Vast, diverse and hugely rewarding, Argentina offers wilderness exploration on an epic scale. Venture through cacti-studded deserts, Valdivian temperate rain forests and rolling grasslands, encounter thundering jungle waterfalls and stunning sub-polar fjords, or relax in elegant estancias, sipping world-class wines in sunset’s glorious orange glow.
Extending from tropics to tundra, spanning dizzying Andean plateaux down to its long and windswept Atlantic coast, Argentina’s vast mosaic of landscapes play host to an incredible spectrum of wildlife. Crashing over Argentina’s northern border, the 3km-long Iguazú Falls cascades through lush jungle, its powerful roar drowning out the hoots of toucans and the cackle of monkeys. Deep into Patagonian wilderness, behold the violently jagged Fitzroy Massif, its snowy teeth jutting into azure skies over blissful Lake Capri. Take to the saddle to herd cattle with chuckling gauchos in the fertile Pampas lowlands, venture through Ibera Wetlands where sleepy lagoons are alive with capybaras and caiman, picnic in the idyllic Bariloche Lake District, or safari at sea off the Valdes Peninsula to witness leaping sperm whales and inquisitive sea lions. There are astonishing red hues to admire in colonial Salta’s parched deserts, while white-blue glaciers are bewitchingly titanic, flowing around Tierra del Fuego.
As diverse as the country’s majestic landscapes, the charismatic barrios of Buenos Aires are awash with neoclassical grandeur and the scent of irresistible steaks, while infectious Latin ambience oozes from stylish plazas, boisterous markets and enticing, low-lit tango halls. Shop along San Telmo’s romantic cobbled streets, join fútbol fanatics in colourful La Boca, enjoy dockland drinks in sophisticated Puerto Madero, or simply stroll downtown to admire South America’s most exciting urban destination. Visit riverside Rosario, birth-place of Che Guevara, or stunning Ushuaia, the world’s most southernly city, perched next to the majestic Beagle Channel and its surrounding fjords. Outside bustling cities, Argentina’s sumptuous wine estates and outlying estancias (ranches) offer luxurious accommodation and days filled with wine-tasting, hill exploration, and veranda relaxation. Lodges tucked in Andean foothills provide serene vistas under sensational mountain peaks, or for the most intrepid adventurers, Cape Horn is the access point for Antarctic cruises. Argentina’s diversity is simply staggering: a journey through its regions is a voyage through the landscapes of the world.
Capital cities don’t come more soul-rousing than colourful Buenos Aires, literally ‘good airs’ that you’ll find are laden with the smells of tanned leather, fresh coffee, local wines and, of course, succulent steaks. The home of the steamy tango, ‘The Paris of South America’ boasts international cuisine and lively bars, fantastic shopping and traditional markets, and melancholic parks glowing invitingly in the midday sun.
Though you’ll find melt-in-the-mouth steak and exquisite wines in all of Argentina’s cities, there can be no match for washing down your sirloin with a Malbec whose grapes you’ll be overlooking in a Mendoza wine estate. Beyond beef, feast in Buenos Aires’ authentic Italian pizza parlours, savour grilled lamb in Patagonia, tuna pies on the coast, or enjoy caffeine-based mate brewed in the homes of cheerful gauchos.
Whether you choose to encounter these majestically thundering torrents from wooden walkways, by speedboat of even by helicopter, you’ll be struck by the awesome scale of what is the largest system of waterfalls in the world. The surrounding park is itself a paradise of lush greens, shimmering rainbows and hovering dragonflies – well worth setting aside a whole day to enjoy.
Home to Argentina’s most enormous and spellbinding scenery, the Patagonian wilderness will undoubtedly take your breath away. Picture-postcard views abound in gorgeous Bariloche and its surrounding lakes; the utterly ginormous ice-wall of the Perito Moreno glacier must be seen to be comprehended; and hiking and horse riding trails snake beneath monstrous mountains, like the brutally imposing Fitz Roy Massif.
Similar in climate and appearance to Chile’s Atacama Desert, discover in Argentina’s northwest territory the immensity of the Salinas Grandes salt flats, the fierce isolation of rust-red mountains completely devoid of vegetation, or bizarre flamingo flocks in cacti-studded plains. Quaint and colonially-decorated, the isolated city of Salta is the access point for intrepid excursions into this inhospitable, alien land.
Jutting into the deep blue waters of the Atlantic, the Valdes Peninsula hosts hordes of sea lions, huge elephant seals, and migrating whales best watched on offshore cruises. Colonies of Magellanic penguins, some half a million strong, litter Argentina’s sweeping southern coastline, while ships leaving the southern tip – Tierra del Fuego – sail between Antarctic icebergs, around Cape Horn on a cruise into the chilly fjords of the rugged Beagle Channel, and on to Chile’s Pacific coast.
Discover Argentina and Brazil
14 days from £4,795 pp incl. flights
Contrast Argentina’s tango rhythms with Brazil’s samba beat as you combine luxury city stays in Buenos Aires and Rio with Iguazu Falls’ rainbow-reflecting torrents and Mendoza’s world-leading, unforgettable wines.
Highlights of Argentina
12 days from £5,995 pp incl. flights
Look beyond the creative, artistic allure of Buenos Aires and its tango rhythms to discover Patagonia’s glacial beauty, Iguazú Falls’ unmatched panoramas and traditional life and customs on the Pampas grasslands.
Patagonia’s Glaciers & Fjords
16 days from £9,095 pp incl. flights
Compare Chilean and Argentinean Patagonia as you cruise the icy fjords from Ushuaia and explore Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Park – all while enjoying our collection of curated luxurious lodges and boutique hotels.