Dubbed the “Paris of South America”, Argentina’s massive metropolis and capital city Buenos Aires is all about its European essence - from cobblestoned streets lined with pretty cafes to neighborhoods bursting with unique colonial character. We are talking French-styled buildings, Italian-flavored food, and Spanish-inspired nightlife, all in all a distinct European flair. Throw in the tastiest steaks, with authentic wines and traditional tango shows, and that's a lot of bang for buck for any city. Get in touch with our Argentinian travel experts who can go a long way in helping you get the best out of your Buenos Aires experience.Scan through our list of trip ideas and Argentina’s superb travel highlights, so that you can curate your own itinerary revolving around your interests.Meanwhile, enjoy our list of things to do and see while in Buenos Aires.La Recoleta CemeteryStart with a graceyard? Sure, when it's one as full of stunning architecture as this one. La Recoleta cemetery isn’t just any ordinary necropolis; this is where the elites and prominent personalities of Argentina are buried. Established in 1822, Recoleta Cemetery consists of 4,500 above-ground crypts, of which 94 are tagged as significant historical monuments. Of all the significant tombs, Argentina’s first lady, Eva Peron’s grave gets the most attention and is still lined with flowers outside her vault.La Recoleta showcases an excellent array of marble mausoleums and sculptures, carved by notable artists, making it quite easy to understand why it has been is listed in the best of its category by BBC and CNN.Puerto Madero It once served a function as the main port of Buenos Aires; today, Puerto Madero is currently the largest urban development project in the capital. The port, fortunately, regained its lost glory in 1989, when its decaying warehouses were turned into grandiose buildings for residential and business purposes. Puerto Madero is an ideal escape from the chaos of the city and offers its visitors breathtaking sunset views alongside the towering, white Puente de La Mujer (Bridge of Woman). Interestingly, this former port neighborhood is home to some of the trendiest steak and seafood restaurants in the city and fairly bursts with energy after sunset.San TelmoLined with beautiful churches and aging houses, San Telmo is also the oldest neighborhood of this capital city, well known for its active weekend market, the feria. Stroll through the cobblestoned pathways past old colonial homes, traditional restaurants, and a wide range of shops, all of which portray much of the locality’s conventional personality.San Telmo witnesses a huge footfall of locals and visitors for its famed Sunday markets. With an endless variety of antique shops, clothing and craft stalls, alongside numerous street performances, this little charmer enchants visitors with its beautiful chaos.Teatro ColonOpened in 1908, Teatro Colon was once the largest opera hub in the world until the Sydney Opera House took over in 1973. This extravagant opera house boasts a magnificent European-style décor with French stained glass, Venetian mosaics, Italian-marble staircases and an opulent chandelier straight from romance-era of the early 20th century.Hosting live shows over the years with world-class artists, Teatro Colon is as pleasing to the ears as its architecture is to the eyes. Head over in the months between April and December to witness some of the theater’s astounding ballet and opera performances.Tango DancingBeing the birthplace of Tango, Buenos Aires is filled with its spirit on almost every corner. An authentic touristy experience, Tango dancing is one of the premier highlights of the country and one should not miss swaying to its syncopated beats (if you know what you are doing) or at least watching the professionals killing it. There are plenty of Milonga (Tango Nights), where people go to rock tango. The most notable Milongas happens in the streets of San Telmo’s Plaza Dorrezo every Sunday night, and at Salon Canning, where the admission is inexpensive and comes with tango lessons, which is a bonus.Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) Editorial copyrights: Karina | YimyArgentina’s premier art museum with a modern touch, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) features an eclectic mix of avant-garde artworks from the 19th and 20th century. Highlights of the museum include works of exemplary Latino artists like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, along with other local talents. Editorial copyrights: Juan BelloThe artistic wonderland of MALBA showcases a unique collection of the past century, making it quite a must-visit for any art aficionado.Important note: The museum is closed on Tuesdays, so prepare accordingly.La Boca neighborhoodWith seducingly vibrant colored buildings and a lively vibe, the quaint neighborhood of La Boca is definitely one of those essential corners every Buenos Aires first-timer should consider adding to their itinerary. Brimming with trendy boutiques and tango dancing in the streets, La Boca is a district that houses local artists, passionate soccer fans and blue-collar workers alike; the real Buenos Aires, in other words.One of the key attractions of the barrio is the famed El Caminito Street, which has artists depicting beautifully bright murals on the sidewalks. La Boca is also home to the city’s beloved football club, Boca Juniors, and there is hardly anything more intense than watching a footie-encounter with rivals, River Plate, at the area’s very own La Bombonera Stadium.Plaza