GMT -5 hours
When Argentina comes to mind, your thoughts will probably turn to the sultry Argentine tango, malbec wine, and succulent steak, and of course football, but there is much more to this diverse nation with its infectious Latin spirit. Here you will find the world’s southern-most city (although this is refuted by Chile), the rugged, icy landscapes of Patagonia and vast grass-lands covered by sprawling estancias, alongside those renowned destinations of Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Iguazú Falls.
- The barrios, or neighbourhoods, of Buenos Aires – from Recoletta to San Telmo – each have their own character
- Argentina is home to many estancias, a few of which have opened their doors to visitors – for either day trips or overnight packages
- Close to the adventure capital of El Calafate you can visit Los Glaciers National Park, home to glaciers and Andean peaks
- Also in the shadow of the Andes, although in the north, are the beautiful cities of Mendoza and Salta
- Straddling the border with Brazil are the world-famous Iguazú Falls, and surrounding national parks
Best time to visit Argentina
• The best time to visit the northern regions of Argentina is in the Southern Hemisphere’s spring (Sep-Nov), when temperatures are pleasantly cool
• Summer (Dec-Feb) in Northern Argentina can become oppressively hot
• Southern Argentina has a very similar climate with reversed seasons compared to the Northern Hemisphere
• The weather in Patagonia is unpredictable due to the South Pacific westerly air current, with high winds and occasional storms even during the summer
• The region's high season falls in the months of January and February when temperatures are slightly warmer
• October, November, March and April are cooler, but it is less windy and crowded.
Argentina holiday highlights
Explore cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, from the modern docks of Puerto Madero to the historic quarters of San Telmo; visit 'estancias', great ranch houses that lie in the vast grasslands or pampas; or witness the spectacular Iguazú Falls, straddling the border of Argentina and Brazil.
Tour Mendoza in the eastern foothills of the Andes, the gateway to world famous vineyards before exploring Salta with its fine colonial architecture and fabulous museums or discover Argentina's Lake District with its glacial lakes, thundering rivers and snow-capped volcanoes. Often dubbed the ‘Switzerland of America’, Bariloche lies in the shadow of Andean peaks.
Spot Baleen wales, sea lions, seals and Magellanic penguins along Peninsula Valdés' 250-mile coastline and explore the remarkable Los Glaciares National Park from the small town of El Calafate on the southern shores of icy Lake Argentino before reaching the ‘End of the World’ – the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego on South America's southernmost tip.
• Argentinians' concept of personal space is different to ours and people may stand closer than you're used to.
• Punctuality is rarely observed. It's not uncommon for someone to turn up over 20 minutes late.
• It is considered polite to leave a small amount of food on your plate.
• Latin Americans have a casual and relaxed demeanour and are comfortable with loud talking, exaggerated gestures and physical contact.
• Make the effort to learn a few Spanish phrases. A simple 'buenos días' in the morning, 'buenas tardes' in the afternoon and 'buenas noches' in the evening will go a long way.
• Avoid mentioning the Falkland Islands. If you do then use their Argentinian name, Islas Malvinas.