Plan Your Amazing Argentina Itinerary 

Waterfall view Argentina

If you’re planning your Argentina itinerary – look no further! A vast and diverse South American gem, Argentina is packed with vibrant culture, cuisine, landscapes, and cities. 

From the majestic Tierra del Fuego to the bustling streets of Buenos Aires or Córdoba, travelers will love taking in tango performances (or lessons!), savoring world-class wines in Mendoza, skiing in Bariloche, and marveling at outdoor wonders like Iguazu Falls and the Perito Moreno Glacier. 

Below, we introduce you to this fabulous country and by sharing our recommended travel routes and tips, help you plan your own Argentina itinerary.

3 Amazing Argentina Itineraries 🇦🇷

🏔️ A Note About Patagonia… 

Please note that for this guide, we won’t be focusing on Patagonia in the two shortest itineraries. This is not because we don’t recommend Patagonia – the opposite, in fact! 

The Patagonia region is certainly a highlight and a must-visit, well-worth its own trip. As such, it has its own planning and decision-making process. But never fear – at South America Backpacker we’ve covered Patagonia extensively, and encourage you to check out our existing Patagonia itineraries to discover this stunning region! 

Here are a few great places to start:
3 Epic Patagonia Itineraries
Iconic Hikes in Patagonia
Best Time To Visit Patagonia
Patagonia Packing List

Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
Patagonia is worthy of a destination in its own right!

10-Day Argentina Itinerary – ‘The Outdoor Lovers Guide’ ⛰️

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Day 1-4: Salta

Recommended Accommodation: Solar De La Plaza or Selina Salta

  • Explore Salta’s quaint colonial architecture. Remember Salta is high-altitude, so take it easy the first day or two, or consider doing the driving and cable car options below. 
  • After you’ve acclimated, check out the variety of amazing hikes in the area for your remaining time, including:
    • Cerro de Siete Colores, Purmamarca: Easy
      • Highlights: An easy 90-minute walk is the best way to see the ‘7 colors’ of this super-cool geological marvel.
    • Quebrada de San Lorenzo: Moderate
      • Highlights: Located only 20 minutes from town, lots of trails in low-altitude Andean forest ecosystem
    • Cerro San Bernardo: Easy (also accessible by cable car from the city)
      • Highlights: Climb to the top for panoramic views of Salta and the Lerma Valley, accessible year-round. 
    • Laguna del Campo: Moderate to challenging, six to eight hours round trip
      • Highlights: This longer hike takes you to Laguna del Campo, a high-altitude lake surrounded by scenic landscapes. 

Take a bus to Tucumán (approximately 4 hours). If you have a car, you can stop in the Cafayate wine region, located between Salta and Tucumán, tasting the yummy Torrontés wines produced there.

Did you know Salta prides itself on the country’s best empanadas?!

Day 5-7: Tucumán

Recommended Accommodation: Hotel Solar Norte or Hotel Tafí

  • Visit the historic Independence House (where Argentina declared its independence in 1816) and Tucumán’s city center when you get into town.
  • Head outdoors to San Javier Yungas. Known for its subtropical forest, waterfalls, and birdwatching, check out Sendero El Tafinado and Sendero El Tipal. You can also check out Villa Nougues, a charming town located in the foothills of the Sierras de San Javier. 
  • Visit the Lules Dam for water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding. 
  • If you can swing it, the scenic Tafí del Valle is about two hours away. The Los Menhires archaeological site features ancient stone carvings, and you can also do some hiking and horseback riding. 

Fly to Bariloche (2 hours).

Day 8-10: Bariloche

Recommended Accommodation: Trip Bariloche Select

Day 1: 

  • Start your day by visiting Cerro Campanario, located about 17 kilometers (approx. 10 miles) from the city center. You can take a short bus or taxi ride to the base of the hill. From there, a chairlift or hike will take you to the summit, which offers amazing panoramic views of the surrounding lakes and mountains.
  • Return to the city center, where there are ample options for lunch.
  • In the afternoon, embark on the Circuito Chico tour, which takes you along the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake. You’ll see picturesque landscapes, viewpoints, and attractions such as Playa Bonita and Hotel Llao Llao.
  • After the tour, take some time to explore the chocolate shops and artisanal stores in downtown Bariloche. The region is famous for chocolates which make for great souvenirs. Beer fans will also enjoy checking out the city’s several craft breweries! 
Beautiful Bariloche.

