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Argentina is a land of natural and man-made wonders. From the glaciers and sky-scraping peaks of the Andes to the vineyards of Mendoza and the bustle of Buenos Aires, there’s so much to see in this dynamic and incomparably unique country. There are many reasons why Argentina is a top destination for tourists. It has the largest waterfalls, the highest peak in the Americas and some of the most extraordinary scenery that travelers will find anywhere. It’s not just the overall excellence. It’s the extreme variety of tourist attractions in Argentina that keeps visitors coming back for more.
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Argentina is a singularly vibrant, continuously enchanting country – bursting from border to border with a charm and charisma that is all its own. From the sensual synchronicity of street dancers in Buenos Aires to the invigorating air of the Andean foothills, these are the attractions that you won’t find anywhere else on Earth:
Immerse yourself in the tantalizing culture of the tango, Argentina’s national dance and one of the most exotic and exhilarating dance forms on the planet. Take lessons from a local expert or one of Buenos Aires’ famous ‘tango academies’, visit a milonga for a world-class performance while enjoying a dinner that is out of this world, or simply spend the afternoon at San Telmo or La Boca watching amateur dancers perform as people have since the 19th century: on a crowded street corner, with the entire city as their audience.
Saddle up for a tour of the vast Pampas plains and experience the life of the gauchos – Argentina’s answer to the cowboy, and one of the country’s most enduring symbols of national pride. Many traditional ranches open their gates for day-long fiesta gaucha, where visitors take part in scenic horse rides, lively folk dances, roaring barbecues, and – of course – dramatic demonstrations of the gauchos’ legendary riding skills.
Travel through Argentina’s spectacular wine country, where the weather invariably beats Napa and France, and where the wine is always remarkable. The high, dry foothills that mark the heart of the wine-growing region are renowned for their sterling vintages of Malbecs – the spicy, full-bodied red wines that put South America on the viticultural map – as well as succulent Cabernets, buttery Chardonnays, and a broad variety of crisp and refreshing New World Whites.
Get out in the country and explore the best of Argentina’s hinterlands, from the dramatic snow capped Andes along the western border, to the breathtaking jade and turquoise lakes in the country’s south. Mountaineers will be drawn to some of the most impressive and perilous peaks in the southern hemisphere, like Cerro Torre and Monte Fitz Roy, while more leisurely outdoor enthusiasts will bask in the alpine splendor of Nahuel Huapi National Park – 7,000km² of glacier-fed lakes, towering granite peaks, ancient rainforests, and wildflower-strewn meadows.
Journey to the far south and marvel at the legendary end-of-the-world landscapes of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego – the ‘Land of Fire’ – where you’ll witness one of the largest ice fields in the world, precious breeding grounds of whales and sea lions on the Valdes Peninsula, and the southernmost city on the globe. Recreate the journey of Charles Darwin aboard the HMS Beagle, set out for a whale-watching tour in the South Atlantic, or enjoy the surprising variety of Patagonian cuisine – an eclectic fusion of local ingredients and European culinary traditions.
Sports enthusiasts are spoiled for choice in Argentina, as the country hosts some of the most exciting and eagerly anticipated events on the sporting calendar. There are dozens of world-class golf courses scattered throughout the country, the world’s largest polo event is held in the posh Buenos Aires barrio of Palermo, and the Argentine passion for soccer is unmatched: check out a Boca Juniors game at the iconic La Bombonera stadium, or try to get a ticket to see the national team, including captain Lionel Messi – the only four-time winner of the FIFA Player of the Year award.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when planning a trip to Argentina is that the seasons run opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere, with winter lasting from June to August and summer from December to March. Except for the far northern borderlands, Argentina lies entirely within the temperate zone, which means you can generally expect warm, humid weather in the middle of the country and cool, dry weather in the south. If you plan to travel throughout the country, the late summer months of March and April are probably your best bet – when you’ll avoid the heat in Buenos Aires, but benefit from longer days and warmer weather in the far reaches of Patagonia.
Argentinians generally head for the beaches and resort towns of neighboring Uruguay and Brazil at the height of summer, so a visit to Buenos Aires during December and January can be refreshingly free of the mass of humanity that throngs the city during spring and fall. Mendoza and the west are phenomenal in April and October; August is the best month to visit Iguazu Falls and the northwest of the country; and January is the best time to visit Bariloche and the other dramatic destinations of Patagonia.
The Argentine calendar is filled with celebrations and holidays, catering to a wide variety of ethnicities and cultural traditions. The national celebration of Carnival, generally held in February, is not as ornate or opulent as that of neighboring Brazil, but it is a festive occasion where you can always count on good food and impeccable weather. October sees Villa Belgrano celebrating their Germanic heritage in true Bavarian fashion in an impressive collection of Oktoberfest activities, and the barrio of San Telmo plays host to the World Tango Festival in the early to middle parts of the month. In the late summer, head to Mendoza, where they’ll ring in another successful harvest of wine grapes at the Mendoza Wine Harvest Festival during the first weekend of March.
