Cowboys, one of the world’s most scenic drives, and the most beautiful bookshop in the world - there are many reasons for a person to pack their bags and head straight to Argentina. The country is a flourishing tourist destination that is perfect for visitors of all ages, from those looking to enjoy the nightlife to those who prefer hiking the mountains and getting up close and personal with the many flora and fauna in the country. Sites that shouldn’t be missed whilst there include the Quebrada de Humahuaca, Manzana de las Luces, and the largest waterfall system in the world, the Iguazu Falls.
1.Plaza de Mayo
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Plaza de Mayo is the main square in the Monserrat barrio, a neighborhood famed for its historic public buildings and sites in all of Argentina. Created in 1580, Plaza de Mayo is the site of the May Revolution, which resulted in Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros being deposed and the Primera Junta assuming government. It has since then become a hub for Argentina’s political life. The plaza attracts tourists from all over the country as it lies amidst many of the city’s major landmarks such as the Cabildo, which was the city council during the colonial era, and the May Pyramid, the oldest national monument in Buenos Aires.
Av. Hipolito Yrigoyen s/n, 1087 CABA, Argentina
2.Quebrada de Humahuaca
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Found in northern Argentina, Quebrada de Humahuaca is a narrow mountain valley known for its hills, dramatic rock formations, and surrounding indigenous villages. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is nearly 100 miles long and is bordered by valleys, the Sub-Andean hills, and Altiplano, which stretches across Argentina and into Bolivia, Peru, and Chile. Visitors there will come across economic, cultural, and social aspects that will show them a side of Argentina that can’t be experienced anywhere else. Attractions in Quebrada de Humahuaca that shouldn’t be missed include the Rio Grande and the surrounding settlements, which go back over 10,000 years.
3.Castillo de Naveira
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Located in the town of Lujan, Castillo de Naveira is a neo-Gothic castle in the Argentinian countryside. The initial construction of the castle goes back to 1841 when Enrique Beschtedt had it constructed for him and his daughter to reside in. The property changed hands in 1913 and was continued to be lived in by the Naveira family. The castle, which was built by Belgian architect Ernesto Moreau, is a stunning property; the exterior comprises styles and fairytale esque towers that bring the castle to life while the interior is filled with decor and architectural styles that history buffs would love.
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Found on the border of Argentina and Chile, the mountain range of Monte Fitz Roy is also known as Cerro Fitz Roy or Cerro Chalten. The mountain was discovered by Argentine explorer Francisco Moreno in 1877 and was named after an English officer of the Royal Navy, Robert FitzRoy. Considered one of the most challenging mountains to scale, Cerro Fitz Roy is also one of the most recognizable landmarks in Argentina. Visitors who are looking to enjoy the view can head to the nearby village of El Chalten. There are many trails surrounding the peak, which visitors can hike by foot, and all of them provide stunning views as well. Fitz Roy is a part of Los Glaciares National Park, a site that attracts visitors from around the world. There are many companies that will help visitors hike through the mountains if they decide not to do so on their own.
5.El Ateneo Grand Splendid
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El Ateneo Grand Splendid was designed by Torres Armengol and Pero as a grand theatre in 1919. Today, it is one of the most popular and most beautiful bookshops in the world. Many aspects of the theater can still be seen in the present bookshop such as ceiling frescoes painted by Italian artist Nazareno Orlandi and sculptures by Troiano Troiani. Every year, over a million people walk through the bookstore, which still has the feel of the stunning theatre it once was. Though the cinema seating has since been removed, the theatre boxes are still intact and are now used as nooks where visitors can read.
Av. Santa Fe 1860, 1123 CABA, Argentina, Phone: 54-11-48-13-60-52
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The largest waterfalls system in the world, Iguazu Falls can be found in the Argentine province of Misiones alongside Parana, Brazil. The waterfalls divide the Iguazu River into upper and lower sections of the river, which flows mostly through Brazil; most of the actual waterfalls can be found in Argentina. The absolutely stunning collection of waterfalls comprise 275 drops, all of which range between 197 and 269 feet high stretched within two miles. Visitors headed to the falls will go through the town of Puerto Iguazu and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Iguazu National Park. There are many walkways and boat services that take visitors extremely close to the falls.
Misiones Province, Argentina, Phone: 54-37-57-49-14-69
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Also called Valle de la Luna, Ischigualasto Provincial Park is one of the most visited places in Argentina. The moonlike desert landscape has an array of stunning rock formations for visitors to see, with some of the most popular being the Bowling Field or Painted Valley. Visitors can spend their day walking the trails that run up Cerro Morado or playing with the llama-like animals, guanacos. There is a park museum filled with antiquities and other items that have been found in the park, and the dinosaur fossils from the Triassic period is a favored exhibit with visitors of all ages.
