There’s no shame in planning a trip to Argentina based solely around its incredible wine, beautiful women and vivacious culture, right? Wrong. This is the 8th largest country in the world we’re talking about! There are thousands of miles of coastline to discover, Andean mountains to ascend, two million-year-old glaciers to trek, desert moonscapes to camp out in, and we haven’t even scratched the surface! Depending on where your travels take you within this gigantic and awe-inspiring landmass, you’ll find there’s every reason to get outdoors and experience geologic wonder on a whole different scale. Now sit back and let us whet your appetite for adventure.
If it’s high peaks you’re after, let this little statistic soak into your temporal lobe: Argentina has over 40 mastiffs that top the 6,000 meter (19,685 ft) mark, including the 6,962 m behemoth Aconcagua. Most of these Andean bad boys run north to south along the western side of the country, which is where you’ll also find Argentina’s ample selection of first class skiing and boarding destinations (between Mendoza and the stunningly beautiful Bariloche). Continue southward and things only get wilder. Here, in an area of untamed geography known as Patagonia, you’ll experience not only towering mountains and frigid lakes but also the looming ice walls of Los Glaciares National Park. Little glacier hiking, anyone? And of course, southernmost of all sits the magnificent Tierra del Fuego, Argentina’s untamed gateway to the nearby Antarctic continent.
But don’t think that the adventurous are confined to the far west and south of this massive country. Highlights of the extensive eastern coastline include surfing the Mar del Plata south of Buenos Aires, or scuba diving with dolphins and sea lions off the famed Valdes Peninsula. Central and northwestern Argentina are home to a plentiful array of incredible parks like Los Terrones, Las Quijadas and Talampaya Canyon, as well as spectacular alien landscapes such as those found in Tolar Grande and La Valle de la Luna. And we haven’t even mentioned Iguazu Falls: that colossal series of cascades located in the northeastern jungles near Argentina’s Brazilian border. Exhausting the selection may be (and trust us, this is just the tip of the Perito Moreno), but the simple moral to be drawn is this: when you’re here, don’t confine yourself to the comfort and craziness of city living. There’s just too much in this beautiful country to explore.