Argentina is one of the most popular countries to visit in South America, whether you are touring the continent with a backpack, touring Argentina or simply on a short and economical vacation that seeks to drink wine, eat meat and go hiking.
From the coffee culture of Buenos Aires to the natural beauty of the Iguazu Falls and the Mendoza vineyard of the Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina is a wonderfully beautiful country with a rich history that is essential for any gastronomy lover.
When I first arrived in Argentina, I was nervous.
Would the country meet my expectations?
Did. I had never seen so much beauty in the south, I ate such delicious steaks and drank so much wine in one place.
Argentina is not perfect: it has its social, economic and political difficulties. Here there is always a low roar of confusion.
But the locals are always in a good mood and they love to share their country with visits.
Take your time to explore this wonderful country: the vast landscape takes time to move and is worth all the distractions you will find along the way.
Best Things to See and Do in Argentina:
Buenos Aires: Bueno Aires is a wonderful and wonderful nightlife, fun city with lots of classes and cultures, shopping and food. This is a city for wine, dinner and relaxation. Do not hurry here. It’s fantastic.
Iguazu Falls: With 450,000 cubic feet of water falling through the 275 waterfalls per second, it is quite easy to see why this place has been nicknamed “Niagara on Viagra”. You can find several types of guided trips that depart from Buenos Aires online or simply go on the local bus yourself. It costs ARS 600 ($ 15 USD) to visit.
Wander Salta: Salta is a small city with exceptional museums, cafes next to the square and tradition of live folk music. It retained much more colonial architecture than other cities, so walking is like going back in time. It’s a great stop on your way from Buenos Aires to Mendoza.
Learn To Tango: Argentina is famous for tango, and you will surely find it everywhere with people practicing in the streets, literally! There are many studios that offer lessons if you want to learn and many places to see the locals dance in public.
Mendoza: Mendoza is famous for its wine (Malbecs is famous), steak and beautiful landscape. I spent more than a week here cycling through the wineries, climbing mountains, visiting canyons and eating meat and wine. The city is a good base for many activities. Read more….
Other Things to See and Do in Argentina:
Train the clouds: Sure, it is a train built for tourists and very expensive, but taking this train through the clouds and the lush forest is so impressive that I don’t care. This is a round trip of 400 kilometers and 16 hours to the Andes from the city of Salta. As the train climbs to 4,200 meters, you will be rewarded with spectacular mountains, forests and valleys. The operation is seasonal, so be sure to check before deciding to go. It costs ARS 4,200 ($ 105 USD).
Visit a winery: Argentina is one of the most famous wine regions in the world, and a trip to a winery is a must for wine fans. If you are a true connoisseur of wine, the Harvest Festival is celebrated in February and March of each year and has tango, ethnic dance and colorful parades. Mendoza is the most famous wine region in the country and the best place to visit newbies. There are many tours that will take you to some wineries, talk about wine production and give you free samples.
Cerro Aconcagua: At almost 7,000 meters high, Cerro Aconcagua is not only the highest mountain in the country but also the highest in the western hemisphere. This climb is not for the faint of heart and is probably only for those with a lot of experience since it is estimated that it will take 2 weeks to reach the top and acclimatize to the altitude!
Valley of the Moon: Translated as “valley of the moon”, this spectacular landscape dates back to the Triassic period. Winds and rain have carved the rocks into strange formations that give this place the appearance of a lunar landscape. Despite the arid conditions, the area is ideal for observing wildlife, as it is home to foxes, owls, armadillos and condors.
Perito Moreno Glacier: Located within the extensive Los Glaciares National Park is the impressive Perito Moreno glacier. The glacier is almost 15,000 feet wide and 200 feet high and is one of the coolest views I’ve ever seen. You can walk on the glacier (it’s epic) or take a boat trip nearby.
San Rafael: Located a few hours from Mendoza, this small town (don’t expect to do much after sunset or a Sunday!) It is a wonderful place to see wineries, take a bike ride or explore the impressive Atuel Canyon.
Ushuaia: Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world and the largest city in Tierra del Fuego. This is a very popular city for travelers arriving at the end of their trip through South America, or for those traveling to Antarctica (this is the starting point of all Antarctic cruises). The city is picturesque with its colorful slatted houses and the Andes as a backdrop.
Whale Watching: From June to December, the whale watching season in Patagonia is in full swing, as the whales head to the coast to mate. Whale watching is an expensive excursion, but it is worth it during this time of migration when it is guaranteed that you will see some whales.
Quebrada de Humahuaca: A deep valley excavated by the Rio Grande, the Quebrada de Humahuaca is an area rich in ancient Inca history and culture. Exploring the colonial streets and architecture of Humahuaza, as well as the surroundings, is an incredible adventure.