Ruta 510 s/nº, 5449 San Agustin de Valle Fertil, San Juan, Argentina, Phone: 54-26-44-60-89-00
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Constructed between 1919 and 1923, Palacio Barolo was the tallest building in South America when it was constructed. The landmark office building built by architect Mario Palanti is over 100 meters high. The building, which has since been declared a national historic monument, is a dream to explore for architecture lovers. Each floor has unique design and decor, all stunning in their own way. Within the building, visitors will find a collection of offices, stores, artist and architect studios, travel agencies, and a Spanish school for foreigners. There is a lighthouse on the top of the building that was originally designed to welcome visitors arriving from the Atlantic Ocean.
Av. de Mayo 1370, 1085 CABA, Argentina, Phone: 54-11-43-81-18-85
9.Perito Moreno Glacier
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Located in the Los Glaciares National Park, Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Argentina. The ice formation is one of 48 glaciers and is nearly 20 miles long. The ice field is identified as the third largest freshwater reserve in the world. The glacier is named after explorer Francisco Moreno and is considered unique as it is one of the few glaciers that are advancing rather than retreating like most other glaciers worldwide. Visitors can identify one of the many tour companies that offer day visits to the glacier; there is a large visitor center on the site and a walking circuit that takes visitors through the southern flank of the glacier.
10.La Recoleta Cemetery
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Found in the Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina, the La Recoleta Cemetery is identified as one of the world's best cemeteries by BBC and one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world by CNN. The cemetery was established in 1822 and takes up over fourteen acres of land. There are nearly 5,000 graves and vaults on the site, including those of Napoleon's granddaughter, many presidents of Argentina, and former First Lady of Argentina Eva Peron. Notable sites in the cemetery include the cemetery entrance, the domes, and the tomb of various presidents, including Carlos Pellegrini.
Junín 1760, 1113 CABA, Argentina, Phone: 54-11-48-03-15-94
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11.The Manzana de las Luces
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Manzana de las Luces, more popularly known as the Illuminated Block or Block of the Lights, is a historic landmark found in Buenos Aires. The National Historic Monument has been extensively renovated and restored since it was first established by the Society of Jesus in 1608. Presently, visitors will be able to explore the complex and see many of the structures that remain such as the large arcaded patio, a cloister residence, and a colonial-era administrative building. One of the most beautiful remnants of the Illuminated Block is the Church of San Ignacio connected by the complex underground tunnel network.
Perú 272, 1067 Buenos Aires, Argentina, Phone: 54-11-43-43-32-60
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Villa Epecuen was a popular tourist village developed in the early 1920s. At its peak, the village accommodated 5,000 visitors at any given time and had nearly 1,500 residents. Businesses and hotels developed fairly quickly until 1985, when a seiche caused the water to rise, flooding the village and causing Villa Epecuen to become uninhabitable. The village was never rebuilt and was abandoned soon after. It wasn’t until 2009 that the water started receding to show the stunning city that lied under the waters for so many years. The eerie ghost-like town is a favorite with visitors, who can see how the entire landscape has been stripped by the once-healing salt waters that surround it.
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13.Xul Solar Museum
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Xul Solar, whose actual name was Oscar Agustin Alejandro Schulz Solari, was a talented Argentine artist who painted mystical works of art and invented a spiritual form of chess, two languages, and a modified piano. The Xul Solar Museum is dedicated to his life and the work that the painter, inventor, writer, and sculptor left behind. The museum can be found below Solar’s former apartment, which is preserved just as he left it, and his library collection of over 3,500 books. Visitors will be able to see many of Xul’s heirlooms, art pieces, and documents and letters that he left behind. Some of the most stunning pieces from the permanent collection are Burial, Jesus Crucifio, and Lake Monti.
Laprida 1212, C1425EKF CABA, Argentina, Phone: 54-11-48-24-33-02
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La Casa Rosada, also known as the House of Government or The Pink House, is the executive office and mansion of the President of Argentina. Constructed between 1873 and 1879, the mansion has been the office of former presidents; many objects and memorabilia can be seen in the building's museum. The four-floor site has been declared a National Historic Monument of Argentina and is surrounded by many important political institutions. Tours and visits to La Casa Rosada will take visitors through the building to see the beautiful architecture and decor housed within as well as the artifact-filled museum.
