An Adventurer’s 8-Day Guide to Argentina
Argentina has a little bit of everything – explore the city of Buenos Aires with its rich history, head north to the border of Brazil and see one of the biggest waterfalls in the world, and go down to Patagonia to see jaw-dropping glaciers. Argentina is great for someone who wants to experience a lot of different sceneries and activities in one trip and get to know the southernmost tip of our planet. Our itinerary has a core focus on connecting with locals through small walking tours and incredible dining experiences.
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Where to stay
A handsome 17-room estate near the Perito Moreno glacier, with prized views across the Patagonian plains.
Pioneros del Valle Hostel
El Chalten hostel with dorm rooms and laundry available in the hiking capital of Patagonia near hiking trails.
In El Chaltén, a rustic lodge with oversized rooms and spectacular views of the Las Vueltas River.
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Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires
Check in to your hotel
After you check in at América del Sur Hostel, grab a coffee at the oldest cafe in Argentina, Café Tortoni. It’s a bit fancy inside, with art deco elements. Get a coffee and medialuna – a classic, sweet, croissant-like pastry that will change your life! Indulge!
Go on a free walking tour
Free walking tours are one of the best ways to get to know a place. There's a free guided city center tour with Buenos Aires Free Walks that starts at the gate of the National Congress building (check the website for the schedule).
It’s nice to be on a tour with a local and hear about the rich history of the city from their point of view. They’ll point out characteristic traits of different parts of the city as you walk together. In the past, the city center tour covered the downtown area and all of the major buildings down the boulevard of Avenida de Mayo as well as in the Plaza de Mayo.
Dinner at a parilla
Go to dinner early at the Don Julio Parrilla to beat the crowds. The restaurant has a great ambiance, especially if you sit on the street. Keep in mind that Argentinians will show up for dinner at 10 pm at the earliest. Eating at a parilla is a great way to have an authentic Argentinian dinner. Order an ojo de bife, a steak that’s big enough to share, and try lots of side dishes including provoleta, a grilled slice of provolone cheese you eat with warm bread.
Day 2: Get to know Argentina’s capital city
Morning in the park
Grab pastries and coffee to go from a bakery in the Palermo Soho area and walk around the Bosques de Palermo. It's a nice park to walk around and enjoy the scenery and weather. There's a lake and different gardens including el Rosedal, the Jardin Botanico and Jardin Japones. Sitting on a bench near the water and watching people in boats go by is a lovely way to spend the morning.
Pop into Sacro in Palermo for lunch. This trendy spot offers delicious dishes including sweet potato ravioli and an activated charcoal empanada. The menu is also very vegan-friendly.
Tour La Boca
La Boca neighborhood is known for its colorful buildings. It is best to go with a guide, as the area is known for petty theft. Buenos Aires Free Walks offers affordable tours. You’ll hear about the immigrant history of the area, the roots of tango and see a different side of the city.
A dinner experience
Have dinner at La Cabrera, another parrilla, a spot which is known for having 24 different cuts of beef.
Day 3: Evita and empanadas
Grab a quick breakfast on the go of pastries and coffee and join the Buenos Aires Free Walks tour of the Recoleta cemetery. You’ll learn about the different people who have been buried there and each person’s significance. This is where Eva Perón is buried – your guide will tell you about her life and her impact on Argentine history.
Nearby is the Evita Museum that gives a deep-dive into the life of the political activist and famous socialite. The entire museum is dedicated to Eva Perón and her impact on Argentinian culture, especially in Buenos Aires. You’ll learn various political movements that can be traced back to her.
A sweet treat followed by lunch
Rapanui is an amazing place for chocolates and ice cream. Try the franui – raspberries dipped in chocolate and served frozen. It’s the perfect mid-afternoon snack!
Pizza is very popular in Argentina as there is a strong influence from many generations of Italian immigrants. El Cuartito is a great, authentic pizza place.
