the glaciers in Argentina

The Ideal Argentina Itinerary [Two Unique One-Month Routes]

Welcome to the land of tango, steaks, and stunning landscapes – Argentina, a country that effortlessly blends the cosmopolitan allure of its vibrant cities with the natural grandeur of its diverse terrains. From the bustling streets of Buenos Aires, where the passion of the tango resonates in every corner, to the awe-inspiring majesty of Patagonia, this 1-month Argentina itinerary and route will help you see everything Argentina has to offer.

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Can You See Argentina In A Month?

Yes! A month is more than enough to see everything Argentina has to offer.

 

I would recommend at least three to four weeks to see the highlights which include Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls and Patagonia. Why three to four weeks? Argentina is a big country, and the popular places are spread out so either need flights or overnight buses to reach. This means some days will dedicated to a full day of travelling.

 

But, a full month is essential in Argentina to see everything it has to offer. This allows you to move at a slower pace and incorporate rest days for a more relaxed trip.

 

Here are the two one-month itineraries for Argentina to suit every type of traveller:

 

  • The Highlights
  • The Wine Route

Are you struggling to work out how many days you need in Argentina overall or don’t think you can spare a month?

 

Head to the post below to see a selection of itineraries that can help you:

 

 

the glaciers in Argentina

#1 The Highlights: 1-Month Argentina Itinerary

This one-month itinerary for Argentina is ideal for travellers who want to see the highlights.

 

This efficient route will start in Buenos Aires, before flying up to the beautiful Iguazu Falls. You’ll then head south to Patagonia and spend two weeks here, seeing everything it has to offer before returning to Buenos Aires to end the trip.

 

Here’s a complete breakdown of this one-month itinerary:

 

  • Day 1-4 – Buenos Aires
  • Day 5-7 – Iguazu
  • Day 8-10 – Mar Del Plata
  • Day 11 – Return To BA
  • Day 12 – Fly To El Calafate
  • Day 13-14 – El Calafate
  • Day 15-19 – El Chalten
  • Day 20 – Return To El Calafate / Fly To Bariloche
  • Day 21-25 – Bariloche
  • Day 26-29 – Mendoza
  • Day 30 – Buenos Aires

Day 1-4 – Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is known as the “Paris of South America,” as it feels like visiting a European capital.

 

Make sure you stay in Recoleta or Palermo as these are the two best areas with the most going on. 

Your first day will likely involve getting settled and trying to deal with jet lag but after that you have three full days to see this incredible city. 

 

Here some great things to do whilst in Buenos Aires:

 

  • Tango – go to a show and experience the city’s famous tango dancing.
  • Visit La Boca: This colourful neighbourhood is known for its vibrant street art, tango shows, and its famous soccer team, Boca Juniors. You can explore the colourful 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.

Milhouse hostel in Buenos Aires is one of the best hostels I’ve stayed in when travelling South America.  For the full list of my favourite hostels in South America, click the link below:

 

 

Plaza De Mayo from above (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Day 5-7 – Iguazu

Iguazu Falls is a mesmerizing natural wonder comprised of a vast network of over 275 individual waterfalls, spanning nearly 2 miles.

 

The thundering cascade of water produces a constant mist that envelops the surrounding lush rainforest, creating an ethereal atmosphere. The sheer size, power, and tropical beauty make Iguazu Falls an iconic destination that leaves visitors in awe of its natural grandeur.

How To Get To Iguazu From Buenos Aires

  • Book a Flight: Start by booking a flight from Buenos Aires to Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport (IGR), the nearest airport to Iguazu Falls. There are several airlines that operate this route, such as Aerolíneas Argentinas, LATAM Airlines, and Flybondi.

 

  • Flight Duration: The flight duration from Buenos Aires to Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport is around 1 hour and 50 minutes on average. Keep in mind that actual flight times can vary based on factors such as weather conditions and specific flight routes. Flight prices will vary depending on the time of year, but a return will cost between $100-200

 

  • Transport to the Falls: Once you arrive at Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport, you can take a taxi, shuttle, or use ride-sharing services to reach the town of Puerto Iguazú, which is the gateway to the falls. The airport is located approximately 20-30 minutes away from the town.

How To Visit Iguazu Falls

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. I would recommend visiting both sides, one on day 6 and one on day 7.

 

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’s one of the best tours that I recommend you do from the Argentinian side.

