What to see
The energetic capital of Buenos Aires is a fantastic place to wander around and soak up the atmosphere, catch an impromptu tango session, enjoy superb steaks in some of its many fine restaurants and sample the lively nightlife. Must-see sights include the Recoleta area, a wealthy district with tremendous Art Deco buildings, and La Boca, a more down-to-earth area settled by Italian and Spanish immigrants and famous for its colourfully-painted houses. Also worth a visit is the new Puerto Madero district, a redeveloped docklands area with many new hotels, restaurants and office blocks.
In the far south of Argentina, Tierra del Fuego offers visitors a chance to experience what it feels like to be at the end of the world. A region of mountains, lakes, glaciers and forests, as well as the wondrously isolated city of Ushuaia, this gateway to Antarctica has a rich history of exploration.
A little further north, the wild barren plains of Patagonia can be divided into coastal Patagonia and inland Patagonia. In Inland Patagonia, at the foot of the Andes, lies Los Glacieres National Park with the enormous Perito Moreno Glacier, an awe-inspiring sight and if you are lucky enough to witness a piece breaking off, an awe-inspiring sound too. We recommend visiting the area in autumn or spring, when it is less crowded and the beautiful notros flowers add a splash of red to the blue. Coastal Patagonia's Peninsula Valdes offers excellent wildlife viewing, including the world's largest penguin colony at Punta Tombo Reserve, and opportunities to see southern right whales, sea lions, elephant seals, guanacos and maras (Patagonian hares).
Further north still, around the town of Bariloche, lies the Lake District, a region of beautiful forests, lakes and mountains and a great place for outdoor activities such as fishing, kayaking or biking.
On the other side of the Andes from Santiago, the wine-producing town of Mendoza is a stylish city which enjoys a stunning location in the foothills of the Andes. It is possible to visit a number of the city's world-class vineyards.
In the centre of Argentina, Cordoba is a relaxed place with beautiful colonial architecture, and a stay in an estancia is a rewarding experience for anyone with an interest in horse riding and rural Argentine life.
In the north of Argentina, around Salta, the scenery changes again, with canyons, jagged peaks and cactai and the famous "Hill of the Seven Colours" in Purmamarca. Finally in the northeast on the border with Brazil are the spectacular Iguacu Falls, which have to be seen to be believed. This region also hides some lesser-known but intriguing secrets, including Esteros del Ibera, the second largest wetlands in South America, and the UNESCO World Heritage ruins of the Jesuit missions.