Day 2: 

  • Today, start your day with a visit to Cerro Otto, also accessed by bus or taxi. Take the cable car to the summit for panoramic views of the surrounding area and explore the summit’s revolving restaurant and observation deck.
  • Depending on your preferences and the season, this is an amazing opportunity to rent a mountain bike or go for a hike in the nearby hills and forests. If you’re visiting in winter, check out the skiing options – this is a world-class place to do so.
  • Regardless of your activity choices, pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at Nahuel Huapi Lake. If you have time, spend the afternoon exploring the lake via a boat tour or excursion. 

Got Longer?

No outdoors-oriented trip to Argentina is complete without a visit to Patagonia (which includes the Lake District and Tierra del Fuego!) We wanted to give you a few options for places a bit more off the beaten path for nature lovers, but fully recommend adding at least a week in Patagonia to this Argentina itinerary if time allows!  

2-Week Argentina Itinerary – ‘The City Slicker Guide’ 🌆

Day 1-3: Buenos Aires

Recommended Accommodation: MiBAQ Palermo or Art Factory San Telmo

Day 1: City Center and Recoleta

  • Visit the Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada, and Metropolitan Cathedral. You can also take a guided tour of the presidential palace to see Eva Perón’s famous balcony. The Cabildo, or colonial town hall, is located next to Plaza de Mayo and has really interesting exhibits on Argentina’s independence.
  • Explore the cute-as-a-button cobblestone streets of San Telmo, known for its antique shops, art galleries, and street markets. Don’t miss Plaza Dorrego, the heart of San Telmo, and try to time your visit with a Sunday to browse the stalls of the famous San Telmo Market (Feria de San Telmo). Make sure to try alfajores, soft cookies filled with mouthwatering dulce de leche, our favorite Argentine treat.
  • Take a taxi or the subway to the Recoleta neighborhood to visit the Recoleta Cemetery, where you can see elaborate mausoleums and the tomb of Eva Perón. This was one of our favorite parts of Buenos Aires and a great place to spend a few hours. 
  • Don’t miss the nearby Ateneo Grand Splendid theater-turned-bookshop. Often said to be the most beautiful bookstore in the world, this place really wowed us and is a must-visit. 
  • If you’re interested in experiencing traditional Argentine tango (definitely a must as well!), you can attend a tango show in San Telmo or other parts of the city center. 

“We recommend Café Tortoni for tango – while primarily a restaurant, it has a small private room set aside for a fabulous nightly show that’s a bit more off-the-radar than the more touristy options.”

Tegan and Alex, Writers at South America Backpacker
Buenos Aires street
If you follow your heart, it’ll take you to Buenos Aires!

Day 2: Palermo and Puerto Madero

  • Start your day in Palermo. Explore the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden, and the Botanical Garden – all three are a paradise for garden lovers, but the Japanese Garden was our favorite. 
  • Next, wander through the streets of Palermo Soho, known for its trendy boutiques, cafés, and street art. Definitely a great place to stop for a cappuccino. You can also take some time to shop for souvenirs, clothing, and local crafts in Palermo’s boutiques and markets, or grab a bite at the Arcos del Rosedal area, a cool former train track that now has shops and eateries in the arches underneath.
  • From there, visit the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) to see a collection of modern and contemporary Latin American art, and then take a ride-share or subway to Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires’ newly-revitalized waterfront district.
  • While there, don’t miss the Puente de la Mujer, a pedestrian bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava and a popular spot for photos. If you’re looking for a splurge, you can enjoy dinner at one of the upscale restaurants along the waterfront in Puerto Madero.

Day 3: La Boca and Tango

  • Start your day in La Boca, a colorful neighborhood known for its vibrant street art and the birthplace of tango culture. We recommend getting here really early because it gets mobbed with tourists later in the day. Walk along Caminito, a pedestrian street lined with colorful houses, street performers, and artisan shops for the best photo ops – you’ll be absolutely charmed here! However, be wary of pickpockets, and note that it’s not recommended to stray off the main streets. 
  • Visit La Bombonera, the home stadium of the Boca Juniors football club. Keen football fans may want to take a guided tour of the stadium and museum. Again, it’s recommended to explore this part of the area with a walking tour or in a group. 
  • You can also take a tango lesson at one of the dance studios in La Boca to learn the basics of the iconic dance. Be warned, it’s challenging!

Take a flight to Córdoba (approximately 1.5 hours).

Football stadium in South America
Football fanatics will relish a visit to Argentina!

