“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
After six months of traveling throughout Argentina and Uruguay, taking an extended trip to Peru over the summer and realizing I’d found a nice little group of porteño family and friends, I stopped wanting to leave the city. The new study abroad arrivals were on their way out each weekend to a new destination as I was starting to feel the weight of my impending departure. My second semester in Buenos Aires was spent mostly in the city with the people I had become attached to. I was fully content spending my Monday evenings at La Bomba del Tiempo, my Wednesdays at Fernandez Fierro, Friday nights at La Cabrera and Saturdays taking a day trip to someone’s “country” house, the Tigre Delta or Colonia, Uruguay. However, this post is full of my recommendations of places to visit from Buenos Aires.
Argentina is a massive country with so much to see and do, especially for an outdoors-lover like myself. I wish I could do each of these trips over again – I was so positively overwhelmed with the beauty that is Argentina. It’s relatively easy to travel throughout the country, though it is so vast. The country is connected by an efficient bus system that allows you to purchase anywhere from your standard bus seat to a wide, leather seat that reclines 180 degrees. Take note: it’s definitely easiest and cheapest to depart from Buenos Aires. I recommend shelling out a little extra cash for the surprisingly comfortable leather seat and the “free” whiskey and meals that accompany it. Most trips by bus are very long, so if you’re unable to travel slowly, hop on a plane, but know it will cost you about the same as a domestic flight in the United States ($200-$300).
For each trip, you’ll find the highlights to share what you can do and see in region.
Take a train, bus or car to Tigre where you can spend the day lounging on the river delta. There are a variety of river-based activities and restaurants. A quick 45 minutes from the city, the Tigre Delta is a great one-day trip out of Buenos Aires where you can kayak and grab a beer on the river. Visit this page for more info.
Colonia is an easy and satisfying day trip from Buenos Aires. Hope on the Buquebus (the boat that crosses the ocean to Uruguay. If you’re like me, you could spend the day just wandering the gorgeous city, with its cobblestone streets, sidewalk cafes, galleries and beachfront, there’s an abundance of photo opportunities. If you want, you can rent a motorbike to get around, or just walk it!
Punta del Este, Uruguay
Punta is an international beach town where wealthy Brazilians, Argentines and Uruguayans come to vacation. You’ll find great hostels, beach-side restaurants and a serious party-scene, but be warned, this town is expensive. If you’re looking for something a little more laid-back, the further Punta del Diablo is said to be the hippie-version of Punta del Este.
Hidden in the middle of the jungle on the borders of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil, Iguazu Falls is truly an incredible sight. The views, especially from The Devil’s Throat viewing point, are known to be much better than anything at Niagara. We stayed at Hostel-Inn and with its poolside bar, bottomless capirinas and jungle location, this was my first – and favorite – hostel. Welcome to camp for big kids.
The Northern region of Argentina diverges from both the typical gaucho culture of the West and South of the country and the Euro-city life of Buenos Aires. Due to its rich indigenous history and close proximity to Bolivia, you’ll find the culture is much more similar to this neighbor. My suggestion is to rent a car or share a driver to explore this region. Highlights here include: visiting the colonial Spanish-influenced city of Salta.
Hike through the Quebrada de Humahuaca. Enjoy the photo-fun salt flats in San Antonio de Los Cobres. Listen to some typical northern Argentina folklore music in the quiet backpacker-friendly town of Purmamarca and wake up early to catch a vew of the Cierro de los Sietes Colores. For more specific travel information on this region visit the Gringo in Buenos Aires.
Villa General Belgrano – Oktoberfest
This small town founded by a German man is actually famous for its Oktoberfest Festival – the second largest topped only by the original. Head to Villa General Belgrano for this rowdy, German beer-celebrating weekend. Get a cabin nearby so you can hide from the crazy when you’re done with the street fest!
Bariloche’s views are so breathtaking that I returned for a second visit. This mountain town has stunning snow-capped mountains interspersed with piercing blue lakes. The city is known for its hiking and chocolate shops (Cue The Sound of Music: These are a few of my favorite things!). Hike up Cerro Lopez and then head to Mamuschka for some cocoa delights!
Mendoza is the famous wine region of Argentina. While there are wineries in other parts of the country, this vast region at the base of the Andes makes internationally renowned wines. We visited three wineries when we were there (with the luxury of a driver), but there are many ways to visit the wineries in this region. A quick recap of the wineries we explored and my ultimate pick for best wine.
1) Mendel – small, family-run winery with impeccable wines ($$-$$$)
2) Catena Zapata – huge winery that exports around the world ($-$$$)
3) VistAlba by Carlos Pulenta Wines – medium-sized winery with wide selection ($-$$)
My all-time favorite wine I had in the region was a blend by Carlos Pulenta’s brother’s winery, Pulenta Wines (major family feud). While I can’t find that blend anywhere, nor do I remember it’s name, I do love the Pulenta line, La Flor, in particular, La Flor – Sauvignon Blanc and La Flor – Cabernet Sauvignon which I can find in the states!
Patagonia: El Calafate, El Chalten, Ushuaia
I will write an entire post on Patagonia. When you head to the South, prepare for an incredible outdoor adventure. Plan to hike the glaciers in El Calafate, trek through world-famous mountain paths in El Chalten, and charter a boat out of the Southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia, to get as close as you can to Antarctica and see some penguins! You also must spend a few days on an Estancia (a ranch) to experience authentic gaucho culture.
There are truly so many places to visit from Buenos Aires all around Argentina and Uruguay. Please reach out if you’d like travel details on any of these places!
What are your favorite places to visit from Buenos Aires?
A Perfect Week in Buenos Aires | Read my suggestions for the best thing to do each day of the week in la linda Buenos Aires
Making Friends with Locals | Learn how I made a best “local” friend in Buenos Aires
Traveler’s Itch – The Good Kind | Practicing for your travels is almost as fun as going
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