Argentina

Argentina
image: Queen of the Cactus: Justine Shapiro in the Andean Northwest

Queen of the Cactus: Justine Shapiro in the Andean Northwest

Argentina is often type cast in the minds of travellers as the home to Evita, the tango and the gaucho, an expensive facsimile of a European nation in the southern hemisphere. But travellers who explore beyond the country’s classic icons will stumble upon some of the most stunning scenery in South America and get a chance to soak up some serious culture.

Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world and stretches from the humid cataracts and waterfalls of Iguazu all the way down to Ushuaia, the gateway to the windswept region of Patagonia, on the doorstep of the Antarctic. In between these extremes are terrains as diverse as the dry deserts of the Andean Northwest where unusual cactus crafts are sold and the soaring peaks in the Andes, where Swiss inspired villages like El Bolson host skiing and winter sports in July. The flat and fertile Pampas are home to huge estancias (ranches) staffed with gauchos, who ensure the uninterrupted supply of beef consumed by their fellow Argentinians.

The capital city of Buenos Aires offers a slice of Parisian chic on the banks of the Rio de la Plata. Here you can grab a local for a night of sensuous tango, the nation’s most famous dance, leaving room afterwards to explore one of the world’s most serious café cultures.

Glaciers, rainforests, majestic Andean peaks and Jesuit ruins combined with healthy doses of sensualismo and machismo make Argentina a must see on any visit to South America.

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