Argentina, the largest Spanish speaking nation in the world. Land of the tango, Polo horses, Gauchos, wines, beef, football, our queen Maxima of the Netherlands. A large country with so many different landscapes and climates. A country that cannot be explored in just a few weeks but needs and deserves some time to be discovered to the fullest.
I had visited Argentina before, only Buenos Aires, and I loved it, so I wanted to go back with the kids. Argentinians love children so it's not a problem to travel with them through the country. Buenos Aires made me curious to discover more of Argentina. So we decided to travel a bit around the country and explore the Northern part and leave Southern Argentina for another time.
So we saw the capital, the Pampas, the Andes, the salt flats and the Iguazú falls. And there is still so much more to see and do. We met many nice and warm people inviting us for an assado at their home. We felt welcome, even if it meant having the six of us over for dinner. There was plenty of food and drinks and everyone was interested and kind.
- The most important things to take with you are layered clothes. In the mountains you might need a jacket and long pants while in the city a short and t-shirt is more than enough.
- Plan your trip well if you want to take the kids to estancias where they can learn to play polo or when travelling through Mendoza wine country. Many of the estancias and bodegas are adults-only.
- Do not drive at night; roads are not well lit and thus dangerous.
- You cannot visit Argentina without riding a horse, so bring your horse riding pants with you. It's not necessary to bring your boots or cap, most if not all the estancias can provide you with these accessories.
- Argentina is not a cheap country to travel, plan your transport and accommodation in advance.
- Bring your bank card and withdraw pesos from the ATM, it's the best way to get local money as exchanging at the bank (at home or in Argentina) offers you a very bad exchange rate. Do try to withdraw cash during the week as sometimes the machines are empty during the weekend and it takes some time before they are refilled.
- Take dollar bills with you as many people prefer to be paid in dollars in stead of pesos.
- Do not exchange your dollars with anyone on the street. You will be offered a better rate but it can get pretty creepy and it is illegal.
When to go
Argentina is a year round destination depending on where you want to go and what you would like to do.
It is a land with really four seasons, only it obviously falls the opposite way than our seasons in the northern hemisphere. We visited in April, when Autumn is in full swing. The temperature wasn't high enough to swim anymore but the weather was still quite nice in Buenos Aires and it was a beautiful time of year to see the wine harvesting in Mendoza.
We didn't drive around much in Argentina, only from Buenos Aires to San Antonio de Areco. We hesitated a bit whether we should've driven from San Antonio de Areco to Mendoza, but locals told us it is a pretty dull high way. As it's a pretty large country we took the plane several times and flew with the national airline, Aerolineas Argentinas.
A sample itinerary is:
Buenos Aires - San Antonio de Areco - Mendoza - Salta - Iguazu - Buenos Aires.
You could extend your trip to neighbouring country Chile or Brazil. We combined Argentina with both of them. If you would like to know more about the combination trip, just send me an email via the contact page.