Blue Crate: The Blue Canyon features beautiful translucent turquoise waters that are flanked by rustic suspension bridges, niches and cliffs. It is a bit more deserted than other nature reserves in Argentina. If it goes, it is worth spending at least a few days in this area. The best way to save money here is to camp in a tent near a shelter (a wooden cabin).
Casa Rosada: Dominating the city’s Plaza de Mayo is the Casa Rosada, possibly the most notable monument in the city. The building has played a leading role in the country’s history, literally. It was where Madonna re-represented Eva Perón’s speech about the multitude of workers in Evita. Open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Recoleta Cemetery: It may seem a bit morbid to visit a cemetery for pleasure, but Recoleta is one of the most visited attractions in the city. It is open daily from 7 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
San Ignacio Miní: Located in San Ignacio, these missionary ruins are the most complete in Argentina and still have a large number of carved ornaments. These ruins are incredible and seem taken from historical Europe! The visitor center has a lot of background information about the old mission, and the ruins have interactive panels. Admission is ARS 200 ($ 5 USD) and is open every day from 7:00 a.m. at 5:30 p.m.
Argentina Travel Costs:
Accommodation: Hostels are spread all over the country and start at around ARS 200-400 ($ 5-10 USD) for a dorm in Buenos Aires. Private rooms in an inn with a shared bathroom are generally double the price of dorms. Hotels in more expensive places like Mendoza and Patagonia cost up to ARS 500 ($ 15 USD) per night. You will find that a large number of hotels in the country fall below 1,200 ARS ($ 30 USD). Camping is widespread in all national parks. If you have a tent, campsites are available throughout the country (including the remarkable Patagonia region) for around 80 to 400 ARS (2 to 10 USD).
Food: Food is quite expensive in Argentina. Meals in a cheap cafe start at around ARS 90 ($ 2 USD). If you’re looking for a really good sit-down meal with a good steak and good wine, expect to pay ARS 475 ($ 12 USD). The empanada, choripán (sausage on bread) stalls and the local burgers and pizzerias are economical and tasty! The empanadas cost around 8 to 15 ARS (less than 1 USD), the choripán for 25 ARS (0.75 USD) and pizza and burgers for lunch for about 80 ARS (2 USD). If you go to the grocery store, expect to spend around ARS 515 ($ 13 USD) per week on groceries.
Attractions: You can find a 3 to 4-day excursion to Patagonia which starts at 9600 ARS (240 $ USD), but most will be around 18300 ARS (460 $ USD) and more. A day trip to Mendoza will cost around ARS 6,000 ($ 150 USD). Entrance to the museum varies between 20 and 80 ARS ($ .50-2 USD). Entrance fees to the national park vary from 80 to 900 ARS (2 to 22 USD) per person.
Backpacking Argentina Suggested Budgets:
On a backpacker’s budget, you will spend between 1,600 and 2,400 ARS (40 to 60 USD) per day. With this suggested budget, you stay in an inn, dine at a cheap hole in wall restaurants, cook some of your meals, and use cheap local transportation.
On a mid-range budget of 4,000 ARS ($ 100 USD) per day, you can afford a private room in an inexpensive hostel / Airbnb / hotel, eat anywhere you want within reason (splurge occasionally time), take intercity buses and make an occasional visit.
For a luxury budget of 10,000+ ARS ($ 200 + USD) per day, you can do a lot. You’ll enjoy nicer hotels or Airbnbs, more sophisticated restaurants, wine madness, multi-day tours and flights between cities.
Argentina Travel Guide- Money Saving Tips:
How to save money in Argentina then? Here are some tips to keep your costs down – because all these wine and steak tours and dinners can add up if you’re not careful:
Use discount cards: The student and teacher discounts will save you money. You can also use the La Nacion Club and La Nacion Premium Club cards, associated with the La Nacion newspaper, for discounts. Each week, the La Nacion Club Card website lists participating establishments that provide discounts to cardmembers. It is good for travelers who spend a long time in the country because you have to subscribe to the newspaper.
Hitchhiking: While this is not common in the north of the country, if you are in Patagonia, you will see many locals and tourists hitchhiking, as long-distance buses in this part of the country can be very expensive and infrequent. It’s just more convenient to hitchhike. This common way of moving is highly recommended.
Off season travel: March-June and September-November are the low seasons when you can find cheaper accommodation and enjoy fewer crowds at the attractions.
Find the inexpensive dishes: Empanada, choripán (sausage on bread) stalls, and local burgers and pizzerias are your best options. It is not the healthiest food, but it is economical and tasty! The empanadas cost around 8 to 15 ARS (less than 1 USD), the choripan for 80 ARS (2 USD) and pizza and burgers for lunch for around 120 ARS (3 USD).
