grasslands that cover much of central Argentina are known as the Pampas, dominated by the cattle industry and synonymous with gaucho (cowboy) culture. For an introduction to rural life, head to the town of San Antonio de Areco, whose museum and annual Dia de la Tradición festival showcase all things gaucho.

Planning tip: To get the best from a trip to the Pampas, stay a few nights at one of the many estancias (ranches) scattered across the region, which offer horse-riding, polo lessons and traditional asados (barbecues).

Want some help? Let Elsewhere plan your next trip.

3. Buenos Aires province

Best for beaches


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