Argentina is vast, impressive and unforgettable. Everytime you think you’ve seen the most amazing thing ever, you’ll find another even better surprise: different landscapes, territories, towns, animals, and wonders of nature at almost every corner.
Do you like penguins? don’t miss the Peninsula Valdes (Province of Chubut). Are you amazed by massive pieces of ice? Perito Moreno is what you’re looking for (Provincia de Santa Cruz). Are you feeling incomplete without skiing at the end of the world once in the lifetime? Then the Tierra del Fuego is the place for you. Is water your element? You couldn’t have enough of it at Puerto Iguazù.
To visit large parts of Argentina is very easy and comfortable but it takes time, a long time. You can face the trip in different way, it depends mostly on time availability and also on your mood and attitude!
Renting a car:
Despite all I’ve read, driving in Argentina it’s not as frightening as described! Yes, distances are enormous and you need to be careful with fuel and some mechanical skills can be useful. But you’re not always completely in the middle of the bloody nowhere ! You may face up to 200/400 km just meeting sheeps or guanacos, but there are more villages around than you expect
There are 2 main national roads paved and with a common limit of 80 km/h:
I traveled pieces of both and they are beautiful in many different ways: the sea, the vastness of the landscape, the mountains, the lakes, the animals. It’s up to you to choose what you prefer, depending mostly on where do you want/need to go!
So all you need is:
When you rent a car:
I experienced a bus journey just once on a short trip from Argentina to Brazil, but i’ve heard about this legendary and amazingly comfortable bus that crosses the country (like a business class plane). In my brief experience i can definitely confirm it!
Argentina is huge in a way that always surprises the Europeans.
This could seem the easiest and quickest way, but it’s not necessarily, or not always at least.
If you choose to fly you have to be a very patient as Argentinian airlines (both Aerolineas Argentinas and LAN) always guarantee your destination on the given day. But rarely on the given time! All our flights were delayed by between at least 30 minutes and a couple of hours. So take a seat, a big breath and relax in one of the amazing airports. Most of them have free wifi. Others don’t even have a waiting room neither. It’s a matter of luck!”
Arranging your excursions:
Once you’ve reached your destination there will be surely a lot to see.
If you’re not making use of an agency, you can always take the advantage of excursions wherever you are. You’ll find many travel agencies in every main town, so you can easily book excursions (subject to availability and it depends mostly on the period you’re visiting). Price differences are insubstantial among them!
Some places are easy to visit (which is not an insignificant detail). For some you should have a guide, maybe for transportation or simply to enhance the experience. Based on my experience, I’m going to suggest which places to visit on your own, and for which I recommend a guide.
Chosing a guided excursion could seem a bit constraining, but it offers many advantages like travel with someone who knows the way and the place, who can provide interesting information about history and events that you will not find in any guidebook (they usually speak a lot during the endless route), and they’re usually very pleasant. Ask them also if you need any advice on where to eat or buy something. I always received very useful tips. Also, you usually share excursions with other foreigners: you can find as many amazing fellows as boring people, but any unknown is there to be known and you’re not supposed to spend all your life with them. So be flexible and have fun!”
Guides and books:
There are lots of books, guides and blog where you can find suggestion to plan your trip in Argentina.
In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin surely is a must read before to leave, and also Luis Sepulveda said a lot about the area. But you can find also other writers.
Regarding guides I had a Lonely Planet and a Routard with me and I can honestly say that the first one is a step forward! Once again I’ve been disappointed by Routard tips, especially re bad place where to eat or providing incomplete information. It seems none of those writer has never been there!
I’ve found the Lonely Planet guide more useful in terms of information, place to visit and tips.
I was travelling with a backpack avoiding to wrap it into plastic at every airport, taking the risk to find it destroyed. But was lucky and as much as I saw the airport ground crew was careful enough with luggages!