Argentina is provided with a vast territory and a huge variety of climates and microclimates ranging from tundra and polar in the south to the tropical climate in the north, through a vast expanse of temperate climate and natural wonders like the Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas, the widest river and estuary of the planet (the River Plate), the huge and very mighty Iguazú Falls, some of the flattest and wide meadows-plains of planet Earth (as the Humid Pampas, a large ocean-sea coast in the Argentine Sea), culture, customs and gastronomies famous internationally, a higher degree of development (very high compared to other Latin American countries), good quality of life and people, and relatively well prepared infrastructure make this country one of the most visited of America.
Mainly for its beautiful landscapes and then for its cultural heritage, Argentina receives massive amounts of travelers. The Argentine territory stretches from the highest peaks of the Andes in the west to colita del norte rivers and extensive beaches and cliffs of Argentine Sea in the east; from the tropical rainforest of the Yungas north to the valleys, glaciers, lakes and cold forests of Andean Patagonia in the south, and to Argentine Antarctica. Through the warm landscapes of tropical climates contrasting, in a huge gradient microclimates, the polar climates or extensive and very fertile grasslandss with the World´s most flatter plains contrasting with the highest mountains outside Asia, contrasted with also vast desert areas plethoric of geoforms for the annual running extensive and extreme Dakar rally race, the high mountain ranges, the pleasant Pampeanas mountains and the temperate Atlantic beaches and its extensive coastlines. The huge distances require in most cases air travel. The Misiones rainforest, Argentine Yungas and areas of the Argentine Andean Patagonia are scientifically considered as biodiversity hotspots large areas worldwide. The great biodiversity and the large number of different landscapes and climates make Argentina a diverse country where appear to meet multiple countries together harmoniously (fertile temperates, deserts, cold forest, warm tropicals and subtropical jungles, glacier areas, cold forests, maritimes with cliffs, rias and fjord s etc.).
The country presents entire range of possible climates: temperate, dry warm, humid warm, cold dry, cold humid, semi-arid, steppe, subantarctic, subtropical, snowy, cold mountain, and a huge variety of microclimates.
Argentina has been upgrading its worldwide presence as a tourism destination by increasing the investment on international tourism. The latest push can be seen by Aerolineas Argentinas, the country's national airline, adding international routes from the United States and Europe. There are also rumors that they will join a major airline alliance soon.
Argentina has enjoyed the visit of 5.80 million tourists in the year 2011 according to the World Tourism Organization, the first most visited country in South America and the second most visited of all of Latin America, after Mexico.
Foreign tourists mainly come from Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, US, Canada, China, South Korea, Japan, Australia and Europeans from Spain, Italy, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal and Russia.
The most popular tourist sites are found in the historic city core, comprising Montserrat and San Telmo. The city was originally constructed around the Plaza de Mayo, the administrative center of the Spanish Empire. To the east of the square is the Casa Rosada, the official seat of the executive branch of the government of Argentina. To the north, the Catedral Metropolitana which has stood in the same location since colonial times, and the Banco de la Nación Argentina building, a parcel of land originally owned by Juan de Garay. Other important colonial institutions were Cabildo, to the west, which was renovated during the construction of Avenida de Mayo and Julio A. Roca. To the south is the Congreso de la Nación (National Congress), which currently houses the Academia Nacional de la Historia (National Academy of History). Lastly, to the northwest, is City Hall.
Avenida de Mayo links the Casa Rosada with the Argentine National Congress. On this avenue there are several buildings of cultural, architectural and historical importance, such as Casa de la Cultura, the Palacio Barolo and Café Tortoni. Underneath the avenue, the first subte (metro) line in South America, was opened in 1913. The avenue ends at Plaza del Congreso, which features a number of monuments and sculptures, including one of Auguste Rodin's few surviving original casts of "The Thinker."
The Manzana de las Luces ("Illuminated Block") area features the San Ignacio church, the Colegio Nacional Buenos Aires, and the old city council building (1894 to 1931). This area features tunnels and catacombs, which crossed underneath the Plaza de Mayo during colonial times. In the neighbourhood of San Telmo, Plaza Dorrego hosts an antiques fair on Sundays, complete with tango shows. They also have tango shows daily at the famous plaza. On weekends they involve many tourists to learn how to dance. Frequent tours and activities are also available at the Church of Nuestra Señora de Bethlehem, the San Pedro Telmo Parish and the Antonio Ballvé Penintetiary Museum. The National Historical Museum in Parque Lezama is a few blocks south. The Ayres Porteños Hostel is a very famous hostel and a tourist attraction, it is decorated and painted by artists from La Boca and possesses a unique collection of local paintings among its walls.