de MayoBuenos Aires’s oldest public square and perhaps the most compelling one, Plaza de Mayo holds a significant place in the political heart of the country. One of the major draws of the square is the imposing, pink-colored mansion called Casa Rosada, home to the Argentinian President. It is from the very same balcony of the mansion that the world famous speeches of Eva Peron, affectionately known as Evita, were delivered to her legion of admirers.Another eye-catching sight of the square is the Piramide de Mayo (May Pyramid), which was raised to honor the uprising movements and holds the prestige of being one of the city’s most iconic structures.Important Note: Plaza de Mayo sees a lot of frequent protests related to current events, hence check in advance and plan your visit accordingly.Catch a Polo match or Horse racing in PalermoArgentina, renowned for its passion for polo, bestows an exceptional opportunity for those visiting during the months of September to November. As these months mark the prime playing season, anybody visiting Buenos Aires should book their passes well in advance for the popular Argentinian Open at the Campo Argentino de Polo in the ritzy locale of Palermo.Even if you miss the enthralling polo tournament, hop into the Palermo Hippodrome nearby to catch these magnificent beasts with their caballeros galloping against each other. Apart from hosting memorable horse tournaments, Palermo is an upscale, swanky neighborhood bursting with high-end boutiques, urban parks, and quaint cafes.Enjoy the NightlifeEditorial copyrights: Rob MurgatroydYes, Buenos Aires is well-acclaimed for its dashing nightlife culture. Late nightlife culture. Join the party-spirited souls of the city and groove to House and electronic music in its many clubs. A word of advice - don’t turn up before 2 am, as it will be empty until then. Head over to the famous Crobar, which hosts many sought-after international DJs, and the modish Niceto Club that has everything from Techno music to Cabaret performances.Start planning your itinerary with a help of a travel expert here.
Unlike other nations, Argentina’s food culture is all about sharing a good meal with your family and friends; you’d find fewer people having a snack all by themselves on the street. But that does not mean you can’t grab a bite while on the move. To get you started, connect with an Argentinian travel expert who will be able to assist you in planning your culinary journey across this vast country. While you’re at it, here are a handful of suggestions picked by our local experts to weave into your larger itinerary in order to make this a memorable and well-rounded Argentina experience. Meanwhile, take a look at our list of the best street foods you can lay your hands on in this beautiful South American nation:1) Choripan : Endearingly referred to as “Chori”, the Choripan is the premier street food by popular demand in Argentina. This sandwich comprises 30% pork and 70% beef minced together as a chorizo (sausage). It is grilled, seasoned and served usually with chimichurri sauce.If you’re in Buenos Aires, then you can chow down on one of these (a distant cousin of the hotdog or half-foot South American subway) on Costanera Sur near the local airport Jorge Newbery: some of the best Choripans street-food stands are located there.2) Empanadas :This savory pastry is a typical Argentinian delicacy that you can find anywhere, including on every restaurant menu in Argentina. For those in a hurry, this is also popular on-the-fly option available at most fast food eateries and supermarts.Don’t forget to try the popular empanada de carne, empanada de jamon y queso, and empanada de pollo. 3) Sandwich De Miga:The Sandwich De Miga is one of the most sought-after sandwiches found in almost all bakery shops around the country. The sort of bread that is used is unlike anything you’d find at your local bakers in your own country. It is exquisitely light, exceptionally white and exceedingly thin. There are varied fillings available, and are not limited to ham and cheese, eggs, mayonnaise, olives, ham and tuna. 4) Bondiola :Editorial Copyrights: Gillian GutenbergIf you didn’t find the Choripan tasty enough, then you’d find its popular rival Bondiola (also referred to as the Bondipan locally) perhaps tastier. It is a roasted pork shoulder sliced and served on bread distributed with lemon juice to wash it all down.Editorial Copyrights: Fabian LuqueYou have two choices when it comes down to strategizing your plan of attack. You can go all plain and dress it up with some toppings like salsa criolla which is a mixture of onions and chopped tomate or chimichurri sauce, or order this with toppings like thinly cut french fries, fried egg and also cheese. All this heavenly meaty wholesomeness is wedged between a baguette-style loaf. 5) Pancho :Now just because Argentina has its Choripans and Bondipans doesn’t mean it lacks its own version of a hotdog. Meet the Pancho, Argentina’s answer to all an American favorite. Thinly cut fried potatoes called Lluvia de papa can be sprinkled over the top to give this sausage snack a little more depth.Editorial Copyrights: Michael BertinoIf you’d like your Pancho to be not any less than a size XL, feel free to beef it up by adding several toppings, thus transforming it to the elite status of 'Super Pancho'. Of course, there are several delicious sauces that go along with this dog, the most popular choice being a mixture of ketchup, mustard, and mayo. 6) Tortilla :Found usually in Northern Argentina, these versions of the popular bread found all over Latin America literally melt in your mouth. Tortilla are flatbreads made of wheat flour baked on a parrilla (barbeque), often filled with jamon y queso (ham & cheese) but you can also get them plain. 