Day 4-6: Córdoba

Recommended Accommodation: 531 Hostel

Day 1: History and Culture

  • Kick off your morning at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Manzana Jesuítica (Jesuit Block), which includes the University of Córdoba and the Church of the Society of Jesus. Head to the Córdoba Cathedral, known for its beautiful neoclassical facade and intricate interior.
  • Walk over to Plaza San Martín, the city’s main square. Don’t miss the iconic Cabildo de Córdoba.
  • Sample Argentine treats at Mercado Norte, like fresh produce, meats, and regional specialties. Córdoba’s culinary scene is among the best in Argentina, and markets are a great place to check this out!
  • Next, check out the cultural complex at Paseo del Buen Pastor, wandering through art galleries, shops, and restaurants in this former women’s prison.
  • End your day with a stroll through the bohemian neighborhood of Güemes, known for its street art, boutiques, and fun nightlife. 

Day 2: Parks and Museums

  • Go for a relaxing walk or bike ride in Parque Sarmiento, enjoying the greenery, sculptures, and recreational facilities. 
  • Visit the renowned Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes Emilio Caraffa, which specializes in Argentine visual arts. 
  • Head to Nueva Córdoba for lunch, where you’ll find a variety of hip cafés, and digest by walking along Galería de la Cañada, a pedestrian street lined with shops, cafés, and galleries – a good place for souvenirs.
  • Conclude your visit with a visit to the Astronomical Observatory of Córdoba

Take a flight to Mendoza (approximately 1.5 hours).

Day 7-9: Mendoza 

Recommended Accommodation: Windmill Hostel or VI&VI Hostel

  • Check out Mendoza’s main square for shops, restaurants, and historical landmarks. Visit the Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno, and don’t miss Mendoza Cathedral and the Basilica of San Francisco. Parque General San Martín is ideal for a picnic and some recreation, and the Cerro de la Gloria is a great day hike or cable car excursion for stunning views. 
  • Go for a wine tasting in Maipú, Luján de Cuyo, and Valle de Uco areas. Plan a visit to traditional wineries such as Bodega Trapiche, Bodega Norton, and Bodega Catena Zapata. 
  • If you have a few days to add here or if you want to squeeze in a (bit of a tight) day trip, Aconcagua Provincial Park is about 150 kilometers from Mendoza. Home to Cerro Aconcagua (the highest peak in the Americas) and surrounded by stunning Andean landscapes, this national park is an absolutely beautiful addition to any Argentina itinerary. If Aconcagua is a bit too much, viewpoints like Plaza Francia or Laguna de Horcones also have breathtaking views of the Aconcagua massif.

Take a flight to Bariloche (approximately 1.5 hours).

Vineyards at a family-run bodega, Mendoza.
Vineyards at a family-run bodega, Mendoza.

Day 10-12: Bariloche (See above itinerary for more detail)

Recommended Accommodation: Trip Bariloche Select

  • Explore the quaint city center, sampling local chocolates and craft brews.
  • Go hiking, skiing, or mountain biking in the variety of outdoor escapes in the vicinity of the city.
  • If you have the time, embark on epic hikes like Cerro Llao Llao, Cerro Tronador, Cerro Catedral, or Ventisquero Negro Glacier.

Take a flight to Puerto Iguazu (approximately 2 hours) or an overnight bus. The buses are quite comfortable, with space to lie down and relax, but be sure to add in lots of extra travel time if you opt to go for this route. 

Day 13-14: Iguazu Falls

Recommended Accommodation: La Aldea De La Selva Lodge or Iguazu Jungle Lodge

Day 1: Exploring the Upper Circuit and Devil’s Throat

“We really recommend an early wakeup to arrive at Iguazu Falls National Park first thing in the morning – the place gets mobbed later on!”

Tegan and Alex, Writers at South America Backpacker
Devil_s Throat Argentina(1)
The mighty Devil’s Throat.
  • You can begin your exploration of Iguazu Falls by following the Upper Circuit trail for panoramic views of the area’s many smaller falls and cascades. This trail allows you to experience the grandeur of Iguazu from above.
  • The park has ample restaurants or snack bars, but they can get pricey. We recommend bringing your own lunch and avoiding the coatis (these cheeky little guys will definitely steal your lunch!)
  • After lunch, check out the Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo) viewpoint. You can reach this iconic spot by walking along the Upper Circuit trail again or by taking the Ecological Jungle Train. The platform overlooks the thundering falls and is absolutely magical.
  • If time permits, consider hiking the Macuco Trail, a 4.7-mile out-and-back trail that takes you through the rainforest to the Arrechea Waterfall.

Day 2: Lower Circuit and Boat Ride

  • On your second day, start out at the Lower Circuit trail. This trail offers truly close-up views of the falls – allowing you to feel the spray and hear the roar of the water as it crashes down! 
  • A short boat ride away is San Martin Island, located in the middle of the Iguazu River. The island has lots of walking trails and also offers different perspectives of the falls.
  • In the afternoon, book your Great Adventure Boat Ride. While admittedly touristy, this excursion takes you close to the base of the falls, where you’ll feel the power of the water as it cascades down around you – truly unforgettable.

