Is Argentina Worth Visiting? 10 Great Reasons To Visit In 2023

Argentina is popular destination for backpackers wanting to visit South America. It has diverse natural beauty throughout the country, with the majestic Iguazu Falls in the north, and the pristine Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia in the south. Here’s 10 reasons why Argentina is well worth visiting in 2023.

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10 Great Reasons To Visit Argentina

1. Your Money Is Worth Double In Argentina

Argentina has been facing high inflation for many years, with rates reaching over 40% in recent years.

 

This has been caused by a combination of factors, such as a weak currency, high government spending, and a lack of confidence in the country’s economic policies. Due to the constant inflation, strict currency controls and economic turmoil, an illegal currency system has evolved known as the ‘blue rate’.

 

This is where many Argentinians turn to the black market to purchase US dollars at a higher rate. They do this because the US dollar is more likely to keep its value compared to the Argentinian peso.

 

This creates an interesting dynamic for travellers because we can also take advantage of this ‘blue rate’.

 

All you need to do is bring lots of cash to Argentina. Preferably crisp notes of $100. You will be able to exchange these on the street for almost double the rate and get more pesos for your money.

 

Recent traveller posts suggest that as of November 2022 it was around 160 pesos to the dollar on the blue rate.

 

There’s no need to worry either. Whilst this is illegal, its commonplace among the locals as they use it all the time too.

Argentina travel prices are some of the lowest in the world now. Here are some tips to make the most of it:

 

  • Bring lots of cash
  • Take cash out at ATM’s in dollars instead of pesos
  • Ask to pay in dollars rather than pesos. Most bars, restaurants and tour operators will accept US dollars cash at a much better rate of exchange
  • Avoid situations where you have to pay the official exchange rate instead of the blue rate
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2. Buenos Aires Is The Paris Of South America

Known as the “Paris of South America,” visiting Buenos Aires really is like visiting a European capital.

 

Buenos Aires has such a strong European influence due to the large number of immigrants who arrived in the city during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The majority of these immigrants came from Spain, Italy, and other countries in Europe after WW2. They brought their culture and customs with them as well and Buenos Aires turned into a melting pot of cultures.

 

This is why Buenos Aires is home to such stunning European-style parks and squares, such as the Plaza de Mayo, which is modelled after the Spanish Plaza de España.

 

The architecture in Buenos Aires also reflects the European influence, with many buildings and landmarks in the city resembling those found in Paris, Madrid, and other European cities.

Here some great things to do whilst in BA:

 

 

  • Visit La Boca: This colorful neighborhood is known for its vibrant street art, tango shows, and its famous soccer team, Boca Juniors. Visitors can explore the colorful streets, take pictures and enjoy traditional foods.

 

  • Take a Boat Tour on the Rio de la Plata: Buenos Aires is a city located on the river, taking a boat tour of the river is a great way to see the city from a different perspective and get a great view of the skyline.

 

  • Visit the Palermo Park: Buenos Aires is known for its beautiful parks, and Palermo Park is one of the best places to relax, take a walk, or enjoy a picnic.
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3. The Beautiful Iguazu Falls

Argentina is home to a diversity of natural landscapes, from the Andes mountains to the Pampas grasslands to Iguazu Falls. The latter is one of the best places to visit in Argentina as well as South America.

 

These breath-taking falls are made up of 275 individual cascades, which stretch over 2 miles and create a stunning natural barrier between Argentina and Brazil.

 

The most famous part of the falls is known as ‘The Devil’s Throat’, a U-shaped waterfall that is over 82 meters high and 150 meters wide. This massive waterfall is the largest and most powerful of the falls and is a must-see for any visitors.

 

The falls are divided into two main areas, the Argentine side and the Brazilian side. Visitors can take a guided tour of both sides to see the falls from different perspectives. The Argentine side offers a panoramic view of the entire waterfall system, while the Brazilian side provides a more immersive experience with several trails that lead visitors close to the falls.

 

Visitors can also take boat tours to get a different perspective of the falls. There are ones that go right under the Devil’s Throat waterfall, or others that navigate the lower Iguazu river and enjoy the waterfall from a distance.