Balcarce 50, 1064 Buenos Aires, Argentina, Phone: 54-11-43-44-36-00
MALBA, or the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires, was established in 2001 by Argentine real estate developer and businessman, Eduardo Costantini. The museum focuses on collecting, preserving, researching, and promoting Latin American art from the 20th century to the present day, and it is constantly expanding its facilities and collection to meet the needs of today's artists and visitors. Other than the works of modern artists from across Latin America, the museum also has a cultural center that hosts activities throughout the year such as staging art and film exhibitions. Visitors will not only enjoy the beautiful works housed within the building but also the wondrous architecture of the actual building itself.
Av. Pres. Figueroa Alcorta 3415, C1425CLA CABA, Argentina, Phone: 54-11-48-08-65-00
16.National Museum of Decorative Arts
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The National Museum of Decorative Arts, Buenos Aires, was established over 80 years ago in 1937. Unofficially, the museum started long before in a marriage between Matias Errazuriz and Josefina de Alvear, two prominent members of Argentine high society. The couple devoted years to finding unique antiques and objets d'art to decorate the mansion, only for Errazuriz to bequeath mansion and everything within it to the Argentine government once his wife passed away. Visitors can explore the stunning interior, from the groin vault ceilings in the Entrance Hall and the polished oak carvings in the Antechamber to the large chandeliers in the Great Hall and the marble works in the Winter Garden.
Av. del Libertador 1902, 1425 CABA, Argentina, Phone: 54-11-48-01-82-48
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At an elevation of 22,838 feet, the mountain of Aconcagua is the highest outside of Asia. It’s so high that the mountain dominates the skyline and is visible 100 miles off the coast in the Pacific Ocean. Aconcagua can be found in the Andes mountain range and lies entirely within Argentina, though Chile borders it. Over 3,500 people attempt to scale the mountain each year; there are multiple companies that will assist visitors in preparing and training for the climb. Though the actual walk is uncomplicated, many mountaineers underestimate the altitude. Visitors who are going for the view can take some amazing photographs from the nearby villages.
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Considered one of the five best concert venues in the world and ranked the third best opera house in the world by National Geographic, Teatro Colon is the main opera house in Buenos Aires. The original theatre opened in 1857 and was replaced by the current structure in 1908. Constructed as an eclectic arts complex, the theatre has hosted many famed singers and opera companies over the years. Visitors can schedule a tour of the theatre and its beautiful horseshoe-shaped auditorium, expansive stage, and large central chandeliers; the concert hall and stage are breathtaking. One aspect of the theatre that shouldn’t be missed are the allegorical ceiling frescoes painted by Argentine painter Raul Soldi.
Cerrito 628, C1010 CABA, Argentina
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19.Southern Fuegian Railway
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Originally built in 1901 as a freight line to specifically transport timber for the Ushuaia prison, the Southern Fuegian Railway is a famed 500 mm gauge steam railway. It is popularly known as the “Train of the End of the World” and has operated as a heritage railway into Tierra del Fuego National Park since 1994. Compared to its origin as a prison train, visitors will find a much more luxurious service, complete with champagne and dinner services. Passengers on the train will be able to see beautiful views of Pico Valley in the Toro gorge before entering the national park and forest.
Estación del Fin del Mundo - Ruta 3, Km 3.042, 9410 Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, Phone: 54-29-01-43-16-00
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20.Parque Tres de Febrero
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Parque Tres de Febrero is often called Palermo Woods or Bosques de Palermo. The urban park stretches nearly 1,000 acres and is famed for its lakes, groves, and rose gardens. The views of the beautiful surroundings will give visitors the opportunity to take some amazing pictures of their vacation to Argentina. The park is popular with walkers, joggers, and cyclists. Other activities and sites include boat rides on the park lakes and the Buenos Aires Japanese Gardens, which is the world’s largest outside of Japan. The city planetarium can also be found within the park, and visitors can head there for a beautiful light show of the skies above.
Av. Infanta Isabel 410, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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21.Puente de la Mujer
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Puente de la Mujer, which translates to “Women’s Bridge,” is a landmark rotating footbridge for Dock 3 of the Puerto Madero commercial district in Buenos Aires. The bridge, which opened in 2001, is over 170 meters long and 34 meters high, and it rotates 90 degrees to allow water traffic to pass. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the pedestrian bridge attracts visitors from all over as it is a marvel to watch in action. Puente de la Mujer is one of the most renowned landmarks and is considered a symbol of Buenos Aires’ constant dedication to advancing the architecture and art in Latin America.
