Argentina

Argentina offers the sophistication of Paris, the gourmet cuisine of Italy and the untamed wilderness of Alaska. The second largest country in South America, Argentina provides an abundance of wow-inspiring moments. The beauty of its capital, Buenos Aires, strikes you from the moment you drive into this 19th century “Paris of South America”. The elegant architecture of its tree-shaded boulevards, the imposing monuments and sprawling parks set the tone for your Argentine Experience with Spiced Destinations.

Patagonia’s towering glaciers, crystal-clear lakes and evergreen forests provide the perfect contrast to the endless hues of red and yellow of the northern desert. The thundering waters of the Iguazu Falls echo amid the serenity of the Wine Country, home to some of the world’s greatest vineyards.

Whether you stay at a trendy hotel designed by Philippe Starck or at a charming traditional estancia, you will always enjoy the same warm and generous welcome.
Come prepared to fall in love.

General Information

Overview:
In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their independence from Spain. After Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went their separate ways, the area that remained became Argentina. The country's population and culture were heavily shaped by immigrants from throughout Europe, but most particularly Italy and Spain, which provided the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930.

General Facts:

  • Size (land area): 2,736,690 sq km (1,056,642 sq mi), it is the 8th largest country in the world.
  • Population: 41,343,201 people. The population is divided to the following ethnic groups: White (mostly Spanish and Italian) 97%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry), Amerindian, or other non-white groups 3%
  • Border countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay &, Uruguay
  • Elevation Extreme: Lowest point: Laguna del Carbon -105 m under sea level, located between Puerto San Julian and Comandante Luis Piedra Buena in the province of Santa Cruz.
  • Highest point: Cerro Aconcaguam, the higest peak in the Western Hemisphere 6,960 m (22,834 ft) , located in the northwestern corner of the province of Mendoza.
  • Religion: nominally Roman Catholic 92% (less than 20% practicing), Protestant 2%, Jewish 2%, other 4%
  • Languages: Spanish (official), Italian, English, German, French

Source:  The World Factbook
 

Entry Requirements: A valid passport is required for U.S. citizens to enter Argentina. U.S. citizens do not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days for tourism or business. U.S. citizen tourist and business travelers arriving in Argentina at Ezeiza International Airport must pay an entry fee. Currently, the fee is only charged at Ezeiza airport. It can be paid in dollars, by credit card, or with traveler's checks, and is valid for ten years and multiple entries. It applies only to bearers of tourist passports.

Currency: Argentine peso. Visitors can exchange money at hotels, banks or, more conveniently, while shopping. ATMs are available and major credit cards are widely accepted.

Shopping
Visitors will find in Buenos Aires more fashionable shops and top-end boutiques than anyone can visit. Strolling down the elegant pedestrian mall of Calle Florida and Avenida Santa Fe you will experience a sampling of the finest crafts and luxury goods, from silver filigree to exquisite furs and leathers…and don’t forget to pick up some gaucho souvenirs. Art aficionados will love the wonderful flea market in San Telmo, the oldest part of the city, where you can pick up French porcelain, Italian marble … and collectable tango records. (Open every weekend)

Food and Drink
For years Argentina supplied the world with prime beef, so it is no wonder that BEEF is king in Argentine cuisine. There are steak houses everywhere and the meats are juicy and tender. You don’t want to miss the bife de chorizo, or any other cut, so try a parillada (mixed grill) at any of Buenos Aires’ fine steak houses, or an empanada (cheese or beef turnover) as you browse around the town. Cosmopolitan Buenos Aires offers a broad culinary palette ranging from excellent Italian to rich Spanish dishes featuring ocean-fresh seafood. But for a quick snack, drop in at a confitería (Argentine pastry shop). And don’t forget to sample the excellent Malbec wines Argentina is famous for.

What to Wear
Buenos Aires is an important seaport and its people, known as porteños, are among the best dressed in South America, so it is not surprising that almost all the finer restaurants and clubs in Buenos Aires require “appropriate dress”. But if you forget your coat and tie you can always pick one up at any of the local men´s wear shops.
 

When to Travel?

Argentina has a temperate climate similar to the United States and Europe. The western border is marked by the towering Andes, the center is made up by vast plains and, to the south, Patagonia is almost in Antarctica..

When planning a trip to Argentina, it is important to determine which regions of the countries will be visited during your trip. The seasons in Argentina are reversed so there is great skiing in August and outdoor grilling in Christmas.

Buenos Aires is always temperate but May through August can be chilly and wet, and November through March may be pretty warm, with occasional rain storm during the heat of the afternoon.

Northern Argentina, which is primarily a desert, may be visited throughout the year. During the southern summer the region may receive more showers but temperatures are pleasant to warm, throughout the year. When traveling to Northern Argentina, keep in mind that the temperatures drop significantly at night throughout the year so some warm clothing is recommended in the evenings.

