The ancient beech forests that surround Lago Nahuel Huapi are back-dropped by the Andes Mountains and offer habitat to endangered species including Magellanic woodpeckers, huemel deer and Darwin’s frog.
If you have never seen a massive bright blue glacier the ones in Patagonia are among the world’s most impressive and accessible, particularly the Perito Moreno Glacier with its impressive 50–60m front rising from the Lago Argentina.
Yongyut Kumsri, Shutterstock
South of the town of Perito Moreno on Ruta 40 is the Cueva de las Manos (Cave of the Hands), one of the most famous examples of pre-Columbian rock art in the country.
The southern right whale migrates annually south to Península Valdés to its mating and calving grounds (between June and November), and it is a pleasure to observe, as its gregarious behaviour results in frequent spectacles and classic tail fluke views.
From the 1600s, Jesuit pioneers built entire self-sufficient towns from nothing in the middle of jungle, home to ordered religious societies of native converts. Visiting their remains is an eerie glimpse into the everyday life of four centuries ago; pictured: San Ignacio Miní.
Part New York, part Paris, but all Buenos Aires, this vast city never gives a dull first impression. Beautiful European architecture stands among the bland North American-style high-rise buildings, garish neon lights and advertising billboards.
The Buenos Aires neighbourhood of La Boca is the birthplace of the tango and is famous for the Caminito (the artists’ walk named after a famous tango ballad), and the old corrugated metal and wood houses painted bright yellow, red, green and blue.
Jess Kraft, Shutterstock
The sheer power, size and spectacle of Iguazú Falls, by the point where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet, has to be seen to be believed: it’s one of the world’s must-sees.
The guanaco inhabits the high grasslands up to 4,000m from southern Peru down into southern Chile and central and southern Argentina east to Tierra del Fuego and was introduced to the Falkland Islands; it is the only camelid in Patagonia.
Apparently it was the creativity and foresight of the painter Benito Quinquela Martín who instigated the painting of the houses in Caminito and La Boca to bring some colour and beauty to the area.
Luis Argerich, Wikipedia
In Los Glaciares National Park’s northern sector, Mount FitzRoy challenges mountain climbers from around the world to reach its 3,375m summit.
Annalisa Parisi, Wikipedia
The first gauchos were the descendants of Spaniards and the native peoples of the pampas; pictured: gauchos mustering sheep in Patagonia.
Evelyn Proimos, Wikipedia
Maté, a strong bitter tea, is almost an institution in Argentina, and it can be drunk all day long. Many Argentines can be seen carrying around their hot-water thermos and maté with bombilla (a cup made of a hollowed gourd, pictured).
McKay Savage, Wikipedia
The archipelago of Tierra del Fuego is separated from Patagonia by the Magellan Strait. Magellan supposedly named the archipelago ‘Land of Smoke’ in 1520, and then Charles V reasoned that there was no smoke without fire and changed its name to ‘Land of Fire’.
Anton Ivanov, Shutterstock
Tango is omnipresent in Buenos Aires, the city of its birth. Whether you simply want a tourist snap of street dancers in Caminito (pictured), a quick fix of sultry syncopation with a tango show, or full-time immersion in dance study, this is the place.
Michael Clarke, Wikipedia
Added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2003, the Quebrada de Humahuaca is a corridor of small villages, with many traces of prehistoric hunter-gatherer communities, pre-Incan and Incan archaeology, set amid mountains up to 6,000m in altitude.
Ksenia Ragozina, Shutterstock
The Ruinas de Quilmes or Diaguita ruins, 5km west of Ruta 40, are the remains of the Quilmes peoples’ large urban centre that housed up to 5,000 people.
Alfredo Cerra, Shutterstock
The carpincho or capybara is particularly noteworthy for its size that makes it the world’s largest rodent. It lives in aquatic habitats and is never far from water.
Marc Venema, Shutterstock
Sometimes travelling by car is the best way to see the beautiful, remote landscapes of Argentina, such as those encountered along Ruta 52.
Argentinean Tourist Office
Argentina’s western expanses, in the foothills of the Andes, are home to some of the world’s great wines. The rich Malbec is the country’s signature variety, and bustling Mendoza is the best-known base for visiting wineries and vineyards.