 

This full day tour includes round-trip transportation from your hotel, will take you to along the boardwalks, through the jungle via 4×4 and then via boat so you see the falls from every angle!

Iguazu Falls (Argentina) / waterfalls in Argentina with lookout points

Day 8-10 - Mar Del Plata

Time for 3 days of sun, sand and sea in Mar Del Plata. This is a busy one-month itinerary so I would personally use these days to relax and work on the tan.

 

Spend your days by the beachfront and explore the Playa Grande area. Take a leisurely walk along the coastline, enjoy the refreshing sea breeze, and take in the stunning ocean views.

 

If you are looking for something more active, you can visit the Mar del Plata Aquarium, home to a diverse array of marine life, or take a day trip out of the city to the peaceful nature reserve Laguna de los Pardes.

 

Mar Del Plata is also known for its vibrant nightlife. Make sure you take an evening walk along the beach promenade before heading to the bars and clubs along Avenida Constitucion for a night on the town.

How To Get To Mar Del Plata From Buenos Aires

One of the best ways to get from Buenos Aires to Mar del Plata is by train. The train ride offers passengers the opportunity to enjoy scenic views of the Argentine countryside as you journey from the capital to the coastal city.

 

The train journey from Buenos Aires to Mar del Plata typically takes around 5 hours, depending on the specific service and stops.

 

Train ticket prices can vary based on factors like the class of service, availability, and any promotions but usually range from $25 to $50 USD.

 

Alternatively, a bus will take the same amount of time and cost a little cheaper if you are looking to stick to a budget.

picture of Mar Del Plata

Day 11-12 - Buenos Aires / Travel To El Calafate

Day 11 and 12 are transitionary days. Firstly, you will need to return to Buenos Aires from Mar Del Plata. As mentioned, the train or bus takes 5 hours so I would recommend taking the earliest possible with the aim of returning to Buenos Aires in the early afternoon. 

 

You then have two choices. You could try to catch a flight down to El Calafate on the same day. The benefit of this would be that you’ll save a day which can be spent doing activities.

 

Or, you can stay the night in Buenos Aires and fly to El Calafate in the morning. The benefit of this is you get one more night in Buenos Aires to do anything you may have missed the first time around, and you won’t be rushing or on and off transport all day. 

For more on why El Calafate can’t be missed, head to the post below:

 

 

Preparing for your first trip to South America? 

 Here are 22 FAQ’s to help you prepare for the trip of a lifetime: 

Day 13-14 - El Calafate

El Calafate is the charming town known as the gateway to Patagonia. 

 

The town itself isn’t much and is built to cater to the tourists coming to see the Glacier. But, you will find some good food here so have a stroll through the streets and look for places to enjoy the local cuisine. Try La Zorra Taproom for at happy hour for craft beers under $2!

 

If you are looking to learn more about the history of the town and the glaciers surrounding it, why not head to the Glaciarium. This is an interactive museum that will provide a detailed history of the glacier and park. 

 

Or for a nice walk, try the Laguna Nimez Bird Sanctuary. This protected area is home to 80 species of bird and you can even see flamingos. The 1.5 mile loop around the lagoon should take around an hour. 

How To Visit Perito Moreno Glacier

People come to El Calafate to experience the sheer grandeur of the Perito Moreno Glacier. The glacier’s thunderous roars and awe-inspiring vistas will leave you speechless.

 

You have 4 options to see the Glacier:

 

  • Bus/Boardwalk
  • Kayak Tour
  • Boat Tour 
  • Glacier Hike

For this itinerary, I will outline taking the bus which is the cheapest and easiest and thus more accessible to most backpackers. 

 

After breakfast in Calafate, take the bus into the national park. Buses leave at 8.30 or 9.00. Make sure you buy a return ticket which costs 800 ARS (US$20).

 

The bus takes over an hour to reach the start of the boardwalk. You will stop once along the way to buy your entrance ticket to the national park. This costs 700 ARS (US$17.50) and you must pay in cash.

 

Once you’ve arrived, spend as long as you want walking along the boardwalk.  Spend time taking photos and waiting for huge chucks of ice fall off the glacier and crash into the water. 

 

If you prefer to do a boat tour to get a bit closer to the glacier, you also book that here. You can walk up to the small cubicles on the boardwalk and book there.

 

Return buses will leave from 4.00PM onwards so be sure to check with your company what time you need to be back on the bus.