Accommodation in Argentina is varied and extensive, offering the thrill of an eco-lodge nestled in the heart of Iguazu National Park, the elegance of a five-star hotel in Buenos Aires, and the quaint home-from-home environs of a family-run bed and breakfast in the untamed wilds of Patagonia. There are condo-style facilities for families and large groups, intimate and romantic getaways for honeymooners, and inspiring boutique hotels that also offer authentic Argentine restaurants and spas. And for those looking for the comfort and convenience of American hotel chains, Sheraton, Hyatt, and Hilton all have incredible facilities the length of the country – offering all the modern amenities and luxuries you’re accustomed to, as well as local touches that are sure to leave you enchanted.
Argentine cuisine is described as a cultural blending of Mediterranean influences (such as those created by Italian and Spanish populations) with and very small inflows (mainly in border areas), Indigenous, within the wide scope of agricultural products that are abundant in the country. Beyond asado (the Argentine barbecue), no other dish more genuinely matches the national identity. Nevertheless, the country's vast area, and its cultural diversity have led to a local cuisine of various dishes. The great migratory waves consequently imprinted a large influence in the Argentine cuisine, after all Argentina was the second country in the world with the most immigrants with 6.6 million, only second to the United States with 27 million, and ahead of other immigratory receptor countries such as Canada, Brazil, Australia, etc.
A traditional drink of Argentina is an infusion called mate. The name comes from the hollow gourd from which it is traditionally drunk. The mate (gourd) or other small cup is filled about three-quarters full with yerba mate, the dried leaves and twigs of the Ilex paraguariensis. The drink, which is rather bitter, is sipped through a metal or cane straw called a bombilla. Mate can be sweetened with sugar, or flavored with aromatic herbs or dried orange peel. Hot but not boiling water is poured into the gourd, drunk, then the mate is refilled. The mate is nearly full of leaves, so each refill only makes a small drink, but many refills are possible before the yerba is spent.
As Argentina is located on the southern hemisphere, it is important to study weather patterns before packing for your trip. This could mean the difference between needing a jacket or searching everywhere for an air conditioner. Air conditioners are scarce, so much so that cab drivers will advertise when they have it.
During the holidays, Buenos Aires is a ghost town. Almost everyone spends the holiday season by the coast: Punta del Este, Uruguay, or Mar del Plata. Restaurants, stores, and even McDonald’s will be closed. Some stores will even be closed until January 15th. Be sure to take this into consideration when making your travel plans.
Even though no formal tourist visa is required to enter Argentina, a US$160 'reciprocity fee' is levied on US citizens entering the country. For travelers from the US, Canada and EU countries, you only require a passport to enter and leave Argentina, unless you plan on spending more than 90 days in the country.
It can be a problem to cash traveler's checks in Argentina. It’s better to bring VISA and Mastercard, and draw cash from ATMs. Most ATMs have an English option. Don’t expect to use your credit cards in stores though. They are rarely accepted. Lastly, banks, grocery stores, and restaurants are typically the only ones that will break a 100 peso bill.
Leave plenty of room in your suitcase for souvenirs. There is excellent shopping in Palermo Soho, so be sure to grab a few things for mom and dad.
Argentina has a lot of corruption within its monetary system. It is important not to carry large bills and to examine the bills that you are spending and receiving. Although Argentines are happy and tourist friendly, that does not mean that one of them might give you back a counterfeit bill.
In Buenos Aires, be discrete with cameras and other electronics. San Telmo and La Boca are also hot spots for pickpockets. To stay safe, be sure to travel in groups and stay in the light after hours. When booking your hotel, stay away from downtown areas. They are usually dirty and more dangerous. Also, be sure to carry a photocopy of your passport and keep the original somewhere safe.
Don’t be afraid to go to the doctor while you are there. Argentina has a reasonably good free public healthcare system. Hospitals in most major metropolitan areas of Argentina are clean, modern and well run.
The “cheek kiss” is an aspect of the Argentinean culture that cannot be forgotten. Aside from business interactions, which consist of the generic handshake, all other interactions require the cheek kiss. The cheek kiss is actually not a kiss at all, but more of cheek touches. Waving is considered rude, so when you leave a social gathering, be sure to cheek kiss everyone before you head out.
Americans eat quickly. We are always in a rush to get to our main destination. In Argentina, it is important to relax, slow down, and enjoy the company of those who you are dining with. If you are not in a rush, then there is no need to eat quickly.
Restaurants charge a fee for “services” – essentially, for the place setting – that is often functionally equivalent to a tip, but most Argentinians will add 10% of the bill to the total as a gratuity.
We the leisure team brings a wide range of customized Argentina tour to offer you a perfect hassle-free vacation. The plans are tailored keeping in mind your requirements and benefits. Whatever might be your choice; an adventurous vacation, a luxury vacation, a family vacation or a romantic one, we are ready with the perfect plan for you. We value your safety as well as respect your privacy, and the tour experts plan your tour accordingly, either a packaged group tour or an independent tour. In all cases we ensure a hassle-free experience with magnificent accommodations, authentic local guides, and unimaginable excursions. So whether you wish to explore the Argentinian wildlife or immerse yourself in the natural beauty, write to Leisure and we will bring you perfect tour from the top tour experts.
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