1-Month Argentina Itinerary – ‘The All-Rounder Guide’ 🗺️

Day 1-4: Buenos Aires (more detailed itinerary above.)

Recommended Accommodation: MiBAQ Palermo or Art Factory San Telmo

  • Explore Buenos Aires’ neighborhoods, including San Telmo, Palermo, and La Boca.
  • Visit iconic landmarks in the Plaza de Mayo.
  • Experience a tango show, visit the Recoleta Cemetery, and check out the Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore.

Day 5-7: Córdoba (more detailed itinerary above.)

Recommended Accommodation: 531 Hostel

  • Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Manzana Jesuítica (Jesuit Block) site and the beautiful Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús.
  • Explore the historic city center and visit museums. Relax in this central Plaza San Martín and check out the Cabildo de Córdoba (City Hall.)

Take a flight to Mendoza (approximately 1.5 hours).

Day 8-11: Mendoza (See above itinerary for more detail)

Recommended Accommodation: Windmill Hostel or VI&VI Hostel

  • Explore Mendoza’s wineries and enjoy wine tastings in Maipú or Luján de Cuyo.
  • Check out the historic buildings, museums, and shops in the main square
  • Visit Parque General San Martín and hike or cable car to Cerro de la Gloria.

Take a flight to Puerto Iguazu (approximately 2 hours).

Mendoza wine
Did somebody say wine o’clock?!

Day 12-15: Iguazu

Recommended Accommodation: La Aldea De La Selva Lodge or Iguazu Jungle Lodge

  • Explore the Upper and Lower Circuits and Devil’s Throat areas.
  • Take a boat ride to get up close and personal with the spectacular falls.

Take a flight to San Carlos de Bariloche (approximately 2 hours).

Day 16-20: Bariloche

Recommended Accommodation: Trip Bariloche Select

  • Discover the picturesque landscapes around Nahuel Huapi Lake.
  • Explore the town of Bariloche and indulge in chocolate tasting.

Fly to El Calafate (you may need to do a layover in Buenos Aires) – approximately 5 hours total.

Day 21-25: El Calafate and El Chaltén

Recommended Accommodation: Calafate Hostel

Day 1: Arrival in El Calafate and Perito Moreno Glacier

  • Your flight arrives in El Calafate, the gateway to the stunning Argentine Patagonia. We recommend staying here, as it’s a good jumping-off point and has amenities like ample lodging, grocery stores, and shops for anything you may need.
  • Head to Los Glaciares National Park to visit the awe-inspiring Perito Moreno Glacier. This is easily one of the most spectacular things we’ve ever seen, and the Argentine tourism sector has done an amazing job with a range of trails, viewpoints, and bridges to see it from all angles. Keep an ear out for the sounds of calving ice, and definitely splurge for the boat ride, which allows you to get quite close to the glacier – absolutely stunning!

Top Tip! 

It’s a good idea to stock up on snacks and materials for DIY sandwiches for your day tours in El Calafate. Many excursions don’t include food and will drop you off at overpriced restaurants or visitor centers for lunches.

Glacier wall Perito Moreno Glacier Patagonia Argentina
Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the only glaciers in the world that’s not retreating!

Day 2: El Chaltén and Fitz Roy

  • Depart extra early for a scenic drive to El Chaltén – the trekking capital of Argentina. The journey takes approximately three hours by bus, tour, or car, and passes through breathtaking Patagonian landscapes like Lago Viedma, Chorrillo del Salto, and Lago Argentino. Fun fact: Charles Darwin conducted a lot of his expeditions right around here! Keep your eyes peeled for the elusive guanaco or perhaps even a lone gaucho (we saw both!)
  • Upon arrival in El Chaltén, embark on a trek to see the iconic Mount Fitz Roy. There are a variety of trails ranging in difficulty, such as the Laguna Capri or Laguna de los Tres trails – all of which offer stunning views of the mountain and surrounding peaks.

Day 3: Estancia Cristina Adventure

  • Embark on a full-day excursion to Estancia Cristina, a historic Patagonian ranch located within Los Glaciares National Park. You have to travel by boat across Lake Argentino and then by 4×4 vehicle to reach the estancia – very exciting.
  • Upon arrival, you can participate in all sorts of activities like trekking, 4×4 excursions, or visits to nearby viewpoints, followed by some traditional Patagonian cuisine at the estancia.

