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Argentina-medium Argentina

Home to gauchos, tango, salt flats and sand dunes

Argentina is a vast country with some of the most awesome landscapes in South America. Glaciers, deserts, mountains, lakes, wild coastlines and some of the best trekking in South America. As well as the landscapes there is the wonderful food and wine, so at the end of an amazing day of hiking or wildlife watching you can treat your body to the best steaks and wine. For us, the outstanding highlights are the gloriously remote high desert landscapes near Salta and the dramatic mountains, glaciers and wildlife of Patagonia.

Feefo-gold

Argentina at a glance

Capital city

Buenos Aires

Famous highlights

Iguana Falls, Los Glaciares National Park, Buenos Aires, Lake District

Hidden gems

Altiplano, Ibera Wetlands, Valdes Peninsula

Language(s)

Spanish (official), Guarani

Food & drink

Beef, empanadas, locro, wine

How far?

14 hours from London to Buenos Aires (shortest flight time, non stop)

Currency

Argentine Peso (US$1 = $9 ARS)

Timezone

GMT -3

When to go to Argentina

January weather in Argentina

This is the hottest and most humid time of year in north-east and central Argentina. The summertime humidity in Buenos Aires is unbearable so follow the porteños’ example and stay out of the capital if you can. Though the rainy season, green landscapes and sunny weather make this a popular time to go to the north-west. In Patagonia, this is one of the most popular months to visit. With long daylight hours you can spend all day hiking, though always be prepared for strong winds and ‘four season in a day’ weather.

Max (°C) Min (°C) Precip. (mm)
Patagonia 20 8 8 Best
Central 29 21 108 Okay
North-West 31 18 164 Good
North-East 33 21 107 Okay
January events in Argentina

Jan 10 – Feb 28: Gualeguaychu Carnival

February weather in Argentina

In north-east and central Argentina, the weather cools down a fraction but can still feel very hot, especially in Buenos Aires. The Iguassu Falls get very crowded with South American holidaymakers and high water levels can restrict access to some sections of the park. In the north-west, there are plenty of short sharp showers and nights still feel hot and sticky. A 4x4 is essential if you are driving around the Salta. All the way from Bariloche down to Ushuaia, this is one of the best times of year to be in Patagonia and, as such, you can expect national parks to be more crowded.

Max (°C) Min (°C) Precip. (mm)
Patagonia 19 7 12 Best
Central 28 20 81 Okay
North-West 29 18 137 Good
North-East 32 20 112 Okay
February events in Argentina

Feb 14 – Mar 9: Tilcara Carnival

March weather in Argentina

Buenos Aires and the central region are now more bearable: warm without being so oppressive. The north-east is still hot and humid so consider waiting another month to visit the Iguassu Falls. This is the end of the rainy season in the north-west when thousands of people flock to Mendoza for the festival of the wine harvest. By late March, Patagonia will start to feel autumnal, a beautiful time of year when the winds die down, the crowds diminish, and the southern beech forests turn bright shades of red. The last of the season’s cruises to Antarctica leave from Ushuaia.

Max (°C) Min (°C) Precip. (mm)
Patagonia 17 6 21 Best
Central 26 19 109 Good
North-West 28 17 118 Good
North-East 32 20 73 Okay
March events in Argentina

Mar 1-10: Vendimia Festival, Mendoza
Mar 22-28: Tango International Congress

April weather in Argentina

The winter season begins in the north-east; with cooler weather, a good chance of sunshine and fewer visitors, this is an excellent time to visit Iguassu. Up in the north-west, this is one of our favourite months – rains have lessened and temperatures are still warm and sunny, with cool and fresh nights. The still weather in Patagonia makes this a great time for hiking, but be prepared for early snowfalls at higher altitudes. This is the last month of the season for cruises around Cape Horn and ‘Big Ice’ treks on Perito Moreno glacier. This is also the month to see orcas come up to the beach on the Valdes Peninsula.