The borough of Recoleta is home to a number of places of interest, including the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the Biblioteca Nacional, the Centro Cultural Recoleta, the Faculty of Law of the Universidad de Buenos Aires, the Basílica Nuestra Señora de Pilar, the Palais de Glace, the Café La Biela and the Cementerio de la Recoleta, where Eva Perón's crypt can be visited, among those of many other Argentine historical and cultural figures.
The Jesuit estancias (large cattle ranches) in Córdoba are a singular sample of the productive organization of the religious members of Compañía de Jesús in the country, and this can still be seen in a preserved architecture. Though history demonstrated that the farms were acquired for economic purposes in order to support schools and universities, the estancias were of course used “for missionary purposes, thus turning into religious centers.” Estancias in Jesús María, Caroya, Santa Catalina, La Candelaria and Alta Gracia can be visited along a 250 km circuit. These farms that date back to the 17th century —together with the Jesuit Block in the City of Córdoba— are all national historical monuments that were declared World Cultural Heritage in 2000.
The Quebrada de Humahuaca, the Calchaquí Valleys, the Puna de Atacama (including cono de Arita, the Laguna de Pozuelos, the Campo de Piedra Pómez etc.), Ischigualasto, Talampaya, the Aconcagua, Caviahue and Copahue, near snow-capped mountains with temperate rainforests and glacial lakes; Andean Patagonic national parks, etc. constitute the tourist corridor called the Andean Footprint (Huella Andina) which is largely covered by National Route 40.
Mar del Plata is a tourist city with huge beaches on the Atlantic and the other beaches on the Argentine Atlantic Coast such as Necochea, Cariló, Villa Gesell, Monte Hermoso, Pehuen-Có, Las Grutas (in Río Negro), Rada Tilly in Chubut; the Aconcagua (6,959 m), the highest peak in America. Its steep slopes are renowned and respected by mountain climbers worldwide. Las Leñas; Talampaya, of great geological interest; San Rafael heart of Mendoza, where the best wines in Argentina are made, with its imposing Atuel Canyon, the valleys of Barreal of Iglesia, in San Juan highlighting the adventure tourism. Whales-watching in Puerto Madryn on the coast of Argentine Patagonia.
Other very attractive destinations are the valley of Tafí in Tucumán, ancient populations of Yavi and Iruya, the ruins of ancient pre-Columbian cities like Tastil, Tilcara, Shincal, the Pucará of Aconquija, a fort built by the humahuacas. In La Rioja, the path of Riojan warlords, with Olta and Malanzán as main cities. In the first are monuments to Chacho Penaloza and the tango Caminito, inspired there, while in Malanzán is the birthplace of Facundo Quiroga. It can also visit the oldest city in Argentina, the mother of cities Santiago del Estero, between the city Santiago del Estero halfway to San Miguel de Tucumán is located one of the most famous tourist destinations of mild winter in Argentina: the Hot springs of Río Hondo.
Are very attractive traditional events like the fair of Simoca in Tucumán, the Fiesta of the Lord and the Virgin of the Miracle in Salta or the pilgrimages to Luján and Punta Corral in Jujuy, the parade of faith to the Difunta Correa. An ample diversity of natural landscapes and dramatic contrasts such as the densely vegetated Yunga forests, or the mountains, hills and brooks of the Calchaquí Valleys, provide great conditions for fishing for sport fishing. Sport fishing of sea and river (of trout and sea bass in the Fueguan city of Río Grande, or dorado in Paso de la Patria, Juramento, Lipeo, Iruya and Bermejo). For it part -it has been said- Ushuaia is a privileged access to the Argentine Antarctica, the picturesque Route of the Adobe and the Tatón Dunes in the Province of Catamarca; rugged adventure tourism in the provinces of Santiago del Estero and La Pampa or in the Yungas and Calchaquí Valleys, the high Andean desert and jungles of Chaco, the northern Entre Ríos (Montiel Forest) and Misiones.