Day 4: 

  • Spend your final day in El Calafate at your leisure before transferring to Ushuaia. The town is surprisingly full of things to do, including homemade hot cocoa, shopping, and the Laguna Nimez nature reserve and bird sanctuary, just a short walk from downtown.

Fly to Ushuaia (approximately 1.5 hours) or take a 10-hour bus. 

Day 26-30: Tierra del Fuego

Recommended Accommodation: Posada Del Fin Del Mundo or Hotel Alto Andino

Day 1: Ushuaia

  • Arrive in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city! Take a city tour to get acquainted with the history, culture, and landmarks, and make sure to check out the End of the World Museum, the Maritime Museum, and the Old Prison of Ushuaia.
  • In the evening, book a scenic cruise along the Beagle Channel. You’ll see stunning views of the surrounding mountains, islands, and wildlife, and if you’re lucky, sea lions and seabirds. If time/daylight permits, visit the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, called the Lighthouse at the End of the World.
Take a trip to the End of the World!

Day 2: Tierra del Fuego National Park

  • Spend the day exploring the breathtaking landscapes of Tierra del Fuego National Park. The Visitor Center is a great place to learn about the park’s ecosystems, flora, and fauna, and will help you choose hiking trails and nature walks to go on, including the Coastal Path, Lapataia Bay Trail, or the Pampa Alta Trail.
  • Note that, similar to El Chaltén, there are loads and loads of hikes to do here! If you’re a more experienced hiker or want to do multi-day treks here, check out some of our other Patagonia guides on the subject.

Day 3: End of the World Train and Lakes

  • Spend your morning on the Tren del Fin del Mundo. This historic railway takes you through the Tierra del Fuego countryside, with views of forests, rivers, and mountains.
  • After the train ride, book a guided tour of Lake Escondido and Lake Fagnano, two beautiful lakes located in the heart of Tierra del Fuego. Pack a lunch to bring with you to eat lakeside!

Day 4: Miscellaneous Adventure Activities

  • Trekking, kayaking, mountain biking, animal spotting, off-road excursions, and more… all of which are at your fingertips via local operators for your final day.

Planning a Trip to Argentina

  • Time of year – Argentina’s peak tourist season is during the summer months (December to February.) You’ll get the best weather, but also the biggest crowds at popular destinations. Argentina is definitely a year-round destination and has diverse climates – consider your preferred activities and regions in order to choose the best time to visit.
  • Advance booking – Booking your accommodation and desired guided activities (like hikes) in advance is advised during peak season to avoid disappointment and over-booked stays. This is less necessary outside of peak travel times, but keep in mind that some attractions may close during the winter, so advanced research is never a bad idea. 
  • Transport – Argentina has an extensive and affordable public transportation system, which is a popular choice for locals and budget-conscious travelers. Cities like Buenos Aires have well-connected metros (subterraneos, called subte for short), and you can get around the country quite well via buses and internal flights. You can rent a car if you’d like for trips into the Lake District or similar, but it’s definitely not necessary for city breaks. 
  • Money – Argentina is considered to be fairly affordable, especially considering the exchange rate and the unfortunate rates of inflation in the country. However, the overall cost of your trip will vary quite a bit depending on the level of splurge you go for in terms of food, lodging, and activities. Note that there is a lot of black market currency exchange activity – it’s recommended to use official ATMs. 
  • Risks/Dangers/Scams – Argentina has its fair amount of scams, but the savvy traveler should be totally fine – just be aware of your surroundings and be cautious in crowded places to avoid pickpocketing. As mentioned above, use authorized exchange points to avoid currency scams, and beware of unofficial offers on the street.
  • Health considerations – While tap water in Argentina is safe to drink, it has a very high mineral content and is treated with chlorine. This may not agree with the constitution of all travelers, and it’s best to drink it in small quantities at first or stick to bottled water. 

Argentina is a must-visit for travelers of all stripes, and we can’t wait to go back. From the sheer wonder of Perito Moreno to the wine country of Mendoza or a live tango show in Buenos Aires, you can’t go wrong! 

We hope these suggested Argentina itineraries do the trick in kicking off your trip planning, and ask away in the comments if you have any questions.

Tegan & Alex Bio Pic
Tegan George & Alex McKenzie | Why Not Walk

Tegan and Alex are travel, hiking, and biking enthusiasts currently based in Boston, USA. There is nothing they love more than exploring new places by walking, and they have visited over 30 countries together since they met in 2015. Their love for “walking the world” led them to found Why Not Walk, a travel guide site. Follow them on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest to start planning your next adventure!

Find them on: Facebook | Instagram

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