Max (°C) Min (°C) Precip. (mm)
Patagonia 13 3 19 Best
Central 22 15 93 Best
North-West 25 14 40 Best
North-East 29 17 82 Best
April events in Argentina

Apr 15-25: Independent Cinema Festival
Apr 23 – May 11: Buenos Aires Book Fair

May weather in Argentina

May is a great time to visit central and north-west Argentina: the autumn is a beautiful time of year with cooler weather, and lots going on in the capital. In the north-west it rarely rains at this time of year so expect the salt flats up in the altiplano to look their best against blue skies. In the north-east the weather cools considerably and there are fewer crowds, though it may be cloudier and more showery than April. In southern Patagonia, hotels and lodges in isolated areas shut down as the low season begins for winter. Mini-trekking on Perito Moreno glacier is still possible throughout May.

Max (°C) Min (°C) Precip. (mm)
Patagonia 9 0 36 Okay
Central 19 12 72 Best
North-West 22 10 9 Best
North-East 25 14 128 Best
May events in Argentina

May 25: May Revolution Day
Apr 30 - May 10: Tango Buenos Aires

June weather in Argentina

In central Argentina, the cooler weather makes this a great time to explore cities on foot. In the north-east, the cooler weather can bring cloudy weather and showers but this is a quiet time to see Iguassu. This is the coldest and driest time of year in the north-west, when days are mild and sunny, and night-time temperatures can drop to single digits. Throughout Patagonia, temperatures at night fall below freezing and snow covers the mountains.

Max (°C) Min (°C) Precip. (mm)
Patagonia 5 -3 33 Okay
Central 16 9 46 Good
North-West 21 7 3 Good
North-East 24 13 102 Good
June events in Argentina

Jun 21: Longest night of the year festival, Ushuaia

July weather in Argentina

In the north-west and central Argentina, this is the coldest and driest month, and also the sunniest time of year. In the north-east, cool and cloudy weather continues. In southern Patagonia, allow plenty of time for winter hiking as daylight hours are now short. Snow and ice may block isolated roads. Ushuaia’s winter season offers cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing and snowboarding. The ski season begins in Mendoza and Bariloche, but the second half of July is the most crowded and expensive time of year at the resorts due to the winter school break.

Max (°C) Min (°C) Precip. (mm)
Patagonia 5 -3 31 Okay
Central 15 8 39 Good
North-West 21 6 5 Good
North-East 24 12 48 Good
July events in Argentina

Jul 9: Independence Day

August weather in Argentina

This is the best month to visit the main ski resorts around Mendoza and Bariloche, with good quality snow and fewer crowds. From now until November, this is an excellent time to see southern right whales along the Atlantic coast. Around Iberá and Iguassu this is a relatively dry month and daytime temperatures inch back into the high 20s. Around Salta and the north-west, the climate remains cool and dry but allow plenty of time for any cross-border trips to Chile or Bolivia as there may be snow in the highest parts of the Altiplano.

Max (°C) Min (°C) Precip. (mm)
Patagonia 8 -1 24 Good
Central 17 9 47 Good
North-West 24 8 5 Good
North-East 27 13 66 Good
August events in Argentina

Aug 14-27: Buenos Aires World Tango Championships
Aug 23: National Snow Festival, Bariloche

September weather in Argentina

Spring is an excellent time to travel throughout the centre and north of Argentina with temperate sunny weather and few crowds; for weather and wildlife, the Iberá wetlands are at their best between now and December. On the Atlantic coast, the penguin season starts now. Early September is still a good time for skiing in Bariloche or Mendoza, and backcountry skiers can continue throughout the month. Early spring begins in Patagonia, though it is still low season. ‘Big Ice’ hikes open up again on Perito Moreno from mid-September.