Eating fancy meals: Argentina was a strange paradox. At ARS 240-320 ($ 6-8 USD) for a sandwich and a drink in a cafe, lunch isn’t cheap. It’s not going to ruin you, but you can eat expensive steaks, wine and side dishes for 1,200 ARS ($ 30 USD)! You get more value on the high end! Splurge on steaks and fine dining in this upside-down budget board.
Rent a bike – You can rent bikes at hostels and rental stores for 400 ARS ($ 10 USD) per day in most major cities. It’s an inexpensive way to get around and get out of the cities. This is particularly useful when you are in the wine region of Mendoza and trying to move from one area to another.
Camp:When you start traveling south to Patagonia, the accommodation costs increase more and more. Hostels often cost ARS 670 ($ 17 USD) or more per night here (instead of 240 ($ 6 USD) per night in Buenos Aires). Look for camping opportunities as often as possible. When you are not in the national parks (where you can obviously camp), many hostels will allow you to pitch your tent for a small fee.
Stick to Wine: 150 bottles of ARS wine ($ 4 USD) at the supermarket is a phenomenal bargain. Take a bottle, drink it. It’s really good too!
Couchsurf – Nothing cheaper than sleeping for free. Couchsurfing puts you in contact with locals who will not only give you a free place to stay but also a local guide who can introduce you to all the great places to see.
Try Airbnb: If hostels (or camping) aren’t your problem, I’ve found a ton of Airbnb opportunities across the country from ARS 400 ($ 10 USD) per night for your own apartment.
Explore the outdoors: Hiking is free, and across the country you will find plenty of opportunities to enjoy this and other outdoor activities, as Argentina has many urban parks and nature reserves where you can spend the day walking and relaxing. (And, of course, there are a plethora of national parks where you can hike for several days!).
Do not fly within the country – Thanks to a tax on foreigners, plane tickets to Argentina for non-residents are quite expensive. A two-hour flight can cost up to 4,600 ARS ($ 115 USD)! Unless you’re in a hurry, don’t fly. Take the bus.
Dance for Free: If you’re in Buenos Aires on a Sunday, you can find free tango events in San Telmo at 8 p.m. on Sundays. (Monday, there is the famous La Bomba de Tiempo, a music and dance event. It’s 200 ARS (5 $ USD) but it’s really worth every penny! It was an unreal dance and music show! )
Stay in a Hola hostel – Hola Hostels is a network of hostels mainly in South and Central America. They offer 10% discount to their members, as well as other local discounts for food and activities. The adhésio It is free and their hostels are also committed to environmentally friendly practices.
Where To Stay in Argentina:
Here are some of my favorite places to stay in Argentina:
- Milhouse Hostel (Buenos Aires)
- Portal del Sur (Buenos Aires)
- Hostel International Mendoza (Mendoza)
- Gorilla Hostel (Mendoza)
- Cruz del Sur Hostel (Ushuaia)
- Antarctica Hostel (Ushuaia)
How to Get Around Argentina:
Public transport: Buenos Aires is the only city in Argentina with a metro system (the Subte). Otherwise, public buses are the most common form of transportation in cities. Both options are inexpensive and practical! In Buenos Aires, a one-way fare is between 6 and 6.50 ARS (0.22-0.24 USD). Fares start at 5 ARS 0.15$ . In Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Mar del Plata, you need a public transport card to use public transport, while small areas take money. You can find these cards in kiosks everywhere!
Taxis are also very affordable in Argentina. A trip of 3 kilometers will cost you only around ARS 90 ($ 2.50 USD)! If you are out of town and need to take a metered taxi, negotiate the price in advance.
Bus: Argentina has an exceptional network of short and long-distance buses. It is common to have food onboard as well as wifi and alcohol on long-distance buses. For example, the bus ride from Buenos Aires to Mendoza takes about 14.5 hours and tickets start at 1050 ARS ($ 38 USD). A 10-hour trip from Bariloche to El Calafate (in Patagonia) starts at 3940 ARS (105 $ USD), while the bus from Buenos Aires to El Calafate is 2986-6457 ARS (109-235 $ USD). A “shorter” trip like Mendoza to Salta in 7 hours costs around 3,580 ARS ($ 95 USD). You can take the night bus and save on accommodation.
Air: Traveling to South America is not very cheap, and Argentina is no exception as fares are heavily taxed for foreigners (it subsidizes cheap fares for residents). However, it may be worth it for you if you are running out of time, as these 14-hour bus trips are not an efficient way to travel. The two most popular airlines in Argentina are Aerolíneas Argentinas (the national airline) and LAN.
You can travel from Argentina to El Calafate for a return of 17,760 ARS (470 USD), or from Buenos Aires to Bariloche for a return of 9,255 ARS (245 USD).
Train: The Argentinian rail system only serves three places: Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Rosario. The train from Buenos Aires to Cordoba costs around ARS 340 ($ 12 USD). There are also train trips specifically for travelers, like the epic Train to the Clouds which starts in Salta, crosses the Andres and costs ARS 2,850 (USD $ 104). It’s one of the highest railways in the world!
