Buenos Aires is often called the Paris of Latin America. But beyond this capital city’s undeniable European charm lies an entire country blending various cultures, traditions and landscapes. Whether it be the captivating tango on the streets of San Telmo, the sumptuous steak prepared by the gauchos of the countryside, the savory wine of Mendoza or the breathtaking glaciers of Patagonia, Argentina is a country sure to excite the senses.
A flare for the dramatic can be found virtually everywhere in Argentina, from dance to food to nature. And unlike many comparable locales in Europe, Argentina maintains a sense of authenticity while still being accessible to international tourists.
Argentina is the ideal destination for seasoned Europe travelers looking to try somewhere new or for travelers of all ages seeking a colorful mix of culture, gastronomy and adventure in one of South America's most charming and inviting countries.
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PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO ARGENTINA
WHAT’S THE BEST TIME TO VISIT ARGENTINA?
With the reverse of Northern Hemisphere seasons, most of Argentina has hot and humid summers (from December to February) and cool dry winters (from June to August). Spring (from September to November) and autumn (from March to May) each have more moderate weather.
UNDERSTANDING BUENOS AIRES WEATHER
Buenos Aires has windy winters and steamy summers - when locals are given to gripe about the “sensación térmica.” This humidity driven "thermal sensation" makes the heat feel stronger than the thermometer reads. Rain is moderate throughout the year, with the heaviest precipitation from June to August and the lightest from November to February.
The fall months from March to May and the spring months from September to November are optimal times for visiting. In autumn, the city comes alive with vibrant colors as the foliage changes and daytime temperatures are in the 60s and 70s, falling to the mid-50s at night. Winter from June to August sees daytime temperatures in the 50s and 60s, dropping to the mid-40s at night.
Prepare for heat and humidity if you visit from December to February. While most days you’ll see afternoon peaks from the high-70s to mid-80s, temperatures can suddenly spike into the upper-90s and even top 100 degrees. Summer nights see lows in the high-60s. While hordes of locals leave the city for the beach or other getaways spots during these months, they’re replaced by legions of visitors from other countries.
CUISINE, CULTURE AND TANGO IN BUENOS AIRES
Be sure to bring your appetite. You're apt to encounter the best steak you've ever tasted in Buenos Aires. Served at hundreds of traditional "parrillas" throughout the capital, choice cuts that hail from the Pampas grasslands of Central Argentina are slow-grilled over open fires, putting on flame-kissed shows as they sizzle, spit and waft out waves of tempting aromas. Argentines like them well done with a glass of robust Malbec wine. But Porteño food isn't just about beef. The city that's famed for its European cafés has an eclectic foodie scene that draws on influences from the Middle East, Asia and across Latin America to put multicultural spins on regional classics.
As Buenos Aires is the “Birthplace of Tango,” there's no better place to experience the sensual dance and no better time than during August's World Tango Festival. Hundreds of thousands of dance aficionados from across the globe converge on the city for two weeks of sizzling tango shows, intimate classes and passionate competitions. During November's weeklong Buenos Aires International Jazz Festival, clubs, theaters and outdoor stages welcome a slate of international artists for spirited performances of jazz, swing, bebop and nuevo tango.
THE RIGHT TIME TO VISIT PATAGONIA?
Spring and summer are both excellent seasons for visiting windswept Patagonia. From October to February you'll have mild weather with clear skies and temperatures hitting the mid-60s in the day, dropping to the low-40s at night. The landscape is especially green during this time with more abundant wildlife that’s stirring from winter slumber. In the autumn months of March and April, you'll also get clear sunny skies with temperatures in the upper-50s during the day, falling to the mid-30s at night. Rainfall peaks are from May to August when daytime temperatures range in the mid-40s and drop to around 30 degrees at night.
The perfect time to take a trip to the Tierra del Fuego archipelago is in and around the summer months. From November to March you can expect daytime temperatures in the mid-to-upper-50s and nighttime lows in the upper-30s. June and July are the coldest months with daytime temperatures peaking in the high-30s. You can expect overcast skies and intermittent rain all year long, but you'll still see the sun on most days and rarely experience prolonged downpours. With less ice blocking narrow channels, cruise ships have greater accessibility to the islands of the archipelago during the summer months. It's also the best time for spotting wildlife, with more activity from penguins, whales and sea lions.
MENDOZA FOR PLEASANT CLIMES AND ARGENTINE WINE
The Province of Mendoza has pleasant weather for most of the year. From November to March, you'll find the warmest weather with daytime highs between the mid-80s and low-90s. January and February are the hottest months, with daytime temperatures that can suddenly spike to 100 degrees. But it's a dry heat that's bearable. Nighttime lows average in the low-60s. Expect cooler weather from April to October, with daytime temperatures often in the high-60s. June and July are the coldest months with daytime temperatures in the high-50s and evening lows in the high-30s. The region generally has sunny skies, with the exception of rainfall peaks in January and February.
As one of the world's top wine producers, Mendoza celebrates its harvest season in world-class style, making it a great time to visit. Starting in late January and stretching into early March you'll find a host of wine-related activities that culminate with the “Fiesta de la Vendimia.” The festival welcomes tens of thousands of wine enthusiasts to the city of Mendoza for concerts, parades and the coronation of the Queen of Vendimia with a tiara of grape vines. Don't worry if you can't make it during the harvest - wine is honored at other events in every month of the year!