Here are some tour recommendations for visiting Iguazu:

 

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4. Argentina is Set Up For Epic Road Trips

Argentina is the perfect place to plan an epic road trip.

 

Route 40  is a legendary highway that runs through the heart of Argentina, stretching over 4,200 km from the northernmost point on the Bolivian border to the southernmost point of the country in Tierra del Fuego (the closest southerly point to Antarctica).

 

This route passes through some of the most spectacular landscapes in Argentina. Starting in the north, you can visit the vast deserts of the northwest, the salt flats and Argentina’s very own Rainbow Mountain. Here in the northwest, the route also passes through many small towns and villages, giving visitors a chance to experience the local indigenous culture and hospitality.

 

Getting closer to the middle of the country, you can follow the ‘wine route’ through towns like Salta, Cafayate and Mendoza to enjoy the best wine regions in the country.

 

You will then reach northern Patagonia and start to skirt the Andes mountains. Here you will find the stunning town of Bariloche, surrounded by picturesque lakes and forests. Eventually, you will make your way to the Patagonian steppe to see the beautiful Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the most famous attractions in Argentine Patagonia.

 

Overall, road tripping along Route 40 would be an epic adventure and is perfect for backpackers looking to experience the natural beauty of Argentina.

You can see the start of this itinerary that covers the northwest region of Argentina here:

 

 

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5. Some Of The Best Wine In The World

Argentina is one of the world’s leading wine-producing countries and there are two main areas to visit if you love your wine: Mendoza and Calafate.

Mendoza

Mendoza is considered the wine capital of Argentina and is home to over 1,000 wineries, many of which offer tours and tastings. The region is particularly known for its Malbec wine, which is considered to be some of the best in the world.

 

This isn’t just a place to visit for high end travel though and backpackers and Argentinians on summer holidays flock to the region too.

 

One of the best activities in Mendoza is the ‘wine bike’ route.

 

On the outskirts of Mendoza city centre, you will find several of the best wineries all along the same road. Along the same road you can find bike rental shops offering to rent you cheap bikes and provide a map to the best wineries.

 

All the wineries allow you to visit and enjoy a tasting from somewhere between 200-500 pesos depending on the places. One of the best is Trapiche, where you can sit out on the balcony and look out over the vineyard whilst getting sloshed.

 

Maipu Bikes also has a small outside bar and everyone ends back here at the end of the day to drop off their bikes and enjoy some final drinks, courtesy of Maipu bikes.  

Cafayate

Cafayate is a wine-producing region in the northwest of Argentina, located within the Calchaqui Valley – one of the world’s highest suitable locations for growing grapes.

 

The combination of high-elevation, great year-round weather and fertile soil produce incredible malbecs and torrontés.

 

This is another great town to go wine tasting in. There are three bodegas in town that are easy to visit – Nani, Domingo Hermanos and El Transito. At each one you can pay a small price to try a selection of wines. For example, at Bodega Nani we paid 250 pesos for 5 wines (3 reserves and 2 young).

 

Whilst I love adventure travel, this part of my South America journey came at the perfect time when I was a bit worn out. I just laid back, enjoyed the beautiful weather, and drank wine to my hearts content.

 

I suggest you do the same if you decide to visit.

Check out the full guide to the town including the best bodegas and vineyards to visit here:

 

 

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6. You Can Get Off The Beaten Track In The Northwest

The northwest of Argentina is a hidden gem, largely untouched by tourism.

 

It is well worth a trip, especially for those who love their wine, and those who like to feel like less of a tourist and more like a local. The best thing about visiting this region of Argentina is that prices are closer to those you find in Bolivia rather than the prices in Buenos Aires.

 

You have also have a host of beautiful sights, tours and activities to choose from such as Argentina’s Rainbow Mountain, Salinas Grandes Salt Flat or the wine region of Salta.

Rainbow Mountain

Humahuaca is the first of three small towns along Route 9 which runs through the beautiful northwest countryside all the way down to the city of Salta.

 

Here you can find Argentina’s very own Rainbow Mountain (and depending on who you ask, better than the more famous one in Peru). Everything else you need to know about Humahuaca from our favourite hostels to the best restaurants is here in our guide to the town:

 

 

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7. Steak, Empanadas & Dulce De Leche

You must have three food experiences things whilst in Argentina: steak, empanadas and dulce de leche.