Hitchhiking: Argentina is easy and safe for hitchhikers. You can find walks all over the country, and Argentines are naturally curious about foreigners. There is a good chance that you will find yourself crammed into a car with a whole family! HitchWiki has a lot of information on hitchhiking in Argentina.
When to Go to Argentina:
Argentina is huge. The best time of year to visit depends entirely on the regions in which you plan to travel.
Argentina spring is from September to November and is one of the best times to visit overall (although it is still very cold in Patagonia). Average temperatures range from 57 ° F (14 ° C) in the center, 46-57 ° F (8-14 ° C) in Patagonia and around 68 ° F (20 ° C in the north).
Summer lasts from December to February and is the best season to spend time in the Andean mountains. This is also the best time to travel to Tierra del Fuego, although there may still be snow. The north is much warmer and Buenos Aires can get hot and sticky. Temperatures-26 ° C.
Autumn (March-April) is another great time to visit, especially in the regions of San Juan and Mendoza for the harvest. Patagonia is beautiful this time of year with its bright fall colors. Winter is from June to August and is ideal if you are a skier hoping to hit the ski resorts. Now is not the best time to visit Patagonia; bad weather can leave you blocked and many places are closed from Easter to October.
How to Stay Safe in Argentina:
Argentina is an incredibly safe place to backpack and travel – even if you’re traveling solo, and even as a solo traveler. Your biggest concern will be the little theft. Do not flaunt expensive jewelry or effects. Watch your stuff at all times! Lock your luggage on the night buses.
Always trust your gut. If a taxi driver seems to be in the shade, stop the taxi and get out. If your hotel is poorer than you thought, get out of there.
If you don’t do it at home, don’t do it when you’re in Argentina. Follow this rule and everything will be fine.
The most important advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. It is complete protection in the event of a problem. I never go on a trip without it because I have had to use it several times in the past.
Argentina Travel Guide- Best Booking Resources:
They are included here because they are constantly finding deals, offering world-class customer service and great value, and overall are better than their competitors. These are the ones I use the most and are always the starting points in my search for travel deals.
- Momondo – This is my favorite booking site. I never book a flight without checking here first.
- Skyscanner – Skyscanner is another great flight search engline which searches a lot of different airlines, including many of the budget carriers that larger sites miss. While I always start with Momondo, I use this site too as a way to compare prices.
- Airbnb – Airbnb is a great accommodation alternative for connecting with homeowners who rent out their homes or apartments. (If you’re new to Airbnb, get $35 off your first stay!)
- Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there, with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
- Couchsurfing – This website allows you to stay on people’s couches or spare rooms for free. It’s a great way to save money while meeting locals who can tell you the ins and outs of their city. The site also lists events you can attend to meet people (even if you’re not staying with someone).
- Booking.com – The best all-around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have a no money down policy, great interface, and the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all bookers.
- Intrepid Travel – If you want to do a group tour around Argentina, go with Intrepid Travel. They offer good small group tours that use local operators and leave a small environmental footprint. If you go on a tour with anyone, go with them. And, as a reader of this site, you’ll get exclusive discounts when you click the link!
- STA Travel – A good company for those under 30 or for students, STA Travel offers discounted airfare as well as travel passes that help you save on attractions.
- Grassroots Volunteering – For volunteering, Grassroots Volunteering compiles a list of good local volunteer organizations that keep the money within the community.
- Rome 2 Rio – This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. It will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost.
- EatWith – This website allows you to eat a home-cooked meals with locals. Locals post listings for dinner parties and specialty meals that you can sign up for. There is a fee (everyone sets their own price) but this is a great way to do something different, pick a local’s brain, and make a new friend.
- World Nomads – I buy all my travel insurance from World Nomads. They have great customer service, competitive prices, and in-depth coverage. I’ve been using them since I started traveling in 2003. Don’t leave home without it!
Argentina Gear and Packing Guide:
If you’re heading to Argentina, in this section, I’ll give you my suggestion for the best travel backpack and tips on what to pack. What’s the best backpack for traveling around Argentina? I recommend the REI Flash 45 Pack. It’s light and comfy, front-loading, and fits perfectly in an airplane’s overhead bin.
Straps: Thick and cushy with compression technology that pulls the pack’s load up and inwards so it doesn’t feel as heavy.
Features: Removable top lid, large pocket at the front, hydration compatible, contoured hip belt.
Travel carefully. Hope you enjoy it. You cannot think about this trip how amazing this trip is! Exactly you need to be prepared physically, mentally with economically. As it is also a costly trip, for this reason, You have to be prepared a well-economical budget. Stay with us. Hope you like it. Have a nice trip. We are always with you. We will usually help you with the journey. Thanks for having us.