As the second largest country in South America, it should come as no surprise that one visit to Argentina is never enough. But it’s not just its huge array of landmarks and relaxed cities that’ll have you coming back again and again. No, Argentina’s sunny climate, warm, welcoming people and staggering diversity of flora and fauna are just some of the ways this country merits at least a second visit. But with such a wide variety of attractions, it can be difficult to narrow down exactly which ones you want to see on your trip. Luckily, these Argentina itinerary ideas will introduce you to the best travel options for two-week vacations in South America’s most charming country.
Northern Argentina itinerary: Wine and waterfalls
Days one and two: Mendoza
Land in Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza International Airport and board a plane in the domestic airport, Aeroparque Jorge Newbery to fly to Mendoza.
Spend two days touring world-class and globally-renowned producers of malbec. Take a tour and a tasting at some of the wineries in Lujan de Cuyo, the first region to be officially recognized as an appellation or become a trendsetter and visit the region’s newest vineyards in the up-and-coming Uco Valley.
Days three to five: Salta
Bed down for the night in a full cama seat on an overnight bus and wake up refreshed and in your next destination: Salta. This lovely city combines colonial architecture, such as the neoclassical Cathedral and beautiful San Francisco Church and Convent, with an Andean influence in its food and its music.
Tours can also be arranged into the nearby mountains and cloud forests of El Rey National Park, where the giant toucan is the star attraction.
Days six to nine: Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazú
Take another overnight bus to Puerto Iguazu or return to Buenos Aires for a short flight to this town on the very edges of Argentina. From here, book with an agency to visit both sides of the monumental Iguazu Falls, the largest in the world and a truly breath-taking sight.
Wander along wooden walkways to stand above the falls or take the plunge with boat tours that get you closer, and even into the line of fire of the waterfalls. Just pack a waterproof jacket – you’ll be getting very wet!
Days ten to fourteen: Buenos Aires
Fly to Buenos Aires for a few days of exploring this elegant city’s top sights, including its plethora of beautiful political monuments, such as Casa Rosada and the National Congress Building. Spend your afternoons enjoying lunch al fresco or dining deep into the night on cuts of juicy meat and lashings of delicious red wine.
With a spare day or two in your Argentina itinerary, pop over to San Antonio de Areco, one of the country’s most important gaucho towns. Visit an estancia or a museum to learn about this traditional part of Argentine culture.
Southern Argentina itinerary: Awe-inspiring natural landmarks and landscapes
Days one to three: Bariloche
Fly directly from Buenos Aires to Bariloche, the home of craft beer, excellent chocolate and a wealth of hiking possibilities. Trek into Nahuel Huapi National Park on a multi-day tour or make the most of the gleaming waters of Lake Nahuel Huapi with a wide range of water sports.
If you need more time to relax, enjoy a coffee and some homemade chocolate in any one of the area’s excellent cafes.
Days four and five: Esquel
Head a few hours south to Esquel. On its doorstep, find the barely-known Los Alerces National Park. Named after the alerce or Patagonian cypress, one of the oldest living species on the planet, it’s home to glimmering lakes that can be visited on foot or by boat tour.
From Esquel, board the Old Patagonian Express for a day trip in a train that used to serve the isolated estancias in the region.
Days six to eleven: Ushuaia
Return to Bariloche to fly to Ushuaia, Argentina’s final frontier and the world’s southernmost city. Lapped at by the frigid waters of the Beagle Channel from the south and shouldered by the huge mountains of the Darwin chain, the city makes quite an impression.
Join a four-night expedition cruise to venture to legendary Cape Horn, a place so seemingly far from civilization that it has gained the nickname the “Ends of the Earth”. From here, ships glide through the Beagle Channel, stopping at islands heaving with Magellanic penguins, elephant seals and sea lions, as well as shorelines dressed with gleaming blue glaciers.
Finish in the Chilean city of Punta Arenas to accept some Chilean hospitality: a glass of rich, peppery carménère and roast lamb.
Days eleven to twelve: El Calafate
Cross back over the border with a bus journey to El Calafate, the home of Patagonia’s most memorable landmark and a must on any Argentina itinerary: the Perito Moreno Glacier. A huge, groaning mass of ice, it stands at over 240 ft. (74m) above the waters of Lake Argentina, the cobalt lake into which it flows.
Days thirteen and fourteen: Buenos Aires
Fly back to the capital for two days of dancing tango in any one of the city’s prolific dance halls, exploring the historic barrios, San Telmo and La Boca, or visiting some of Buenos Aires’ most famous landmarks, the Recoleta Cemetery and Plaza de Mayo.