Perhaps the best way to truly grasp the size of Argentina is to consider that it would take 5 hours to fly from top to bottom. Put another way, the distance between the city of Salta in the north and Ushuaia in the south is further than that between London and Cyprus. Yet in most cases visitors arrive in Argentina with little more than two weeks to explore this vast land. What then are the main things to do on a short holiday in Argentina? Here are a few suggestions that you should certainly include in your itinerary.
Tango in Buenos Aires
Ask any first-time visitor to the capital of Argentina and they’ll probably tell you how much the city resembles Paris or Madrid. But this sentiment perhaps does Buenos Aires no favours as there is so much here that is distinctively Argentinian.
Nothing captures the spirit of the Buenos Aires better than the tango. For most visitors it is enough to be a spectator and enjoy dinner and fine wine whilst being wowed during a tango evening. The show tells the story covering many generations of this evolving national passion while providing a rich visual spectacle. For the more adventurous there is a chance to take to the floor and book a lesson or go along to a milonga, a local dance hall where beginners, visitors and experts alike have the opportunity to glide across the dance floor.
Stay on an Estancia
Get a taste of the gaucho spirit by heading out of the city and staying on a estancia. The desire of visitors to sample the rural Argentinian life has prompted many estancias to open up to tourism and welcome guests on the working ranch.
A highly recommended option is the Estancia Puema Hue, near Bariloche. It is difficult to find the right words to describe how beautiful this estancia and grounds truly are. To visit is the only way to experience it; you’ll probably come home with the same ‘problem’ of trying to adequately describing it! The estancia staff are so welcoming, you instinctively kick off your shoes and relax in the open lounge as you would in your own home.
All guests have keys to their room though don’t often use them. The food is wholesome and presented beautifully, while the wine list could be equal to that of a Buenos Aires hotel. The grounds are extensive and are part of a National Park. Activities available at the estancia include horse riding, hiking and kayaking.
Go whale watching from the Peninsula Valdes
Punta Norte on the coast of Peninsula Valdes is one of the two places in the world for viewing the magnificent Orca whale (March offers the best opportunities). This is a remote peninsula and few visitors make it out to this part of Argentina. Imagine vast open plains, driving along a deserted highway spotting rhea and Patagonian hare along the route and seeing the iconic Patagonian windmills.
Walking on Ice – Hike the Perito Moreno Glacier
The usual way to experience the natural wonder of the Perito Moreno Glacier is to take a boat ride close to the edge of the ice or to view it from a panoramic platform. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to see the ice from a really close-up perspective, you can now add ‘mini ice-trekking’ to your visit. Equipped with very warm clothing and crampons laced to your walking boots, you can tread on ice that is over a kilometre in thickness as an expert guide takes you on a memorable hike across a small section of this glacier that is the size of Israel.
Those are just a handful of the many incredible experiences you can enjoy on a holiday to Argentina. Have a look at our site for more great ideas.