Overview

Introduction

Occupying most of the southern part of the continent and dominating its so-called ‘Southern Cone’, Argentina is among its most prosperous and developed countries. Widely considered to be the most ‘European’ South American nation, it is also the world’s most populous Spanish-speaking country and among the continent’s most-visited destinations. Geographical extremes distinguish Argentina, too – it hosts both the highest and lowest points in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the world’s largest ice sheets.

There’s a popular saying in Argentina: ‘The Argentines descend from ships’. It alludes to a century of intense immigration until the 1950s when millions of mainly European migrants – particularly from Spain and Italy – settled in and developed modern Argentina. Their mores and pioneering spirit thoroughly steered the national mood and temperament, and helped distilled cultural icons from tango (which also drew on African slave culture) to the celebrated gauchos, or cowboys, who turned vast empty plains into productive cattle and sheep ranches.

For all its modernity, Argentina remains an extraordinarily varied country rich in biodiversity and boasting some of the continent’s most striking landscapes. In the far north bordering and shared with Brazil is the jaw-dropping Iguazu Falls, an almost fantasy-land of (depending on water levels) up to 275 separate waterfalls along a nearly two-mile-long cliff edge. Away to the southwest stretch the Iberá Wetlands, a vast network of lagoons, lakes and swamps heaving with birds and wildlife best viewed from boats or canoes.

Over in the northwest nestled among the Andean foothills stands Salta. Nicknamed ‘Salta the Beautiful’, it’s a handsome city established by 16th-century conquistadors and celebrated for its colonial-era architecture along with an equitable climate. Nearby Cafayate and its picturesque valleys with their dramatic russet-hued landscapes now produce increasingly distinctive and prestigious wines.
Yet, also in the Andean foothills, Mendoza far to the south has become Argentina’s wine heartland and among the world’s great wine-producing regions. Aside from exploring this pleasant city and visiting various wineries, the pretty countryside is ideal for hiking and horse-riding, fishing or kayaking.

Almost directly opposite Mendoza on the eastern seaboard stands Buenos Aires, the melting-pot capital and a great city in its own right. Boasting a rich cultural life, from music to cinema to art, and eclectic architecture particularly arts nouveau and deco along with neo-gothic, it’s a dense, vibrant city with famously self-regarding residents.

For a more tranquil antidote, consider the stunning ‘lake district’ centred on Bariloche. Here on the edge of northern Patagonia, the region’s mountains offer superb skiing and trekking amidst clusters of pristine lakes. Beautiful though it is, the area can feel like a prelude, albeit an appealing one, to the astonishing Los Glaciares National Park – Argentina’s largest and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Aside from subpolar forests, steppes and rugged peaks, a gigantic ice sheet spawns numerous glaciers, one of which spectacularly calves icebergs into adjoining Lake Argentino.    


Argentina holidays at a glance

  • The Northern areas of Iguazu, Mendoza, Ibera wetlands and Salta have a pleasant climate all year round.  Patagonia’s peak travel season is between November and mid-April.
  • Buenos Aires - sophisticated, ebullient and passionate.
  • With a lack of beach resorts, estancias or Punta del Este (Uruguay) offer a good alternative.
  • Iguazu falls - unforgettable panorama of over 275 waterfalls.
  • The North-West - spectacular and unusual landscapes, salt flats and vineyards.
  • Lake District - superb hiking and range of outdoor activities.
  • El Calafate - glaciers at the World’s third largest ice field.
  • Ushuaia - gateway for cruises to Chile and Antarctica.
Read more

Getting There

There are direct flights with British Airways from London Heathrow to Buenos Aires.
There are also flights to Buenos Aires from London and regional airports via Europe including KLM (via Amsterdam),  Air France (via Paris) and with Iberia and Air Europa (via Madrid). Other options include LATAM Airlines via Sao Paulo.  Regional departures include Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

Combinations

Combinations

Combines well with Brazil, Chile and Antarctica.

World Tango

World Tango Championship (Argentina) August (exact date tbc)

This ten day celebration of tango in Buenos Aires includes classes for beginners as well as concerts and shows. Approximately 500 couples from 28 countries around the world compete in the championship. There are two contests, one involving dancing the more traditional Milonga Ballroom tango and the other, a more European-style choreographed tango.

The tango championship is one of two annual events that highlight the importance of tango to Buenos Aires social and cultural life, the other event is staged in March.

At a Glance

- Esteros del Ibera - The ‘Argentinean Pantanal’
- Buenos Aires - fashionable, sophisticated and vibrant, with a European feel
- Visit Iguazu Falls, Perito Moreno Glacier and Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the world
- See whales, penguins, sea lions and elephant seals at Peninsula Valdes
- Mendoza - one of the most famous wine producing regions in South America
- Fly drive options in the lake district and northwest region
- Great variety of landscapes - dramatic Andean Northwest, the vast Pampas, lake district, glaciers, extensive wetlands and sub-Antarctic forests of Tierra del Fuego
- The southern half of the country is best visited from September to April
- In order to secure hotel availability advisable to book at least 9 months in advance
- Uruguay Extension - Visit the upmarket beach resort of Punta del Este

Foreign Office advice

We’ve partnered with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Travel Aware campaign to help provide top tips and advice for planning for your trip abroad. It’s important to do some research before you travel to learn about any necessary visas and vaccinations required for entry to your destination, understand any unusual laws and customs and to be aware of the latest travel advice for the region. Click on the link below for more information on what to prepare for your trip overseas. You can also sign up for email alerts and follow @FCOtravel on Twitter for alerts whilst you are away.

Visit gov.uk/travelaware for more information

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Argentina’s contrasts never cease to amaze me. One day you could be walking across the sculpted surface of a vast creaking glacier and the next visiting an evocative Jesuit ruins at San Ignacio in Misiones.

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Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT -5hrs

Currency

Argentine Peso

Language

Spanish

Average flight times

13 hours 30 minutes. BA direct flight from London Heathrow

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

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Argentina’s contrasts never cease to amaze me. One day you could be walking across the sculpted surface of a vast creaking glacier and the next visiting an evocative Jesuit ruins at San Ignacio in Misiones.

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
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