The Province of Buenos Aires is the most populous and largest province of Argentina (if territorial claims in the Antarctica and South Atlantic islands are not taken into account). The nation's rail and road network fans out from Buenos Aires and into the province, the area centered on the Pampas. This region is characterized by its estancias (large cattle ranches) the oldest of them being featured in architectural styles, located in the middle of the Pampas. The province is also known by its many and different beaches in the coast of the Atlantic Ocean (the most visited being Mar del Plata). The hilly region of Tandil and Ventana offers golf courses, paragliding rides and trekking. They are very different landscapes from each other and distant from the mouth of the Paraná River, which islands are also visited by tourists.
Many ruins of the ancient Jesuit missions - some of which have been covered by the jungle - are located near Posadas. The most well-known ruins are in San Ignacio Miní, 56 km away from the province’s capital. The ones in Candelaria, Loreto, Santa Ana and Santa María are also very interesting. These Jesuit reductions were declared World Heritage by the UNESCO.
Fifty kilometers to the north of Colón lies El Palmar National Park, housing the last samples of Yatay palm trees, which are almost eight centuries old. The city of Concordia is connected to the city of Salto (Uruguay) through the Salto Grande hydroelectric plant.
The Esteros del Iberá, a humid zone of 700.000 hectares can be reached from Posadas, Concepción or Mercedes. In Guaraní, Iberá means "Shining water". Its lagoons cover 31,500 hectares, its marshlands 52,000, and its inlands 260,000. This eco-system which gives life to turtles, yacarés (caimans), monkeys, swamp deer, capybaras - the largest rodent in the world - and up to 400 bird species, besides an extraordinary flora, extends over one million hectares.
The city of Rosario lies on the banks of the Paraná River in the Province of Santa Fe. It has developed into an industrial and commercial center and destination for a significant number of people on business. On its riverside promenade stands the Monumento Nacional a la Bandera (National Monument to the Flag), where the Argentine National Flag was raised for the first time. Parque Independencia has statues, a racecourse, and the Provincial History Museum.
Peninsula Valdés is widely considered to be one of the best places in the world for the observation of wildlife, mainly sea mammals. Although southern right whales are the main attraction elephant seals, sea lions, Magellanic penguins and orcas are also well represented.
Overall Argentina has the following tourist circuits (north to south):
Carnivals in Argentina are very important and usually take place during the last days of February (before the lent), at a time that remains still quite summer (summer in the Southern Hemisphere). Almost every carnival in Argentina comes from European carnivals in Spain and Italy, so it is spoken in them of murgas and corsos, with its masquerades and cabezudos although there have also influences of African elements from colonial times (the rate of drum in the murgas is almost obviously of African origin), and in the Quebrada de Humahuaca (in the northern province of Jujuy) and in the small town of Chamical (in Argentine La Rioja) are held a "carnavalito" and a "chaya" more influenced by Andean American Indians. During the second half of the 20th century the cities of the province of Corrientes (mainly Paso de los Libres) and the Province of Entre Ríos have had a strong influence from the Rio carnival in Brazil the same way as the Carnival de Río in San Luis generally celebrated on the banks of Potrero de los Funes Lake in Province of San Luis
90% of tourists come to Ministro Pistarini International Airport in Ezeiza, 35 km from Buenos Aires, but to continue the journey to some of the destinations of the interior must move to Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (center of Buenos Aires), it is desirable that the trip or transfer between the two airports is included in the ticket.
The typical breakfast served to passengers in hotels is very simple, latte or tea, a couple of croissants and little else; is uncommon in Argentina the "American breakfast" or "Frühstuck"; in rural areas breakfast usually is mate cocido or - few times admitted by the tourist - mate drunk in round with shared bulb.
Dinner times are from 21:00 onwards.
The Mount Chaltén during summer (in winter the landscape is snowed).
Glacier cave in Los Glaciares National Park in the austral summer.
Argentina has been included in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 lists of "The Developing World's 10 Best Ethical Destinations." This is an annual ranking produced by Ethical Traveler magazine, which is based on a study of developing nations from around the world to identify the best tourism destinations among them. The benchmarking uses categories such as environmental protection, social welfare, and human rights.
The U.S. Department of State warns travelers in Argentina that "drivers frequently ignore traffic laws and vehicles often travel at excessive speeds... traffic accidents are the primary threat to life and limb in Argentina." Argentina has the highest traffic mortality rate in South America, with Argentine drivers causing 20 deaths each day (about 7,000 a year), with more than 120,000 people injured or maimed each year. These deaths have included tourists from various parts of the world.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Argentina.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tourism in Argentina.|