Max (°C) Min (°C) Precip. (mm)
Patagonia 10 0 16 Good
Central 19 11 43 Best
North-West 27 11 9 Best
North-East 28 14 96 Best
September events in Argentina

Sep 9-13: National Ski Festival
Sep 17-19: Buenos Aires Wine Fair

October weather in Argentina

October is another good month in central and north-western Argentina, with warm springtime weather around Buenos Aires and Mendoza. This is also an excellent time of year for wildlife in the Iberá wetlands and the Valdés Peninsula. In Patagonia, October sees the earliest cruises set off from Ushuaia around Cape Horn. Spring comes later to higher-altitude areas, so consider waiting another month if you want to head off hiking into more remote parts.

Max (°C) Min (°C) Precip. (mm)
Patagonia 14 3 20 Good
Central 22 14 122 Best
North-West 30 15 27 Best
North-East 30 18 126 Best
October events in Argentina

Oct 3-13: Oktoberfest, Villa General Belgano
Oct 31: Eisteddfodau Welsh Festival, Trelew

November weather in Argentina

To avoid the heat of the peak summer months, this is still a good time to go to central and northern Argentina. In Mendoza, cycling around the vineyards is a much more pleasant prospect than it will be in a month or two, and much less crowded too. This is a popular time to travel around the Salta region so plan early if you would like to travel here. November is also a good time to avoid the more crowded months in the southern national parks. In spring, be especially prepared to experience the famously wild Patagonian weather. Cruises to Antarctica start to depart from Ushuaia.

Max (°C) Min (°C) Precip. (mm)
Patagonia 17 5 24 Best
Central 25 17 75 Best
North-West 30 16 65 Good
North-East 31 18 109 Good
November events in Argentina

Nov 10: Day of Tradition
Nov 19-24: Buenos Aires Jazz Festival

December weather in Argentina

As summer begins, temperatures heat up considerably in northern and central Argentina. School holidays begin in mid-December so Argentine holidaymakers flock to Atlantic beaches and lakeside resorts around Bariloche and Cordoba. Despite its reputation for nightlife, Buenos Aires is relatively quiet around Christmas and New Year as locals celebrate with family or outside the capital. In southern Patagonia, the weather is mild and the days reach their longest; in Ushuaia, the skies are dark for only 2-3 hours at night.

Max (°C) Min (°C) Precip. (mm)
Patagonia 18 7 21 Best
Central 28 19 82 Good
North-West 31 18 112 Good
North-East 33 20 101 Good
December events in Argentina

Dec 6: Gaucho National Day
Dec 11: Tango National Day

Top 7 things to do in Argentina

Soak in the mist of thundering Iguassu Falls

There are waterfalls, and then there is Iguassu. It’s not the tallest, or technically the biggest, but statistics of height, volume, and flow are rendered meaningless when you are confronted with this colossus. From many vantage points, the cascades simply seem unending – but it is the noise of the water which is perhaps the most overwhelming sensation.

Peer over the dizzying edge into the Devil’s Throat from above, or take a boat towards the base to feel the spray on your face from half a mile away. In either case, it’s a struggle to grasp the enormity of the waterfall to end all waterfalls. This really is a case where you have to see it to believe it.

Lose yourself in the spectacular altiplano

Remote, empty and staggeringly unspoilt. Few tourists reach the altiplano of north-west Argentina, yet it is arguably the most beautiful region in Argentina. From Salta you can take a 4x4 road trip through the puna region and are rewarded with walks on vast sand dunes created by the nearby pumice stone fields.

You see the biggest flamingo population in South America (up to 19,000) at Laguna Grande. You drive across blindingly white salt flats which lead into a labyrinth of vivid red rock formations that glow at dusk. Vicuna and llama graze on bright green pastures. For such a remote hostile area the colours and contrasts of the puna are incredible.

Hike in Glaciares National Park

Watch an iceberg calve off the face of giant Perito Moreno glacier and listen to the thunderous splash as it hits the water, metres away. Feel the biting force of the polar wind rushing down from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, showering you with tiny shards of ice. The enormity and power of the ice in southern Patagonia feels immediate and tangible.