7) Proveleta :For those who don't like their food too spicy, the provolone cheese would be a good choice – but as soon as you slap this on a grill, the experience of having one is elevated to a whole other level. Made from cow's milk, provolone transforms into a gooey goodness, and it is a classic starter for an Argentinian asado or barbecue.Provoleta is often served with oregano toppings, and ideally should be slightly crisp on the outside, yet melted on the inside (sort of similar texture as the Crème Brulee). It is grilled in a specially-sized skillet or a simple foil dish.The provoleta from goat’s milk is something you might like if you prefer a creamy acidic taste.8) Humita :There is no better tribute to corn than a Humita, eaten as a savory snack or as a main course. The corn mash is unraveled by untying the leaf package in which it is steamed or boiled.Humita is consumed around the Andean region, including Chile, Bolivia and Peru, and dates back to the pre-Columbian era. Made with onion, spices, fresh corn & milk, goat cheese is sometimes added to pep it up.9) Locro :Marking Argentina's May Revolution on May 25th of every year, Locro is a traditional stew served abundantly as a national dish. Made from vegetables including white beans, squash, pumpkin, and seasoned with cumin and bay leaf as well as white corn, beef or pork, red chorizo & tripe, this luscious meal in a bowl is an ideal staple for winter.With a dash of quiquirimichi, a hot salsa made from paprika, spring onion and chili, it can further stimulate your senses.Also worth a try is the Carbonada, a similar dish that is served inside a baked, seasoned pumpkin and also includes sweetcorn as an ingredient.10) Dulce De Leche :Unless you’re an Argentinian yourself, you may, at some point during your travels, land in the middle of a passionate argument between two or more Argentinians arguing that licking dulce de leche (sugar and caramelized milk sauce) from a spoon is a meal in itself. Desserts such as flan are usually accompanied by this sweet & sticky salsa. A better variation of the above is the dulce de leche-flavored helado.You may as well not start a business of selling ice creams in Argentina if you are not planning to stock the above flavor. If you’re a fan of thick and creamy ice-creams and not eating this, then you’re buying your ice cream from the wrong counter. 11) Beef :Finally, we save the best for last. If you didn’t know, Argentina IS beef country, being one of the large exporters of fine quality South American beef. If you love your succulent prime cuts of beef then you can’t leave without trying out some of them during your stay in Argentina.Here’s a guide to some prime cuts that you can find here:Bife de chorizo – sirloin: A popular cut, thick and juicyBife de costilla – T-bone: It is sometimes referred to as chuleta, and it is a cut that’s closest to the bone.Bife de lomo – tenderloin: It’s a tender piece with a thin cut.Cuadril – A thin cut rump steak.Ojo de bife - Ribeye: A smaller amount by choiceTira de asado – shortribs: Crosswise sliced meat with thin strips of ribs.Vacío – It’s a tasty flank steak that is chewy and textured.Plan your custom culinary adventure here with advice from our travel experts if we made your mouth water with our delicious street food choices in Argentina.
A cosmopolitan metropolis, backed by the majestic Andes, vivacious and cultured, Santiago is where the soul of over 40 percent of Chileans resides. With its energetic neighborhoods, coupled with art galleries, dramatic hills, booming nightlife and historical museums, Santiago is one of that handful of destinations with a truly urban and worldly zest.Connect with our travel experts who will help you plan your Santiago experience with the requisite insider experience needed. Browse through trip ideas for Chile, as well as other highlights of the country, and see how you can make this wonderful capital city a big part of your itinerary.If you are unsure of things to do while in Santiago, here is our list of main highlights.Climb the San Cristobal HillSoaring almost 3,000 feet up from the metropolitan park in the spirited neighborhood of Bellavista, St. Christopher Hill (Cerro San Cristobal), offers some breathtaking vistas of Santiago and rightfully happens to be one of the premier highlights of the city. However, accessing the top of the hill demands an hour of moderate hiking.For those who want to avoid such an exhausting climb, can alternatively take a funicular, which stops at different levels of the hill.As you reach the summit, you are welcomed by a shimmering 70-foot white statue of the Virgin Mary. Rejuvenate yourself by the unrivaled vistas of the city below, best viewed on a bright, clear day, making it a must-visit sight while in the city.Shop and eat at Mercado CentralLocated in the heart of the city, Santiago’s Central Market, also called Mercado Central is where any seafood aficionado can get a worthy fix for their apetite. A historical landmark, Mercado Central is set beneath a wrought-iron ceiling erected in 1872, thus portraying a distinct turn-of-the-century architecture. Ranked by the National Geographic as the fifth best market in the world, Mercado Central is where you walk amidst the bustle and come across rarities of giant squids, sea urchins, and barnacles. Even if someone is not a seafood