Patagonia is often the reason why people come to Argentina. If you feel like you need more days here, have a look at some of the example itineraries in the post below:

 

 

Perito Moreno Glacier

Day 15-19 - El Chalten

On the morning of day 15, take a 3 hours bus to El Chalten. It’s worth noting that these buses are in high demand in summer.  During the peak season (December-February), they often sell out. To secure your spot, it’s advisable to book your tickets well in advance.

Once you’re settled in your hostel, you should still have the rest of the day to fill. I would recommend embarking on a small trek to one of the viewpoints around town.

 

You have two options:

 

  • Mirador Los Condores – 4-5km round trip 
  • Chorrillo del Salto – 6-7km round trip 

I would recommend the Mirador Los Cóndores hike, as it’s shorter and offers panoramic views of the town. If you can, plan your hiking so you reach the top for sunset for jaw-dropping vistas.

Hiking In El Chalten

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 Chalten 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.

 

On days 16-19 you should try to complete as many treks as possible, with rest days when you feel you need them. 

One of the best is the Laguna De Los Tres Trek –  a challenging yet rewarding hike that leads you to the base of Mount Fitz Roy. 

 

The 10km ascent rewards you with sights of Laguna de Los Tres’ stunning turquoise waters and unmatched views of the iconic Fitzroy peak.

 

You also have the option to camp here overnight which has some benefits. It splits the challenging trek in two so you have less walking to do. And you can wake up and watch the sunrise over the lake in the morning.

The Laguna De Los Tres hike is one of the best trails in all South America. To see some of my favourite hikes on this incredible continent, head to the post below:

 

 

El Chalten - lake and glacier

Day 20 - Return To El Calafate / Fly To Bariloche

On day 20, return to El Calafate and take a flight up to Bariloche. The return bus will take 3 hours so make sure you’ve booked a late afternoon flight to give you enough time to get to the airport and check in. 

 

The flight from El Calafate to Bariloche takes 1 hour 45 minutes and will cost between $100-200 for a single. 

Exploring the Argentinian side of Patagonia is a must. But the Chilean side is so close, so whilst your here, why not hop across the border? It’s easy to do! Linked below are two itinerary posts that can help you plan:

 

 

I used WayAway Plus to book all my flights whilst travelling around Argentina. 

 

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Day 21-25 - Bariloche

Nestled amidst the picturesque Andes Mountains, Bariloche offers a stunning display of natural beauty. From snow-capped peaks to crystal-clear lakes and lush forests, the landscape is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

 

Begin your journey by getting to grips with the centre of this beautiful town. A walking tour will take you on a wander through its charming streets where you can sample local cuisine, admire Swiss-style architecture, and learn more about the history of the town.

 

Historias Bariloche runs five unique walking tours all for a small fee. The 10 Secrets Tour will give you the best run down of the city.

 

After the walking tour, head to one of the many chocolate shops here, where you can indulge in a delightful chocolate tasting. I would recommend trying Rapa Nui or Mamushcka as these are regarded as the best in town.

 

Towards the late afternoon, it’s time to head to a viewpoint. Cerro Otto is prominent hill overlooking the town that doubles up as a ski slope in the winter months. This easily accessible summit can be reached by a short chairlift ride or a pleasant hike, providing stunning views of the surrounding Nahuel Huapi Lake and the majestic Andes mountains.

 

For the rest of your time in Bariloche, you have several hikes to pick from including Refugio Frey and Cerro Tronador. 

 

You are also spoilt for choice for adventure activities and you can go kayaking on the lakes, mountain biking and even skiing if you are visiting Argentina in the winter. 

For more on why this is such a fantastic place to visit and spend time in, head to the post below:

 

 

panoramic image of the lakes in Bariloche

Day 26-29 - Mendoza

Mendoza is Argentina’s number one wine producing region with over 1,200 wineries and vineyards in the surrounding area. Visitors can tour the wineries, taste wines, and learn about the wine-making process from some of the best winemakers in the world.

 

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.

Wineries In Mendoza

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. Here you can find bike rental shops offering to rent cheap bikes and provide a map to the best wineries.

 

Maipu Bikes is one of the best. 

 

This is such an enjoyable day, riding in between the different vineyards surrounded by lush green fields and mountain views in the distance. All the wineries allow you to visit and enjoy a tasting from somewhere between 200-500 pesos. Sitting in the gardens or atop the balconies of each bodega and enjoy a selection of wine tastings in the sun is the perfect way to spend a day in Mendoza.