Bariloche & the Lake District:
The city of Bariloche was founded next to the very cold-water Lake of Nahuel Huapi. Similar to the US’ Great Lakes Regions, the climate in the Lake Districts tends to vary significantly between seasons. While the summer boasts long days (with up to 16 hours of daylight), and offers warm and sunny days ideal for exploring the beautiful country-side; the winter comes along with shorter and cold days with abundant snowfall, making the region one of the best places in the world for July & August skiing. The fall and spring are transition seasons with a mix of sunny and rainy days.

El Calafate & Southern Patagonia
Summer is pleasant and tends to be dry. Days are long (up to 17 hours of daylight) providing a great opportunities to see more for a less of a time. However it is also windy, so a windbreaker is a recommended packing item, as well as multi-layer clothes. Winters usually stay just below freezing but the winds pick up and make the touring & sightseeing very difficult.

Ushuaia & Tierra del Fuego
Located in the extreme South of the continent, Ushuaia, also known as the southern-most city in the world, the city has a surprisingly mild climate than one would expect. The surrounding ocean and the guarding mountains, maintain tolerable temperatures even in the peak of winter. (July-August)
The summer (December through February) offers 18 hours of day light and comfortable temperatures, reaching 57 F (14C) during the day; making it a perfect season for hiking and trekking.

Travel Highlights

Buenos Aires
Capital of Argentina and the most sophisticated town in Latin America, Buenos Aires is crisscrossed with broad boulevards, dotted with plazas and is the closest thing to Paris outside of France. At the heart of the city, since colonial times, is the Plaza de Mayo, site of the Casa Rosada, official residence of the Presidents of Argentina and of the National Cathedral, burial place of Jose de San Martin, Father of Argentine independence. The Colon Opera House, on Cerrito St., covers a whole city block and has hosted some of the world´s greatest artists. Calle Lavalle, the town´s movie and theater Mecca, and Avenida 9 de Julio, said to be the world's widest, is crowned by a stunning obelisk commemorating the city’s 400th anniversary. Things get rocking around 10:00 p.m. or later at the discos, dance clubs and tango palaces. Set aside at least three days for the sidewalk cafes and swank boutiques, but be sure to save some time for a City Tour or a visit to a country hacienda for a typical “gaucho fiesta.” The city´s hundreds of hotels span the gap from old-world luxury to efficient and thrifty.

Iguazu Falls
One of the largest and most impressive waterfalls in the world, it is higher than Niagara and four times wider. It is shared by Argentina and Brazil, and the debate goes on about which side is the most spectacular. Another plus for Iguazu is that it is set in a multi-national park surrounded by orchids, exotic birds and the most colorful butterflies. Get there by direct daily flights from Buenos Aires (1 hr. 40min.). Day trips and overnights are also available.

If you prefer the overland route, take the bus (about 21 hours) or the train to Posadas, along the border with Paraguay. On the Argentine side you have the Hotel Internacional overlooking the falls and close to the walkways. There are also hotels on the Brazilian side, but remember, you need a Brazilian visa to cross over. Hotels cover the full price range so there is no excuse for not staying the recommended two days and one night.

Mendoza
One of the centers of the great Argentine wine region, Mendoza is a modern city set against the backdrop of the Andes. This was the staging area from which the great liberator, San Martin, crossed the Andes to fight for Chile’s freedom. Despite the dry climate, the wine workers have turned this area into an oasis of fruit orchards and vineyards. If you plan your trip right, you can be in Mendoza to participate in the wine tastings in March and April. Mendoza is also the starting point for expeditions to climb Mt. Aconcagua, the highest peak outside of Asia. And just south of town, in Valle Hermosa, you have a brand new ski resort, Las Leñas, Get there by air (1 hr. 40 min.), by train, (14 hrs.) or by bus (16 hrs.).

Northwest - Salta & Jujuy
Set in a strikingly beautiful hilly region, historic Salta is an elegant little colonial city founded in 1582 and graced with a wonderful old cathedral and many colonial buildings. Neighboring Jujuy, with its classical Spanish architecture, was founded in 1565 and lies only about 60 miles away along a winding mountain road known as La Cornisa. Jujuy is also an excellent excursion from Buenos Aires. Cafayate, in the Andean foothills, is a fine base from which to visit the desert and the curious rock formations with their amazing colors. The local population is largely autochthonous and colorful ethnic costumes abound. The usual excursion from Buenos Aires starts in either Salta or Jujuy, includes a visit to Cafayate and winds up in the other city.
The flight from Buenos Aires takes about 2 hrs. and the bus trip is close to 21 hrs. The best stay is 4 days and 3 nights. There are good hotels in both cities.

