While nowhere quite offers the same introduction to modern Argentine life than its capital – elegant but trendy, bohemian but contemporary Buenos Aires, there’s a lot more to see in the larger province of Buenos Aires. Exploring the historic tango neighborhood of San Telmo or wandering the colorful streets of harbourside La Boca are both excellent ways to better acquaint yourself with the vibrant nature of life in this city, but Argentina trips further afield promise charming towns, gauchos and traditional estancias and miles and miles of sun-drenched beaches.
Argentina trips from Buenos Aires: Mar del Plata
Once a glamorous vacation retreat for Argentina’s rich and famous, Mar del Plata – around 310-miles (500km) south of Buenos Aires – remains the nation’s top beach resort. Over 30-miles (50km) of golden sands line the coast, but Mar del Plata isn’t only for sun-seekers. In the heart of this elegant little town, find restored mansions built to mimic European architecture. Once responsible for giving Mar del Plata the nickname the ‘Argentine Biarritz’, they’ve more recently been transformed into excellent museums and cultural centers.
With a few days in town, take a wander around the main port, soak up the excellent nightlife or relax on the beach, just perhaps out of high season, when practically the whole of Buenos Aires descends on this town. You’ll also find more sand and fewer crowds in nearby Cailó, a short drive up the coast.
Argentina trips from Buenos Aires: San Antonio de Areco
The lush green pastures and sweeping pampas surrounding the small town of San Antonio de Areco feel a world away from coastal Mar del Plata. Indeed, visiting this pretty town about 70-miles (110km) north of Buenos Aires is an escape into traditional gaucho country, where estancias once owned by rich European landowners are slowly becoming tourist attractions in their own right.
Spend a night in a comfortable estancia dining on the quintessential Argentine meal, the asado, and taking horseback rides through the surrounding countryside as you learn about the gaucho way of life.
Even better, if you’re visiting San Antonio de Areco in November, experience the town’s Gaucho Festival; enjoy a week of gaucho shows and horse rides to celebrate this traditional – and symbolic – part of Argentine culture.
Argentina trips from Buenos Aires: La Plata
The capital of Buenos Aires Province, La Plata is a leafy city where hot, summer afternoons are best spent in the verdant grounds of Paseo del Bosque, a parkland where you can stroll through botanical gardens, a zoo and visit the splendid La Plata Museum, a natural history museum significant in its own right as the first museum ever built in Latin America.
An easy day trip from Buenos Aires as it’s only around 40-miles (60km) from the center, use your time in La Plata to spend a day or two exploring the interesting architecture of the city’s different buildings, which range from the German Renaissance style of the City Hall to the neo-Gothic façade of La Plata Cathedral, Argentina’s largest church.
Argentina trips from Buenos Aires: Tigre
Located at the mouth of the Paraná Delta, Tigre has become a popular little town for porteños (residents of Buenos Aires) to escape the humidity of the capital during the summer. Top attractions include boat trips through the narrow channels of the delta with the ultimate aim of landing on tiny islands to sip cold drinks in pretty little cafés overlooking the waters.
Only 17-miles (28km) from downtown Buenos Aires, Tigre is an oasis of calm in what can become a busy, noisy and hot city. It also has its fair share of museums, including the Museo Arte de Tigre which showcases fine art from Argentine artists such as Raúl Soldi and the Museo Naval, the region’s naval museum that was originally founded by the Argentine navy.