 

One of the best bodegas is Trapiche, where you can sit out on the balcony and look out over the vineyard whilst getting sloshed.

 

Once you done three or four tastings you can head back to Maipu bikes to drop off your bike. They have 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.

For more information on Mendoza including 8 great reasons why you should visit, head to the post below:

 

 

Day 30 - Return To Buenos Aires

Your epic month in Argentina is now over and you’ve seen everything it has to offer! All you need to do now is return to Buenos Aires and take your flight back home.

 

To get from Mendoza to Buenos Aires, you have two options. Flights are quicker and take 1 hour 30 minutes. 

 

Or you can take an overnight bus which takes 16-17 hours. I will always recommend choosing flights over buses when travelling in Argentina. The buses just as expensive as flights so there’s no point!

If you want to combine a trip to Chile alongside Argentina, then there are several ways to do this with a simple border crossing. The three itineraries in the post below can help you cross the borders a 3 different points in Argentina to see Chile:

 

 

 

Or if you don’t have a full month, check out this one week or three-week itinerary which are condensed versions of the itinerary above:

 

 

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Mendoza mountains and vineyard

#2 The Wine Route: 1-Month Argentina Itinerary

This one-month itinerary for Argentina is ideal for travellers who love wine and want to follow the wine route from the north-west down to the middle of the country. This route is perfect for travellers who want to get off the beaten path and see a different side of Argentina, one less travelled.

 

Here’s a complete breakdown of this one-month itinerary:

 

  • Day 1-4 – Buenos Aires
  • Day 5-7 – Salta
  • Day 8-9 – Humahuaca
  • Day 10-11 – Tilcara
  • Day 12-13 – Purmamarca
  • Day 14 – Salta
  • Day 15-16 – Cachi
  • Day 17-19 – El Cafayate
  • Day 20 – Travel Day To Mendoza
  • Day 21-23 – Mendoza
  • Day 24 – Travel Day to Bariloche
  • Day 25-29 – Bariloche
  • Day 30 – Buenos Aires

Day 5-7 - Salta

More and more wine lovers are travelling to ‘Salta – La Linda’ (meaning Salta – The Beautiful) to visit the world-famous vineyards and enjoy the magnificent mountain landscapes.

 

The beautiful countryside paired with high-quality wines and delicious regional foods makes for a great experience.  

 

The city centre has some interesting sights such as the Museum of High-Altitude Archaeology (MAAM) which contains a perfectly preserved mummified corpse of an Andean child, thought to be sacrificed by her tribe hundreds of ago.

 

Then the Teleferico Cable Car will take you the top of San Bernardo hill for great views of the city or you can head to Calle Balcare to party with the locals.

 

Salta is also great to use as a base for exploring the countryside. You can take a day trip out to Cabra Corral Dam for some adrenaline-fuelled activities such as bungee jumping or visit the smaller towns like Chicoana or Cachi as day trips.

For everything you need to know about Salta:

 

 

SALTA

Day 8-9 - Humahuaca

Humahuaca is the first of three small towns along Route 9 which runs through the beautiful northern countryside north of 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).

 

El Hornocal or the 14 Coloured Mountain, is just outside the town of Humahuaca, a 30-minute drive away. It’s a great little day trip. You can find a cheap tour in town or drive there yourself if you have a car. If you can, try and get there on a weekday to avoid the crowds and turn up just in the late afternoon to experience the colourful mountain illuminated at sunset.

 

For this one month itinerary, I would recommend renting a car. Most of the towns you visit are along the famous Route 40 highway which spans from the entire country from north to south. Having a car means you can drive between towns at your own pace and visit places like Rainbow Mountain with ease. 

Everything else you need to know about Humahuaca from our favourite hostels to the best restaurants is here in our guide to the town:

 

 

El Hornocal hills - Joe and Alex from Shall We Go Home Travel

Day 10-11 - Tilcara

Tilcara has the same laidback vibe of Humahuaca and is filled with artisan cafes, shops, and restaurants.

 

In the summer, it gets livelier with Argentinian tourists escaping the big cities and filling up the peñas (communal gatherings with traditional music from the region) and bars.

 

You also have some great options for outdoor adventure here. You can trek to El Garganta Del Diablo (The Devil’s Throat Waterfall) or the historical site of Pucara Del Tilcara, a pre-Inca fortification built in the 12th century.  