Northern Patagonia - Bariloche
In the heart of Lake Nahuel Huapi National Park, at the foot of the Andes, lies the famous spa city of Bariloche, a top-of-the-line summer and winter resort set in a privileged location overlooking both the lake and the snow-capped Andes range.
The town is a veritable honeycomb of hotels and restaurants, most of which proudly serve the local specialty, white chocolate, and there are scores of fashionable shops, and pubs and discos. The brown trout season runs from October to March and the skiing season is from June to September. Boat rides on Lake Nahuel Huapi have ports of call on Victoria Island and the Bosque de Arrayanes forest of white-bark trees. If you prefer an angel’s eye view, take the chairlift ride up Cerro Campanario or a boat ride across Lake Nahuel Huapi to Victoria Island. Bariloche is the point of departure for the trip across the enthralling Lake District by way of Peulla and winding up at Puerto Montt, with its incredible views of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. Bariloche is just 2 hrs. from Buenos Aires by air and 22 hrs. by bus. Scenery buffs may enjoy the 40-hour train trip across the pampas (two departures available weekly). The recommended stay is 3 days and 2 nights.

Eastern Patagonia - Peninsula Valdes
This is the threshold to a different world. Visit Punta Tombo for a look at the largest migrating penguin rookery in the Americas or hop over to Puerto Piramides to see the sea lions and sea elephants. Other popular trips include Gaiman, an authentic Welsh village with its museums and a local nature preserve. In October and November you can reserve a space on a small boat to go whale spotting. The flight from Buenos Aires takes 1 hr. 40 min.; the bus, 21 hrs. 30 min., but there is no train service. The recommended stay is 4 days and 3 nights. There are good hotel accommodations in Trelew and in nearby Puerto Madryn.

Southern Patagonia - Lago Argentino – El Calefate
The adventure of a lifetime awaits visitors at this incredible spot at the foot of the Andes and in the heart of Argentine Patagonia. Your flight from Buenos Aires will take you to Calafate, and from there you can take an excursion to the Perito Moreno Glacier. This ponderous river of ice is 180 ft. high and has a leading edge that is three miles across. It is one of the few glaciers that is still growing. Other excursions include Upsala Glacier, Glaciares National Park, and the spectacular Mt. Fitzroy, named after the Captain of the Beagle during Darwin’s historic journey. The trip to Calafate from Buenos Aires takes 4 hrs. 20 min. There are connecting flights from Lago Argentino to Rio Gallegos and to Ushuaia in the south. The best stay is 4 days and 3 nights. Hotel accommodations are limited during the high season, October through March.

Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego is one of the places that most impressed Charles Darwin during his voyage aboard H.M.S. Beagle. It is is an archipelago across the Straits of Magellan, off the southernmost tip of South America. Ushuaia, Argentina's southernmost city, is located on the eastern side at the base of Cerro Martial with a marvelous view of the emerald-green waters of Beagle Channel. The western side belongs to Chile. The local population makes a living in sheep herding, lumber, fishing and trapping. There are excursions available from Ushuaia to Lapataia, Lake Fagnano, Lake Escondido and Islas de los Lobos, but wherever you go in Patagonia you will see snow-capped mountains, rivers, waterfalls and dense woods. Being so close to Antarctica, the best time to visit would be October to March, but the weather is unpredictable and can turn nippy at any time. Tourist cruises depart from here to Antarctica in December and January. The flight from Buenos Aires takes 5 hrs. The recommended stay is 3 days and 2 nights. There are good hotel accommodations in Ushuaia

Suggested Journeys

  • Argentinean Patagonia, a Journey to the Tip of the World

    9 Days / 8 Nights  •  Daily arrivals in Buenos Aires

    A Journey by Private Car & Guide

    Featuring: Buenos Aires, El Calafate ( Perito Moreno Glacier) & Ushuaia.

    Transport yourself into another world; a planet of ice and mystery where nature carved and sculptured some of its best creations. Explore the breathtaking views of the world’s greatest glaciers, rich fauna and unique flora. Visit the Southernmost city in the world and sail through the Beagle Channel.

  • Northwest Argentina, Chasing the Clouds

    11 Days / 10 Nights  •  Daily arrivals

    Become enthralled with the distinctive Andean Northwest and feel as if you are touching the sky. In this unique and often overlooked region you will discover spectacular natural attractions. Follow the route of the famous “Train to the Clouds” (one of the world’s engineering marvels) to view majestic mountains, stunning gorges, colorful plateau’s and explore some of the most impressive archaeological sites in Argentina.

    A journey by Private Car and Guide, featuring: Salta, San Antonio de los Cobres, Tilcara, Humahuaca’s Gorge, Cacjo. Cafayate, Puerto Iquazo and Buenos Aires.