This rugged landscape of granite peaks, beech forests and pristine glacial lakes is one of the world’s great places to hike, both on and off the ice. It would be even if the Patagonian weather had only clouds to offer. Yet its greatest reveal is for the lucky, and the patient. When the clouds draw up like a stage curtain and the jagged spires of Torre and Fitzroy emerge on the horizon, the spectacularly beautiful panorama of this wild frontier is complete.

Paddle through the Iberá wetlands

It’s hard to hide 15,000 km2 of lakes, rivers, lagoons and marshland but Iberá comes close. These beautiful wildlife rich wetlands sit quietly in the heart of the vast savannah of northern Argentina’s Corrientes province. Quietly perhaps isn’t the word, the nearly 400 species of bird can create quite a cacophony. Though the capybara, caiman, deer, otters, wolves and jaguar tend to be quieter, and harder to spot, they very much add to the naturalist appeal of this watery paradise.

But it isn’t just about the animals. The communities around the wetlands, make Iberá a place of enormous cultural interest as well. This is Guaraní land where gauchos pole canoes across the calm waters and live in balance with their precious surroundings.

Be seduced by Buenos Aires

There has always been much debate around which is the most beautiful city in the world, but for sheer glamour, it is hard to look past Buenos Aires. At times it feels like one half of the population has stepped right out of Milan’s finest boutiques, and the other half is oozing the kind of urban chic of which the folk of Shoreditch and the East Village can only dream.

The fact that the effortlessly elegant people are surrounded by such beautiful palaces and theatres - even the cemeteries are gorgeous – it is hard to know where to look. But with a heavy Italian heritage resulting in world-class coffee and ice cream, there’s probably no better city in the world to sit on a sunny café terrace and watch the world pass you by than ‘B.A.’

Get close to wildlife in the Valdes Peninsula

This rugged peninsula tucked away on the eastern Patagonia coast is crammed with wildlife and is one of the world’s greatest whale-watching destinations and marine reserves.

Stroll along the cliffs to see huge colonies of elephant seals, penguins and sea lions frolicking in the ocean or lazing around on the beaches below. At certain times of the year whales can be seen clearly from the cliff tops, but many boat trips venture out daily for a much closer view. The main attraction is the endangered southern right whales that breed here.

Walk, ski and kayak through the Lake District

Almost ridiculously scenic, Argentina’s Lake District is a year-round adventure playground. Wander through forested peninsulas between turquoise lagoons, hike up above the tree line to see an unbroken panorama of lakes and mountains, and ski beneath the sharp granite spires of Cerro Catedral.

When you are done getting into the heart of nature, huddle up in a café in a picturesque village that shares its architecture and a fondness for chocolate with parts of the Alps. Outside, though, there is no mistaking where you are in the world when you see a condor soar over a glacier or walk through a native monkey-puzzle forest overlooked by a perfect conical volcano.

Our top 5 memories of Argentina

The sound of silence

A thick wall of silence. As I got out of the 4x4, the silence hit me immediately. Not just peace and quiet but total, absolute lack of noise. This isn’t the absence of every-day noises such as roads, planes, it’s more than that. Take everything away birds, water, insects, wind. Just total stillness across a vast landscape of sand dunes and the high Andes.

This must be what outer space sounds like, but here it was strange, disconcerting, even a little scary. I embraced it and sat in silence taking in the raw beauty of this remote corner of Argentina. Nature can be utterly silent, yet still so imposing, huge and dominant. After 10 minutes my head started to hurt and I began to squint like I do when I hear loud noises -  I went off to join my guide for a chat! 

Asado, asado.

There was at least one audible stomach growl as the Patagonian breeze pushed the smoke into our faces. The legendary lamb barbecue of the Argentine steppe carries a great reputation, though it’s certainly a long way to go, even for the most committed carnivore. But when that first, immeasurably tender piece lands on your tongue, and you hear the wind howling over the plains, you know the journey is more than worth it.

