The magic of Latin America is on full display in Argentina. You’ll find its cities bursting at the seams with culture and history, as well as a diverse array of natural wonders. That’s thanks to how this country has embraced multiculturalism, which means you can experience the best of both Spanish and indigenous culture here. With so much to see and do, it can be tough knowing where to start when planning your trip. Luckily, we’ve outlined everything you need to know before you jet off to Argentina: where to go, what activities are available, what prices will be like and how much time you should allot for your trip. From there, it should be smooth sailing!
Where is Argentina?
Argentina is Latin America’s largest country, spanning almost 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers). Its southern tip sits on the South Atlantic Ocean, making it a gateway to the rest of the continent and the world. As a result, Argentina has a diverse array of natural wonders, from the Andes Mountains and the world’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Nahuel Huapi, to the lush forests and surreal rock formations found in Patagonia. The country is also home to a variety of attractions and activities, making it an intriguing destination for travelers seeking something new. With a population of nearly 40 million, Argentina’s culture is also a fun melting pot of Spanish, indigenous and African influence.
What to do in Argentina
With so much to see and do in Argentina, it can be daunting trying to figure out the best way to make the most of your time here. Fortunately, the key to enjoying your trip is simplicity. Start by aiming to see at least one city each month, then pick a few activities based on your interests and what you have in mind for that time of the year. This will help you keep things simple and ensure you don’t miss out on any of Argentina’s splendors. Try to visit cities outside of the summer months, as the weather is typically better and less touristy. Coastal cities, like Rio Grande and Mar Del Plata, are also typically less crowded. These and other factors, like the cost of activities, are good to keep in mind when planning your itinerary.
Popular Activities in Argentina
- Horseback Riding - Argentina is known for its many horseback riding options, from the classic to the modern. You can even go caving on horseback! This is one of the more unique activities in Argentina, as it combines one of the country’s most popular activities (horseback riding) with one of its most iconic natural wonders (cave exploration). - Caving - Caving is a great way to get off the beaten path and see some of Argentina’s natural wonders. These often-submerged caves come in all shapes and sizes, and may be explored via a boat, via an underground walkway or via an underground tunnel. Some caves may even offer a view of an underground lake or spring. - Hot Air Ballooning - Argentina isn’t the only country that has embraced hot air ballooning. However, in Argentina, the activity is especially popular. This may be because it can be done at any time of the year, making it a great activity for year-round travel. - Paragliding - Argentina is a popular destination for paragliding enthusiasts. The country’s diverse landscape makes it an appealing destination for this activity, which also usually takes place during the warmer months. - Wildlife Watching - Argentina is home to a wide array of native wildlife, including penguins, sea lions and whales. Some of the best ways to enjoy these activities are by boat or by boat. You may also want to consider visiting a national park, as these often offer hiking and biking options, as well as wildlife-viewing excursions.
Shopping in Argentina
You may have heard about Argentina’s vibrant art scene, but did you know that this country is also a great place to shop? Argentina has a warm Mediterranean culture, as well as a unique, multicultural flair that makes it a great place to explore shopping. You’ll find many Spanish-language markets selling an array of goods, from handcrafted items to wild-crafted food and souvenirs. You may even wish to visit the bazaars in the Middle East and South America, which are popular destinations for tourists. There are also many Argentinean-based shopping options, including the artisans and designers featured in Buenos Aires’ Design Week. This is also a great place to experience the vibrant culture of Argentina, as you’ll find many options celebrating the country’s diverse and vibrant culture.
Differences in Argentine Culture and Spanish Culture
While you may be excited to immerse yourself in the culture of Latin America, you should be aware of some key differences between Argentinean culture and Spanish culture. It’s helpful to know the cultural nuances between these two countries, as they play a large role in how people live their lives and interact. One of the biggest differences you should be aware of is the role of family. In Argentina, family is extremely important, as it is regarded as the cornerstone of society. This may seem like a small difference, but it can have a big impact on your travel experience. Another difference you may want to keep in mind between Argentinean culture and Spanish culture is the role of food. In Argentina, food is often viewed as comfort, and is often served warm out of the kitchen. Pasta and bread are typical ingredients, as well as plenty of other typical comfort foods.
Language in Argentina
Argentina is home to a number of native and endangered languages, including Quechua, Mapuche, Nahuatl and Guaraní. However, the most commonly spoken language is Spanish, which is used in both official and unofficial capacities. This can make travel in Argentina easy, as you can use either the local language or Spanish to communicate. Of course, Argentinians are also fluent in English, making the city of Buenos Aires an especially welcoming place for those who speak English. As you travel through the country, you may notice that the locals speak with an accent, making it easier to communicate in both languages.
Health Considerations for Travel to Argentina
Before you jet off to Argentina, make sure to get your health in check. It’s a hot climate, and you should be prepared for the sun, sand and saltwater that you’ll find along the coast. You may also want to make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, preferably with a high SPF. There are also plenty of opportunities for water-related activities, from snorkeling to boating. You should also be sure to pack an insect repellent, especially if you plan to visit a national park.
Tips for Finding the Best Buenos Aires Hostel
- Choose a hostel with a good location. While hostels are a great way to save money, you’ll also want to ensure that you’re staying near the best attractions. This can help you avoid the common hostel mix-up of boredom while on your travels. - Choose a hostel with a good price point. Hostels often have a price range, with hostels typically falling in the mid-range to low-range price points. This will help you ensure that you don’t stay in a too-expensive hostel, and help you avoid a hostel that is too affordable. - Ensure that your hostel is secure. This is especially important for hostels in popular tourist destinations, as these are often targeted by pickpockets. To ensure that your hostel is secure, look for one that offers solid security, like access to an exit or escape route.