 

Argentina is known for its delicious meat-heavy cuisine, including dishes such as asado (barbecue) and steak. Finding a great steakhouse in Argentina is easy, and you know you will be getting grass-fed, pasture-raised beef.

 

Try Don Julio in Buenos Aires for one of the best steaks around.

Empanadas are more of a snack than a main meal but my god they are addictive and you can end up eating 5 or 6 at a time. Empanadas are savoury pastries filled with beef, pork or chicken mixed in a sweet, slightly spicy sauce.

 

If you visit, you also need to try traditional Argentinean desserts such as dulce de leche (milk caramel) and alfajores (cookies filled with caramel).

 

Dulce de leche is a traditional sweet spread or sauce, which is popular in many Latin American countries. It is made by simmering milk and sugar together, turning it into a gooey golden treat.

 

You will find dulce de leche mixed with almost any other desert such as cakes, cookies, ice cream and it’s one of the most delicious sweet treats I have ever experienced. I was hooked on it during my time in Argentina and regularly found myself in bakeries purchasing donuts with dulce de leche filling.

8. Watch The Best Tango Dancers In The World

The tango is a beautiful and captivating dance that is known for its passion and complex movements.

 

Going to watch live tango show whilst in Argentina is a must do and an exhilarating experience and there’s nothing better than seeing two experts perform together alongside a live orchestra.

 

Buenos Aires is the birthplace of the tango, and you can watch professionals performing at one of the many tango shows in the city.

 

One of the best shows in Buenos Aires is La Ventana. The show is different to others in the capital as it includes folk music along with tango.  They also offer excellent service, and you will be well taken care of.

If you are thinking of planning a long stay in Argentina and South America, then seeing an extended backpacking itinerary is essential to help you plan your trip. Check out the post below to help you plan your next trip:

 

 

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9. The Nightlife

The Argentinians know how to party. Argentina is famous for its lively nightlife, particularly in cities like Buenos Aires, where its common for nights to carry on until 5 or 6AM the next morning.

 

The city’s famous neighbourhoods, such as Palermo and Recoleta, offer a diverse range of bars and clubs that cater to different tastes and preferences. Palermo is known for its trendy bars and clubs, while Recoleta is more upscale, with a variety of bars and lounges.

 

You will be able to find some great nights out at the hostels as well.

 

Milhouse is famous across Argentina and South America and known as one of the best party hostels on the continent. This hostel can host hundreds of guests and they are always organising events to keep the huge crowd of backpackers entertained.

 

They host in-house DJs, tonnes of themed party nights and get you discount on selected nightclub events in BA.

 

However, some of the best nights will be on drinking on the rooftop as the staff work away on the classic Argentinian barbeque, whilst bringing round jugs of wine to keep your cup refilled. Then at the late hours of the morning, finally heading out to a club to carry on until the early hours of the morning.

Milhouse is one of my favourite party hostels in South America. For a full list of the others, check out the post below:

 

 

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10. Patagonia

A list about why Argentina is worth visiting wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Patagonia.

 

Patagonia is one of the most sought-after destinations in the world, with nature lovers, adventure seekers and trekking enthusiast all wanting to go to experience the beautiful scenery and epic hikes.

 

El Chaltén is the small mountain village where most adventures begin from.

 

It is considered the trekking capital of Argentine Patagonia, as it offers access to some of the most spectacular mountain landscapes in the region, including treks into Parque Nacional Los Glaciares to see the Fitz Roy mountain range and the Huemul Glacier.

This region offers so many excellent trekking options for visitors, but some of the best include:

 

 

  • The ‘Ruta de los Siete Lagos’ : This is a well-known trek that takes hikers through beautiful forests and past several glistening lakes.
  • The ‘Fitz Roy Trek’: This is one of the most popular treks in El Chalten and offers incredible views of the iconic Mount Fitz Roy.
  • Perito Moreno Glacier: This massive glacier located in the Los Glaciares National Park is one of the most popular attractions in Argentine Patagonia. Visitors can take a boat tour to see the glacier up close and even walk on it with a guided tour.
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