  • The Best of Brazil and Argentina

    11 Days / 10 Nights  •  Daily arrival in Rio de Janeiro

    Travel through Brazil and Argentina, and experience the rhythm of Samba and the romance of the Tango. From the tropical beaches of Rio de Janeiro through the mighty Iguassu Falls and to the elegant avenues of Buenos Aires, this journey offers an affordable showcase of South America’s highlights.

    A journey via Private Car & Guide or via Shared Services; featuring: Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls & Buenos Aires

  • Classic Antarctica Cruise aboard the Ushuaia

    11 Days / 10 Nights  •  Selected departures from January 2017 through March 2018

    You can now visit the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands in the comfort of the USHUAIA. From the southern spring; onwards, large birds and sea mammals gather at breeding colonies, and the ceaseless daylight of the southern summer makes exploration in this incomparable landscape a unique experience. … Our expedition cruises are trips of a lifetime!

    Cruise departs and returns from / to Ushuaia, Argentina

    For complete vessel information please click here.

  • Argentina, the Romantic Triangle

    9 Days / 8 Nights  •  Selected departures

    Argentina... no doubt one of the most romantic countries in the world. This journey offers an affordable look at the most famous attractions in Argentina, with fixed English-only group departures. Explore the sensual city Buenos Aires, the blue glaciers of Patagonia and the thundering waters of the Iguassu Falls, midst the sub-tropical forest. Pre and post programs are available.

    Featuring Buenos Aires, Patagonia and Iguassu Falls, via guaranteed group departures, locally hosted by English-speaking guides; through April 2018.

  • Discovering the wines of Mendoza

    5 Days / 4 Nights  •  Daily arrivals in Mendoza from September 12, 2017 through February 28, 2018

    Embark on a Private Journey to the oasis of Mendoza, where the snow-capped Andes and the desert meet, creating a perfect environment for the creations of some of the world’s most innovating wines. Stay at romantic Wine Lodges and indulge yourself in the true meaning of the good life.

    A Journey by Private Car and Guide, featuring luxury Wine Lodges of the Mendoza area

Featured Properties

  • HUB Porteño, Buenos Aires

    HUB Porteño is an exclusive urban retreat of just 11 suites located in Recoleta, Buenos Aires. Handcrafted local design and a superb central location provide the base for a series of tailor-made urban experiences designed by the hotel’s expert staff to provide a new level of access to the city’s cultural
    potential.

  • Eolo - Patagonia's Spirit

    Eolo is a unique place that embodies Patagonia’s spirit, its indigenous roots, personal
    Experiences of the European pioneers and Criollo settlers, and those of the adventurers of all over the world that still today reach this legendary land.

  • Estancia El Colibri, Cordoba

    Estancia de Charme El Colibri member of “Relais & Châteaux” is located in the heart of 410 acres, surrounded by a river, at only 45 minutes drive of Cordoba International airport. It is the place to experience an Argentinean Working Ranch where the owners produce their meat, fruits, vegetables and flowers.

  • Iguazu Grand Resort Spa & Casino

    The IGUAZU GRAND Resort Spa & Casino, a member of Leading Hotels of the World and Virtuoso, is regarded as the most luxurious hotel at the Iguazu Falls and is the only full-service resort and casino on either side of the Falls. The hotel is located just ten minutes away from the Iguazu Falls National Park, which straddles the borders of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. The hotel was built on fifteen acres of semitropical vegetation with three multilevel outdoor swimming pools and beautifully man-made cascades.

  • Mansion Algodon, Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Located in the heart of Buenos Aires’ most elegant residential neighborhood, this luxury hotel is a landmarked property, originally erected in 1912, and fashioned in French Classical design. The mansion’s magnificent interior décor, 10 opulent suites, and personalized services raise the bar of luxury hospitality for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  • Finca Adalgisa; a Boutique Winery Lodge; Mendoza, Argentina

    Finca Adalgisa is an early 20th century manor house and vineyard estate in the heart of the premier wine-growing region of Argentina. It is a charming family home converted in 2001 by Gabriela Furlotti,a third generation Argentine-Italian, into the first boutique hotel and winery in Mendoza.

  • FAENA HOTEL + UNIVERSE; Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Inspired by Alan Faena and designed by Philippe Starck, FAENA HOTEL + UNIVERSE has been conceived as a home. It is housed in El Porteño Building, a transformed historic grain construction originally built in 1902.
    FAENA HOTEL + UNIVERSE offers luxury rooms and different spaces with a singular atmosphere that form our Universe.

  • Posada Puerto Bemberg, Iguassu Falls, Argentina

    Posada Puerto Bemberg is immersed in a 400-hectare of virgin jungle and situated on the shore of the Parana river, only 19 miles away from then mighty Iguassu Falls.
    The posada is a jungle paradise, offering its guest a peaceful stay within the nature, while not compromising the comfort and luxury of modern times.

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