I am also very excited to be in South America. I have heard so much about the other land down under that I have always wanted to check it out. From gorgeous warm weather to great food, great shopping, and hot boys. So, I start off with a few days in Buenos Aires on my own. We venture off into BA and check out La Boca and Recoleta.
Argentina is the second largest country in South America. There are the impressive Iguazu waterfalls in the north. The South American Party Metropolis is in the center. There is a vast lakeside area with green forests around Bariloche. There are impressive mountains, glacier landscapes in Patagonia down to Tierra del Fuego.
In Buenos Aires and in touristic castles, people often speak English. Outside of hotels and tours, it is quite difficult without speaking Spanish. I recommend to you at least a certain basic Spanish to adapt. I also improved my Spanish after I had already learned basics.
The Argentinians are very warm people and like to do everything in the community. A symbol of this is the ritual of drinking Mate together. It is a good way to meet new friends and after a time you will like it!
1) Argentina Food
Backpacking in Argentina means Steak and Wine. The Argentinian beef has extraordinary taste. The Malbec from Mendoza is not less recommendable. The Italian cuisine is widespread due to a large number of Italian immigrants. The most common dishes are Asado (grilled meat), empanadas (pastries). Then there is pizza al Corte, pasta, tostadas, and sandwich.
For drinks, Malbec (red wine from Mendoza) and Mate tea are the most typical. The unofficial national drink is Fernet and Cola. Quilmes and Isenbeck are the most common brands here. The good beers are in the small breweries in the south (Bariloche).
2) Argentina Transportation
Flights are quite expensive. The buses in Argentina are very comfortable, pleasant and affordable.
3) North: Salta, Cordoba & Iguazu
In the North is the well-known Iguazu waterfalls that Argentina shares with Brazil. The surroundings of Salta and Cordoba are worth seeing! We then head to Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian side where I take a helicopter ride for $75 USD. It doesn't get any cheaper than that folks. We then take a tour on the Brazilian side and see the actual falls. These are the largest falls in the world. It blows Niagara Falls out of the water.
The lush vegetation surrounding the falls is to die for. The next day we cross back into Argentina because the Arg side is much larger and nicer. We take a boat ride and by no means is it like The Maid Of The Mist. You get drenched on this and it is bloody hot out there so you definitely should wear your swimsuit. It was so much fun as we went very close to the falls in a speedboat that only holds about 50 people.
If hiking is your thing, you should be at the Calchaquí Valley near Salta. There is also the area around Villa Carlos Paz near Cordoba. Cordoba is also the city's student center and has the most lively nightlife in Buenos Aires.
4) Center: Buenos Aires, Rosario, Mendoza
The capital is the starting point for the Argentine adventure. Not far away from here is Rosaria, located on the Parana River. The capital has Street Art, a legendary nightlife, good restaurants and much more.
Rosario is the best way to get to know the real Argentina. Mendoza is the wine cellar of the country. Here you can make wine tours and in summer there are also good parties.
5) Patagonia: Bariloche, El Chaltén and El Calafate
For nature lovers, there is no way around the Argentine part of Patagonia. Bariloche is an excellent starting point for a trip to the seven lakes. You can for an extensive hiking tour (Frey, Cerro Catedral). In winter it is the winter sports center of South America.
In El Chalten, hikers and climbers alike get their money's worth.
An absolute must-see is also the Perito Moreno glacier at El Calafate!
6) Fireland: Ushuaia & Antarctic Expeditions
Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world with its slogan 'At the end of the world'. The coast is particularly rough here. The landscape with high mountains, glacial lakes, and national parks is worth seeing.
If you are looking for an expedition to Antarctica, Ushuaia is the starting point. There is also the opportunity to get one of the coveted last-minute destinations. You only have to bring enough time and money (only in summer!).