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM IGUASSU FALLS WEATHER
Lying close to the equator, Iguassu Falls enjoys tropical weather that makes the destination accessible all year long. Unlike much of Argentina, this area's weather centers on wet and dry seasons. You'll get the most rain from November to February - and might appreciate the wet weather. The precipitation causes the waters of the falls to swell and cascade with more impressive thunder. Expect hot and humid weather during these peak summer months with daytime highs around 90 degrees and nighttime lows in the mid-70s. There's a chance some rainforest trails will be closed at the height of the wet season. Also, keep in mind that December and January are vacation months for locals, so you'll see more visitors.
The months preceding and following the wet season are optimal for trips. From August to October and from March to May the chance of rain is far less. The waters of the falls won't be at their height, but have enough might to put on a splendid show. Inland trails and San Martin Island activities are more accessible during this time. During these months, you will see clearer skies with brilliant rainbows over the falls. Daytime temperature highs range from the mid-70s to mid-80s and nighttime lows are around 60 degrees. June and July are the driest and coldest months, with daytime peaks in the low-70s that drop to 50 degrees at night. While the full force of the falls won't be on display, it's still a good time for nature excursions.
HOW LONG SHOULD I SPEND IN ARGENTINA?
A trip to Argentina often brings travelers to the extreme tip of the South American continent. If you’ve journeyed that far, plan to stay for a bit. Weekend getaways aren’t advisable given the distance to travel and vastness of the country. With dozens of eclectic neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, you’ll want to give yourself some time for immersion. A week in the capital would work - but there are so many other sites to explore! The wine country of Mendoza merits a few days of experiencing vineyard life. Perhaps paired with a three-day cruise in Patagonia. We can custom craft your dream itinerary at no extra cost. Here are a few options to get you thinking:
Essential Patagonia: 8 nights (2 in Buenos Aires, 2 in El Calafate, 3 in Torres del Paine National Park, 1 in Santiago, Chile)
Essential Argentine Patagonia: 10 nights (3 in Buenos Aires, 2 in Puerto Madryn, 2 in Ushuaia, 3 in El Calafate)
Best of Argentine Patagonia: 10 nights (2 in Buenos Aires, 3 in Northern Patagonia, 3 in El Calafate, 2 in Ushuaia)
Patagonia Cruise: 3 nights (aboard the Stella Australis)
South Patagonia: 11 nights (3 in Buenos Aires, 2 in Puerto Madryn, 2 in Ushuaia, 3 in El Calafate)
Northern Argentina: 11 nights (2 in Buenos Aires, 2 in Puerto Iguazu, 2 in Salta, 1 in Cachi, 1 in El Cafayate, 2 in Purmamarca)
Best of Argentina & Brazil: 8 nights (3 in Buenos Aires, 2 in Iguassu Falls, 3 in Rio de Janeiro)
Argentina Wine Country Tour: 6 nights (3 in Buenos Aires, 3 in Mendoza)
Argentina & Chile Wine Route: 6 nights (2 in Buenos Aires, 2 in Mendoza, 2 in Santiago)
Argentina Golf: 6 nights (4 in Buenos Aires, 2 in Bariloche)
Argentina Triangle: 8 nights (3 in Buenos Aires, 3 in El Calafate, 2 in Puerto Iguassu)
Buenas Noches, Buenos Aires: 6 nights (in Buenos Aires)
WHAT OTHER COUNTRIES IN SOUTH AMERICA CAN I COMBINE WITH ARGENTINA?
VISIT CHILE FOR MOUNTAIN, DESERT AND ISLAND ADVENTURES
Soaring volcanoes, majestic lakes and vibrant cities lie along a diverse sliver of terrain on South America's Pacific coast. Gaze at neoclassical architecture in the historic center of Santiago, the capital that sits before a stunning snow-peaked Andes backdrop. Walk golden grasslands, marvel at towering granite peaks and hike the glaciers of Torres del Paine National Park. Your eco-adventure on Easter Island includes snorkeling, surfing and standing in awe before the isle's famed stone monoliths. From surreal to sublime, the Atacama Desert's lunar-like landscape invites you to walk atop wind-carved dunes and under a seemingly endless expanse of stars at night.
BEACHES, JUNGLES AND SOME SAMBA ON YOUR TRIP TO BRAZIL
From rich rainforests and pristine tropical beaches to dynamic cities that move to a samba beat, the largest country in South America is one of the world's top travel destinations. Experience the famed nightlife, fevered soccer culture and surrounding natural beauty of Rio de Janeiro. Stroll cobbled streets with colonial architecture in the laid-back port town of Paraty. Discover the unspoiled dunes and shimmering lagoons of Jericoacoara Beach, or the natural pools and clear ocean waters of Porto de Galinhas. The world's largest tropical wetland and amazing jungle treks await. Or immerse in a sprawling desert scene that meets mangrove swamps at the incredibly bio-diverse Lençóis Maranhenses National Park.