Sipping on maté

My first ever lesson on tea-drinking etiquette? In a tent buffeted by fierce winds in the heart of southern Patagonia, my teachers a pair of mountain guides.

Argentinians drink their herbal tea- maté - in any time and place. A shared ritual that has some opaque rules attached to it, our guides were fortunately happy to induct us in the art of drinking maté like a local.

Despite the bitter taste, I liked the tea. Maybe it was just the warmth of the liquid after a long day of walking, but the main thing about maté is the sense of companionship you find when sharing it with a group. It was comforting to find this in such a wild and unfamiliar place.

A quick street tango

Just as one might picture oneself as Indiana Jones while roaming over ancient ruins, for a brief moment the black-tighted leg wrapped around my waist allows me to imagine myself as the quintessentially suave tanguero.

The guffaws of my companions swiftly remove such illusions, but I don’t mind. It’s one of those rare episodes we find while travelling: when we let our inhibitions go, and throw ourselves into the sheer fun and joy of the moment.

Simple pleasures

It’s Patagonia, wind and rain happen, even in summer. Arriving in the tiny Patagonian town of El Chaltén, I found shelter in its only cafe – a ramshackle wooden shed that had clearly taken a battering from the weather over the years. Behind the squeaky door was a chocolatería, the place rammed with people keeping dry and warm.

As the wind howled, I got chatting to people of different nationalities and ages over a lovely warming cup of hot chocolate. For hours, we played cards and shared stories. I realised that travel is as much about these simple memories and experiences as it is about the big landscapes, unique wildlife and the iconic landmarks. We should always take time to slow down when we travel.  

Our holidays to Argentina

Argentina-patagonia-fitzroy
Wildlife, glaciers and Cape Horn
The remarkable wildlife of the Valdes Peninsula, the mountains and glaciers of Fitzroy National P...
Read more »
Argentina-patagonia-perito-moreno-ice-fall
Waterfalls, vines and glaciers
From the thundering waters of Iguassú Falls to the dry heights of Salta, from the rich green vine...
Read more »
Argentina-salta-sand-dunes-puna-two-people-walking-towards-vehicle
Vines, dunes and salt flats
Salt flats, turquoise lagoons and colossal sand dunes: wilderness and profound silence. This is t...
Read more »

Why us?

Because you've quite possibly never heard of our favourite places in Argentina. And we may encourage you not to go to some of the places you have heard of. Over a decade and a half of travelling in Argentina, from top to bottom and side to side, we've learnt that many of its gems really are hidden.

For us Argentina is about diversity - so we don't want you to visit without getting a firm grasp on that. We all know about the gauchos and the glaciers, the tango and the wines, and they're great. But how about traversing empty deserts and floating through wetlands? There are plenty of penguins of course, but what about spotting a flamingo or two? After all, Argentina is in the top 15 global countries for bird species. Our trips to Argentina are always planned to showcase its contrasts and to deliver the unexpected.

Walking in the Darwin mountains, Patagonia Argentina When to Go Map - March Argentina When to Go Map - January Argentina When to Go Map - July Argentina When to Go Map - February Argentina When to Go Map - August Argentina When to Go Map - September Argentina When to Go Map - October Argentina When to Go Map - November Argentina When to Go Map - December Argentina When to Go Map - April Argentina When to Go Map - May Argentina When to Go Map - June Nahuel Huapi lake Bariloche, Argentina Walking across the sand dunes of the Puna, in the north west of Argentina The Laguna de los Tres and Fitzroy mountain, Patagonia Playful Southern Right Whale off the Valdes Peninsula Marsh deer in the Ibera wetlands Central Buenos Aires on a peaceful Sunday morning Mists rising off the Argentine side of the Iguassu Falls Walking across the sand dunes of Puna in Argentina's north west Traditional Patagonian lamb asado, roast over an open fire Sharing maté on board Tango performers on the streets of San Telmo, Buenos Aires The chocolateria in El Chalten, Argentine Patagonia