fanatic, Santiago’s Central Market will satisfy anyone’s palate with its vast array of fruits, spices, and vegetables.Walk into the lively neighborhood of BellavistaOne of Santiago’s most vibrant neighborhoods, Bellavista showcases superbly extravagant graffiti-lined streets that are bound to turn your head at every corner.Attracting a healthy number of the artsy crowd, Bellavista is best explored by taking a street art tour and stopping off at many of its stunning cafes.Home to the country’s celebrated poet Pablo Neruda’s mansion, La Chascona, Bellavista boasts a creative and artistic aura along with its contemporary boutiques, which definitely puts it up among the favorites among locals and travelers alike.Enjoy the bustle of Plaza de ArmasConsidered as a premier historical landmark of Santiago, the Plaza de Armas is peppered with palm trees and hosts some of the most fascinating architectural treasures and historical museums of the city. Among the abundance of display in the Plaza, one cannot miss the sheer beauty of the Metropolitan Cathedral, along with the former governor’s palace, which has now been turned into city’s main post office and a museum, exhibiting a vast collection of Chile’s history from the pre-conquest period to the 20th century.Another not to be missed sight of this square is the monument dedicated to Chile’s conqueror and the city’s founder, Pedro de Valdivia. On most days, the Plaza is filled up with comedians, photographers, artists and performers all day long, adding much delight to any visitor’s entertainment.Plaza de Armas is simply a perfect retreat for any historical buff or for someone looking to immerse in the city’s culture.Wine tasting at Maipo ValleyOf all the things Chile is admired for, wine certainly tops the list. Oenophiles from across the world need no introduction of the exquisiteness of Chilean wines, but most of them are hardly aware of how many vineyards are close to Santiago. Located less than an hour’s drive from the capital city, Maipo Valley is well known for their robust flavorful reds, especially Cabernet Sauvignon.Editorial copyrights: Concha y ToroOne of the most acclaimed wineries in the region is the Concha y Toro, which offers its guests innovative wines paired with delicious Chilean cuisine, along with tours of its vineyards.Visit Pablo Neruda’s homeEditorial copyrights: Virginia Bergamaschi GuimaraensFor poetry and literature devotees, no trip to Santiago would be complete without visiting La Chascona in the Bellavista locale, one of the three homes of Chile’s Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda. Named “La Chascona”, which means Woman with Tousled Hair, characterizes Neruda’s third wife, Mathilde, known for her red, wavy braids.Editorial copyrights: Guldem UstunThis converted museum today houses the rarest collection of the renowned poet’s personal possession. Make sure to take the advantage of the audio guide, providing you insights about the mansion’s background and Neruda’s life in here.SkiingLocated just an hour away from Santiago lies the country’s most beloved ski retreat of Portillo. Dating back to 1930, a bunch of winter sports enthusiast started constructing a ski area nearby the Laguna del Inca, thus drawing skiers from almost every corner of the world. However, it was in 1966, when Portillo came into the limelight for hosting the Alpine World Ski Championship, after which its popularity exponentially increased, ultimately taking it into the list of favorites among the skiers.Boasting around 1,235 skiable acres, along with 19 runs, skiing the Portillo is an adventure in itself, and a perfect day escape from the urban chaos of Santiago.Visit the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino (Chilean Museum of pre-Columbian art)Editorial copyrights: Matthew ErnestGiven the enormous compilation of top-notch museums in Santiago, it is quite unanimous that this remains the pride and joy of the city. The Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino (Chilean Museum of pre-Colombian art) hosts a wide assortment of artefacts from a civilization which has completely vanished. The museum of pre-Columbian art exhibits the sculptures, pottery and monuments from Mesoamerica, Amazon and the Andes region.Editorial copyrights: Jacques LebleuThe key highlights, however, include the Chinchorro mummies and treasures from Inca and Aztec empires. Editorial copyrights: Matthew ErnestThis incredible museum is truly worth every penny of its entry price (which goes toward its maintenance). Interestingly, one can get free access to the museum on Sundays.Start tailoring your itinerary here.
Overview: Argentina is the second largest country in the continent of South America, and also contains its highest and lowest points: at almost 23,000 ft, Cerro Aconcagua is known to be the tallest mountain in the Americas while Laguna Del Carbón at 344 ft below sea level is considered the lowest point. If you’re a football fan you would know of the infamous “Hand of God” a term that has been used to describe the legendary soccer player Diego Maradona who hails from Argentina. Another star who shares the same roots is the soccer prodigy Lionel Messi. Argentina, unlike its other South American counterparts, consists of European-like architecture, loads of natural beauty, arts, history & culture, dance, food, and endless adventure opportunities.The best time to plan your vacation to Argentina would be during late spring (September, October) and the summer months between November and March when it is possible to enjoy the whole country