The following is a guest post by Marcello Arrambide. If you’d like to guest post on Go Backpacking, please read our submission guidelines.
Argentina is a country that is blessed with everything a country could ask for. The vast country has waterfalls & rainforests to the north, desert and mountains to the west, seashores & animals to the east, as well as glaciers and mountains to the south.
If you have the time, you could see all of Argentina in one full month, 30-34 days to be exact. This itinerary doesn’t include the off the beaten track cities of Cordoba and Rosario, but with careful planning, you could see all the cities in 30-35 days (including travel time). What follows are my tips for how to see Argentina in 30 days.
Buenos Aires – 5 days
This cosmopolitan city has everything that you could ask for from the culture and the arts, a bustling nightlife, and enough European charm to steal the heart of a Frenchmen.
The itinerary below provides a balance of everything there is to do in Buenos Aires. If you have a preference to experience the culture, or even party your vacation away, you could do just that.
- 1 day: Lo Boca, San Telmo, Puerto Madero
- 1 day: Architecture Viewing/Shopping – Ave 5 De Mayo & Ave Alvear
- 1 day: Recoleta & Palermo – Museums & Shopping
- 1 day: El Tigre
- 1 day: Night & Recovery
Iguazu – 3-4 days
One of the natural wonders of the world, this is an absolute must when traveling through South America, much less Argentina.
The Iguazu Falls could easily be considered one of the top Argentina tourist attractions. While most people spend their time on the Argentine side of the falls the Brazilian side is just as beautiful.Getting a Brazilian visa is not as hard as you would think, and most travelers only spend time on the Argentina side.
If you choose not to get a visa, cut the trip to 3 days. You only need one full day to see the Argentina side. That could be a combination of two half days or one full day. Plan for 1-2 days of travel in and out & Iguazu city. The helicopter ride from the Brazilian side is extremely impressive, and highly recommended.
- 1 day: Argentina side
- 1 day: Brazil side
- 1-2 days: Travel time
Salta – 6-7 days
This is Argentina’s version of the American Southwest. If there was ever a place to be a victim of culture shock, it will be here. You can travel to small towns where the Inca Empire used to be and get a completely different view of Argentina.
- 1-2 days: Travel in and out of city & viewing city
- 2 days (North): Tilcara, Humahuaca, Salt Flats, Rock of 7 colors (add 1 day for Jujuy)
- 1 day (South): Cachi
- 1 day (South): Cafayate
Cordoba – 2 -3 days (optional)
The second largest city in Argentina is home to a variety of things to see. A German town near the city that hosts the second largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany and also a museum dedicated to Che Guevera.
Who wouldn’t love to get to know one of the most controversial men of the twentieth century?
- 1 day: Cordoba city
- 1 day: German village/Che Guevera
- 1 day: Travel in and out of city
Rosario – 1.5 days (optional)
The third largest city in Argentina boasts a unique river cruise to see parts of Argentina that they don’t show you online or in guide books. Great for walking around and getting to know the history of the country with the flag monument.
- 1 day: River Cruise, city sightseeing
- .5–1 day: Travel in and out of city
Mar de Plata – 3 days
This is where locals go for vacation — it is one of the top tourist destinations for Argentineans. A great beach town to wind down and relax while you recharge your batteries.
- 1 day: Travel in and out
- 1-2 days: Exploring city (recharge)
Puerto Madryn – 4 days
The animal lovers paradise; interact with Penguins, dive with sea lions, whales, and even getting inches from Elephant Seals.
- 1 day: Punta Tombo & Punta Ninfas – Penguins & Elephant Seals
- 1 day: Peninsula Valdez – Sea lions, penguins, coast sightseeing, bird watching
- 1 day: Punta Piramides, Puerto Madryn sightseeing, diving sea lions
- 1 day: Trelew Dinosaur Museum and in and out of city
Ushuaia- 4 days
The self proclaimed southernmost city in the world is picturesque, laid back, and chock full of tourist attractions. Also the gateway to Antarctica if you want to take the trip of a lifetime.
- 1 day: Tour of bay, museums, and city
- 1 day: Glacier climbing & Tierra del Fuego National Park
- 1 day: Lakes country tour & end of world train – not recommended
- 1 day: Travel time
El Calafate – 3 days
Home to one of the only growing glaciers in the world, many tourist will even be able to see chunks of icebergs break off into the water. This unique event should be added to everyone’s bucket list.
- 1 day: Cruise to glacier & city
- 1 day: Hiking & outdoor time
- 1 day: Travel time
Bariloche – 4 days
The Argentine version of Switzerland; snow capped mountains, delicious chocolates, and great adventures for the whole family.
- 1 day: Lakes Cruise & Town
- 1 day: Tronador Glacier
- 1 day: Misc Sites, Surrounding Areas, and Museums
- 1 day: Traveling in and out
Mendoza – 3 – 4 days
The Napa & Sonoma Valley of Argentina provides great opportunities to taste some of the best wines of South America amongst endless fields of grapes. The highest peak in the Andes Mountains also provides great opportunities for climbing and hiking.
- 1 day: Wine Tour
- 1 day: Town & Museums
- 1 day: Hiking & Outdoor Activities
- 1 day: Travel in and out
You can see the entire country in less time depending on your travel plans and what you prefer to do. You can save time and money by taking overnight buses to some cities that are 7-12 hours away from each other.
Also be aware that hostel prices are extremely high compared to other cities when traveling to Patagonia. When in Ushuaia, don’t forget to get information about traveling to Antarctica as this is the gateway to the great continent.
Been to Argentina? Leave a comment and let us know if you'd make any changes to Marcello's itinerary.
About the Author: Marcello Arrambide has been traveling all his life and has lived in over 6 countries around the world. He currently living in South America where he shares tips and stories about his travels on http://www.wanderingtrader.com. You can also find him on Twitter: @wanderingtradr