For more information on Tilcara:

 

 

Day 12-13 - Purmamarca

Another short journey south is the third town on Route 9 which includes Argentina’s second Rainbow Mountain – the Hill of 7 Colours.

 

Whilst it doesn’t sound as impressive as the 14 Coloured Mountain, the hill is just as colourful, and you don’t need to take a tour to see this one. You can see it from anywhere in town but the best way is to walk along the Paseo de los Colorados, a 1.5 mile (3 km) easy trail for great views of this multi-coloured hill.

 

Purmamarca is also a good base for a trip to Salinas Grandes – Argentina’s spectacular salt flat.

 

You can visit by yourself or book a tour and you will have lots of opportunities to get the famous perspective shots and marvel and the unique white landscape that stretches on for miles.

Check our comparison guide of the two mountains:

 

 

Day 14 - Salta

You may wish to stop off for one night again in Salta to break up the journey. If you are taking buses along the wine route then this is a must.

 

If you are renting a car and driving then it’s a 6 hour drive from Purmamarca to Cachi without stopping.

Purmamarca sign

Day 15-16 - Cachi & Route 33

If you didn’t rent a car to explore Route 9 then now is the time to do it. We understand it can be expensive, but you will want your own transport for this next part of the journey as Route 33 is perfect for a road trip.

 

Route 33 from Salta to Cachi will take you past two popular sights – Cuesta Del Obispo and the Tin Tin Straight Line.

 

Cuesta del Obispo, or Bishop’s Slope, is a long winding road ending at the top of a hill at La Piedra del Molino (the Millstone) nearly 11,000 feet above sea level. The mountain offers a perfect viewpoint overlooking the Enchanted Valley, and you will get great shots of the road carved out of the mountainside.

Further along route 33 you’ll come across the the Tin Tin Straight Line.

 

This is a 20km almost perfectly straight road that follows an ancient route built by the Inca. Unfortunately, Tin-Tin’s name comes from a nearby river and mountain and has nothing to do with the Belgian detective comic. Hop out of the car for incredible views and a road that doesn’t seem to end.

 

Cachi is a small town which we used to stop off in for a night. There isn’t a lot to do here apart from eat good food, visit a bodega to try some regional wines and marvel at the beautiful countryside.

 

I stayed at Hosteria Cachi for two nights. They have a swimming pool, buffet breakfast and the grounds are set up on a hill giving you panoramic views of the Andes Mountains and the Calchaquí river.

Travelling along the wine route in Argentina is one of the many reasons why backpacking South America is well worth it. For more great reasons, head to the post below:

 

 

GREEN MOUNTAINS OF SALTA

Day 17-19 - 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.

 

After leaving the town of Cachi, you will be driving along Route 40. Route 40 is Argentina’s famous highway that stretches the entire length of the country from the north at the border of Bolivia, all the way down to Patagonia in the south.

 

It’s consistently rated as one of the best routes to road trip in the world.

 

Along this road, there are multiple photo opportunities as you follow the Rio Calchaqui south. The most unique stop is Quebrada de las Flechas – or Canyon of Arrows.

 

You drive along a winding road through this canyon with 150 ft rocks jutting out at steep angles either side. We stopped the car multiple times to marvel at the natural beauty of the valley.

Joe and Alex sitting on a car in Cafayate, Argentina
VIEWS ACROSS THE VALLEY IN SALTA, ARGENTINA

Once you are settled in Cafayate it’s time for wine tasting.

 

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).

 

After that, you should visit Piatellia Vineyard for a full tour and to learn more about how grapes are turned into wine before another tasting!

 

Whilst we love our adventure travel, this part of our South America journey came at the perfect time when we were a bit worn out. We just laid back, enjoyed the beautiful weather, and drank wine to our heart’s content. We suggest you do the same.

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

 

 

vineyard pass in Cafayate

Day 20-30 - Mendoza, Bariloche and Return To Buenos Aires

For the last 10 days of this itinerary, simply follow the same plan outlined in the highlights itinerary above. 

 

The journey from Cafayate to Mendoza is a long one so you may wish to split this up with a stop along the way. The same goes for Bariloche. 

 

Alternatively, one you get to Mendoza, here is the perfect time to visit Chile! Santiago is a 6 hour bus away. 

Bariloche and Mendoza are two popular places in Argentina, and travellers can often deliberate between visiting one or the other. If you want to see a detailed comparison along with my personal opinion of which is better, head to the post below:

 

 

Joe and Alex hiking in Cafayate, Argentina
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