thanks to the favorable and pleasant climate conditions. The months of January and February are usually peak season and most of the places will be busy so it's better to make reservations for buses, flights and hotels well in advance. Connect with our Argentinian travel hosts who can guide you further in planning an awesome experience. Also, check out some of our carefully curated trip suggestions which are all customizable according to your needs. Or browse a list of highlights that make this country so special.In the meantime, here is our list of top 10 things that you must include when you plan a trip to Argentina:1) Buenos Aires :The capital of Argentina is one of the world’s most thrilling cities to visit. Fascinating art, museums, bustling neighborhoods, delicious food, and a friendly and passionate population who are as excited as the tourists to have fun all night long.Take in a Tango show in San Telmo, enjoy gentle bike rides through Palermo and indulge in mouthwatering steaks at Palermo's Las Cañitas; wander about for hours in the stunningly beautiful and serene Recoleta Cemetery where the rich and famous are buried. Also worth visiting are the white tigers and pygmy hippos who enjoy the run of the zoo at Parque Temaiken.Editorial Copyrights: Bruno Rincoski2) Iguazu Falls : There are a fair amount of amazing waterfalls around the globe, and then there’s Iguazú. The power and fury of this spectacle of nature (more volume of water than the Niagara) can make anyone's jaw drop. The falls lie on the border of Brazil and Argentina in a large expanse of rain-forest and national park, which in a way can be viewed as an additional benefit. The area can be easily reached from either side of the Argentine–Brazilian border or from nearby Paraguay. Most of the people choose either to stay in Foz do Iguaçu on the Brazilian side or in Argentina’s Puerto Iguazú. However, some visitors also try to experience the falls from both sides if you’re feeling adventurous enough (and if you don't have any visa problems).3) Córdoba :Córdoba, the geographical center of Argentina, is a city in the foothills of the Sierras Chicas on the Suquía river, about seven hundered kilometers (435 miles) north-west of Buenos Aires. It is the capital of the Córdoba Province and is also considered the second most populous city after Buenos Aires.Editorial Copyrights: /ShutterstockIn the year 2006, the city of Córdoba was awarded the title of Cultural Capital of the Americas, a suitable title for a city that has seen four excellent art galleries dedicated to emerging, contemporary, classical and fine art independently, and are also an easy walking distance from each other and the city center. Argentina's alternative film scene lives and thrives here as well. Artisans and young designers showcase their skills at the Craft's Market on the weekends that stretches for several blocks and is considered the best in the country. If all this action is a bit too 'city' for you, there are several picturesque little mountain villages only a short bus ride away.4) Glaciar Perito Moreno:Amongst the most approachable and lively ice fields on our planet, Glaciar Perito Moreno is a spectacular centerpiece situated in the southern sector of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. Locally, it's referred to as Glacier Moreno and measures about 19 miles in length, 3 miles wide and almost 200 feet high; what makes it exceptional in today's glacier world is that it is still growing in size! If you approach by boat, you will see icebergs that are building-sized calving off from its face. It is possible to hike over the surface with expert guides; indeed, there two treks, each of varying ability, that allow you to journey directly over the Perito Moreno glacier with the aid of crampons strapped to your shoes or boots.A ‘Mini-trekking’ hike consists of a two-hour walk, which is an excursion that requires a bare minimum of physical fitness and is recommended for reasonably healthy people from 10 to 65 years of age. A second option would be the ‘Big Ice’ excursion, a more demanding seven-hour hike over the ice.5) Wine Tasting :Exploring Argentina for its grape will take you and your palate on a journey from the Malbecs and the cabernets of Mendoza (the wine capital of Argentina) to the crisp torrontés of Cafayate and the juicy syrahs of San Juan. Maipú, a small town near Mendoza, is filled with wineries, gourmet businesses and plenty of olive oil farms for daily visits.Tours are offered everywhere and most include a small sampling of the produce. A few companies also rent out bikes or electric scooters for day tours of the area which make for excellent outing with friends or family.6) Reserva Faunística Península Valdés :Península Valdés is one of South America’s finest wildlife reserves and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, comprising a total area of around 2250 square miles and more than 250 miles of coastline.The wildlife of this peninsula is truly extraordinary; it is home to sea lions, elephant seals, guanacos, rheas, Magellanic penguins and numerous seabirds but the biggest appeal is the endangered Ballena Franca Austral a.k.a the Southern Right Whale. 