Take an empanada-making class
Learn how to make one of the most beloved foods in Argentina. An empanada-making class is all about Argentinian food culture. You’ll learn about different types of local wine and traditional foods like chorizo and provolone cheese. The guide will even teach you how to properly order a steak. Of course, you’ll also get to make and fold your empanadas. You’ll eat the empanada for dinner before flying to Iguazu and checking into your next accommodation.
Day 4: Experience Iguazu Falls
Experience the Argentina side of Iguazu Falls
Check into the tasteful Selvaje Lodge Iguazu contented by floating bridges and suspended terraces around a lovely pool (you’ll be grateful for this one).
From the hotel, it is an about 45-minute ride to Iguazu National Park. Prepare yourself for an all-day experience where you’ll get to walk around the whole park. You can see La Garganta del Diablo, a huge gaping hole of rushing water. On the Argentine side of Iguazu Falls, you get a lot closer to the waterfalls (compared to the Brazilian side, where it's more of a panoramic view). You can also take a boat to go closer to the waterfalls if you’d like.
Grab sandwiches or empanadas at the food stalls for breakfast and lunch and enjoy the incredible vistas.
Steak for dinner
Go to Aqva Restaurant for dinner and order a steak, grilled provolone cheese and a glass of local wine. You’ll want to have an early night as the next day you’ll be getting up early to see the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls.
Day 5: Brazilian Iguazu Falls
Experience the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls
Head out to the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls. There are different viewpoints from both sides, so it’s well worth seeing both! From Brazil, you’ll be able to get more of a panoramic view of the falls.
Fly to El Calafate
This evening, you will catch a flight to El Calafate to continue your trip.
Day 6: Experience Patagonia
Hiking the Condor
From El Calafate, take an approximately three-hour bus to El Chalten, the hiking capital of Argentina. Set out on the hike to the Condor lookout point for sunset. It’s a quick hike with incredible views and a great introduction to Patagonia. You can settle here in this backpacker town at Estancia Don José, Rio Mayo. This working guanaco farm features a country house with quaint lodging options, or if you’re more of a hotel buff, I’ve included some options at the top of this guide that are destinations in and of themselves.
Dinner in town
Grab a quick dinner in town at Restaurant Aonikenk. Order a typical Argentine dish, such as a milanesa (breaded beef or chicken) to fuel yourself for the next few days of exploration.
Day 7: Day in El Chalten
Embark on the Mount Fitz Roy hike
This day features a vigorous hike to Mount Fitz Roy. It’s an eight-hour trek that starts at the northwestern side of El Chalten, where a big sign says “Sendero al Fitz Roy.” The hike is free to access and is about 16 miles. It’s an awesome trek through various types of terrains.
The peaks of Patagonia are very jagged, and there are a few lakes that you pass by with boardwalks over a grassy field. You can see glaciers too! It’s the most well-known hike in El Chalten as it’s the main peak in the area (notably, it’s the one on the Patagonia brand’s logo). Keep your eyes wide open for the swoon-worthy views of this unique landscape.
When you return to El Chalten, take the night bus to El Calafate.
Day 8: Perito Moreno Glacier
Get picked up early (around 7 am) from Nakel Yenu Hostel for a day trip to see and trek on huge glaciers. Make sure to bring a prepared lunch, but otherwise the tour company will provide you with all the necessary equipment. You’ll get some time to see the glacier itself from afar and then get a few hours of ice trekking on the glacier. It’s awesome to see the glacier and its waterfalls from different angles, so definitely take time to walk around.
Make sure to wear a rain jacket, waterproof pants, waterproof hiking boots, sunglasses, sunscreen, gloves and a hat.
Dining out in El Calafate
Head to La Tablita for dinner, known as the best restaurant in El Calafate. It’s a beef institution and serves the best asado, fantastic steaks and has a huge selection of wines. You’ll be wanting just that after days of adventuring in the southernmost tip of Argentina.
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