C1113 Buenos Aires, Argentina
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The Ibera Wetlands is the second-largest wetland in the world and one of the most important freshwater reservoirs in the continent. The wetlands consist of nearly 8,000 square miles of bogs, swamps, lagoons, lakes, and natural waterways, and certain aspects of the area are a part of the protected Ibera Provincial Reserve. Visitors can explore the fascinating region, which is truly a paradise for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, with one of the many tour companies available. Visitors are sure to run into one of the wetlands’ many residents; there are over 85 species of mammals, 35 species of reptiles, 45 species of amphibians, and 300 species of birds. Some of the most common animals include swamp deer and capybara.
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23.Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
© Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, or the MNBA, is the National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It first opened in 1895 under the direction of Argentine painter and art critic, Eduardo Schiaffino. The museum has been housed in several locations before moving to its current home in 1933; the building was originally used as a drainage pumping station. It has been renovated and expanded throughout the years, and visitors will now be able to see an international collection of paintings from the Middle Ages all the way up to the 20th century. Some of the most famed works in the collection include Portrait of a young woman by Rembrandt, The bridge of Argenteuil by Monet, and Le Moulin de la Galette by Van Gogh.
Av. del Libertador 1473, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Phone: 54-11-52-88-99-00
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Visitors looking to catch a glimpse of Argentine culture can head straight to La Boca. With its colorful houses and pedestrian-filled streets, the neighborhood brings its surroundings to life day or night. Visitors are sure to come across tango artists performing on the streets, and they can buy many souvenirs and gifts in the area to take back from their vacation. Sports fans need no introduction to La Boca as it is home to the world-renowned football (soccer) club, Boca Juniors. The few tourist-filled blocks are also home to other attractions such as tango clubs, Italian taverns, and the La Ribera theatre.
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25.Pucara de Tilcara
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Pucara de Tilcara is a pre-Inca fortification that was originally built by the Omaguaca tribe around the 12th century. The national monument has traces of human habitation that have been dated back to over 10,000 years ago. It is the only archaeological site in the Quebrada de Humahuaca that is accessible to the public. Visitors can head to the museum to see over 5,000 valuable pieces in the permanent exhibition; one of the most prominent artifacts is a perfectly preserved mummified body that was fully clothed. Visitors at Pucara de Tilcara can also explore the small botanical garden found there.
Tilcara, Jujuy, Argentina, Phone: 54-38-84-22-13-25
25 Best Things to Do in Argentina
- Plaza de Mayo, Photo: Courtesy of saiko3p - Fotolia.com
- Quebrada de Humahuaca, Photo: Courtesy of sunsinger - Fotolia.com
- Castillo de Naveira, Photo: Courtesy of Ann - Fotolia.com
- Fitz Roy, Photo: Courtesy of Bernardo Ertl - Fotolia.com
- El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Photo: Courtesy of Andrea Izzotti - Fotolia.com
- Iguazu Falls, Photo: Courtesy of pic3d - Fotolia.com
- Ischigualasto, Photo: Courtesy of Eduardo Rivero - Fotolia.com
- Palacio Barolo, Photo: Courtesy of saiko3p - Fotolia.com
- Perito Moreno Glacier, Photo: Courtesy of saiko3p - Fotolia.com
- La Recoleta Cemetery, Photo: Courtesy of evenfh - Fotolia.com
- The Manzana de las Luces, Photo: Courtesy of Matthias - Fotolia.com
- Villa Epecuen, Photo: Courtesy of De Visu - Fotolia.com
- Xul Solar Museum, Photo: Xul Solar Museum
- Casa Rosada, Photo: Courtesy of Eduardo Rivero - Fotolia.com
- MALBA, Photo: MALBA
- National Museum of Decorative Arts, Photo: National Museum of Decorative Arts
- Aconcagua, Photo: Courtesy of Kseniya Ragozina - Fotolia.com
- Teatro Colon, Photo: Courtesy of saiko3p - Fotolia.com
- Southern Fuegian Railway, Photo: Courtesy of photoman120 - Fotolia.com
- Parque Tres de Febrero, Photo: Courtesy of Dario Ricardo - Fotolia.com
- Puente de la Mujer, Photo: Courtesy of Angelo D'Amico - Fotolia.com
- Ibera Wetlands, Photo: Courtesy of elnavegante - Fotolia.com
- Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Photo: Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
- La Boca, Photo: Courtesy of daboost - Fotolia.com
- Pucara de Tilcara, Photo: Courtesy of Adwo - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of evenfh - Fotolia.com