7) Colonia del Sacramento :Not in Argentina at all, but in Uruguay, Colonia del Sacramento is just one hour away from the city of Buenos Aires by ferry. If you don't have any visa issues, catch a ferry across the Rio de la Plata to visit the little city of Colonia del Sacramento and it's gorgeous.The Portuguese founded the city in 1680.The main allure of Colonia del Sacramento is the Barrio Histórico, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its old gate, the Portón de Campo, the tiny Calle de los Suspiros, with its beautifully-kept colonial buildings, the Plaza Mayor 25 de Mayo, Plaza de Armas and lastly the ruins of the Convento de San Francesco. The lighthouse is a perfect spot to admire the views of the Rio de la Plata. The Sacramento is also packed with well-maintained privately owned vintage cars. That alone, car-lover or not, is a reason to put Colonia on your list.Editorial Copyrights: /Shutterstock8) Ushuaia :What makes Ushuaia one of Argentina’s tourist attraction is its location, a wide bay on the southern coast of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. The Martial Mountain Range is to the north, and the famous Beagle Channel lies to the south (the route of Darwin's first and most famous passage to the Galapagos).Tourists who visit Argentina usually travel to Ushuaia in the summer months when the city (which is the southernmost closest point to Antartica) gets a lot of daylight, and the temperatures, in spite of being cold, are not as chilly as in the winter months (May-August). If you’re an adrenaline junkie, Ushuaia is a perfect base to embark upon some incredible adventures to embark such as dog sledding, kayaking, wildlife-watching on horseback, hiking/trekking and Antarctica cruises.Iconic places that can be easily accessed from Ushuaia are the Cerro Martial and its glacier, the Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, the iconic Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel.Editorial Copyrights: /Shutterstock 9) Salta and the North West :Salta is the biggest city in the northern region of Argentina, nestled in a beautiful valley surrounded by magnificent Andean peaks. It is known to be the indigenous core of the country. Among the places of interest in town are the Cathedral and Iglesia San Francisco; the Central Plaza, with its restaurants and bars, is a great place for locals and tourists to hang out.Editorial Copyrights: /ShutterstockYou can get a great view of the entire city by taking the teleférico (cable car) to the Cerro San Bernardo. Salta is also home to a great anthropology museum, the MAAM (Museo de Antropologia de Alta Montaña), considered to be the most important museum of Northern Argentina. It has a fantastic exhibition of Inca artefacts, including 3 mummies that were unearthed in the year 1999.Editorial Copyrights: /Shutterstock10) Tango:This dance form originated on the border between Argentina and Uruguay in the 1880’s. Favored by slaves and dispossesed poor, the Tango has since then gained acceptance all over the world as a sensual sophisticated dance of the upper classes that requires syncopated rhythmic footwork. For an outdoor experience that is completely unique, head over to the bandstand at the Barrancas de Belgrano Park in Buenos Aires where the casual milonga ‘La Glorieta’ takes place usually on Sunday evenings at around 8 pm (tango lessons are free and given earlier). You can also visit Club Gricel with its wonderful dance floor and aging wood, and also check out Confitería Ideal, the mother of all historic tango halls in Argentina.Editorial Copyrights: /ShutterstockIf you wish to learn tango from a professional, you can find teachers on La Boca street for varying prices and duration. It is not unusual to find professional dancers busting some serious moves in a grand impromptu dance-off on the street, a visual treat if you are lucky to spot one.Editorial Copyrights: /ShutterstockPlan your custom itinerary in consultation with our local experts here.
Squeezed between the Pacific ocean and the mighty Andes, Chile is a long, narrow nation running north-south, well-known for some of nature’s finest landscapes across the world that range from the driest of the deserts of the world up in the north to the massive glaciers of Patagonia in the south. Alongside this impressive array of natural display, the cultural charm of Chile cannot be overlooked; with cities such as Santiago boasting excellent art galleries and Valparaiso’s vibrant colonial aura, Chile spreads its arms to travelers from almost every walk of life.Get in touch with our travel experts in Chile, whose invaluable assistance will ensure you get the best out of your vacation. Browse our list of trip ideas and Chile's list of impressive travel highlights to give you an idea of how an itinerary may be completely customized to your liking. In the meantime, here's a list of must-see attractions this country offers. SantiagoWith a magnificent Andean backdrop, the 500-year old bustling capital city of Santiago is where the political and cultural heart of Chile resides. Home to finest museums in the country along with excellent dining and nightlife options, Santiago does a great job in enchanting its visitors with its lively urban vibe. Apart from the cultural happenings, a highlight of any visit to Santiago includes visiting the old colonial square of Plaza de Armas and taking the aerial tramway to San Cristobal Hill for its breathtaking views of the city.Atacama DesertHome to the driest deserts in the world, Atacama extends over 40,000 square miles and contains some of the continent’s most phenomenal landscapes. Dubbed as one of the most visited places in the country, Atacama is filled with chestnut-hued mountains, endless salt plains, and gurgling geyser fields. One of the key highlights of the region is the Valle de la Luna, which translates as “Valley of the Moon”, a unique formation caused by the erosion of sand