I can’t believe I’ve been here for only 4 days. Feels like an eternity. Maybe because I’m used to relocate (Ireland 2007 and California 2013) or maybe because BsAs (Buenos Aires) is muy similar to my Europe. It seems I never left. Or that I never arrived.
The largest city of Argentina, with almost 3 million people, has a lot to offer to tourists and long-term visitors. Here’s our top 9 things to do list.
1. Go to the Steakhouse
In Buenos Aires, visitors and locals have so many choices when it comes to parrillas (steak restaurants). Make sure to ask for a sangre steak if you want a bit of red, otherwise it seems well-done is the norm!
2. Dance Tango
If you feel like trying tango, or maybe just going to a show, Buenos Aires is full of tango!
3. Go to the Beach
I know, Argentina is not renowned for its beaches, but Buenos Aires Province is the most popular option for beach goers! Mar del Plata is possibly your best choice.
4. Go to Palermo
This large barrio (quarter) is located North East of Buenos Aires and features green areas as well as shopping malls, restaurants, art galleries and lovely cafes.
5. Go to the Park
Bosques de Palermo (or Parque 3 de Febrero) is a great spot for a nice walk, a daytime picnic or even… a swim!
6. Go to the Theatre
Teatro Colón is the main opera house in Buenos Aires. Opened in 1908, it featured (and still features) the best music players and singers in history. A not to be missed destination!
7. Go to the Port
Puerto Madero is a modern barrio of Buenos Aires. This fabulous port was built in 1882 by local businessman… Madero (you knew it was coming). The place is beautiful and gets a real life and nice atmosphere in the evening.
8. Go to Recoleta
The Recoleta barrio is a very interesting area in regard to history and architecture – trust me, go visit the Recoleta Cemetery. This quarter is also an important tourist destination and cultural center of the city.
9. Go to the Church
Whether you’ve got a religious spirit or not, the Basilica del Santisimo Sacramento is a wonderful building you should not miss!
Answer: it really depends! In fact, Argentina is almost 7 times as big as California. It shares land borders with Chile to the west; Bolivia and Paraguay to the north; Brazil to the northeast and Uruguay to the east.
Whether your goal is to climb its highest mountains, to reach the most southern point or visit its beautiful cities – you should pick the time of the year that best suits your main destination.
The Argentine spring (September – November) is ideal just about everywhere, however in the far south icy gales may blow.
Summer (December – February) is perfect for climbing the Andes, such as Aconcagua, and best time of year to head to Tierra del Fuego. Speaking of cities, Buenos Aires is usually very hot and humid in December and January. Patagonia is best (and most expensive) during this time and crowds gather to the beaches.
March and April is a great time to visit the Mendoza region, with its grape harvests and wine festival. The Lake District is pleasant and spectacular.
The winter months of June, July and August (don’t forget Argentina is in the South Hemisphere!) are perfect for the Andean ski resorts, however it’s not a good time to tour the southerly region. Weather in the North should be pleasant at this time of the year. Many services close at beach resorts. Please note: July is a winter vacation month, so things can get busy at some popular destinations.
Finally, don’t underestimate the tourist “high-season”. January, Easter and July are usually the busiest and most expensive times to visit Argentina!
If you’re planning a short or – hopefully – long trip to South America, we’ve put together a list of 10 places you should definitely visit. From lively cities to beautiful sceneries, we’ve got you covered!
1. Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel situated on a mountain 2,430 metres high. Machu Picchu is 80 kilometres northwest of Cuzco town.
This is a must-go place if you’re travelling to SA, however be careful: it usually closes in February, entrance is limited to 2,500 visitors per day and entrance to Huayna Picchu to 400 visitors per day.
2. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Capital and largest city of Argentina, “Buenos Aires” means “good air”. Who knows why?
Buenos Aires is the most diverse and European-alike city in America, given its architecture style, cultural life and history.
3. Cartagena, Colombia
A colorful old town, Cartagena is located on the Caribbean Coast. Cartagena’s old town is a Unesco World Heritage site with its cobbled alleys, beautiful balconies and historic churches.
4. Lake Titicaca, Bolivia & Peru
This huge, deep lake in the South America Andes is on the border of Peru and Bolivia. One of the largest lakes in South America and often considered the highest navigable lake in the world, its elevation is 3,812 metres.
5. Iguazu Falls, Argentina & Brazil
You can’t avoid visiting the Iguazu Falls, waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of Argentina and the Brazil: they are the largest waterfalls system in the world!
6. Amazon, Ecuador
Although the Galapagos Islands remain Ecuador’s most important visitor attraction, more and more visitors get to visit the world’s largest remaining tropical rainforest.
7. Easter Island, Chile
Easter Island is famous for its 887 monumental statues (moai). Easter Island is reachable by plane via Chile’s LAN Airlines.
8. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Unlike many people think, Rio is not the capital of Brazil (and neither is São Paulo!). Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the world and is mostly known for Carnival, Copacabana beach and the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain.
9. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
The Chilean Patagonia’s national park includes mountains, glaciers, lakes and rivers. Paine means “blue” in the native language – and now you understand why!
It seems the park averages around 150,000 visitors a year, of which 60% are foreign tourists. Will you be next?
10. Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galápagos are an archipelago of volcanic islands 906 km west of continental Ecuador. You might have heard of a certain Charles Darwin before? Well, this is where it all started: his research contributed to the inception of his natural selection theory.
Most visitors will travel to Galapagos by air from mainland Ecuador, and you should expect to pay between $380 and $500 for a round-trip ticket.