Why Argentina should be on your bucket list

Unlike many of its South American neighbours, Argentina isn’t a hugely touristy destination, but by no means is that an indication of an uninteresting destination. This fiery Latin American country is possibly most famous for the sultry Tango dance that originated here, producing top-notch beef and red wine, as well as some of the best footballers ever to play the game. But look beyond that and you’ll discover a country full of spectacular natural beauty, with history and culture that’s completely distinct from the rest of South America.

Buenos Aires

Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires is a cool, modern, and super stylish city that has to be included on any itinerary when visiting this country. Grand European style architecture lines leafy streets, hip cafes, bustling squares, vast green spaces, and contemporary boutiques combine to make a beautiful city.

Buenos Aires has a late culture meaning many of the trendy bars and restaurants don’t open up until well after sundown, and the party often goes on until it’s rising again, so get ready for some late nights. Eat, drink, shop, party, and chill out in this sophisticated and cosmopolitan metropolis.

Delicious food and wine

Argentina is a country that is well renowned for producing top quality beef. But though barbecue here is serious business, with dozens of cuts of steak you’ve probably never heard of on offer, there’s much more to the cuisine than red meat. Don’t miss empanadas which are mini pastries filled with various delicious savoury ingredients, tamales that are like a stuffed cornbread, and for a sweet fix, try anything that contains the caramel-like dulce de leche.

Argentina is also world famous for its wine production and the accolades it receives are well deserved with neighbouring regions Mendoza, La Rioja, and San Juan all turning out great tipples. Wine tours in these areas give you the opportunity to sample some amazing vintages while appreciating the charm of the valleys where the vineyards grow.

It’s breathtakingly beautiful

Argentina is blessed with numerous unique areas of breathtaking natural beauty. A visit to the incredible Iguazu Falls makes for a truly awe-inspiring experience, with nearly 300 separate waterfalls ranging in size from tiny to colossal and forming a natural border with Brazil.

At its southern tip, you’ll find Argentina’s portion of Patagonia where you can witness spectacular glaciers edging their way towards the sea, craggy mountain scenery, and wonderful wildlife including penguins, whales, and flamingos. There are also salt flats, a lake district, miles of rolling green mountains and much more to discover.

A Unique and varied culture

With only a small number of indigenous groups remaining, Argentina’s culture has been shaped largely by the mixture of European immigrants who arrived in the 19th and 20th centuries. Italian, Spanish, and French influences which are seen clearly in the architecture and food, but settlers from Germany, Ukraine, Russia and many more European countries have also made their mark. Bizarrely there’s even a thriving community of Welsh speakers in Patagonia who arrived over 150 years ago.

It’s this cultural melting pot that gives Argentina its totally unique feel when compared with much of the rest of Latin America. Though on the surface there’s a familiarity to the European aspects, it’s forged a completely idiosyncratic identity for itself that Argentines are fiercely proud of and which makes it a fascinating place to explore.

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