and stone, eerily resembling the surface of the moon. Being one of the darkest and driest places on earth, Atacama offers its visitors an unparalleled opportunity to view the flawless night sky through its guided star tours; the near-total absence of moisture in the atmosphere makes this particular night sky a sight to behold!Los Pinguinos Natural MonumentLargest among the Penguin colonies in the southern part of the country, the Los Pinguinos Natural Monument breeds over 120,000 Magellanic penguins on Magdalena Island, qualifying it as one of Chile's most spectacular sights. Just 22 miles northeast of Punta Arenas, smack in the middle of the Magellan Strait and topped with a pretty red lighthouse, this island, declared a national monument in 1966, witnesses one of the country’s largest agglomeration of the Penguins that come yearly to mate and lay eggs. Head over in the months of September or October to witness the area teeming with these cute species, migrating here only to find their mate. Los Pinguinos can only be accessed through guided boat tours in the Magellan Strait; apart from the staggering sight of these marvelous birds, the area proliferates with sea lions and seals as well.La SerenaFlaunting an extensive golden shoreline along with marvelous colonial-era architecture, La Serena happens to be the second oldest city in Chile. Located in the northern corner of the country, La Serena lures its visitors with its warm desert climate; its closeness to the fruitful Central Valley, home to Chile's finest vineyards, is a bonus.Strolling through the downtown La Serena, visitors are bound to come across grandiose plazas, stone structures, archaeological museum and an astronomical observatory, giving it the well-deserved reputation of a town for everyone. For the adventurous traveler, La Serena comes almost second to none with its myriad collection of activities like sport fishing, surfing, snorkeling, and hiking.ValparaisoAnother cultural hub hitting the must-visit list in Chile is the buzzing bohemian town of Valparaiso, which sits on the Pacific coast in the approximate center of the north-south stretch. Built upon the steep hillsides, Valparaiso boasts labyrinthian streets with cobbled pathways, illustrating much of its rich colonial legacy. The poet Pablo Neruda had a home here, the iconic La Sebastiana. Anyone familiar with the man's sensual poetry would understand why one of his homes would be in the middle of Valparaiso: bursting with an unique charisma of its own, this old colonial town is best known for showcasing its brightly-colored homes, a thriving nightlife scene, breathtaking seaside views and its famed underground street art.Torres del Paine National ParkDeriving its name from the three colossal granite peaks of the Paine Mountain range, Torres del Paine National Park is a glaciated area situated in the extreme southern tip of the Patagonian part of the country. Witnessing over 150,000 visitors every year, Torres del Paine's main draws are its serene lakes and plenty of hiking options apart from the magnificent sights of those three towering glacial peaks. This natural gem can take weeks to fully explore; we recommend opting for the popular “W” route, taking only five days to complete, and comprising some of the best sights of the region. Torres del Paine National Park can be best explored in the summer months between December to February as opposed to the extreme chills of its winter months.Chile’s Lake DistrictSprawling extensively from Temuco in the north to Puerto Montt in the south, Chile’s Lake District is a far-reaching, lush volcanic valley with snowcapped mountains, thick forests and calm lakes; the entire region was earlier inhabited by the indigenous tribe of Mapuche, before the Europeans took over almost completely. Given the charm of the idyllic landscapes along with the countless activities it offers, including rafting, kayaking and volcano climbing, this part of the country lures adventure-seekers in droves. Come winter, and visitors can gratify themselves with excellent skiing options in the region.Chiloe IslandPart of the isolated group of the Chiloe Archipelago, the island of Chiloe is the fifth largest of its kind in the entire continent, best known for its collection of unique old wooden churches, carved in a very peculiar style of the 17th century, when the Spanish arrived in these islands, followed by Jesuit missionaries, whose influence is still reflected in its prevailing architectures. Apart from these historic structures, Chiloe boasts numerous colorful stilt houses alongside a national park which is home to whales, dolphins and penguins, thus adding much to the delight of the island’s unique charm.Easter IslandLocated approximately 2000 miles from the country’s mainland in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, Easter Island is popular for its hollow-eyed monumental statues called Moai, created by the ancient (and very advanced) Rapanui tribe. Although exemplifying the sheer brilliance of human artistry centuries ago, these giant stone structures still remain one of the greatest mysteries revolving around the Polynesian people that once inhabited the region. It’s not difficult to wonder why these well-famed Moai structures have overshadowed almost every other attraction of this distant island. Also home to volcanic craters and two gorgeous white-sand beaches, Easter doesn’t fail in charming adventure-seekers with its great off-coast diving and surfing thrills.IquiqueFeaturing stunning, well-preserved 19th-century Georgian architecture and a vibrant beachfront boardwalk, Iquique is best known for its first-rate beach resorts and glitzy casino. Resembling Monte Carlo, Iquique is a perfect stop for any free-spirited fun loving soul. Start off your visit by checking out (or participating) in surfing competitions, paragliding over the town and sand-boarding the golden dunes of Cerro Dragon. Spend the later part of the day strolling down the old, western-styled Baquedano Street, famed for artisans displaying their wares and touristy fun. There is no better way to wrap up your day in this casino town than by indulging in some fun gambling and sampling the country's tastiest cuisines in the town’s top-notch restaurants. Iquique has its own duty free zone, where shoppers can get hold of everything from perfumes to laptops.Start customizing your itinerary with a travel expert here.
Boasting glittering white-sand beaches and dotted like pearls in the vast blue Caribbean Sea, Rosario (one of the prime highlights of Colombia) is an archipelago of 27 small coral islands, just minutes away by boat from the vibrant colonial town of Cartagena. While Cartagena’s rich history and old charm are worth a lot of attention in their own right, a traveler should not pass up on the brilliance of the turquoise-colored waters and the tropical Caribbean aura that the Rosario Islands offer. Apart from all that beachy-beauty, the islands are home to pristine and delicate coral ecosystems, calling divers and snorkelers to their shores.Get hold of a Colombia travel expert who can weave these little nuggets of paradise into a larger Colombian itinerary. OverviewTraditionally called Islas del Rosario or Corales Islas del Rosario (the coral islands of Rosario), this archipelago of 27 small islands are home to over 1000 species of flora and fauna breeding in its translucent waters.Considered one of the most important coral reefs in the world, the Rosario Islands were endowed a national park status in 1977, and this is when it opened its gates to curious snorkelers and scuba divers who wished to explore this never-seen-before unadulterated aquatic world.Until 1977, wealthy families from Cartagena used this natural playground to build their vacation homes; post '77, the government allowed them to retain their homes if they paid an annual tax and complied with the rules to protect the ecosystem of the islands. Today, the islands are a perfect day escape option from the cultural charm of Cartagena; given the availability of excellent accommodation, one can stay overnight in one of the many eco-lodges on the islands. Getting thereJust around 23 miles from Cartagena, Rosario Islands can be accessed by a 45-minute boat ride from La Bodeguita Pier in Cartagena’s historic center. Sights and activitiesEditorial copyrights: Reginaldo G MartinsThere is no better way to commence your Rosario voyage than by visiting the open-air Oceanario aquarium. Although not that huge, it still houses a variety of rescued sharks, along with giant sea turtles and other aquatic life. Rather than focus on entertainment (apart from a short dolphin show), Oceanario is geared more towards conservation, providing as a perfect stop for anyone curious to learn about the marine culture.After a pleasant aquarium visit, head over to Isla Grande, a unit of Rosario Islands and perhaps the only island inhabited by the indigenous native population, providing its visitors an oportunity to explore the local culture. With boutique resorts lined up and and gorgeous waters to swim in, everything that tourists look for in Caribbean islands are represented here.Grab your snorkeling gear (which can be rented if you aren't carrying your own) and swim around to your heart's content. Walk into dive shops, rent gear and enjoy day dives, bookings for all of which can be done in Cartagena itself. Editorial copyrights: Chuck HoltonAfter a refreshing splash in these vibrantly chromatic waters, be sure to treat your palates with some typical and original Colombian food consisting of coconut rice, fried white fish, and yucca, all with the finest beach views.Important tip: Be sure to carry sunscreen protection, and if planning to explore other parts of the island, stock up on mosquito repellant too.Not just limited to beachside fun and underwater explorations, Isla Grande is also home to magnificent mangroves, best explored by canoeing; a travel expert will easily hook you up.The Beauty of Playa BlancaAlthough formally not considered as part of the Rosario Islands, Playa Blanca situated on Isla Baru is famed for its sheer beauty of golden sands; a must-visit spot while in Rosario or Cartagena. Consistently voted as one of the best beaches of Colombia, Playa Blanca draws a substantial amount of visitors to its shores that abound with fun activities like as diving and surfing. Whether for spending quality time with family or simply to enjoy a breathtaking sunset with a drink in hand, Playa Blanca is truly the place to be. One can also sample lip-smacking traditional recipes of the region, famed for their distinctive Caribbean flavors.Another island for top-notch diving is Tierra Bomba, superb reefs and superb wrecks, so be sure to include that in your Rosario outing if you are a scuba junkie. Best time to visitThe best time to visit Colombia in general, and especially the Rosario Islands is the dry-season months from December to March. These uninterrupted sunny days are just perfect for a Caribbean coastal experience, along with other exciting activities that the area hosts.Start planning your itinerary with a travel expert here.